Sunday, April 02, 2006


This is not one of my favorite topics. Or maybe it is. Or it used to be. I don't know.

I don't talk about my weight much because I used to talk about it all the time. And think about it all the time.

Most of my extended family (at least those on my mother's side, which is all I know) are pretty much all overweight, sometimes quite unhealthfully so. And I had all those damned issues as a kid, all that shit wrapped up in my mother's marriage and my asshole of a stepfather and how he treated her and how she treated herself and how I wanted them both to treat me and what I had to do to make it happen. I don't feel like going into that all right now. Although the asshole was always telling me I was getting too chubby. You have to picture this coming from a guy who was about 50 pounds overweight. That changed into there just being something "wrong" about me, which I know now was just an excuse to make me stand there while he felt me up trying to figure out exactly what was wrong. "Something's not right. Hold still."

I went on my first diet in 6th grade. I still have this weird time-warpish memory associated with Tab cola: lying out on a beach towel spread across the rocky dirt patch that passed as our front yard, covered in QT tanning oil, pouring over the Tab-sponsored diet booklet that I'd found in some copy of Good Housekeeping. My God. Tab cola is my Count Dracula. I hate that I was that girl. I wish I still was that girl. Tab cola sings a siren song to the heart of GenX anorexics everywhere.

So after about 5 or 6 years of dieting, I guess I was 5'8" and what, 115 pounds? But I wanted to be 110, because anything over that was obviously too fat. I used to do something like 300 situps every night, and 250 leg lifts, and oh, what else? I don't know. It doesn't matter. I could never get down to 110, so I started throwing up. My fingernails and lips used to turn blue, at least a couple times a week, did I ever tell you that? The sick thing is how happy that made me, because the thinner I was the more often it happened, so it was a good sign, you know? Did that for about 6 years, and I can't tell you why I finally quit, except maybe that I was blessed with three truly good friends who all sort of kicked my ass in their own way.

Of course, after that, my metabolism was shot to hell. I shot up to about 150. I think that was the year I only wore skirts. God bless Banana Republic circa 1988. Then I eventually started exercising like a normal person, and I dropped down to about 140, which was probably fine but which I was barely comfortable with. See, the whole thing about going 10 or 12 years during which you think about your weight every single day is that once you stop, you're sort of afraid that if you think about it again at all, you won't be able to stop thinking about it again.

But then I moved to London, and being broke and in a town that depends on public transport is an amazing weight-loss regimen. I had to find a job, so I walked, no exaggeration, a minimum of 8 or 10 miles each day, plus stairs at those damned tube stops. I'd walk around all day long, hitting the temp agencies and going on interviews, for about the first month, until I found a couple of full-time gigs. And I had to ration my money, so--15 years ago and I still remember this--I could afford to buy a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jam, a bag of rice, and a few cans of beans each week. So I'd eat two pieces of pb&j toast for breakfast, skip lunch, and have rice and beans for dinner. By the time I had a full-time job, I weighed 125. And then there's all the shit revolving around my relationship with my Ex and the way he treated me regarding my appearance and the whole modeling fiasco and blah blah blah whatever.

Over the next 5 years or so, I pretty much stayed between 125 and 135, because I kept on walking for transportation and being too broke to eat much. After I moved back to the States, got married, and got a car, I bumped back up to 140-145. I gained about 50 pounds when I got pregnant with the Boy, but got back down to 145 without any trouble within 6 months. Then I got pregnant with the Girl, and holy shit, I gained 70 pounds. I am not kidding.

After that, I had a hard time getting back under 165--finding time to go to the gym was more difficult with two kids, and I wasn't getting the coverage from the husband that I'd gotten after the Boy. Then, he'd watched the baby while I went to the gym after the baby fell asleep, 8:00 or 8:30 pm. Now, he was always out with his friends or riding his motorcycle. Well no, he wasn't, but that's what he said he was doing. And I was so bloody tired by then, anyway.

When the Girl was 7 months old, he finally told me he was having an affair. I couldn't eat. I took the kids to the gym daycare every day after work for 2 hours, even though I hated doing that, because I felt like I was going to die and the only thing that helped was doing something physical. I felt like one of those captive animals that's going crazy and can't stop pacing, you know? Within a month I weighed 145 again, but of course I also had developed hives, overran cysts, and continuous anxiety. So.

That was nearly 3 years ago. Since then, I've gone through the bout of depression, I quit the gym to save money, and there have been several periods during which I drank more than usual (Bailey's, anyone?). So here I am, and I'm back at about 165. And I hate it. And I'm afraid of it. And I know I did it to myself on purpose, or some part of me did. When I weigh 125 or 135 or even 145 pounds? Men look at me. Men don't look at me when I weigh 165 pounds. I want a man to look at me. I don't want a man to look at me. I want to be with someone. I am scared to death of being with someone. I want everyone to fuck off and leave me alone. But I don't. Shit.

This really isn't just the non-Lexapro talking. I think I've sort of put this issue on hold over the past year, and now I have to deal with it. The thing is, I'm not healthy at this weight. My family has a history of high cholesterol, heart trouble, and adult onset diabetes. I don't want to have to deal with that, regardless of the other issues wrapped up in the whole stupid thing. My knees hurt. I'm 38, and my knees hurt? Screw that.

So I need to lose weight. I have promised myself that I will lose these 20-30 pounds that are weighing me down, and that I'll do it by my birthday. That gives me 7 months. So please bear with me. This blog--at the bottom of things, it's my way of writing stuff down, because I need to do that and I wasn't doing it. And you guys, you're so wonderful, and I guess I didn't expect you. So then it sort of changed into me trying to entertain you, or impress you, or ... I don't know. And then I sort of dropped off a bit, because I didn't feel very able to entertain or impress. And I guess now I need this to be my place to eat my brain again, you know what I mean? More brain, fewer cookies.