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hello i am fat


also helpful? seriously cute new shoes. (with stars on the bottom!)

retail therapy

You know that moment when you're standing in your closet and you're about to burst into tears and burn the thing down and then set fire to your own self because every item of clothing you own is too small or too short or too old or too stained or too ugly or makes you look fat/lumpy/fat and lumpy/fat, lumpy and ugly?

That's a bad moment. That's a really bad moment, and it's bound to break you down and send you spiraling into the kind of wave of depression that involves pizza and self-hatred and locking yourself in the house and never not ever leaving and wishing to fuck that you could just wear a sheet to work. Or maybe that last part is just me.

Maybe you don't. Maybe it is all me. I hope for your sake it is all me, because they are really terrible moments, and I've had so many of those moments these past few months – one of those moments is what really slapped me upside the head and made me realized that I had to do something about the weight I've gained.

But now that I'm doing something, it doesn't seem fair to keep having those moments. Sure, sure, I've only lost four point whatever pounds so far. But shouldn't it have revolutionized my entire life? Shouldn't it have revolutionized my entire wardrobe? Shouldn't my fucking pants just fucking fit already?

No? Okay then.

So I had another one of those moments this past weekend when I was supposed to go hang out with friends of Guy's who haven't seen me in awhile and one of the wives of these people is totally gorgeous and skinny and fabulous and the kindest, sweetest person you've ever met and who does not give a shit what you look like or what you're wearing, but that of course does not stop you from thinking about exactly what you look like, and exactly what the fuck you're going to wear.

So that was catalyst one.

The second catalyst was stumbling home that night and switching on the television and sort of numbly watching an episode of What Not To Wear, in which they were re-fashioning some chick who wanted to lose a lot of weight and she said she was dressing poorly because she was waiting until she lost the weight she wanted to lose and one of the yappy people – Stacey or Clinton, I don't remember which – said, very portentously, "Dress the body you have! Don't wait to look good! Feel good about yourself NOW! Yap yap yap!" And I will not lie to you - I turned it off and went to sleep.

But the next morning! I thought about it and it resonated with me, and I thought, fucking hell. I can't do this any more – squeezing into things and feeling ugly and uncomfortable and stupid. I can't sit around waiting to feel good, because that's just going to drive me to drink. More.

So I looked up the address of a fat girl store I've heard good things about - Torrid - and I trained it on over there and I tried things on and I got jeans, for fuck's sake. I haven't worn jeans in forever. And I got cute tops. And a jacket. And a pair of pants. I ignored the stupid sizes and pretended they didn't mean a goddamn thing and just considered how they felt, and considered how they looked, and by god - now I have things to wear that I look good in, that make me feel good about myself. Feel good! About myself!

That hasn't happened in a really long fucking time.

And I know, as I stick with the program and keep exercising (I've been doing videos at home. I pull down all the shades. My neighbors thank me.) that I will lose weight and then some more weight and these clothes will become too big on me and useless and I will pack them away or give them to goodwill and you can tell me that I've wasted my money, on stuff I will wear, hopefully, for only a short while. But you know, I would have gladly paid a lot more for this amazing new feeling, this feeling I haven't had in years, of liking what I see in the mirror. I highly recommend it. Because it's kind of cool.

fucking ow

So, that was embarrassing. And I guess I should have known better. I re-read the description on the gym's site that said things about "high octane" and "intense" and "this will kill you," but I ignored them. Ha ha, I said. If it gets too rough, I will just march in place step two three four.

Step two three four.

I talked to my friend H. before I headed over to the gym. I told her I was nervous about the class. She said "Don't be! You'll be great! And you know, you can leave if you have to." I said "ha ha. The warm up will probably kill me! I'll leave fifteen minutes after the class starts!"

Step, two, three four. I made it through about seven minutes before I left.

