When I’m Skinny: A List 4-27-2015

Originally Posted April 27, 2015

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.


Fall seven times, stand up eight. 4-24-2015

Originally Posted April 24, 2015

This has been a rough week.

Life stuff caught me off guard, and coupled with a mild injury has really left me feeling crippled and defeated, which then led into some emotional eating and mental throwing-up-of-my-hands. (and 5 pounds of, I hope, salt and sadness water retention)


I am re-booting. I am starting fresh without too much long-term damage. I’m disappointed, but I’m not hating myself, which is such an amazing development for me. In the past, this week would have put an end to all my hard work and left me self-depreciating and bitter. I’d be all eating hotdogs in my horse-hair shirt and stuff.

But I’m not. I’m disappointed, I admitted my poor choices out loud, and I’m working at screwing my head back on.

I’m working on internalizing my triggers and finding the patterns that I need to break, so for posterity’s sake, I’m logging this week’s decent into emotional eating.

My stupid effing ankle. I have kind of crappy joints and tendons. I am not particularly athletically inclined– my strong points are much more literary and artistically centered, so it hasn’t caused me much anguish in life. I played soccer when I was younger and I always had a rolled ankle, a sprained ankle. I have a long history of tendonitis in my wrists, which is lame but not too big of a deal. Rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, repeat. It’s been 6 weeks since I started my workout routine. I’ve been doing a lot of cardio, which I’m very proud of. Cardio is pretty much the last thing in the world that I want to do. Generally, I hate it. The only things that get me through my necessary cardio are that I almost enjoy the elliptical (almost– I hate it the least of all the things) and a good soundtrack. That said, I spend some time on the treadmill, and have added a few minutes to my elliptical time over the past 6 weeks and am up to an hour 5 days a week on the elliptical. This is a feat to be commended, and I’m very proud of myself. After 6 weeks, I’ve passed the hump of “I don’t wanna!” about going to the gym and settled into a nice matter-of-fact attitude about it– and trained my child to be matter-of-fact about it as well. It’s just a part of our routine now, so neither of us bitches too much. I’ve overcome my gym anxiety, I feel fine about walking into the two gyms I use, and I feel good about what I’m doing. most importantly, for the first time in my WHOLE life, I’m not thinking about what I look like at they gym– I’m thinking about what I’m doing.

I’m the kind of person who defaults into eating disorders– pick one, I’ve lived it. And I think the resonating constant in all of those stages is a complete obsession with what I look like and the absolute dedication to punishing myself. It’s a slippery slope. I always start out with good intentions, but I have a history of losing control and finding myself at the bottom of a well, so to speak.

My point is just that this time, for the first time, I don’t feel that way. It’s been a really positive journey thus far, and I’m so excited about that, because it’s sustainable.

So then I hurt my ankle.


I rested a few days, anti-inflammatories, ice, stayed off my ankle as much as possible. After 3 days it still hurt, so I went to my PCP to make sure I hadn’t done some real damage and to see if I was doing the right things. Diagnosis tendonitis. DAMNIT. The repetative motion of the machine coupled with flat feet and likely bad positioning, plus a previously sedentary lifestyle are all contributors. I’m doing the right things to let it mend, but time and rest are the only things to fix it. And I’m terrified.

I haven’t been to the gym in 3 days. Maybe this doesn’t sound like anything to most people, but everything is so precarious right now. I’m going to try the gym today and hope for the best. I’m going to tape and wrap, and get an insole and hope for the best. My doctor said I can go to an orthopedic for a special shoe or brace if it comes to that, yada yada, and that’s all fine. But that all takes time. And I don’t have the lesuire to take a big break.

I am trying not to feel defeated. I am trying not to eat my feelings and give up. And, in a lot of ways, I’m succeeding.

But it’s hard. And I guess I just wanted to say that.

It’s hard.

PSA: I’m fat, not stupid. 4-20-2015

Originally Posted April 20, 2015

An open letter to anyone who may benefit, from everyone who has been there.

