I may or may not have mentioned this here, but I am a big girl. I have struggled with my weight since I was six. (That is probably an exaggeration. I was not overweight as a child, not until my tween years, at least, but I always remember thinking of myself as fat and I can't remember a time when it wasn't a concern.)
Every year, I go through this phase where I decide I want to lose weight. That this time is going to be different. This time, I'll diet and the weight will come off and I'll be healthy and happy and people will say, "God, you look GREAT," and they'll mean it. Every year, I try. I make myself miserable. I count calories or carbs or points or whatever I decide is going to be thing to count this time. I journal my eating. I give up Coke (which is my major vice). I eschew cake and doughnuts and brownies. I buy tons of produce. I throw out my butter and restock my olive oil.
And then, a few weeks or months later, I cry. I step on the scale, which has not budged and I sob. I wail about why won't it work, what am I doing wrong, it's just not fair. I spend three or four days so depressed I can barely form words.
Finally, I wake up. I realize that I would rather be fat and happy than fat and depressed and since no one's getting any skinnier around these parts, those are my only two options. I throw out the diet cheese and get myself a Coke and decide that I'm fine.
I don't know if I'm fine or not. I've so long ago lost sight of fine, I'm not even sure what it looks like. Some days I'm fine. Some days I like this me. This me who is jolly and bakes a lot. This me who has the round face and the soft body. Some days I can't imagine a different me and I don't really want to. Some days, though, I can. I can imagine what it would be like to look nice when I dress up. To have people look at me and not my weight. To blend into the crowd.
Last week, Brynna told me, very matter of factly, that I was fat. I stepped on the scale after I got her to bed and realized I'd crossed my threshold. Every person who worries about their weight has one. The magic number. The number that draws the line. I'm fine as long as I don't weigh x, they think. I thought. But, I have exceded my threshold by eight pounds. Eight pounds is a lot.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to see my endocrinologist. He told me I was cured. I had won. Beaten the disease. I was nonplussed. He asked why. Firstly, I don't believe it. I don't believe that multiple members of my family are struggling with this disease on a lifelong basis and I just up and beat it. By forgetting to take my medication more than I rememberd. I don't believe it. It'll be back. I didn't tell him this, though, because when it comes back, I'm going to a different doctor. What I did tell him, though, was that I still feel bad. I still feel tired all the time and lethargic. I'm still overwhelmed by the feeling that I may just fall asleep. I still have heart flutters. I still feel rundown. He looked at me and earnestly said, "All those things may have as much to do with your weight as your thyroid."
I don't mind doctors addressing my weight. It's a factor in my health. What I do mind is doctors discounting symptoms because they may be attributed to my weight. It angers me.
And, perhaps, what also angers me is that he may be right. And I'm tired. I'm so tired of failing. I'm tired of trying and failing. I can't describe what it feels like to fight and lose the same battle so many times. I can't describe how lonely and useless I feel. I can't tell you how terrible it is to feel utterly devoid of hope that this will ever change.
And I know that the hopelessness makes it worse. I become self-defeating because I'm so used to being defeated. I know that. I know that as long as I am so sure of my impending failure, it will come.
I don't want Brynna to see me as fat. I don't want that to be part of her perception of her mother. I want her to be proud of me. I don't want to be so tired. I don't want to worry so much about how I look. I want to cut my hair short without worrying that it will make my face look too round. I want to wear the clothes that I like. I want to find jeans that fit. I want to own a bathing suit.
I want this time to be different. But I'm crippled by the fear that it won't.
I'm not proofing this because if I go back and read it, I'll never post it. I'll think it's too whiny and I'll be too embarrassed to admit some of this stuff to the universe. I don't know why I'm writing it anyway, except that it's been weighing on me and it needs to be said. Anyway, if I have typo-ed this to hell and back, pardon me. Please, because I just can't reread this. No matter what.