Just in case the class would be packed, and all excited about going, I got there fifteen minutes early and felt good in my nice workout pants and my cute robot shirt. I walked around the room, and I imagined punching things and I felt good. And then the little tiny undergrads started sylphing through the door in pairs, wearing their sports bras and yoga shorts and I wanted to die a little bit, but I didn't. I stood in the corner and looked off into the air and tried to pretend I was thinking deep thoughts that didn't involve cake.

And then the instructor came in and she was a good quarter of my size, and she started shrieking and the music came on it and it was deep knee bends and jumping jacks and more deep knee bends and dropping from a bend into ten push ups and then back up to jumping jacks and jab jab jab and kick kick kick and I tried so hard to keep up and not look at myself in the mirror and do the best I could but I started to pant and then I started to wheeze and then I started to not be able to breathe at all and everything hurt and I tried to lift my knee to kick and then realized I couldn't and I was falling out of step with everyone and I stopped and I looked at myself in the mirror and I turned and walked out while everyone was doing lunges and I pretended I didn't care that they were watching me go and I tried to not think about what it was they could have been thinking as the fat girl clears out seven minutes into class.

I thought I was fine. It's kind of funny, how I didn't last. Boy, was that class crazy! And where was the kickboxing, I ask you? That sure wasn't kickboxing! Ha, ha. Ha. And then I got home and Guy came over and asked me how the class went and I burst into tears.

You know, I know I'm fat. That right now, I weigh more than I ever have. And I don't formally exercise. But jesus, I did not know I was so desperately out of shape. I walk. I'm not immobile. I am fairly agile, I take the stairs, I am a wildcat in bed. I would have thought that this class would have hurt, but I didn't realize it would have torn me down so completely, and left me feeling so humiliated and pathetic – not just because it was so difficult, but because it was this spectacular failure to do something normal girls could do.

And because it was such a public spectacular failure. When I don't fit into my clothes at home, or I try something on in a department store, or I eat something I shouldn't, it is a private and personal disappointment, screw-up, defeat. Whether it is true or not – those deep-bending, push upping girls might have been so deeply immersed in their sweating they never noticed me in the back row, when I was there or when I was going – it felt like I was opening myself up to every kind of public humiliation you spend your whole life trying to hide from, when you're fat, in all kinds of ingenious ways that become second nature.

That took some getting over – it's been a long time since I took a risk like letting myself look like a giant fat asshole in an exercise class. And after I calmed down and the first blush of shame faded, I started to feel less pathetic, wretched and horrible, and a little more proud of myself. I went to this class that I knew was going to be hard and full of skinny girls, and I did my best. I pushed to failure, and I failed, and that's the end of it. I did good (and three days later, it still fucking hurts. I almost cried going down the stairs this morning).

And while I have vengefully crossed out all the cardio kickboxing classes on the gym schedule I have printed out (along with all of the instructor's other classes, in a fit of impotent rage and snittiness), I have not crumpled the thing up into a ball and chucked it. I am going to try water aerobics (shallow, easy pace), and maybe beginning yoga, and maybe tai-chi, and when I have lost some more weight and feel more confident, when I am stronger and fitter – I sure as fuck won't go back to the cardio kick class.

still not fifty three pounds, or king.

Work is so easy. Eating at work, I mean. Because I can't sit at my desk and eat a ham, and since I work at a public service desk, I can't disappear into the break room and eat a Christmas turkey every ten minutes, and the food on campus sucks and the vending machine is almost always broken, if I simply remember to plan ahead, with my baggies of cereal and the lean cuisines and the yogurts and the fruit, I am golden all day. A beautiful golden god.

Home is less easy, even though I have learned the most important lesson about stocking your house with groceries, which is Do Not Leave a Bucket of Fried Chicken Or A Cake In Your House lesson. If you have the stuff within reach, look there you go! Reaching for it! It seems a very simple lesson to learn, but it took me a very long time to learn it. Because I am not so smart.

