The weight is coming off slowly now. Every week, fractions of a pound. Sometimes, I gain a little, and that can be frustrating, even if it’s just fluctuating water weight (I’m measuring everything now). But I’ve taken care not to fall into the trap I fell into before and to become obsessed with losing weight, to let it control me and let the manic desire to be thin and “normal” to take over my everyday life.
I want to adapt to a new way of living. I read a great article in the New York Times a few months ago that explains what I’ve been doing more or less. I have a new relationship with food. I changed the way I eat. This, more than anything else, has made the difference.
I’ve lost about 53 pounds now. Yes, I still have a long way to go. But the difficult part ahead will involve some more introspection, psychological commitment, and good old-fashioned, patience.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. The excess weight that I wrapped around myself served as a fortress that shielded me from male attention. It rendered me invisible so that I could ward off any possibility of romantic entanglements by making myself as unattractive as possible. It was safe in that space.
I could start working out more rigorously and attempt to lose weight more quickly at this juncture. But this would not serve me well physically or mentally. First, on the physical score, it would be punishing on my body. I do not wish to punish myself. I deserve to be fair and kind to myself at this stage of my life. I don’t hate myself for being fat. I don’t even hate that I gained so much weight and feel fairly certain that anyone else who endured the shitty circumstances that I did would have found themselves in a fat suit too. Second, on the mental considerations, it’s kind of the same deal. I don’t need to shame myself into faster weight loss. This is where I got into trouble before and eventually gave up because it just wasn’t worth the effort. Additionally, I am not conjoining my self-worth with my body image. Something very important, and I’d encourage anyone who’s going through a similar journey to view these two as distinctly separate. It’s unfortunate that society isn’t as enlightened, but so be it.
My only regret about this slow path is that it will take a very long time to get to the weight I want to be to do the things I want to do, such as ride horses. But as I was discussing with my brother over the weekend, because it’s just one day at a time, one step at a time on a long road, at the point of my arrival, I won’t have to change a thing. I will be “there.” I will have literally changed the way I eat, sleep, exercise, meditate, process stress, etc. There will be no interest in going back to the way I used to live. In an odd metaphorical way, it’s like I’m walking down a very large mountain path with a slight slope that extends for miles and miles. It may take years before I get to my destination, but when I finally arrive, it’s almost as if I will be arriving as the young woman I used to be before all that crap happened at the top of the mountain.