I’m pretty fed up with people thin-splaining things to me. I get that I’m fat—I own mirrors, I live inside my skin, I purchase my own clothing and am generally aware of my size. Body dysmorphic disorders and wishful thinking aside, I think this is true of everyone. So, if you recently watched some mumbo-jumbo on Dr. Oz about the new buzz diet where you eat nothing but toilet paper soaked in jello and drink mint infused “fat flush” water, I’m really excited that you’re excited, but STFU.

Fat people are aware of which foods are unhealthy.

I feel certain that you can sit down with any fat person, show them a plate of vegetables and a plate of pasta, and they’ll be able to identify the healthier food. BECAUSE FAT DOES NOT MAKE A PERSON STUPID.

I am not fat because I do not understand nutrition. In fact, I understand nutrition very well. I have taken nutrition classes, I can build a complete meal plan with beautiful, balanced meals meeting all kinds of criteria—low sodium, low fat, low carb, low sugar, low calorie, high protein, high fiber, low glycemic index, et so on. That’s not the problem.

Obesity is not about the food, y’all.

Don’t get me wrong—the eating habits are the physical reason for the obesity, yes yes. BUT. It’s a mental, emotional, and at times chemical problem. I don’t try to diagnose and treat strangers on the street, or my friends and family, for that matter.

“Hey, cousin, I notice you are sad today, let me tell you all the reasons why you are sad and lecture about St. John’s Wart and Melatonin and super foods because I saw a headline on MSN this morning and I have purchased TWO books on bipolar disorder therefore I’m pretty much an expert and you should listen to me because my knowledge of this subject you did not consult me on is superior to yours in every way I assume.  YOU’RE WELCOME.”

That’s rude.

And another thing, people give TERRIBLE advice. How many times have people told you the “negative calorie” myth about celery and mushrooms? Yeah… that’s not true. I eat those foods, and they are healthy choices generally speaking, and have minerals that are good for your body—but you will not lose weight by the calories expended by chewing and digesting them. I once watched Jillian Michaels tell a competitor on The Biggest Loser! “Oversalt your food so it will taste bad and you won’t eat as much.” Wanna know where else you can find that self-sabotaging food trick? Pro anorexia websites. Sabotaging your food is disordered eating—let’s come away from that, shall we? I mean, disordered eating is what got me where I am today. I’m not looking to force myself into starvation or to punish myself—I’ve done that. I’m really looking to lose weight by being an adult and making good choices.

I, like many other chronically overweight folks, have read about ALL the diets. I’ve read about them, I’ve looked into the pros and cons. I’ve read the articles praising and condemning your preferred diet plan. And for whatever reason, I have chosen not to follow it. Most likely because I think it’s a fad diet or poppycock and I am doing what works for me. I respect your choice to be Atkin’s/Paleo/Medeterranian/Organic/Vegan/Carnivore/Plexus/Raw/Macrobiotic/Advocare/Southbeach/Zone WHATEVER, but you don’t need to use my fat to provide an unsolicited lecture and thin-splaining diving board. If I ask, please feel free. If I smile politely, it’s because I’m polite, not because I’m interested. It is highly likely I think your diet is a joke.

(aside: Volumetrics seems pretty legit, but in a common-sense kinda way)

Comparing fat people to every other fat person.

“Well, my sister in law is big—like REALLY big—like bigger than you!”

“Oh, he’s way bigger than you—he’s like XXXlbs.” (The weight mentioned being less than your own, in some cases.)

“She was pretty chunky before the surgery—probably your size.”

All of those comments are well meaning, and completely rude. Does anyone compare the size of your nose to other people? Does anyone compare the cleanliness of your home? The quality of your cooking? It’s as though no one matured past the age of 13 sometimes. You don’t have to point at someone with a birthmark on their face and say “You have a birthmark.” You don’t point to someone with piercings or tattoos or one arm and tell them the observation you have made about their general appearance, so why do it for fat people?

Assuming all fat people are riddled with health problems OR any health problems are the direct result of being fat.

