I spent a good chunk of my pubescent years in Weight Watchers meetings. I can remember listening to blue-haired biddies’ latest shish kabob recipes while I scribbled notes on Lisa Frank notebooks hoping the mere act of writing would burn off some of the Coke I drank that day.
I can remember, as a middle schooler, laying spread eagle on our dining room floor telling my mom I felt faint. She (seriously) told me it was because I ate some vegetables and my body wasn’t used to it. I was astonished. Wasn’t I supposed to feel better? Coke didn’t do me wrong like that.
Since then, I have been in a constant battle with the scale and surrounded by other women trying to lose weight. Ask any woman and she will tell you her goal weight faster than she can tell you her own birthday. It seems every single woman in the world has had this number in her head her entire life and once she sees it on the scale, she will take over the world. In her tried and true attempts to reach her goal, there’s some weird, dark, sad shit that races through her brain. Shit she only tells her friends who sob to her about their latest midnight rendezvous with their freezer cheesecakes. Shit that she has thought day-in and day-out for as long as she can remember.
Here are a couple examples:
- She considers an eating disorder. At some point during her many attempts at losing that dreaded muffin top, she considers what it would be like to have an eating disorder. Probably not the one that you don’t eat, but maybe she could eat and then puke it up? Or what about laxatives? Then, she remembers the women out there who really have these diseases and feels immensely guilty. She adds this thought to her laundry list of issues to discuss to her future therapist.
- She doesn’t hate being sick. Vomit and diarrhea have a little bit of a silver lining during diet season. While she sits on the toilet with her puke bucket in hand, she Googles how many calories she earned back from being sick. Even if it’s just a cold, she is grateful for the time asleep instead of in front of the fridge.
- She misses things about her fat body. She’s doing it! She’s losing the weight! The numbers on the scale are becoming tolerable. But, what’s this? Where did these wrinkles come from? Since when does her arm jiggle like that? Now that she doesn’t have the extra plump, her body is shriveling and she is having flashbacks to Fat Bastard’s thin body and wondering if she would rather be fat and less shrivelled.
- She takes not-quite-before pictures. Her iPhone is loaded with pictures of herself in her skivvies in the most unflattering of angles. However, they are never quite at her heaviest since she wanted to make sure she was actually going to lose weight before snapping photos of her FUPA for the world (or even just herself) to see.
- She spends a lot of money. Obviously, she needs a Ninja for her smoothies, new Tupperware for her meal planning, 14 new pairs of yoga pants, running shoes, a Fitbit, a veggie noodle-maker, gym membership, a new purse for starting this journey, Spotify membership, sports bras, Absolute Nutrition visit, Whole Foods run, 5K entry fee, some “goal jeans,” and the list goes on and on. Don’t question her. Hell hath no fury like a woman on a weight loss mission.
- She considers everything exercise. She skips the elevator to the second floor and checks out her calves for definition in the break room mirror. She is more interested in sex after reading the Cosmo breakdown of how many calories each position burns. She obsessively checks her Fitbit after each trip to the bathroom.
- She feels invincible. Every woman who’s making strides to get healthier glows like a beam of sunshine. She is determined. She looks like Michael Phelps at the starting line. Ain’t nobody knocking her down. This is her time. This is the last time. She is woman. Hear her roar.
What weird shit do you do when you’re trying to lose weight? Let me know in the comments!
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Years ago, I used to Hate (Yes, with a capital “H” because I mean business) when other overweight women would fat pride me. Especially women I am not friends with. Like, the woman working the dressing room of Target who was telling a waif of a woman how gorgeous she looked in her skinny jeans and then elbowed me saying, “Too bad we can’t wear stuff like that, amirite?”
My face burned with the fire of a thousand suns and I dumped my pile of skinny jeans on some detergent and left.
Before my body acceptance, I surrounded myself with thin women. I was the token fat friend. I took the role of the last one guys wanted to talk to and always shopped for purses at the mall because any stores we went to didn’t have my size.
Then, throughout my 20’s I met many amazing, curvy women. Let me tell you, these have been the best friendships. Here’s why:
- They get it. Want to binge? Want to lose weight? Want to cry into your fat jeans because they don’t fit anymore and you don’t want to buy even fatter jeans? Call them. Talk to them. They’ve been there.
- Your weight isn’t a dirty little secret. Before finding fellow chubbies like myself, I would have hung myself with my granny panties before telling a single, solitary soul how much I weighed. I lied so hard on my driver’s license it was laughable. Now? We can discuss our ups and downs. I actually just had a friend tell me that she started eating healthier and she couldn’t wait to weigh as much as me. AS ME! ME! What?! For once, I wasn’t being referred to as the “before” picture and someone actually liked my body better than their own! It’s like I have found Narnia.
- You motivate each other. I have never found more motivation than when I have other people striving along side me. Losing weight is like carrying a mule on your back through the desert. I’m not talking about losing holiday weight before you can fit into your size twos. I’m talking about weight that takes months and years to disappear. When you see someone right alongside you doing it, there’s no better feeling. You’re not only proud of yourself, you’re just as excited for them.
