I start my mornings with a cup of coffee. When the caffeine kicks in, I do a 20- to 60-minute exercise video at least six days a week. A few weeks ago, when I heard the video instructor say for probably the hundredth time in her squeaky, annoying voice, “Keep this up and you’ll see results in no time,” I actually started to curse at the screen.
What brought on my tirade was the previous morning I had weighed myself and the scale’s reading was mind boggling. I actually started to feel dizzy from the shock and I let out a bloodcurdling scream. My husband, who was waiting to check my blood pressure for me with our recently purchased blood pressure machine, called out, “What the hell is going on?”
I told him to just give me some time. “Oh, it can’t be that bad,” he replied, “let me check your blood pressure.”
Needless to say, I wouldn’t let him near me with that contraption. I could not handle sky-high blood pressure numbers to go along with my sky-high weight. I weepingly responded, “Please leave me alone.”
I felt defeated.
I turned on my computer to check my e-mails. I was hoping my favorite stores did not have fabulous sales, as it was now clear to me that I was no longer a fashionable size eight. I received one e-mail from a high-end department store which read on the subject line, “Perfect swimsuits and coverups.” If a swimsuit is perfect, why do you want to cover it up? Another e-mail read, “Banish bra fat.” Isn’t everything we put in a bra fat? I thought to myself am I fighting a no-win battle? Did I reach an age where I simply have to cover up?
I’m health conscious. I load up on fruits,
veggies, fiber, whole wheat, red wine. Last year I suffered with abdominal pain. I went to a gastroenterologist and he asked me what my diet consisted of. I was so proud to tell him about my overindulgence of blueberries, yogurt, fish, salads. He looked at me with a condescending glare and said, “No wonder you’re suffering.”
I wanted to choke him. I wondered what his response would have been if I had said, “Well, Doc, I live on fried food and beer,” and belched at the end of my sentence. Would he have been puzzled by my symptoms?
He recommended I go for a complete blood workup.
After arriving at the lab, I noticed the overweight phlebotomist was eating a large buttered roll and pouring Half and Half in her coffee. I wouldn’t be caught dead devouring those poisons and yet this happy phlebotomist was enjoying her breakfast as she drew blood from people. As she drew my blood, I started to think way back in time it was a sign of success to have a meaty body. It meant your family was eating and prospering. Nowadays, if you’re stick thin, you’re the “it” person.
I question why when a female is complimented on having a “pretty face,” often the compliment is followed by, “It’s a shame she’s so heavy.” Is it possible the faces that are pumped up with Botox, collagens, et cetera, just need some plain old fat to look pretty?
I remember back in my early twenties I had maybe five pounds to lose and I accompanied an overweight friend to a “dieters” meeting. As I stepped on the scale, a very obese woman yelled out, “What the hell are you doing here?”
My friend came to my defense and explained, “She’s struggling with a resistant five pounds.”
Then I heard a chorus of “Oh, come on. Go home.”
I felt intimidated. I quietly sat through the meeting listening to the members go on and on about their battle with the bulge. They seemed proud to talk about their long-term membership with this club. It seemed cult-like to me. More like a pity party than a commitment to change. They seemed content watching their weight, not reducing it, and happy to have a place to meet their fellow overweight friends. I got the feeling these people had a bag of chips waiting for them in the car on the ride home and munched away with a smile on their faces.
Thankfully, my cholesterol numbers are good and I’m healthy, but I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I gave up the exercise and ate red meat and had a hot fudge sundae every now and then?
I took the first step one day and drove to McDonald’s. Just being at the drive-through window felt sinful to me. I told myself go ahead, order a Big Mac, fries and a shake. I ordered a yogurt parfait. I opened the bag before I pulled away and discovered they mistakenly gave me two hot apple pies. Was this a sign? I inhaled deeply and stared lovingly at those puffy pastries oozing hot apples and thought just do it.
I closed the bag and handed it back to the person in the window and waited for my yogurt parfait.
I will win this fight.