I’m fat. Yes, I know this isn’t news to those of you who’ve met me in person or who follow me on Facebook. It isn’t really news to me, either, except…
Except that in my head I’ve already made the switch to being trim and fit. I work out every morning. I don’t eat junky snacks or brownies or white carbohydrates of any kind. I monitor my thoughts at all times to catch any automatic negative self-talk. When asked why I’m not having the aforementioned brownie, I say – both to myself and the person asking – that I’m choosing not to because it’s better for my health. Not that I can’t have that because I’m on a diet and it’s a “bad” food. (You know there’s no such thing as “bad” or “good” foods, right? Please humor me and nod your heads now.)
I’m doing all of the right things and my blood sugar is in nearly perfect control – not just good, but perfect!, and I’ve lost some weight. So in my head, I’ve already made the switch and I must be magically not fat now.
And then a very nice colleague of my husband’s, at a volunteer function, congratulated us on the upcoming birth of our child while gesturing at my stomach, and a little part of me wanted nothing more than to simultaneously burst into tears while melting away and disappearing completely.
“I’m still so fat. This healthy lifestyle thing isn’t working. I need to go on a diet, pronto, and make this go away. I can’t eat “healthy” portions of normal foods, I need to weigh and measure everything. I can’t trust myself because I’m still fat.”
That’s what swirled around in my head for the next hour or so after I escaped to the local shopping center to walk around while dealing with my thoughts. I posted something about the incident on my Facebook page about how I’d lost 25 pounds but it wasn’t enough to make me not fat. Friends began writing lovely messages, particularly one who’d just seen me the day before and told me how great I’d looked, but in my heart I knew it was all true: I’m so fat that I look like a pregnant girl. And then one friend – my dear,, wise friend Rosa – wrote something I’ll never forget. She told me to go to the grocery store, pull five 5-pound bags of sugar from the shelves, and see just how insignificant 25 pounds gone from my body really was.
And, just like that, the inside of my head snapped out of its funk and I could see clearly again. Yes, I’m still fat, but:
- I’m no longer Morbidly Obese (just Obese)
- My blood sugar readings are half what they used to be. (Yes, really – half!)
- I workout every morning for 50 minutes at a time and I’m working my way up to the recommended 60 minutes a day
- Most of my clothes and all of my undergarments no longer fit because I’ve lost so much weight from my waist and midsection
- When my husband says, “Let’s walk to dinner,” I smile and tell him that sounds like a great idea instead of scowling and saying, “Yeah, right”
- I’m confronting my depression every time it pops up – and it does so on an alarmingly regular basis – instead of letting it bring me down and ruin my happiness
- I am happy, people! Deeply and unreservedly happy. Not the manic faux-happiness that is the flip side of my depression but real, quiet, deep-down-in-my-heart happiness
So I stopped ignoring the rumbling in my stomach after waiting too long for lunch, walked to a nearby restaurant, ordered food that sounded delicious in a portion size that I felt comfortable would be enough to get me to dinner but not enough to fill me up completely, and then sat and ate with enjoyment. By myself. Without worrying that others were judging me for what or how much I was eating.
Yes, I’m still fat, and that’s OK.