- You can swap clothes. This might be my favorite part. Fat clothes are swapped faster than STDs at Burning Man. What hangs off me, can be someone’s new skinny clothes and vice versa. I have an entire wardrobe filled with someone’s discarded fat clothes and while that might seem like a blow, it makes me happy for my friends who accomplished so much. It reminds me that it can be done.
- You can tell them your dirtiest of secrets. Remember that time you hid in your car and went from fast McDonalds to Burger King juggling Big Macs with cheesecake and loving every sickening second of it? Or talking about how your FUPA no longer hides your vagina? They are there for you. They’ve done dirtier. They’ve seen it all. They’ve sobbed over their bodies and struggled to find the beauty in it.
- They see your beauty. That’s the thing, that’s why they are so special. They strive to be like you and you strive to be like them. You are not their weight nightmare. Those days when you feel disgusting, they are there to tell you how much they envy you. Then you gag back sobs about how much you envy them. It’s friendship that cannot be duplicated. Treasure each other. You deserve it.
What do you love about your chubby friends? Leave me a message in the comments!
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Having recently lost just shy of 100 pounds, I get added to quite a few weight loss groups. I also get asked a lot of questions. What’s your secret? What do you eat? Is it hard? I don’t want to feel like I am on a diet. Do you feel like you’re on a diet?
I feel like a bit of a disappointment that I am not Richard Simmons-ing across their computer screens screaming, “You can do it! Put that danish back and Jazzercise! We can all be size zero by the New Year!”
Well, I am here to tell you there are no easy answers. I know most of you are wishing I have a potion in the trunk of my car I will trade you for an internal organ, I do not. I’m sorry. Believe me, I wish I did. I wish I did all those times I couldn’t zip up my pants. When I broke two toilet seats and blamed it on my kids. When I learned about mom gut and all the jiggles that go with it. Damn. I wish I had the cure all any of those times. Actually, knowing me, I would have overdosed on all of it and I would just be the size of a pool noodle right now.
Even though I am a very untrustworthy source, here’s what I have to tell you. All of you that are desperate. All of you hurting and living with a God-sized hole you’re filling with Chipotle and KFC. This is all I have to offer in ways of advice to get yourself started. I hope in some way it helps give you the answers you need.
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I have a LOT of issues when it comes to food. Yes, I recently lost 100 pounds, but those issues are still on my sleeve like a badge of honor. Binge eating or binging is probably my most tried and true food problem. We have been lovers since as long as I can remember. Our relationship blossomed during puberty and the love waxed and waned since then.
I can remember hiding dozens of empty boxes of my Girl Scout cookies behind my dresser before I even hit puberty. I remember always eating way more than any of my friends and pretending it didn’t matter. I ate and ate and ate and ate and never once looked back. I have tried to cut it off with my binging issues, but then I run and leap back into it’s arms and off into the sunset.
Here are the ways I am currently working to deal with this monster of an issue in my life:
- READ. THIS. BOOK. I am not kidding. Read Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. I have said this a million times, but can’t say it enough. This book moved my soul. I cried so hard and it was such a bitch slap of truth serum it took me months to finally finish it. Actually, I’m going to start it again.
- Accept it. Binging is something I can’t avoid. I feel this itch and burn deep down in my gut of desire that cannot be avoided. The longer I push it off, the worse it becomes. There are times when I can retrain myself, but sometimes I just need to eat a big shitty meal to avoid eating an entire Chinese buffet in one sitting.
- Move on. This is the hardest part. With the binge eating comes deep, painful regret. This regret spurs the desire to binge day after day after day. Don’t do it. Let it go. You ate a lot of food. Today is a new day. Let’s move forward. You are not a terrible person. No one weighs 600 pounds because once a month they ate half a tater tot casserole. This was the single best seed of advice I have given myself. I always thought once I fell off the healthy wagon I was a failure and beat myself up for weeks until I gained back all the weight I had lost. No, I’m not a failure. I’m a fucking human being and this is just something I do ONCE IN A WHILE.
- Try to set binge days. For me, if I know a holiday or special event is coming up, I know I’m going to eat good food in large quantities. So, for the days/weeks leading up to it, I can focus on that goal. I can stave off the desire because of that dangling carrot. Then, when the event is over, it’s back to eating healthy.
- Find people like you. When I was younger, all my friends and family were petite, athletic and ate grilled chicken and were happy about it. This made me feel like fatty, fatty two-by-four every time we ate together because I couldn’t understand why I wanted a footlong sub and they never finished a six-inch. Now, I have a group on Facebook with other women with the same struggles that I have. We vent to each other about our hate of the scale and love of all things bad for us. However, it’s more than that. It’s a place to feel like you’re not alone. That god-sized hole in your gut you’re trying to fill isn’t just something you struggle with. There are other women and men out there fighting the same battles. Find them. Talk to them. Build each other up and watch each other succeed. There’s no greater feeling than overcoming your demons.
What’s worked for you? What other struggles do you have when it comes to food? Leave me a message in the comments!
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