First of all, we all know being fat, being obese, etc can have serious health consequences. We are all aware that being fat is not healthy. We, fat people, know. We know. You know how smokers know smoking is bad for their health? You know how folks riding motorcycles without helmets know it is a dangerous activity that could result in injury or death? Yeah, they know.

Now, I am obese, and I am healthy. Suck on it. My blood pressure is great, I am not diabetic, my cholesterol levels are exactly where they should be, my heart is in good shape, my veins are not insufficient, my joints are not in trouble. I mean, I know other people my age who are thin and in worse health than me. You can be fat and healthy. You can be fat and unhealthy. I would like to reiterate that I am aware obesity is not a good choice, and can/will cause health problems. But I’m a healthy fat person. It happens.

“But you have such a pretty FACE!” “But you have such a great personality!”

I’m not insecure about many aspects of myself. I’m confident in my ability to communicate, to maintain a successful career, and pursue my artistic endeavors. I am secure in my parenting, in my relationships with others, my intellectual capacities, and generally in myself. I don’t like my body. Find me a woman who likes everything about her body, I challenge you. You know what? I DO have a pretty face and a great personality, but that wasn’t up for debate. Telling a fat person those things with the emphasis on the “but” and whichever thing is being “complimented” (quotes here, because the compliment is open for discussion) is unwittingly rude. I know that it isn’t meant to be rude—but communication is a delicate thing, and there are a lot of things transmitted through omission and nonverbal cues. So think about that the next time you are trying to compliment around something. The recipient totally knows.

In closing, I feel better. Do you have a fat-or-fitness-based pet peeve?

I’m tellin’ y’all it’s SABOTAGE! 4-16-2015

Originally Posted April 16, 2015

Do you have Beastie Boys in your head now? GOOD.

Today I’m full of thoughts about sabotage. Self-sabotage, others-sabotage, and the power of stubborn-ness.

Let me preface.

So, I work in a teeny tiny office. There are four of us, all women (minus the boss-man who is rarely in the office, because he’s a surgeon busy doing surgery). Two of us (myself included) are on the clearly unhealthy side of the weight spectrum (let’s call her A), one is technically obese, but I’d say she’s an average kind of plump (let’s call her B), and one is– in my opinion– skinny , but like most women would like to lose 15-20 pounds (let’s call her C). A month ago, I had a come-to-Jesus with myself and decided it was time to make a change for the better, starting with food. I knew that I would need my office to be all-in with me because we all had a bad habit of ordering out for lunch and we have a lot of reps and businesses who bring treats to our office in order to bribe us to send clients their way. Last week we received a package of Oreo’s, a box of chocolate cupcakes, breakfast muffins, and chocolate covered almonds. COME ON.

I spoke to the girls. Look, I said, we all complain about wanting to lose weight, so let’s do it. For real. All in. And everyone was on board. To be fair, B (average co-worker) was already half-dieting at home, and slacking off at work, so I expected she would be on board. I was mistaken. She did not want to play.

The other co-workers (A & C) agreed to give it a go. I bought a blender and offered to make office breakfast smoothies every day. You didn’t know this about me, but I am an expert low-cal high-fiber high-protein green-smoothie maker. AND they’re delicious. Each week we all chip in and Monday mornings I grab our fresh produce, some frozen fruit, greek yogurt, protein powder, PB2 (um, powdered peanut butter is the best thing science ever did for food, btw– go find some if it’s not a part of  your life yet), flax, whatever we need. This has been great for us, because we don’t have the leisure to make bad choices. The girls feel too guilty to pick something up because their breakfast is waiting for them when they get to work, and I feel obligated to make them because I’m feeding three people. Win-win. Co-worker B says they hurt her tummy and she chooses to fast for breakfast.

We take the stairs (down) at the end of the day. I don’t know how they get to the 4th floor where we work in the mornings, and I am not up to 4 flights of stairs yet (at least, not without EMS waiting at the top), and it doesn’t matter. Co-worker B prefers not to because she has weak ankles.

