Monday, August 30, 2010

"If You Look At Me Like I'm Fat I'm Going To Kick You In The _____"

Any big butted girls out there? Oh, there you are reading this, arm in the air? No, no, put the cream cheese bagel down and let's have a soul to soul.

I was rereading some old blog posts and much to my... kind of horror/shock, there is A LOT of anger about diets, dieting and well, my mother the Olympic champion dieter/denier of food who somehow has always stayed the same teeny-tiny size.

Must be all that dieting advice and mailing jump ropes to her daughters that burns off those unwanted calories! (See ANGER. There is is again!)

I don't know what I gained when I was going through the worst turmoil ever and isn't that when we gain it? TV and movies tell us we hole up with a carton of ice cream and never ending pizza delivery and sit around in our eating pants. (Okay, I did sit around in my eating pants, i.e., I don't think I wore anything but sweat pants for two years).

For me, it was not that reckless. I just ate things that I call "slow down" food, you know, food that slows you down, gives you no energy, goes directly to your buttocks but you can't really tell 'cause you're wearing "eating pants" the great denier of weight gain! Sometimes it was bagels and cream cheese and maybe I'll have pasta for dinner. I just didn't care. A pastry from 7-11 was about as fancy as going to Paris' Café des Deux Magots because hey, I GOT OUT OF BED. It was monumental! But not the right thing to eat...

Not if you are going to lead the sedentary lifestyle of a hibernating bear. Which I was. And very well, by the way. If Kennedy Center Honors had an award for "Excellence While Lying in Bed" then certainly, I would be front and center, flanked by fellow honorees Chita Rivera and James Earl Jones. Though, instead of evening wear, I would be donning a Snuggie as this is already way past my bed time.

I am about to share some deep truth with you now. Thirty pounds, that's all I wanted off. I think I might have lost 10 or 12 or 15 at some point, but after I fell down the hill and busted up my shoulder... I didn't care. It was back to bed for me. Not caring, not eating right, certainly not exercising. And being in a brace, in a hospital gown that I could not get out of because said brace was strapped OVER it for three weeks and just all in all hopped up on happy pills made me not care what I was eating.

I was, in fact, just eating whatever neighbors and friends brought to my door. Someone brought a cake. What??? But kind of brilliant. I had cake for lunch for about ten days. (Yes, I know, I'm ridiculous!)

So what made it all click? What was the turning point? How did I lose thirty pounds? Why am I procrastinating telling you when I turned a corner and "got it" and started eating right and going back to the gym?

Because I wish it came from me. Some inner fire from me to be healthy to want to be strong to love myself more. Or even Oprah, it could have come from Oprah and I would be walking tall instead of feeling ashamed and a bit like a cliche.

It was because I saw my ex. Bumped into him. And he was kind and gracious and sweet and very worried about my fall. He didn't look at me like I was hideous. That might be because, I had a feeling I might see him and emailed him, "Listen, I've gained a lot of weight since I last saw you and if you look at me like I'm fat, I'm going to kick you in the balls."

Really. I sent that email. That's me, using my humor to get out of something I thought would be deeply humiliating. Only I can confess to you guys how I tried to cover up my "fattage" with some kind of voluminous cardigan and a spray tan and maybe if the boobs are up and out, he won't notice so much.

Honestly: I don't want him back, I don't. I broke up with him and all those reasons are never going to change. But seeing him symbolized my deep desire to stay away from people I hadn't seen in a while because of having grown an extra ass. And not only that, but I want to date and makeout with someone and have them find me attractive as I want to find them attractive.

So maybe this all this started four or five months ago. I thought about calling this piece: "Why Diets Suck." Because I truly believe they do. I believe diets are so wrong and so self-punishing and so restrictive that I, me, you, someone we know, only needs to be on one for 3 days before she's hoarding "Ding Dongs" in the bathroom.

What I did... I started making breakfast, that sets off the whole day. If I eat breakfast, I eat less all day. I like eggs. I started adding veggies with everything. The more veggies you eat the fuller you are. So in the morning it wasn't just eggs, it was eggs & spinach or eggs & broccoli. Lunch was just more of the same, trying to make choices that are right and if they are not right, eat half and then have the other half vegetables or fruit (carrots, carrots with hummus, apples, apples with peanut butter, salad, sauteed anything green with garlic).

Dinner - I became a world renowned Michelin 4 star soup maker. Bulked it up with greens. Yum. My sister called my soup, "Life Altering Soup" as in "Can you make some of that "Life Altering Soup?" And this was all just trial and error and having fun with food and could I make lasagna with no pasta and have it be amazing?

Why YES, YES I could.

And the gym, you must move. Though I did not move a lot. Sometimes just 2x a week. I need to start kicking that up a bit. For the jiggly bits.

And it's not like I did not fail sometimes -- fail being a word I hate... let me rephrase, it's not like I was perfect. I had the egg rolls and Mmmm, pizza out with friends and oh my God, how I die for a margarita... or three, and with chips and salsa! Yes! Yes! I don't say no a lot. I just jump back on the next day and say Yes to more of the right things. When you are not beating yourself up, in diets and in life, YOU GET A LOT DONE.

If you have specific questions, ask in the comments section. I want to help if I can. The point is, when I noticed the older posts, I could not believe my anger and I could not believe the amount of blame I was laying or lying at someone else's feet. "You are to blame!"

No, I am to blame. The other thing I want to say is, if you have weight to lose, be kind to yourself. I have never been kind to myself but I am going to start today. If you aren't kind, believe me, you won't be able to let go of things and one of those things is your weight.

So, just know... you can do this, you can do anything you want. I refused to think of it as 30 pounds because it was too overwhelming and probably why I kept putting off starting. I decided to think of it as 5 pounds at a time. That's all. Hmmm, maybe I was kinder to myself than I thought.

There's a lot of, I don't know... shame in talking about weight gain. For me anyway. Because I sort of perceive it as being weak. But I'm just going to see that feeling and let it go. There, it's gone. I am on the right path. The adventures and being happier, I truly believe put me on that path. Yes, seeing an ex, ignited the flame, but being happier is what's kept me on the right path.

How much do you have to lose? What holds you back? And certainly, if you have a success story, I'd love to hear it!