By the way, I’ve gained 35 pounds in the past year. Have a nice day, everybody!
Oh, you want me to say something else about this? All right.
After spending most of 2008 in pain, I began to bottom out in September, eventually started yelling at my readers, and went on anti-depressants because life was a meaningless pit of shit with no drain. I also stopped exercising and started eating more, like those chocolate covered nuts from Fresh Market and the Dove ice cream pints with a solid layer of chocolate on top and an entire Papa John’s pizza and a box of breadsticks on Oscar night.
I didn’t mention any of this because 1) Duh, it sucks to talk about and 2) The times I did start to write about it I had to mention my headache and I wasn’t going to do that again, so I never hit “Publish.”
Regardless of your views on obesity and what a healthy weight is, gaining a pound a week for months on end is not a good thing unless you’re recovering from anorexia. I kept weighing in everyday and marked it on my calendar, as depressing as that was, but I was depressed anyway, so who could tell the difference? I would tell myself, “This really needs to stop,” but then my pain would say, “LOOK AT ME!!” and punch me in the face and I’d add another ice cream pint to the bill.
Thankfully, the medications have tuned down the pain level so it does not envelope my whole life anymore. I can drive past the Fresh Market, think of the vanilla chocolate covered crunch bin, and keep on driving without remorse. Which just shows it’s easier to deal with an addiction when you are not facing a trigger 24 hours a day. As a result, I’ve been maintaining my weight for the last few months and haven’t had to buy any new pants since December.
You are free to think what you want about all this. You can say it is proof that people cannot lose weight and keep it off. You can say it shows I am a human being and you like me even more because of it. You can say I got what I deserved for writing a blog and a book about weight loss and how happy I was. You can say you are proud that I am talking about it and you think I’m inspirational because of it. All I think it proves is that my head hurt and I needed the ice cream.
I know I should be horribly devastated by this, that I should be weeping that my weight starts with the number two, that I am such a horrible disappointment to everyone who called me an inspiration and blah, blah, blah, but really? Honestly? I’m fine. It is not the worst thing to happen to me. A chronic headache that would not go away for over a year is the worst thing that ever happened to me, and if someone said I had to gain another 20 pounds to make the headache go away completely I would say, “Hand me the Ho-Ho’s!”
You know all that stuff I said in my blog and my book about how my life had changed, but it wasn’t just because of my weight? The stuff I said about how it was doing things I was proud of and liking myself as a person? You know, all that bullshit thin people say when they’re not fat anymore? Well, what do you know? It’s true! I actually meant it! I am as full of myself as ever, but even more so because there’s more to be full of! I am flying off to Europe on two month’s notice even if I am up two jean sizes. I am running a blog and doing freelance design work on the side and earning book royalties like a real business woman. I am doing other stuff that I am proud of but can’t talk about on the blog because it’s private. Feel free to call me an arrogant narcissist in denial. I’ll call you back collect from Paris!
Kirstie Alley was on Oprah this week, and I tried very hard to avoid the show, but even though I don’t have cable I still saw a dozen ads for it and saw clips of it on of the nightly entertainment news magazines. Kirstie Alley is an American actress who got fat a few years ago, lost a lot of weight as the Jenny Craig spokeswoman, appeared in a bikini on Oprah, and then got fat again. She was on the show talking about all this and all I could think while watching the clips were, “I do not give a shit.” If Kirstie Alley wants to sit at home and eat nothing but Twinkies, more power to her. And if Kirstie Alley wants to set up a home gym in her dining room and pose on the cover of health magazines, more power to her. Neither situation makes her better or worse as a human being, it just means she’s making different life choices, and they’re her choices to make, so could everyone get over it already? It shouldn’t have to be “brave” to tell people that working out sucks and you like chocolate. It just makes you human. It shouldn’t be a story to be discussed on multiple news outlets, not when we could be talking about how cute the Obama’s new dog is.
All that said, Kirstie Alley seemed pissed that she hadn’t been taking care of herself, which brings up this question:
“But PQ, what about your health? Aren’t you concerned about your health?”
Ha, ha, ha, ha! Sorry, give me a minute to – ha, ha, ha! In the past year I’ve had two MRI’s, two CTs, and more blood tests than I can count. My blood pressure has been taken. My pulse has been counted. Literally dozens of medical professionals have examined me and all they can do is rave over how healthy I am. They say, “PastaQueen, you are a paradigm of good health!” and I tell them, “No, I’m not!” and then I go see another doctor and the cycle continues. So please, do not stare at your bedroom ceiling at night worried about my health.
That said, I am not 100% comfortable with my weight gain. I still get called to do book-related interviews from time to time and if I have to meet someone in person I worry if they will think I’m too fat to do a story about my book. No one has said anything to me, but I’m not sure if that’s because their mommas taught them manners or if they just look at the “before” photo like I do and think, “Yeah, she’s lost a lot of weight.” I’m still down 160 pounds, which is an entire person, which is another reason I’m not weeping into a spinach salad right now. It all depends on your perspective
Now that my headache is momentarily contained, I’ve been eating better and I’ve started walking during my lunch breaks. I’m getting back into it and I wouldn’t mind dropping 20 pounds. But…weight loss is not the most important thing in my life. It certainly was the most important thing in my life for the first two years when I was dropping dress sizes every few months. When I told people, “I want to be thin,” what I was really saying was, “I want to lead the life I want to live.” Losing all the weight has made me confident and taught me to believe in myself and has allowed me to live my life in ways that I never could before, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m living my life. That has less to do with being fat or thin than most people think.
I still weigh every day. I’m still mindful of what I eat. I still think, “I need to exercise today” and sometimes I do. But even if I weren’t doing those things, I would still be me and like I said in my book, the fat PastaQueen was a funny, kind, person too. I am still me no matter how inflated or deflated my fat cells are and I’d hope you guys will remember that about yourselves too.
You can judge me as you will, fat or thin or somewhere in between. If I got to change one thing about my body I’d fix my headaches first, give myself normal feet second, and attend to the weight thing third, because it doesn’t bother me that much. I’m so tired of writing about my body, but I’ve written about my weight so much in this place I felt an obligation to put it out there. And hey, how cute is the Obama’s new dog?