14 Jul

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.




Lau says

I think if I did actually have a diet blog it would be a bit like that, ha! I feel you, woman. The issues are endless and insurmountable at times. All we can do is the best we can and realize that being a little chub isn't the end of the world. <3

Lau says

Also, its a particularly strange journey for me (especially on the IG where I follow a lot of people doing the same thing I am) because the lowest I would want to weigh is like 175, and most people on IG or blogs are aiming for something crazy like 115/120. So I feel you on the very *different* health journey us weirdos can have vs the rest of the western world.

S. Elizabeth says

WE TOTALLY NEED TO CREATE A BLVCK METAL DIET BLOG!! Ha, maybe we'll make it a group blog!

Yeah, I have no desire to weigh that little. First off, I do not feel like buying an entirely new wardrobe, and secondly, what with my my gigantic noggin and even bigger hair, I would most likely look like a bobble head.

OTB says

I am always thinking about diets because of my cat and trying to keep him slim...I realize this makes me sound insane. Then there is my Mom who tells me cats WANT to be fat and happy so just let him eat whatever. We are always outraged to see a cat put on some kind of diet plan.

As for me, I am blobby. I would like to be more healthy though so I try to make better choices. I hate exercise. The only thing I enjoy doing is kayaking and maybe x-country skiing, both of which require specialized equipment and lakes or frozen fields or whatever. I realize I just don't really care that much...but I am glad someone else feels the way I do!!!

For me it is the Red Pants incident of 1989. I was never a pudgy kid, but one time my much slimmer cousin was getting rid of some clothes. I tried on her horrid red denim jeans and my grandmother happened to see me and said, "Oh my, those make you look fat." I had never thought about being fat before and it made me cry even if it wasn't true and it was just the ugly pants. I started worrying about weight ever since, just a dumb comment and it totally ruined my self-image pretty much forever. Sigh.

S. Elizabeth says

Oh, I have one of those incidents too! When I was 6 or so I had a little red bikini that I wore to go swimming during the summertime. I thought I looked exactly like Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi (sheesh!) I overheard the our neighbor's husband tell my mother that I was too chubby for that sort of bathing suit and that I looked very silly. I cried and cried. Despite whatever agenda my mother had re: my 6 year old bod, I am fairly certain she must have told him to go flump himself. That's just the sort of lady she was.

Poor Fausto! We want our animal companions to be happy, but we want them to be healthy and with us for a long time, too. Maybe that's the way mom felt about me, who knows.

Anton says

I want a Black Metal diet blog. That would be helpful. I like to eat tacos, or a bowl of udon noodles with sir fried shrimp & broccoli & garlic before I go to shows. You don't want to eat too much or you will feel tired & bloaty, but you have to get something in so you have the energy to jump around through the whole show.

S. Elizabeth says

This is very good advice, Anton! Yes we definitely need a blvck metal blog full of diet and fitness tips. Something tongue and cheek though, though factual and practical, but above all else I feel like it definitely needs to reflect the melancholic atmosphere, aggression and energy of the music.

Lisa says

7 lbs, that's great! I don't seem to have lost much in the way of pounds yet, but I "feel" slimmer just because I'm moving more. I'm still trying to decide what's a realistic goal for myself and am mainly just trusting that I'll know it when I reach it. And I *do* want to have to get a whole new wardrobe - I don't own anything that isn't old and shabby.

I'm not a properly dark goth, but I will support any option that means I don't have to watch perky fitness industry types. They give me the willies.

Personally, I'm going to hold my breath unti the Laibach Total Body Workout is on the market.

S. Elizabeth says

I'm not - nor have I ever been properly goth, to tell you the truth! I never listened to Morrissey or The Cure or and it wasn't until I was in my early 30s that I even heard the song "Bela Lugosi's Dead". I've certainly never *looked* the part, that's for sure. I look, as one of the college students who works for me says, "like I should be teaching a pottery class". I think she meant I've got a sort of hippy/Earth mama vibe. So I think I've got a secret goth heart, perhaps :)

That is great that you are moving more! I've been walking about twice a week, but I definitely need to do it more. The funny thing is...I actually LIKE to walk. I think that some time ago though, I started thinking of it as exercise, and so I started dreading it.