Since I am not so smart but lazy, it is easy to fool myself into not eating the not-so-great stuff after hours, but not as easy to eat good stuff, because, see above, re: laziness. I can stuff my fridge with all the arugula it can hold, but that sure as fuck doesn't mean I'm going to actually do anything with the arugula, unless it involves climbing over the arugula to get to the take out menus, or tossing the arugula in order to fit the leftover Chinese food in the fridge.

But I can usually get around that by making myself a peanut butter sandwich for dinner and then pretending that the kitchen doesn't exist any more, which exercises my brain, which burns calories, which makes me lose fifty three pounds a week. I am telling you, I am a diet genius and should really write some kind of self help book.

Which is all well and good on days I come home after work. On days I go out after work, I try to remember to save some points, and Make Smart Choices and Not Screw Up By Ordering A Pie, and sometimes it works (a coffee after dinner sometimes undercuts the urge to order All the Dessert in the World) and sometimes it really, really doesn't work (a coffee is a lovely accompaniment to Chocolate Lava Love Cake of Ultimate Doom) and sometimes it works okay (biscotti is nice).

In a perfect world, I would be, too. Perfect, I mean. But I have been trying to remember that the best I can do is do the best that I can, and I have been trying to not yack up immediately after thinking that. Because it is true. And belongs on an embroidered pillow.

I've been trying to remember to plan ahead as much as possible, make choices that are as good as possible, and think really hard about exercising (see above, re: burning calories with your mind and losing fifty three pounds).

It's working okay. I lost .8, and that is almost a pound, which is not too shabby in a week with little exercise and a lot of going out.

This week I have decided to be more forceful in my planning ahead when I go out, with looking up menus and saving points and asking for things on the side to not be brought out with my food and avoiding empty calories during the day. I'm going to poke around the exercise classes presented at my gym and check them out, squelching my embarrassment and trying to not die. Even though I'm totally going to die. But at least I will go out kickboxing.

not exactly 53 pounds

Here at the end of week one, I am not sad at all that I did not, in fact, lose 54 imaginary pounds, because instead I lost 3.4 real live ones. That is a victory, and to celebrate, I am drinking skim milk. With an oreo garnish. Because victory, man!

The one thing that got me through Weight Watchers the last time was what we officially labeled Cheat Night – though Cheat Night might not be, psychologically speaking, the best thing to call it. But that's the name that stuck, and that's what it will always be.

Cheat Night ruled. Cheat Night was the Night to End all Nights. The very next Cheat Night was something we were planning for, even while we were in the midst of the current Cheat Night, my friend Al and I.

McDonalds saved our sanity, and Ben & Jerry's saved our metabolism, and when we Cheat Nighted, we lost weight regularly and like clockwork. Well, he lost way more weight than I did, because he sucks and he cheated with liposuction and illegal pills and some other thing having to do with having a man's metabolism or whatever, but it worked.

You are severely cutting down your calories all week – allowing one day a week to go up out of your stinking Calorie Budget and splurge (what an awful word "splurge" is, aesthetically and in every way. Jeeze.), you keep your body from going into starvation mode. That is Science.

Well, that is Something I Made Up, really, but it seems logical, and makes sense, and this oreo in my mouth, as I type? It's making me happy. It was like a gift in the middle of general grimness, a way to relax after a week of excessive fright – everything you put in your mouth scares you, when you're on a diet, or a meal plan, or trying to lose weight. You're always wondering if this is going to be the thing that fucks you up, sends you weight rocketing, ruins everything. Cheat Night is a night to stop considering that, and to enjoy food.

So this week is going to be one night of indulgence, and the rest of the week Planning. I've Lean Cuisines in the freezer at work, and a sack full of yogurts. I've got skim milk in the fridge, and baggies of Kashi lined up to drop in my bag in the morning, next to the banana. All I've got to do is figure out some kind of satisfying mid-afternoon snack that won't have me considering licking the vending machine window and gazing tearfully at the snickers bars, and I will be so good to go, you don't even know, man.

