Some days ago when grocery shopping I saw a story in a magazine about “dressing slim” with before and after pictures. The magazine almost went into my grocery cart on itself. Then I thought again. Do I really want to dress so that I look slimmer? Or do I really want to be slimmer. Well, you know the answer, both of course.
I didn’t buy the magazine but I thought about “feeling fat” again. Feeling fat is not to be confused with being fat though when you are fat you have a higher probability of feeling fat too. And these past weeks I have felt especially fat. One reason for this is that I gained about 9 kilos between last July and this May. Last summer I bought myself I nice new bikini that was just a little bit too small because I was sure I would lose still more weight. Gaining that much makes me feel like a loser. Like my whole life is out of control; which in a way it is.
When I tell people that I gained weight (I had to do that quite a bit when I visited my parents and relatives) they usually ask, “And why did you gain that weight?” Well, I’d say I ate too much. And drank too much beer. And moved less. If I know somebody really well I tell them that I was depressed for months. But then I’m not sure whether I get depressed because I’m gaining weight or gain weight because I’m depressed. Nonetheless the two are related in some way.
I feel even worse because I was doing so well. I had been losing weight, and changing my old unhealthy and unconscious habits for two years, and I lost about 14 kilos. Not by dieting but by changing habits one at a time, doing small things. This wasn’t a speedy process. On average I lost about 300 grams a month. So I thought at least I’d keep it off. Turns out that when I revert to eating just a bit too much for every meal, too many snacks, sugar again, and about two beers a day I gain back a kilo a month.
It’s not as if I were asleep for months and then suddenly woke up to find myself much heavier than before, every month, every week, every single day of that months I vowed to change back, not to drink beer, not to eat my son’s candy, or five liverwurst sandwiches for dinner. But then I felt hungry all the time, I felt, well, depressed, and a part of me thought that nothing I’d do would make a difference and so I just ate more this once, and drank that beer “just today”, and that box of crackers that hardly makes a difference, and so on and on, day after day.
That’s one of my main problems in life, I see clearly what I am doing, and it doesn’t fit the way I intend to live and then I’m doing it anyway. In part it’s that kind of stubbornness that makes me stay up because my husband reminded me that it’s getting late. The part of me that didn’t clean my room because my mother said so even thought I could barely stand the mess myself.
If you look under the category changing habits in my left sidebar (or click on the link), and then go back to 2006 you’ll find quite a few posts about losing weight and such. I really thought I had it. Once and for all, I know how to do this and I was sure I’d never get fat again. The interesting thing is that obviously I chose to go back to my old unconscious eating patterns, and for months and monthsat a time without changing back. I just gave up.
Of course the next thing I think is that this just doesn’t work. Like one of my aunts said, “For some people it’s just genetics. They can’t help it.” Sometimes I dream of having a magic pill that will let the pounds melt from me (over night and without a mess of course), and then I’ll live at 64 or maybe 65 kilos, wearing a size 6 or 8 for ever. But I doubt that will happen and it’s no use to wait for it.
I’d love to be one of those people who read the right book, change their eating habits and that’s it. Forever. For me, obviously, I have to practice new habits for years and years and years and years, and then I still can’t be sure of them. This is very frustrating. But then I thought to myself I have two choices here: I can either give up and get fatter and fatter until I die, or I can start over again. And over. And over. And over. Every single day, every single meal, every single bite.
While I’m writing this now, the worst seems to be over. I already lost a kilo, I’m back to not eating sugar much, and alcohol is restricted to weekends (with a very broad definition of weekends, like, three days a week). I’m also back to exercise, doing small things like riding the bike to the grocery store instead of taking the car, and a walk every other day.
I very much hope that I can keep myself on track and then some time in the future (maybe next year) I’ll be back to where I was last year. And I want to do this without obsessing about it, just behaving like a slim person. Because “feeling fat”, like I said before, is not about the size of your body, it is short for “how I feel about myself as a person”, or for self worth.
Still. If you were in my place, would you sew yourself a new summer dress? Would you buy yourself a new, bigger, bathing suit? I know I’m not the only one in this place.