It’s been hard for me to read most of the weight/diet/exercise blogs these last few weeks. Although you are all writing about yourselves and your own lives, I read and feel judged and lacking – and realized today that it was because (duh) I was judging myself against your successes and ripping myself up inside for not measuring up.
I am morbidly obese. I’ve gained and lost pounds so many times and am just so sad that I’ve gained back enough that I finally gave away four winter coats in smaller sizes – so that other people can stay warm and so there’s room in the closet for something that covers me. My knees are bad and I drink too much diet soda. I don’t exercise as much as I should. I’m in reasonably good health, all things considered, but it could be better. I don’t expect to live as long as the thin women my age, and frankly, that’s okay with me; but I want the kitty to be cared for, so that’s a motivator to take care of myself.
I’m not saying this because I want your pity, your sympathy, or most especially your advice. I could write the book on how to lose weight because I’ve lost it so many times. I just haven’t found the *click* inside that lets me keep it off. I hold myself to ridiculously high standards of perfection that set me up to fail, then feed myself comfort food to feel better. Yes, counseling is a good idea. I know it, and you’ve told me a dozen times. Please don’t tell me again; we’ll consider that advice already given.
My Christmas trip to visit family, which should bring joy, has me tied up in knots. I know we’ll have the Weight Conversation, the Diet Conversation, the Health Conversation, and of course the Church Conversation – and, given the election results, probably the Political Conversation. The morbidly obese non-churchgoing liberal Democrat is on her way, crying inside that the people who most understand me aren’t related to me and won’t be part of my celebration.
But it’s not just about me. Christmas is about family and tradition and being there for them in their lives, even if being there stresses me out. I can deal with it for a week and come home to my small world, my routine, my solitary-ness, my kitty.
I’m a good person, a good friend, an excellent librarian, a loving cat-mama. I’m smart enough to work at Yale and if I’m old enough to belong to AARP, I’m old enough to make my own choices. I just need to own them.
I don’t want to diet. I want to eat sensibly in moderation, to enjoy a variety of food, to ease the stress on my knees, to be comfortable in my body and with myself. That may be mutually exclusive. All I can do is try and take things one small step at a time.