And in this corner ...
Sunday, May 10, 2009
So when it all comes down to it, food is my favorite event. It's the hobby I picked up as a kid and managed to perfect. When I was lonely in the house after my mom died, food became my guardian. It's what my friends and I have always done when we've hung out, it's how I've related to my co-workers (think huge Texas-sized potlucks), and it's how my partner and I have spent our date nights. Food isn't my fuel, it's my fire and I'm tired of feeling like a swollen marshmallow being roasted at the end of a stick.
Whit and I were going great for about six weeks. She was cooking healthy food for us here at home and we were attending our gym regularly. We'd both lost around 10-15 pounds and were feeling great about ourselves and were developing new respects for each other. It all went downhill when we went out of town and slammed face-first on the cement after falling off the wagon. I went back to my drinking and binge eating that weekend and haven't looked back. Sad thing is, that was nearly two months ago. We could have had our results doubled by now but instead, I'm sure we've gained all our weight back and lost that new variety of respect we were finding for each other.
The "Aha!" moment that has been encouraging me to get back on the wagon actually came from an episode of the Biggest Loser. Jillian was talking to Tara about balancing out the huge swing Tara had made from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one. She was comparing herself to an idea of perfection that just isn't realistic and I can completely relate.
When I'm pulling up to the drive-through to order my 1,500+ calorie meals, I tell myself that I didn't work out today so it won't be a waste of exercise to eat this food. Same is true for excusing myself from the need to exercise; because I'm eating a 1,500+ calorie meal, it would be a waste for me to go to the gym to exercise. I use one as the excuse for the other and vice versa, and as I sit here writing about this it's hard not to put a value judgment on my actions. Maybe I should tell myself how awful my decisions are and that I deserve to be fat and sitting on the sidelines if these are the choices I'm making. It's just that self-hate like this is something I've been learning for years and has probably led to the state of body thus far.
These are, after all, the thoughts of an outside society (a society outside the quiet of my own mind). Society thinks I am fat because I'm not able to stop eating, that I'm fat because I don't get off the couch, that I'm fat because there is something wrong with me. Society punishes me when I decide I'd like to go to the movies by forcing me to raise the arm rests on the chairs, by scowling at me when I walk on an airplane hoping to God I'm not scheduled for the seat next to them, and by staring at me when they walk by me as I shovel down the chips and salsa at the restaurant. The punishments, ironically, are must easier to deal with than the accolades of making healthy decisions. When I'm eating carrots and a sandwich for lunch, co-workers will pat me on the back and tell me I'm so brave for taking up the fight. It's as if I'm six years old and just walked into school on the first day of Kindergarten without crying and looking back for my dad.
Every time society tells me I'm fat and forces me to fit in a box, I grab the proverbial bon-bon carton and start munching away. I've turned my sickness and poor relationship with food into some kind of feminist act of defiance, a tasty way to fight The Man. I raise my fist to speak out against the Beauty Myth and while my fist is raised, I grab a handful of candy as if at a parade. The candy, I guess, comes in the form of the attention and kudos I receive while performing as the funny fat friend that everyone can relate to. People feel exceptionally comfortable around those they feel superior to, those they feel better than. My weight is the thing that allows people to remove me from the category of the respected and place me in the category of the less than. I've allowed myself to rationalize my fat body as a social statement, as proof that Life doesn't see fat and flee.
Standing here on the edge of a breakthrough, it seems a little ridiculous to have put my life at risk for the sake of a cause I've fashioned in my own head. Shoot, this cause doesn't even have any D-List celebrities to endorse it.