We drink lots of water and check-in with one another. “How many litres have you had today? That’s awesome!” Etc. Co-worker B states that she gets her water from her iced tea, and she drinks a gallon of it a day. Ahem.

We all got Lose It! accounts so we could hold each other accountable and get ideas for home meal plans and share the smoothie recipe nutritional info. Except co-worker B, who states that she keeps a running log in her head so she doesn’t need to waste her time with that app.

Co-worker A and I have been friend-peting gym times, and sending texts and funny pictures to ask for or send encouragement. Co-workers C and B say they are too busy/don’t want to.

I think you see where I’m going with this.

A and C have, somewhat dropped out of the diet game. A is hit and miss, C is pretty thin already and can’t be bothered. And I’m fine with that.

But B. B is still sorta-gung-ho. She’s also an expert at life and can generally tell you why everything you’re doing is wrong if she does it differently.

I’m not pushy, and she’s an adult, so it’s totally on her whether she wants to play our office diet-obsession game, OR NOT. I have enough to worry about taking care of myself, and reminding myself that I’m not a toddler at meal times, so I normall don’t really notice what co-worker B is eating, or drinking, or doing in her office, etc.

But then we became Frenemies.

It began last week. Co-worker B mentioned she had lost 18 lbs, in 2 months. That is AWESOME!, I said. Good for you, I said. How much have you lost? she asked.

(Um. None of your business, right?) But I answered. Almost 20 pounds, too. I said. (Let me note that I have more to lose than she does, and have been working harder– in my opinion– than she is, and have had results that show that. 20 lbs in a little less than a month is GREAT for me, and I’m super proud, but I also know that losing too fast tends to cause rebound gains and blah blah blah. I read, I research, I’m fine.)

Next thing I know, we’re in a competition. A dirty, bad sportsman-like competition. She started leaving treats on my desk. Telling me it was FIIIIIIIIIIINE to eat the amazing lemon poppyseed muffin with butter she left me– just eat half. Offering to grab my favorite office lunch (Spring rolls, OMG spring rolls how I miss thee!), her treat! And so on.

I’ve been strong. I’ve avoided all the treats and temptations. I’ve eaten my tuna and apples lunches, my hummus and broccoli snacks, my spinach and mystery smoothies. I’m basically Superman.

And then I got mad.

Hey! Why am I being sabotaged? Why would you do that to someone who is obviously putting a lot of effort into making positive, healthy changes for themself? Maybe it’s a girl thing, maybe it’s a personality type thing, I don’t know. But two can play at that game.

For her birthday this week, I brought in a personal-sized mini-cake (which, despite it’s description is not a cupcake, if you are wondering why I did not just call it a cupcake, hater) and her self-proclaimed weakness– Little Debbie brownies. This is a double sabotage-win for me, becuase I think those brownies are disgusting and a personal cake is just that– a personal cake. No sharing.

On one hand, I feel terribly guilty and kind of ashamed for stooping to that level and joining in on this mean, mean thing happening in our office. On the other hand, I am SUPER STUBBORN, so it’s kind of working for me. If I don’t want to work out, I can think “but co-worker B isn’t working out, and tomorrow I’ll feel smug that I went”, so I go. If I reeally reeeeally want to eat a giant bagel with all of the cream cheese currently in production (this is a real thought I had this morning… and this afternoon… and right now…), I just think about how my co-worker is slowing her metabolism by not eating and I am having three serving of veggies and delicious protein, and how I can feel smug about that all day as well. Oh, man, and if I don’t like you and you tell me to do something, you can be pretty confident that I’m going to DIG IN MY HEELS AND HOLD MY BREATH AND NOT DO ANYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME! STRAGER DANGER! STRANGER DANGER! (I’m very mature.)
Post Script: My daughter is just like me, so I have a long, hard road ahead of me.

I guess that this blog comes to two main points. One, I feel some guilt about feeling diet-superior over my co-worker, because people shouldn’t have to base success on the failures of others. Two, she has no idea how helpful her sabotage attempts have ended up being for me, so I’m winning again.

