In all probability this will not resonate with any other human on earth because I am a strange duck. But I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern of my life for the last 20 years. I take that back. This tale really began in 1990. I’ve written about it before but never actually put two and two together until my most recent relapse. Sigh. Here goes.
|A familiar warning sign I always fail to heed…|
If you’ve not read my story titled, “May 5, 1990,” here’s a quick refresher. After a life long smoking addiction, Hubs and I stopped smoking. Cold turkey. Something we’d failed to accomplish several times before. But May 5, 1990 was the day we really did it. Suddenly everything smelled and tasted much better. There were some nasty side effects, insomnia, and the inability to be civil to one another for about 4 months. They both eventually faded and we were finally non-smokers. But once the cigarettes were gone, great tasting food pushed its way to the forefront of our lives. We lived to eat. Period. After a couple years of adding 40 pounds to my already sloppy frame, we moved across the state. I knew no one, Adam was in high school, so I got a job at McDonald’s. I worked hard, I really did. Who knew for all that hard work, I could not eat Mickey D’s everyday and maintain my already portly frame? Well shit.
|Breakfast this weekend. One of my favorites. OK, I have too many faves…|
There are women with large frames who look fantastic. But I don’t have a large frame and I don’t wear extra weight well. There’s just no other way to explain it. I’ve got a skinny neck (all chickeny skin now), not very much in the chest department and pretty good calves and ankles. But it’s the part above the knees and below the boobs where all my tubbiness is carried. Trust me, it’s very unattractive. I don’t feel good when I’m fat. I look even worse. And I really hate buying super size clothing. Detest it. But there I was wearing XX large tops with size 20 pants. Disgusting. Tipping the scales around 220. Hard to even write.
|Yup, that’s me on “I’m gonna start my diet on Monday.”|
A health issue in 1998 scared us into making some serious changes (I was 47) to our eating habits. Over the course of 8 months I lost about 75 pounds. Within 20 pounds of my high school weight and was halfway toned because I was doing some serious walking everyday. I felt fantastic. Energy level was in the stratosphere. There’s a strange phenomenon which occurs once you start a diet. While no one besides John noticed a difference in my appearance until I lost over 40 pounds, I could see and feel it. That’s when your willpower magically appears and grows substantially. I was losing about 2 pounds a week which is about the recommended amount to lose. But with every pound lost, my will power surged. Still, anyone who says going on a diet is the hardest/worst thing ever is a freaking nutcase. Dieting becomes easier with every ounce you lose as you’re doing it. But maintaining that weight loss is nigh onto impossible. Don’t let any fool tell you different. They lie. All big, fat liars. OK maybe not fat liars, but they lie. Like a rug.
|About my heaviest, can’t find the really disgusting picture. Dang…|
The first real test is when you’re done losing and want to maintain that weight. You gotta add some calories or you’re gonna continue to lose. But how many? I lost about 10 pounds trying to figure out the right holding pattern. You also want to get back on the merry-go-round called life. That means allowing yourself an ‘occasional’ dessert or slice of birthday cake. You know how hard occasional is? But then a family party and a couple of special lunches out with friends finds you have gained 3 pounds in a few days. Not to worry because your smaller, cute clothes you’ve been wearing for almost 2 years still fit and look ok.
|For several years I was too thin. Why can’t I just stay between thin and fat?|
There’s a fine line with body image and weight I struggle with. One of them is something I read in a newspaper article on dieting 20 years ago. A simple sentence I’ve never forgotten. “Nothing tastes as good as being thin.” (Honestly, they’ve never had McDonald’s fries, just out of the fryer, doused in Heinz? Exactly what planet are they from?) On the other hand is the FB meme which says, “life is too short. Eat the cake, take the vacation, spend your hard earned money.” Ok, I’ll skip the vacation, do my best to save money and not splurge on foolish stuff. BUT I WANT TO EAT MY CAKE WITHOUT GAINING WEIGHT! Is that too much to ask? In my case, I guess it is. Well shit.
It happens so subtlety you barely notice. We’re out eating, but instead of eating half my Reuben, I scarf a couple extra bites off the second half I was planning on taking home. Instead of eating a dozen French fries, then pushing the rest away, I leave a measly 6 on my plate. Instead of eating half of my meal, then stopping for ONE minute to see if I now feel satisfied, I continue to eat until I’m uncomfortably full. When I fall into this weird eating frenzy, (this isn’t like a Great White feeding frenzy. Mine usually last for months. Or years), I am slow to decipher what’s going on. But deep down in my head I’ve recognized all the tell-tale signs).
|Packing on the pounds-again, 2014…|
And this happens to me over and over. About 2 years after dieting and maintaining, the slow, steady pound climb upwards begins. Again. Since losing 75 pounds in ‘98, I believe this is yo-yo weight gain number 5. It’s similar to the cicadas, staying underground for a number of years, suddenly they resurface. My least favorite fat pounds start making a comeback. Those extra pounds want comfort too. They come right back to their old familiar stomping ground. My belly, hips and upper legs. The small roll above the waist of my capris turns into the size of an inner tube worn by a child before they jump into the pool. (Mine does not help me float, or look remotely cute). Face it, saddlebags should only be worn by horses, and a muffin top is something we enjoy eating, not wearing around our middle.
|About a year after dropping 75 unwanted fat. But it keeps following me back home…|
I show signs of panic after a weight gain equaling that of a one year old has taken residence on my widening frame. I’ve never gotten close to my original fatness before the diet of ‘98. So far I’ve managed to just yo-yo the last 30 pounds over and over. Fifty pounds of my original weight loss have been kept at bay. So far. But still, it’s disheartening. What happens to slowly change my eating habits over and over every few years? I don’t really change what I eat as how much I eat. My portion size changes. And I forget when to stop. When I feel uncomfortable because I’ve eaten too much, what happens to the trigger that stopped me for the previous 2 years? Why can’t I continue to be trigger happy?
|Before the ugly 9 made their appearance…|
My last diet was 2 years ago. Do you see a pattern? Yup, it’s just started. I’m up 9 pounds in about as many months. Clothes still fit, but they’re getting snug. Ugh. I desperately want to stop this weight gain from going to the next level (which would include buying new clothes-a size bigger) from a hefty newborn to the size of a one year old. I don’t know if it’s because something’s not right in the life of Neese, or I just love food. And really like to eat. A lot. I want to look decent and feel good about myself. That won’t be the case of this spiral continues. Maybe I need to explore what’s eating Neese instead of what Neese is eating. If only I knew of a good therapist…