Truly Terrifying Thoughts

by Amy

So, I have been writing a blog for over 5 years now. It hasn’t always been here, and it hasn’t always looked like this, but it has always acted the same.

It’s always been just like I am – afraid to talk about what matters most.

I can’t think of a better night to go ahead and talk about one topic that I have intentionally avoided.

ahem.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that you can adopt whatever persona you want. You can be anyone. You know the best angle when you’re taking a self-portrait, right? It’s the same way with a blog. You can make yourself look prettier, smarter, more clever, and skinnier than you are in real life.

I have a condition that the people who know me in real life know about.Β  I don’t talk about it on my blog because I am afraid that nobody wants to read about it. It’s at times debilitating, physically and emotionally. Sometimes I forget that I even have it. Sometimes it defines me.

Sometimes it goes beyond defining me, and it eclipses every last good thing I have ever done and serves and the only true benchmark as what I failure I truly am.

The condition is listed in my medical chart right between Hypothyroidism and Mononucleosis.

“Obesity, Morbid.”

It’s scary just to type it out. It puts tears in my eyes just to look at it there, so much so that right now my eyes are rooted to my keyboard the way they might be if you and I were face to face right now. I’m ashamed of it. I am afraid that someone who just stumbles across this blog will not care what I have to say once they know that a fat person wrote it.

But the reality is this: I am the kind of fat that people point at in public, that they call their friends over and whisper about. I am the kind of fat that needs a seat belt extender in an airplane, that is afraid to walk through a turnstile, that is afraid to sit in a folding chair because i actually broke one once. I don’t go to amusement parks. I don’t want my picture taken.

I was always kind of overweight. But I went through a rough patch in high school (OK, so high school WAS the rough patch) and I ate my way through it. I gained 50 pounds my sophomore year. 50 pounds my junior year. I think you can see where this is going. I ate for comfort, I ate for escape, I ate for control. I ate because I was lonely, because I was bored, because I was scared. I ate because I didn’t know how to do my homework. I ate because I thought I wasn’t good enough. I ate because I thought I was stupid and I would never amount to anything.

I went to a dietician last Wednesday, because I am finally near the end of my rope. As part of the appointment I had to write out my dieting history. And I realized that as of next year it will be 20 years that I have been obese. I have gone through my entire life thinking that 5 years from now I would finally be thin. Even when I set my goal with her, I said that I would like to be there by the time I am 40.

I have counted carbs, calories, and points. I have thrown up, I have starved myself, and I have tried to stop dieting and eat intuitively. I have cut out meat, I have cut out dairy, I have cut out sugar and caffeine.

And I can’t do it. Somehow, no matter how hard I try, no matter how diligent I am, no matter how many good days I string together, I always fall. I always fail, and I always grow back into my too-big clothes.

Except, the reason I am here today, spilling my guts and my fat rolls all over the internet, is because I actually, finally, really think I can do it. I think I can see collarbones one day.

I can feel mine, when I push down and move my shoulder funny. I touch them every day to remember what I am after.

Every day, I eat an egg and some toast first thing.Β  I try to move more than I want to. Every day, I try to think about what food will help me if I put it into my body. I try to listen to my hunger signals, my thirst signals, my tired signals, my stress signals. Every day, I try to breathe in and breathe out. I stretch. I walk. I chew. I set small goals. I rejoice in the little things.

Every day, I try. That is my new plan, believe it or not. When someone asks me if I have been sticking to my diet, I don’t think about what I have been eating. I think about whether or not I have given up. If I am still going, and I am still moving, and still walking, and still breathing, I consider my plan a success.

Try, every day. That’s my diet now.

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