And I also really need to think about exercising. I've got a lot of goofy videos that should not particularly kill me, and there is where I've got to start, if I ever want to kick my own ass again and enjoy it. I am really looking forward to killing myself softly – Guy reminded me last night of how much I was loving going to the gym and tearing up the elliptical, and how much happier I was, in general. And by god, he's right. I miss that feeling. That is what I'm working towards.

That, and Cheat Nights.

week one: the retrospective (i.e., yay sausage!)

So the meal plan thing has been working out really well. Kashi and soy milk and Lean Cuisines and occasional splurges, within my calorie budget, filled with exciting satisfyingness and it's all been terribly reasonable and filled with moderation and except for the moments in which I thought that I was going to burst into tears for being the kind of person who has a "calorie budget," everything went swimmingly swimming all week.

And then there was this weekend, which was an orgy of pie and sausage. But not all at once. Two separate occasions, two separate downfalls.

But who knew that pie and sausage would be my downfalls? Well, anyone who knows me, and has seen me in the room with a pie and or a sausage, I suppose. But I like to dream that these were flukes, my encounters with pie (filled with fruit, delicious) and sausage (covered with sauerkraut, delicious) that lead me into temptation and forty point days, after a long and sexy string of exactly-on-target days.

But you know, I wrote down all my points and I checked off all my bonus points and I sighed and I recognized that I had accountability in these situations and when next I encounter pie (delicious) and sausage (delicious) or even possibly sausage pie (indescribably delicious, in my head) I will have a Plan of Action and Points-a-Plenty and I can have my pie and count it too and be well within my calorie budget, the thought of which makes me want to burst into tears.

Succeeding, though. That makes me feel okay. And I think this week I've more or less succeeded at getting some stuff under control, and remembering why I want to do this: vanity. I mean health. Fitness! And a nice, fit ass.

Tomorrow I weigh in, and I look forward to having lost fifty three pounds.

on life comma worth having

I have given up candy, and also I have given up smoking, and now I think I'm about to give up living.

something even more bizarre and inexplicable

Hi! Hello. There have been things. Things that are Things, even. There's been my mother staying with me for an exhausting amount of time, and school work and work-work and my brain not working and all sorts of manner of stuff happening. You know. The usual.

As is usual, I stopped thinking about my fucking pants and eating good things and moving, and concentrated more on keeping on keeping on, and sometimes, hanging on by the skin of my teeth, and sometimes pure and simple survival. Which is, occasionally, less pure and not quite as simple as you'd think it was.

Also, I ate dark chocolate peanut m&ms, but just once.

My mental and emotional state is never quite as stable as I would optimally like it to be, but sometimes I go swerving down into the dark and ugly and I would laugh at my self for being so pathetic if you know, I wasn't so mired in very tragic despair. Tragic.

Things in general, however, have been bettering up in a lot of ways for the past couple of weeks. I have been working on school projects with great gusto and enthusiasm which is unusual for me, and I've gotten some Feedback that has kicked my ass with its awesomeness. I got a raise at work. Guy has been uniformly wonderful across the board and back again, as per usual. And my mom went home.

And recently I have discovered the winning of an award which is pretty cool and involves an all-expenses paid trip to put me on panels and have me leading workshop discussions and speaking in front of large groups of people, all of whom are going to be thinking "boy, she's fat."

So that's shaken me out of my physical lethargy (along with the tiny meltdown I had last weekend over the wearing of a dress to a party which made me look like a big paisley meatball – the dress, I mean, not the party. The party did not make me look anything but slightly tipsy) and I went to a weight watchers meeting this afternoon to discover that I am Captain Weighs A Lot. A Lotta Lot. Five pounds heavier than my heaviest weight ever! Woo! I rule.

So it starts again. This time, I have a goal. I wish to lose some pounds before the conference in October. Let's call that five months. Let the amount of weight I would like to lose equal 30. Let's pretend that's reasonable, for now. And let me not give up this time, please.