FOOD FOR THE SOUL
A year ago my daughter became engaged to a wonderful young man. She called me to share the news, and after I hung up I was surprised at my first thought. My first thought wasn’t “I hope I can save enough money to help them pay for the wedding,” or “I hope she is making the right choice,” or “Thats three out of four now married,”…..no, my first thought was “Crap, I need to lose some weight!” For my whole entire life I have been overweight. The other day there was a conversation in our office about what the ladies weighed when they got married. One was 125 pounds, one weighed in at 135, and the other tipped the scales at 115. They then looked at me, and I just laughed heartily and said “I beat you all…I weighed all of those numbers by the time I graduated from eighth grade!” We all laughed because they thought I was kidding….HA! Actually, when I got married I weighed 195 pounds, and am 5 foot 9. My mom thought I was overweight at that time, and always encouraged me to lose a little “for my health.” We were raised eating meat and potatoes for supper 4-5 nights a week and snacked on buttery popcorn in the evening. I didn’t stand a chance…I just loved food!
In grade school I was the one picked last for teams in PE (I just want to go on record and send up a plea to the teachers…please just count off the kids to avoid humiliating kids everywhere) On the playground I would be on one end of the teeter totter, with 2 friends on the other end. They loved me, so they would face each other and share the handle, even though the one without the seat had to be a little more careful, if you know what I mean. My clothes were purchased in the “husky” section, now they call that section of the store the Pretty Plus section, so bless the kind human who thought up that name change. If I situated myself on the outside of the Tilt-A-Whirl car, my friends could almost get whiplash from the spinning.
In high school the boys wouldn’t give me a second look when I stood next to my slim friends,but were seldom cruel to me. We had a small high school, and these were kids I had known for my entire life, and fat was the only way they knew me. My mom would give me a hug, wipe away my tears and tell me that they didn’t matter anyway! She assured me that once I got into college the men would be different, and would love my personality instead. I admit that it did happen as she predicted, and while I was still overweight, I could hold my own against the skinny-minnies. I will admit that sometimes it is easy to hide behind the plumpness….I can flirt with the best of them, and have a lot of guy friends of all ages. There is comfort in begin overweight because you know they wouldn’t be interested in you in a romantic nature, so you can be yourself and relax. Of course there are drawbacks….the other night we were watching a trailer for “Pitch Perfect” and my daughter and I roared when we saw Fat Amy wearing a swimsuit just like mine. “OMG…Fat Amy has my swimsuit on!!!!” It was hilarious I will admit, and if a person can’t laugh at herself she will be a stick in the mud for sure.
There are the many misguided thoughts throughout the world when it comes to plump women. Number one: No, we aren’t dirty. Believe it or not, we take baths just like skinny people, and even put on deodorant AND perfume. Number two: We have no self-control or we wouldn’t be fat. Well that one is partly true, but we must have some self-control or else we would have punched out a lot of skinny snobs who have looked down on us. Number three: We must not mind being fat, or else we would change that. Again, that one for the most part is true, but I think that many overweight people have tried so many times to lose weight and failed, that it’s easier to just give up and live in shame.
The other day I went through the personal care section of Walmart and I passed the Dr. Scholls display for shoe inserts, stopping to look them over. As a nurse I am on my feet during the day, so maybe they would be a great addition to my tennis shoes. It instructed you to take off your shoes (right away…not a great idea to me), step on the footprints on the kiosk and push start. Now, again, the first thing that came to mind was that a booming voice was going to yell at me from the kiosk, telling me to put down the small child in my arms….even though I was the only one around for 10 feet. I actually laughed out loud, and thought that maybe I would pass on the inserts for now.
This summer, I had to get off of a ride at a theme park, in front of my family, because they couldn’t bring down the bar far enough to securely hold me in. Now, you would think with that humiliation I would do something to change my life? I did, I went to the food stand while they enjoyed the ride, and ate a corn dog. As I write this I am shaking my head in amazement…….I do want to go on the record as saying that even though I am overweight, I am healthy. My blood pressure is good, cholesterol a smidge high, and blood sugars where they need to be….but when the day comes to a close, I can say that I am unhappy with my body shape and size.
That brings me to this blog….January 1st decided that I was going to lose 55 pounds by the time I am 55 years old, which is September 24th. So far I have gained 4 pounds 🙂 Perhaps it’s time to get serious about this! My beautiful daughter is getting married on September 21st, which is my moms birthday. I am now going public with my top bucket list item…..and since I have readers throughout 28 countries, I will tell myself that the whole world is pulling for me. I won’t share my weight, as I am not that nutso at this point, but I will faithfully give updates every Wednesday…good or bad. I want to honor my daughter at her wedding, and also honor the memory of my mom on her birthday, hopefully 55 pounds lighter! Then once I accomplish what will be the biggest hurdle of my life, I will start checking off more items on that bucket list. Wish me luck ♥