From the time I was 5 years old, my mother had me on diets. I suppose I was a chubby little girl. Maybe it is embarrassing to have a chubby child, maybe it makes you look like a failure as a parent. I know I rather felt like a failure as a daughter in that regard.
I loved food. I loved the way it tasted, loved the way it looked in the cookbooks, loved the delicious smells my grandmother coaxed forth from her kitchen. I became obsessed with food at an early age, and my mother, realizing that, probably became a bit obsessed with keeping it out of my mouth.
I recall an instance when I was 10 or 11 years old. My grandmother had brought an apple pie over to our house for us to have with our supper She often cooked for us as my mother had decided to go back to school in her late 30s and wasn’t around to prepare meals for us. On that evening my mother sent me away from the table so I didn’t have to forlornly watch my sisters enjoying their slices of dessert, for, of course, I was not allowed to join in. I imagine my feelings were somewhat hurt at the time, but I got over it and life went on. My sister tells me that years later when she thinks of me going pie-less that night, she still gets a little sad for me.
In my early teens I had a bit of a growth spurt and thanks to my mother’s insistence on Lean Cuisine and salad for every meal and a two mile walk every night, I had fairly streamlined my physique before heading into middle school, and after that I managed to maintain a reasonable weight throughout most of high school. I somehow was able to snag a boyfriend my freshman year and though I now realize now he wasn’t much of a catch, I think that his mere existence was probably incentive enough to keep me on my toes regarding diet and exercise during those years. Alas, I was dumped right before my senior year and my weight ballooned so rapidly and to such an extent that one particularly nasty girl even asked me if I was pregnant. I still dream about punching that girl in the face.
After almost 30 years of yo-yo dieting and weighing between 115 and 200 pounds at various points in my life, I have developed a rather complicated relationship with food, and I am afraid I am getting to an age where these sorts of things are, as they say, “nothing to fuck around with”.
This is not going to become a space where I talk about diet and exercise because quite frankly I hate diet and exercise with the sort of loathing that one reserves for Nazis and telemarketers and those reply cards in magazines that fly out when you open them to read an article. Also, I find diet blogs with their positive attitudes and feel good propaganda and sunny blond bloggers more annoying than I can possibly explain. I want to see a diet blog where the writer worries about what to eat before going to a Norwegian black metal concert or how can they incorporate healthy snacking into their D&D weekends or what’s the best exercise to get if you don’t want to do any fucking exercise at all because you want to watch an entire season of Hannibal in one go, thank you very much and you are not leaving the couch for any reason. I want to know that someone else is googling things like “funyuns casserole” and “cheeto burritos” as part of their ridiculous coping mechanisms fueled by food deprivation.
Those are the kind of blogs I want to read, but they don’t seem to exist and I don’t want to make one because let’s be honest here – I am really lazy and that is 80% of what got me in this spot to begin with.
Inspired by two wonderful friends who have undertaken weight-loss journeys, as well as riding the coat-tails of my own post-food poisoning weight loss, I did begin making some changes a few weeks ago, and I have since lost 7 pounds. I’ve got quite a bit to go before I reach a weight that I know from experience looks and feels good for my height and body type, etc. The last time I lost a large amount of weight it’s because I was dating a married man and depressed and anxious all of the time, and also kind of addicted to Xenedrine (which I think killed a few people – but hey, it worked). I’d really rather not resort to such measures this time around.
All of this is rather personal to share with the world at large – or at least the two people who read this blog – but I write about personal business all of the time, so it’s more than that. This is more about really opening myself up and making myself vulnerable to talk about these issues which have quite literally plagued me for as long as I can remember. It makes me feel a little raw, and it’s scary.
I resolved a few years ago to do one thing a day that scares me, and so let’s just call this my Scary Thing for today.