As for goals, I think mine is probably about 140-145. So I have got a long way to go. That 200 lb number I mentioned above? Yeah, that was last month. I had no idea I had gained that much weight. I don't think I look like I weighed that sort of number. Sigh.
When I stepped off the scale, I think the nurse must have seen my lip trembling because she put her arm around me and said "aw honey, it's just a number."

Lisa says

Yeah, man, the pounds have a way of creeping up on me. I think my metabolism started to slow down when I hit my mid-30s.

I find that one of my big issues is that I've just been completely ignoring my body for years on end while obsessing over the state of my soul. Then I stopped and looked down one day and was like "WTF is all this?"

Angeliska says

Dear lady. I'm typing this on my phone before breakfast, so I will attempt to be brief as my pre-breakfast phone typing sense making skills ain't so great. Just wanted to say thank you for writing this very brave thing. I have been struggling with something similar for a while - the reality that my laziness and indulgence are indeed catching up with me, and changing (for the worse) the way I want to look and feel. I was always a scrawny kid, but when I hit puberty, I developed real lady hips and thighs and strong thick peasant legs that I didn't really know what to with. Hitting 30, struggling with PTSD, quitting smoking and the basic denial that I couldn't just eat whatever crazy crap I craved without real effects all have culminated in me ending up feeling pretty ashamed of the way my body looks right now. I'm teetering on the edge of being able to convince myself that Frank Frazetta and R. Crumb would at least find my current shape inspiring - but I don't feel good. I don't feel strong, and I get tired more easily. So, I'm getting inspired to change some things. To try. I appreciate you sharing your journey to feel good, and will be reading along to gain some hope and solidarity. If you discover a feasible technique for reading while exercising, do let us know. xoxoxo

Shana says


Hi lady! I will give you a tip that isn't as fun as an ACTUAL book but inspires me to stay walking longer. Whispersync. I buy a Kindle book and I can buy the Audible as well for a discount and so where ever I am in the book picks up on the audio and I can listen to the great book that I am in the depths of. I recently did this with Neil Gaiman and he reads the books himself, so it's really fun to hear him telling his own story. Of course it's not available on them all but since I found this gem of a way to "read" I go back and forth between my Kindle and my iphone on Audible and then of course because I cannot ever abandon actual books, I usually have a book that I am also reading on the side. :-)

S. Elizabeth says

And that's so important, isn't it? The feeling strong and feeling GOOD part. It's hard to be good when you don't feel good - both to other people and yourself. And the more awful you feel, the more poorly you treat yourself - at least that's what I've found.

I am trying to find a way to indulge AND still lose a pound or so a week. It's not a race for me, I haven't got any deadlines and I'm a Taurus, dammit so I'll do it the way I want to do it. I am happy to report that this past Friday I gobbled down vast quantities of Welsh Cheddar, ash-ripened brie, rosemary crackers and (whoops) an entire bottle of wine...but after cleaning up my act for the rest of the week, I still managed to lose a pound! So I think the indulgences can be kept, but we must temper them with 1000 times more fruits and veggies than we might normally eat and maybe get in a couple extra strolls a week!

Shana says

S. I am back on the diets again as well and the weight is about where you are. I have shed 5 so far and feel quite happy about the decrease. I would revel in a blog about diets that wasn't some perky little thing! They frankly piss me off and make me want to beat them with a wet noodle, or maybe an old baguette as it would be harder! Thanks for sharing. While I was never heavy until I hit 18 it's been a bumpy ride ever since and keeping myself in shape is harder the older I get. It seems I feel fine about me and then step on a scale and am horrified and shocked at the number.

S. Elizabeth says

Shana! We must keep each other on track, yes? I have got a goal that seems pretty far out from where I am at now, but I know it's not unreasonable and so I am going to try my best. I am not rushing toward it, so maybe with this 1-2 lbs per week, it's going to take me the better part of 8 months.

Well, even if I don't start a blvck metal blog, I think I will at least add it as a category over here for blogging about my progress or pot holes or whatever in a non-perky manner. Ha! Actually as it pertains to my weight loss, maybe I am 'blobbing' about my progress.

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