** Disclaimer – I promise I’m not actually a terrible person.

Do you have any diet saboteurs in your life? Or are you in competition with anyone? Or are YOU the saboteur? Do tell.

Humble Brag! (Edit: Not Humble) 4-15-15


Originally posted April 15, 2015

The really blurry awful picture you see before you is a pretty major victory for me. Please excuse the quality, as I was somewhat near-death.

4 weeks ago I began working out after a pretty sedentary life and made some solid changes.

Making better food choices was the easy part, for me. I knew it needed to happen, and it was a pretty quick fix and easy to research, easy to stock the fridge/pantry, etc. Don’t get me wrong– I’m not saying it’s easy to squelch cravings or drastically change your eating habits over night. I’m just saying it was the simplest part of this endeavour so far.

I switched from the cheap gym to the expensive gym with the awesome childcare so my kid wouldn’t die, so she’d WANT to go, and hopefully she’d bully me into going when I didn’t want to go. Then I paid for 3 years up front with my tax return, so, no going back. There’s a single parent struggle (and maybe a dual parent struggle, I don’t know your life) with guilt– at least for me– about picking up my kid from daycare and driving straight to the gym where I put her in daycare. Anyway, we worked out a series of snacks and bribery which is working out for us. It helps that the gym daycare plays Frozen fairly often.

I spoke with my doctor, and ignored most of his food advice. I mean, yeah, I get that buckets of carbs are bad, but I’m so annoyed with the buzz-word dieting fads and I could go on for days about why I probably think your diet is stupid and placebo, but you didn’t ask and I’m not a jerk, so I won’t. My point is just that I do better counting calories and knowing that if I want to eat a cupcake, then I can, but that the rest of my meals that day are going to make me sad. I don’t particularly enjoy being sad, especially about food, so I tend to make better choices with calorie counting rather than food-shaming diet plans.

I began logging my food with an enthusiasm to rival Richard Simmon’s love of short-shorts and sweat bands. Then I took it a step further and commited to a “pro” account and paid for a year. More accountability. I’m not wealthy, I’m maybe upper-poverty level (single mom lyfe), so money is a big incentive for me. If I’m going to spend my money, I better be sure I’m sure about where I’m spending it.

That’s how I found Diet Bet.

But back to my Picture of Accomplishment.

When I started working out, I mentally committed to 4-5 days a week minimum. I told myself that as long as I clocked 30 minutes and kept pushing a little more, added a few minutes a week, that I’d be successful.

Now, let me just tangent here for a minute to say that gym anxiety is REAL. I know it’s a thing for people of all sizes and athletic backgrounds. I am speaking as a Person of Size. I go to a pretty people’s gym. There are plenty of people working hard and sweating like pigs and looking tired, buuuuut there are an equal amount of people walking around in make-up and Ed Hardy shirts watching themselves in the mirror and trying to act like they were not staring (at other pretty people and/or sweaty not-pretty people). So I think that’s a whole blog post itself, but for now let me say that it was a big deal for me to walk in the gym, climb on a machine, and make it do what it do, nawmean?

Anyway, after a week, I had gone from 15 minutes on the elliptical and 15 minutes on the treadmill to 20 minutes on each. Then, I was up to 30 minutes, then 45 minutes. The third week I fought my insecurities and added a weight circuit. IN FRONT OF SO MANY PEOPLE.

So here we are today, 4 weeks in (on the 19th) and I am EFFING JAZZED to say that yesterday I did a ten minute warmup on the treadmill, an upper body weight circuit for 15 minutes, and ONE WHOLE HOUR (and one minute) on the elliptical. And I didn’t even die. And I still came home and made dinner, bullied my kid into eating AND bathing AND going to sleep in her own bed, then made myself do all those things plus laundry. So, what I’m saying here, is…

I’m kind of a big deal.

*drops mic*

Being an adult is HAAAAAAAARD. 4-13-15

Originally posted April 13, 2015

I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember.

