I have been thinking about blogging for days which turned into weeks which turned into months.
June was the busiest month EVER. We had guests every weekend and an engagement party and we took a trip to Florida to visit best friends and I am currently working two part-time jobs which actually equals one full-time job. The jobs are in different cities and both operate under southern terms (LAST MINUTE EVERYTHING), so I will have my day all planned out and then I will get a text saying to come in (unplanned) or don't come in (as planned) and the whole thing can suck it. It isn't forever and I already have a full-time job lined up when I move, so I can make this work for a few more months. A paycheck is a paycheck and it is really nice to have one (or two!) again!
The wedding planning is coming along. All of a sudden it is getting SO CLOSE. I will be a married lady in less than four months. Gulp. So much to do, but I have my lists and hope to get most of it squared away this month which is actually making me very excited. It is hard to tell clients this, but so much of the wedding planning and decision making (after vendors are selected and contracts are signed) happens just a few months out, so I decided to make July the real decision making month, so I don't have to make final decisions more than once. My invitations have already been printed out and they are FABULOUS! I seriously cannot stop staring at and fondling (not the right word….) them!!!!
So, my weight…..anyone who reads here even just a little knows that it is a huge issue for me.
Over the weekend, Crush and I visited his grandmother for a quick dinner and she was in rare form. I sadly cannot share a lot of what she said about other people because it is not PC and truly awful and she is actually (I am hoping to still think) a very interesting and wonderful person. She comes from a different time and she is currently isolated and alone a lot and I have seen it happen with my own grandmother, that kind of loneliness can create an opinion that isn't nice and often isn't true. She is becoming bitter. Bitter is never much fun.
On Saturday, before we went to eat at a restaurant, Grandmother offered us some cheese and crackers and wine which is very traditional around here. A little cocktail hour. I declined the cheese and crackers as I have been doing for months (I just don't find it worth the calories personally and crackers are a very binge inducing food for me) and then this little conversation happened:
Grandmother: Are you trying to lose weight for the wedding?
R&F: Yes, I have been for a while, not just for the wedding, also for my health.
(She eyes me up and down slowly)
Grandmother: Really??? I haven't noticed a change.
R&F: Yes, I am losing very slowly. I am down a few sizes and it is coming along.
Grandmother: I can't tell. But it is hard to tell with you big girls. You really need to get on it, time is ticking away. You really don't want to be a plus sized bride. Your photo will be in the paper.
R&F: I will keep this all in mind, thank you for the suggestion (what Smartie Best Friend told me to say when you don't want advice, but want to be polite, it shuts down all unwanted commentary. For real! Try it.).
As I sat on her antique couch in the parlor (seriously), I felt my eyes well up with tears, but I got myself together. This is an opinion of a woman almost ninety who comments on every one's weight including her own granddaughter who is WAY too skinny now, but used to be a lot closer to my size. It is funny when you start seeing the flaws in other people's families. It takes time, but no family is perfect.
My own grandmother also has an issue with my body. I discussed it briefly with my sis over text yesterday and she offered me some great insight. My body is tall and broad. I am 5'10". It isn't a body that was around so much a century ago. Women are getting taller and broader and now it isn't so uncommon to see a taller lady. A bigger lady. A beautiful lady who is a presence because of the space she commands when she walks into a room.
I kept to myself about Grandmother's comments. It didn't even really register to Crush. She insults him on the regular about his hair, clothes and posture. Grandmothers are like that a lot and he is immune to commentary which is a quality I find very endearing in him. I cried a bit to myself in the shower yesterday as I wanted life in South Carolina to be free of everything I hated about Chicago, including comments about my weight, but enough idealizing reality! Life is life and a thousand miles doesn't preserve me from idiots. They roam the ENTIRE world.
I haven't binged in months. Months.
I feel so much better.
I am taking it day by day and I can't believe it sometimes. Binging was my best friend for nearly four years. Binging was my constant companion. Binging was my reward for work completed. Binging was a focus to fill my time when many of my friends were busy with their husbands and children and I felt like I couldn't bother them. Binging was my dirty secret that I wanted to keep hidden even as I had to continue to buy larger pants.
Now for THE REAL (I have given bits and pieces in context, but here is the total situation) weight recap:
- My lowest adult weight ever that I remember was 165 pounds. I got there right around my sister's wedding almost five years ago.
- When I started to date Awful, I didn't even realize it at the time, but I began using food as a coping mechanism because I was in an unbalanced and emotionally abusive relationship. One year after my sister's wedding, I was up nearly 50 pounds. The morning of my tummy tuck, I weighed 211 pounds.
- When I moved home with my folks, my weight fluctuated. I began taking the ADHD medicine, Concerta, to help me cope and function. Secretly, I wanted it because I was desperate to lose weight. These kind of medicines make me lose my appetite for weeks and I wanted the easy way out and I needed a push to literally get out of bed because I was so depressed (why my doctor even suggested it, I literally couldn't move some mornings). On the medicine, I lost about 15 pounds. The bounce back effect for me was brutal. I had severe withdrawals and craved carbs, candy and junk food in abundant amounts. I put on all the weight I lost and more.
- During the almost two years I lived with my folks, I was stressed out and depressed. I was in a cycle of using food as a emotional release and I was hurting myself. Gorging so badly, it was like I was in an alcohol stupor many days. My weight ballooned from time to time. For a few weeks, I wouldn't eat much and then I would quickly lose 10 pounds. Then I would eat again and gain weight rapidly. The cycle repeated over and over again. During this time, I began seeking therapy for my food addiction. It took a little bit of practice and patience to take what I was learning and apply it to my life, but I started changing my habits and daily routine. Little my little. At first, I could only go a few days between binges, but it was progress.
- When I moved to Charleston, I got on the scale after allowing myself to eat everything I wanted before I left Chicago. A huge struggle for me in my parents' house involved the little treats (ice cream, bread, potato chips, crackers) they have that I couldn't have around me in the beginning of seeking therapy. I am now okay around all food because I use my strategies and I never allow myself to get too hungry. When I got on the scale my first day in Charleston, finally ready to face this weight battle head on, my weight was…..GULP….my weight was 227 pounds. THE HIGHEST WEIGHT I HAVE EVER BEEN. From my thinnest, I was up 62 pounds.
- I decided to go slow and steady. One day at a time. A few pounds at a time. I eat tons of fruits and veggies and lean protein. I love cottage cheese and popcorn. I get excited over new salad recipes. Fresh peaches and watermelon get me going. I allow myself my absolute favorites once in a while: a few slices of Papa Johns pizza, a scrumptious gourmet burger and fries at local place famous for them or a delectable ice cream cone from a candy shop I love. Treats are a part of life. I don't hate myself anymore after I eat them or allow a little slip-up to define my mood and turn me into a total bitch like I used to. Food is food. It isn't the boss of me. There is always room for some yummy when I eat pretty nutritiously most of the time.
- I got on the scale yesterday afternoon feeling VERY defeated by Grandmother. The scale read 190. I have lost 37 pounds since October. My goal weight has been 175 pounds (I think 165 actually looks a little too thin on me) for the wedding and I know that I will get there. Just a little more to go. 175 is my life goal weight. Whereas, it isn't my skinniest, it is a weight I feel healthy and strong at and one I think I can maintain for the long haul. It is a good choice for me.
Whew….this was not easy for me to share. But, I am proud of myself. I have come a long way and for the first time ever, I haven't starved my way down in weight. I want to jump up and down!
Yes, Grandmother may never approve of my big. But, the important thing is that her grandson loves every inch of me and always has, even at ALL of my sizes.