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The Doctor, In Spite of Myself

April 1, 2008

I’m fat.

Not morbidly obese and in danger of dying or getting diabetes fat. But I’m sure not thin enough for a fella to see me across a room and say, “Ooo, who’s that hot girl?”

For the most part this doesn’t bother me because there is so much I love about who I am and the way I look. But, sadly, there has been some bad news for the fat girl this week.

I went to the doctor Monday morning and I have gained almost 15 pounds since last year’s check-up. Obviously that’s not cool. In fact it was really upsetting because the year before I lost something like 45 pounds.


I also found out that my scale at home is 10 pounds off. To a certain extent this doesn’t really matter because I just use it to figure out if I’ve gained or lost weight. But for the past few months (as I have noticed myself gain a bit of weight) I have been comforting myself with the thought that I only weighed 165 pounds.


I weigh 175 pounds.


That’s more than some of the good-lookin’ men around here weigh. Now, as I said, I like me. In fact I like me a lot. But for some reason, when I think about my weight it always makes me feel like I’ll never find love. But I suppose that’s another blog for another day. “Fat Girls Need Love Too” – yeah, that’s catchy. I’ll have to work on that.

Anyway, as some of you know, several years ago when I was visiting my parents for Christmas, I was tipping the scales somewhere around 200 pounds. This was, of course, an amazing and horrifying revelation for me. I decided that day in December 2004 that I was as fat as I was ever going to be. I just had to lose weight. I had to.

Well, as almost everyone on the planet knows, that is far easier said than done.

For the next year or so the best I could do was not gain any more weight.

Another year or so passed and my weight fluctuated a bit, but my lifestyle had recently changed – due to graduation – and it was really difficult to get into any kind of a rhythm. I did exercise more an eat less, but I wasn’t losing much. Maybe 2-3 pounds the whole year.

Maybe that’s because working at a newspaper is insanely sedentary. I sit on my butt all day everyday – it’s definitely not healthy,

Then, after I had worked at my job for a year I got medical benefits. So, I started going to the doctor again. As a result I found out that during my college years I had gotten sick. Not “I might die any second” sick, but sick enough that I should be going to the doctor on a pretty regular basis.

So I started going to the doctor on a regular basis.

I also started getting healthier.

Then I started getting thinner.

The good and bad part about it is that I didn’t have to try to lose the weight. The doctors were getting me well and as a result I was losing weight. It was pretty easy for the most part. Sometimes my drugs made me sick, but I got to buy cute jeans so it was a pretty fair trade.

I’m pretty healthy overall now, but I’ve had some life-situations that I responded to with food. Really mature, right?

I had to go to a family reunion, so I ate.

I had to quit helping with a play, so I ate.

I got a pay-cut at work, so I ate.

I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, so I ate.

I was hung over, so I ate.

I found out the boy I liked had a girlfriend, so I ate.

I had to deal with some stressful elements to my new job, so I ate.

I woke up in the morning, so I ate.

You get the idea right? No matter what was going on I responded by eating. Honestly, I’m lucky I’ve only gained 15 pounds. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that I was constantly eating. Probably because I was doing it in secret – alone at my apartment, out at a restaurant, in the car on my way to work or (on my way home or to mom and dad’s house).

Like it was a sin or I was breaking the law to eat. I was actually trying not to get caught. Wow, now that I write that, I realize how crazy it really is.

Man, I really thought I had conquered emotional eating the year I broke up with Christopher. Maybe you never get over emotional eating. Maybe it’s like being an alcoholic. You can’t get cured, you can only go into recovery.

Well, if that’s true, last year I had a major addictive relapse. And now, even though I don’t weigh what I weighed then, I feel like I’m right back where I started.

Now, after my 2008 yearly check-up, I feel much like I did as I sat on the edge of the bed in my parent’s guest room thinking, “I am as fat as I am ever going to get. I will – I must – lose weight.”

Well, my illness is also an issue in this whole thing and my doctor thinks I just need different medication. But I know the medication isn’t the entire problem – although, I am excited about taking some of the new pills.

The truth is I need to stop worshipping food. I need to try harder to take care of my body. I need to pay attention to what I put in my mouth. I need to find a more positive way to relieve stress and deal with my emotions. I may even have to scrape together enough money to join a gym. How much does that sort of thing cost anyway?

I don’t know why I’m sharing this story except that my personal proclamation to lose weight seemed like a profound moment in the midst of the mundane elements of my life. I also thought some of you might be able to relate. Maybe some of you can even help out somehow.

Those who pray, I’ll always welcome prayer. Those who need a partner for a walk or hike – an incredibly slow and non-competitive walk or hike – I always need another reason to hang out with a friend. I even own the right shoes. Those who can cook tasty, portion-controlled meals and fancy some company at dinnertime, I love to chat over dinner.

Well, I guess all I can do is keep you updated on my progress. I’d love to weigh 125 again. But 50 pounds seems like a ridiculous goal. Well, no matter what, I have decided and declared: this is as fat as I’m ever going to be.

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