Last night I had some dreams... dreams where I was thin again. When I woke up, the first thing on my mind was an old, dear friend who had gotten back in touch with me yesterday. She said she missed me, and asked me to come and visit her, and wanted to meet my daughter and hug her and tell her she loves her even though they have never met. This friend was Godmother to my sons, the only person in the world I trusted enough to have, love, and raise my children if something happened to my husband and me. This friend, I love, and have loved since we met when I was 20 years old and she was in her 30's. She threw my first baby shower and she sewed curtains and a baby quilt for my first nursery. She is my sister, one of those people that even if you don't speak for a long time, when you finally chat again it's like you've never been apart.
Her health isn't good. She has a lot of things going on. We used to be neighbors, but now she lives 9 or 10 hours drive from me and the last time I drove it was before my daughter was born. I have other friends who live there, too. But I haven't been back in 40 or 50 pounds. Yep, there, I said it. I have not gone back because I am fat.
I have waited and dieted and lost weight and gained weight, waiting over a decade to visit my friends because I was waiting to be thinner than I was when I left there... or at least the same weight. I didn't want to deal with the shock and surprise on people's faces... or if not on their faces, what I imagined was in their minds... when they saw me this fat. I didn't want my weight to be the first thing they saw when I walked up to them after a decade apart. I wanted my weight to be a total non-issue. THEN I would go visit.
But I did lose weight, I got all the way down to 175 pounds which is a lot less than I weighed when I left there. I could have gone then, but I thought I was still too fat. I was still losing weight and waiting for the skin to shrink and for my skin to look better and to buy a new wardrobe of clothes that fit. For almost a year I weighed in the 170's and 180's almost the whole time and I still never made that trip! Why didn't I go when I weighed 175 pounds?? Now here I am, back at almost 240 pounds (yes I weighed) and hating the fatness so much that there is NO WAY I would go on that trip to see the people I love.
WHY? It makes me SO angry that I woke up with all of what I just wrote flashing in my head in a split second, and a tear rolled down my cheek as I was still in bed covered in the sadness and anger at myself for never having gone, and still not going. I have missed out on *so much* because of this stupid weight. Yes I *know* they love me and my weight wouldn't change that. I *know* that good friends won't think badly of me for being fat, and they'll understand. And yet all this time I waited to be skinny enough to feel okay enough to go visit them. Because it is just so horrifying to me to think of the embarrassment and the reality of my weight and how crappy I look.
It's a perspective that is very, very different from my day to day "oh I feel fine, oh I don't look too bad, hey this being fat is not so terrible." Yes I can do a lot more things than I could at 278. Yes I am happier and accomplish more and have fewer health problems. I am comfortable and it's okay and the people here are used to my obesity and I have long since gotten over (or stuffed down and become numb to) the shame I felt when friends who met me in the 170's watched me literally balloon up 60+ pounds and stay fat. The embarrassment of that is pretty much over because now they have known me fat for longer than they knew me at a normal-ish size, so I assume my fat is the new normal and it's what they expect when they see me. It's been long enough that they're probably not all wondering if I am going to lose the weight and get back to the old normal. But the people who haven't seen me this big, I never want them to see me this big. It is hugely embarrassing and I guess I don't want everyone in the world to have a current mental image of me as really fat. I just don't.
I have written about the emotional losses and isolation that comes from being fat before; but today it truly pained me. I want to see the people I care about. And yet I still feel like I HAVE to get at least closer to the weight I was when they last saw me first. It tears me up inside. I am tired of not having any pictures of me with my kids (hardly any since I got back over 200), tired of avoiding people who don't know how fat I am, and tired of worrying that I won't get to see my friend again because of her health issues, because I am so hung up on my fatness but too uncommitted to actually lose the weight. I am so mad about it, it might even be enough to get me to do something real to get these pounds off NOW.
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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