Pictures of me at 8-9 years old reflect a bad haircut, a big smile, and some chunk. To be fair, some part of this is genetics– I’m built fairly broad and muscular, which is sort of devastating for a 12 year old in a sea of waifish beauties, but it is what it is. I will never be “petite”. But I’m finally over wanting to be.

But I am unhealthy, and I don’t want to be anymore.

I have done crash diets, yo-yo weights, and unhealthy eating patterns. Haven’t we all? Probably. I’ve gone through stages where I ate 400 calories a day with 2 hour workouts, and stages where I ate 3,500 calories a day and didn’t move more than from bed to car to chair to couch. Both of those things contribute to where I am now. Morbidly Obese.

Five years ago I was coming off of a very bad cycle of obsessing and starving, so I began to eat and drink too much, and as a result, gained about 50 pounds in 6 months. Which made me sad. Which made me want to eat. And then I did. Which made me gain more weight. Which made me more sad. Which made me want to eat more. So I did.

Then, I got pregnant with my daughter unexpectedly. I did well during my pregnancy and gained a total of 2 pounds and had a 9 pound baby. However, after I had her I gained more weight and more weight and before I fully realized it I was well over 300 pounds.

I finally visited a PCP for regular visits in January of 2015. We spoke about my weight as an obvious concern. I was borderline diabetic, my blood pressure was elevated, and my life was in danger of being drastically cut short. We spoke about weightloss surgery. I was very interested and ready to make it a reality, however my insurance has an exclusion (and my job is unwilling to help me with a differnt policy). I looked into financing option and self-pay options, and none of those things are an option for me.

So I came to a harsh reality. There will be no easy way out for me. I am going to have to own up to the fact that I put each bite of food that lead to my decreased mobility, my poor self esteem, my lack of energy into my own mouth. I did it. No one else. And I have to undo it. No one else.

I have to be an adult.

I have to work hard, eat well, make the decisions I don’t want to make, like not having the birthday cake at the party. Like not joining in on the office lunch out. Like not partaking in the breakfast muffins the DME rep brought it. Like not sneaking 2am pieces of leftover Easter candy.

I have to be an adult.

It’s been a month since I started being an adult. My goal began with 1,400-1,500 calories and 30 minutes at the gym at least 4 days a week up to 6 days a week. I did well for 2 weeks, okay for 1 week, and awful last week.

The first week was tough, but I quickly began to see results. I lost some weight, of course, but more satisfying was seeing that my endurance went from feeling like I’d die after 20 minutes on the elliptical machine to, in a matter of two weeks, being able to do 45-60 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes on the treadmill, and 15-20 minutes of strength training 5 days a week. I switched gyms and found a gym childcare my daughter enjoys so she’s not upset to go– she actually wants to, asks to go! I rearranged my schedule so I don’t have an excuse to miss except for my planned day(s) off. I have lost 18 pounds in just the first month. Then last week I fell off the wagon. I had lots of family in town, a milestone birthday for a family member with a huge party, lots of gatherings surrounding food, and a miserable cold on top of it all. And I ate like garbage and missed the gym for four days. I managed to portion my garbage, at least– but garbage food is garbage food. I didn’t gain any weight (yet), but I certainly didn’t lose any.

Today is day one back on the wagon. I’m disappointed in myself after all my hard work. I feel like I threw everything away. I know that is unreasonable, and a few days is not the end-all as long as I buckle down and get back to work. I do know that I should’nt kick myself and I shouldn’t be too hard on myself for last week, but I am, and I do.

I owe it to myself, and I owe it to my 3 year old daughter. She needs a good role model and she deserves a mom who will play with her like she wants to be played with. Outside, bikes and carnivals and crowds and sunshine.

Today I’m looking at beautiful clothes I hope to wear next year, thinking about running and swimming with my daughter, riding bikes with my daughter, and how good I’ll feel after I go to the gym tonight.

I am an adult. And I can totally do this.