Ok, this isn't a list.


HAHAHAHA, I got you! You got got!


In the past when I've taken on a commitment to lose weight, it's never been about health-- but I didn't realize it right away. I'm struggling to address some harsh truth about myself and my habits, my addictions, et so on, that have brought me to where I am, health-wise-- and help me to overcome the bad bits and embrace the good bits and finally, lastingly, be successful and healthy.

One of the things I am still warring with is the "when I lose weight..." mindset.

For so so long, I have told myself that I didn't deserve whatever I wanted becuase I was fat. Fat girls don't get cute clothes. Fat girls don't get nice boyfriends. Fat girls don't get good jobs. Fat girls don't deserve A B C D. Fat girls don't.

I didn't go to the doctor out of fear that whatever medical issue I was feeling would be "because you are fat". I figured I'd go after I lost weight, if the problem still existed. (This is a terrible idea, by the way. My Dr and I are now totally BFFs and he's helped me discover that I am not, in fact, exhausted all the time because I'm fat, but because I am several kinds of anemic and have been living with untraceable amounts of iron in my body for who knows how long. Discoveries like this lead to solutions which, for me, have led to a vast understanding of my health insurance, the personal funding of the infusion nurse's child's college tuition, but most importantly, a bright new future of not needing 12 hours of sleep to feel human. Hooray!)

I missed so many important social events because I was fat. Because I told myself I wouldn't find something to wear, that I'd look awful if I DID find something, and that people would stare/judge/hate me. I missed two weddings, baby showers, more birthday parties than I know. I missed concerts I would have loved, festivals, trips to the hill country with the girls. Because I was scared, partly, but more so because I didn't deserve to go. I needed to be punished.


So, I mean, I can go a lot of directions with the why's that I felt this way-- I was raised old school Catholic, I'm the daughter of an immigrant, I'm a middle child, I'm a child of repeated broken homes, an alcoholic, a drug-addict, a bi-polar artist. I was raised on one side by American culture-- YM and Cosmo, movies and Top 40 tracks. I was raised on another side by beat poets, Sexton and Atwood-- simultaenously encouraged to be strong and weak and open and closed. My family has recurrent themes of eating disorders, all kinds of fun neurosis, depression, anxiety, OCD, misogyny. I was raised to be painfully vain and painfully unaware-- shamed and praised for the same merits and failures. Whatever-- the joy of family is that they're messy. They make us who we are, and we can digress into nature VS nurture and blame games-- but in the end, it is what it is. I'll let you know when my memoir is published (haha).


For whatever life events and synapse snaps, I came to the conclusion that I didn't deserve anything good, and that anything undesireable happening to me was purely my Fault. Primarily because I am fat. (An aside: this is not an opening to talk about destiny or hard work or martyrdom or the Secret or God or anything like that.) And I capitalize Fault for hyperbole-- I really felt so responsible and victimized, and this ambivalence wrecked me. Still wrecks me. But I'm working on it.


Anyway, I've recently decided to put away the "When I'm" list.

You know the one. When I'm skinny, I'll {skydive, find love, get a raise, be happy}.

When I'm skinny, I'll...

The amount of fat on my body does not negate the fact that I have worth. That's such a hard thing for me to wrap my brain around. And I'm saying it, I'm typing it, I'm telling it to you, so that I might start to believe it. You don't have to reaffirm my self-affirmations, btw, because it won't help and it just sounds pandering. That's not the point at all.

I'm slowly starting to see little glimmers of this as truth-- that I'm worth something, even fat. And maybe that doesn't seem like conducive to weight loss, embracing my current self-- but I think it might be the most important thing I have ever done (or, am doing, I guess).

I have a daughter, who loves me more than anything else in the whole world, even fat. I have a daughter who will be bombarded-- who is, at 3 years old-- already bombarded by pressure to look a certain way, to act a certain way, to fit into a box. The only way I can teach her to love herself, to be good to herself, is to show her.


I'm living in the present. No more when.