November 30, 2003 at 3:33 pm
This is the first day of my weight loss attempt. I’m going to go over my goals, the reasons I want to lose weight, and my plan.
Starting Weight: 360 pounds
Goal Weight: 160 pounds
Weight to Lose: 200 pounds (gadzooks!)
Goal Rate of Loss: 10 pounds per month.
Time to lose weight: 20 months, or almost 2 years.
I have been overweight for most of my life, though I weigh more now than I ever have before. I don’t recall exactly when the weight started piling on, but I know by 6th grade I was being made fun of. Some bitchy girl said I looked like I was pregnant. I can’t remember ever not thinking myself as a fat girl. It’s become as much a part of my identity as my eye color.
There are several reasons I’d like to lose weight. First, it’s difficult to find proper fitting clothes. Lately I can’t even find pants that fit. I wear the same pair of pants almost all the time because they are the only pair I have that fit. I have to buy clothes mostly at Lane Bryant, which is a nice store, but limited in its selection. I would like to be able to buy calf high leather boots, but I can’t currently because they won’t fit around my fat calves. I’d like to buy things in the Misses section. I’d like to be able to wear sleepless tops without fear of exposing my flabby arms. I’d like to be able to wear a swimsuit without looking like a beached whale. I’d like to like my body.
Also, my obesity makes me feel extremely anxious when meeting new people because I assume they will find me physically disgusting. But the most important reason for me to lose weight is my health. I recently had to have gall bladder surgery, partly due to genetics, but also due to my crappy diet that is high in fat. My surgeon raised serious concerns about my weight and told me that if I stay at my current size I am taking 7 years off of my life. This really shocked me to my senses and I appreciate that my doctor was brave enough to mention this to me despite social taboo and the chance I could have gotten very pissed at him.
Ignoring your weight is pretty easy to do. I basically stay at home a lot and only go out for errands or work. I don’t put myself in situations where I am overly concerned about my weight or where I would be worried about people judging me about it. This makes it easy to continue a lifestyle of no exercise and bad eating habits. But having someone finally say to me “You’re morbidly obese. This is a serious problem. You need to do something about this now” was such an enormous relief. Finally someone was talking about the elephant in the room that my family and friends had always ignored. Finally I had to face up to the fact that I am fat and that it is killing me. If I were an alcoholic or drug addict, surely someone would have said something sooner. But obesity is intertwined so deeply with self-esteem and identity that it is almost forbidden to talk about someone’s weight issues without being considered cruel and taunting.
To sum up, I’d like to lose weight to feel good about myself, be able to buy hot clothes, and to improve my social life.
Oh yeah, I’d also like to add a decade onto my life, avoid diabetes and not die of heart failure.
So how am I going to do this? Tonight my mom is going to go over the American Diabetics Association daily food intake recommendations that she’s been following for the past year. She’s lost 50 pounds and is healthier and happier than ever. I’d like to follow her example. That covers food.
Tomorrow I am going to call the YMCA and the Ladies Gym and join one of them. I want to start walking daily again, something I haven’t done since our treadmill broke. That covers exercise.
I’m also going to start keeping an online food diary and this weight loss diary. By keeping these testaments I think it will make my weight loss project seem more tangible. It’s not just a passing fancy that I’ve had daily for the past decade. This time I am actually going to lose weight and keep it off. See, I have a food diary and everything! I’m putting into place the support system I will need when I feel like quitting.
Last night there was a CNN special called “Fat Chance” that said 95% of people who lose weight gain it back. I plan on being one of the 5% who doesn’t. Ultimately I believe this will be the old mind over matter battle. I am just going to have to discipline myself into eating properly and exercising. When I want to go on a binge I’m going to have to tell myself that as much as I’d like to eat a tray of cookies, I’d like to look hot in a mini-skirt even more.
Robert Downey Jr. was on Letterman the other week and he said something about his drug addiction that’s stuck with me. He said he’s an adult and he has a reasonable control about what he put in his mouth. Now, taking advice from a former drug addict and felon might not be the best thing to do, but what he said is true. Ultimately I control what I eat and drink. No one is forcing cookies and ice cream down my throat. I decided what I eat and what I don’t. It’s that simple and that complicated.
I just have to want it, bad, really bad. And I do.