So I'm fat. And I hate it. I feel horrible about myself, and every time I look at a picture of me, all I can see is double chins and fat arms and belly. I wonder how people don't run screaming from the blubbery monster whenever I walk into a room, and I am truly amazed at how often I get hit on, although for the most part it's by guys in cars next to me on the road, or creepy guys at gas stations. Although that may smell strongly of compliment fishing, it is nothing more than the truth. Without exception, people are always shocked to find out this fact about me, because I do an amazing job of projecting confidence. It's not totally false: I know I'm funny and caring and a great friend, I'm smart and talented and good at absolutely everything. I am aware of and thankful for the characteristics that God gave me. But somehow, I have let me weight come to define my worth. While I know that I will make an amazing wife someday, I feel unworthy of the kind of man that I want because “why would he like me when I'm so fat?” My weight has also become a defense mechanism: I can blame guys not liking me on the fact that I'm fat instead of looking deeper and finding out what parts of myself I need to work on.
I wasn't always this way. I was never a fat kid, and my mom did a really great job of making healthful meals and teaching us good eating habits. We never had dessert. We exercised regularly, and I played on softball and soccer teams, which kept me in great shape until the dreaded move to Tucson/hell. The first year there, I rode my bike all over the place and played on a soccer team. But the team was a joke and I didn't have to try very hard, and by the end of the second summer, when I went out for the high school soccer team, I was already out of shape and thought I would die from the 115 degree heat. So I quit. Things only worsened because I was away from my mother's watchful eye at school, and started buying candy bars every day. I babysat a lot, so I had some money. It was also during this first year of high school that I quit eating breakfast, which is a terrible habit. It's too hard for me to get up early, and this is something I still struggle with, even though I know how important breakfast is. Though I never weighed myself a single time in high school, my guess is that I gained about 10 pounds per year. And then I went to Germany, where my mom couldn't tell me not to eat anything. I weighed 220 when I came home. Then I started noticing that guys weren't interested in me anymore, and I was outraged! Why do guys...even fat guys... always expect to be with the skinny attractive girls (many of whom have no personalities, might I add)? I didn't want to lose weight and then have a guy like me just because of my looks. So I ate more.
Food was my way of rebelling. I didn't do anything else: no drinking, drugs or ho-bagging. Just food. I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to. I hit my heaviest weight at 22/23, and though I refused to weigh myself, I know it was over 300. Holy crap. How had I let it get that bad?
I knew I needed to lose weight for my health, but I also realized that God made men the way they are... very visual. Not that being visual by nature gives them an excuse to be shallow, but it is an obstacle they have. Besides, when God does bring me a husband, I do want to be attractive to him, and I want him to be able to be proud of how hot his wife is. And I want to be healthy.
When I moved back to California in 2004, I started to lose weight for the first time. I went through times when it was easy, and then hit a rough patch in my life that lasted for several years and stressed me out, and I found out that I deal with stress by eating. So I regained some, but later lost some more. Today, I am down about 70 pounds from what I think was my top weight. I don't even want to write that number. I still need to lose a staggering 120. Earlier today, I was talking to my friend Erin about needing to lose weight, and she has the same desire, although her goal is slightly smaller at 100 pounds.
Erin's weight comes from a mixture of rotten self esteem and bad eating habits developed at a young age. I think Erin is an amazing person. She makes me laugh so much, and she does so much for me. She has great insight and wisdom, and so much compassion. However, she always felt that she wasn't worth anything, and she wouldn't want things because she felt she didn't deserve them. Instead, she indulged in fast food. Her dad was always working a lot and couldn't prepare healthful meals, so he would leave microwaveable food. Often she would forget to take a lunch to school, so she pretty much grew up eating only a late lunch and dinner each day.
Today we made an agreement. Together, we will lose this weight that has us hating ourselves and causing so much pain. We want to do it in a year. That makes my goal 10 pounds a month, and Erin's a mere 8.3. Very achievable. We talked about diets, and agreed that they don't work, so we will simply be eating healthfully and really focusing on portion control. This is something that both of us really struggle with. We won't be adding exercise right away, because a change in eating habits is enough for now, and we're both really busy... I with school and she with a 3 month old baby. In a few months, however, we will be adding something physical.
We have a few rules that we are putting into play immediately, and there will probably be more as time goes on. Nothing is totally set in stone, and as I already stated: this is not a diet. I refuse to cut anything out that I'm gonna miss, but those things will become treats, not staples.
We're both giving up soda completely, starting now, but only until we're not addicted anymore, and then we will be allowed to have them only as dessert.
We will be eating a healthful breakfast each morning.
We will drink an insane amount of water each day.
We will stop eating four hours before going to bed.
We are allowed one treat per day.
I will blog our progress.
So it begins. Tomorrow is a lighter day.