I have a habit of self-sabotaging after a big weigh-in. A big weigh-in being, say, losing 60+ lbs. So the fact that this monumental weigh-in coincides with my monthly baking spree is, well, not good (although the brownies and ice cream are good). Friday night I met up with some coworkers at The Corner Alley for dinner and bowling and while my plan was to get a salad, I ended up getting a burger. And fries. And a martini. And yes, it was a veggie burger with no mayo or cheese and yes I had gone to the rec earlier that day and yes I tracked all of the Weight Watchers points, but still. I had a plan and I completely ignored it. And I knew I was ignoring it as I was doing it.
Like I said: self-sabotage.
Thing is, despite this history and habit, I’d never really stopped to think about why I do this. I’ve always said that hitting big numbers, losing another “decade” freaks me out, switches something in my head. But what the hell does that mean?
One yoga pose that I continue to struggle with is the supported headstand. This is something I used to be able to do as a kid but, unlike The Wheel, my adult self cannot do it. Can’t even come close. And while my yoga instructor encourages me, saying she can see the progress I’m making with it each week, I can’t. This morning I even told her that I hate this pose.
Each class, I take my mat and move it up against the wall. I brace my head in my clasped hands. I lift my hips and walk my feet forward. I slowly lift my right leg. And I start to hop. Yes, hop, the idea being that I can get the momentum to swing my leg up and against the wall and that’ll get the other leg up, too.
But, see, this is where I fail. I can hop in that position all day long. What I can’t do is convince my hips to flex back enough to get the leg up against the wall. I know I can do it: I came very close a few weeks ago. This isn’t a physical or even gravitational problem, but it wasn’t until recently that I started to wonder what the mental block is.
Truth is, I’m afraid.
I know the wall is there. I know it’s only a few inches away. Of course, it’s easy to think and remember that when you’re flat on your mat and not trying to invert 248 lbs. When I’m actually trying to flex my hips back, swing my legs up it’s another story. You know those ol’ Wile E Coyote cartoons where he’s chasing the Roadrunner across an open canyon and he’s running along until he stops and realizes he’s in open air and then goes tumbling down? That’s how I feel. I know the wall is there. But as my leg starts to raise up and swing back, I’m momentarily convinced it’s going to hit open air, the support of the wall completely gone. And that temporary moment of insanity is enough to force me to lower my leg back down.
Call me curvy. Call me voluptuous. Hell, call me like it is: fat. Whatever it is, I’ve been it my whole life. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight and I spent my adult life, from 18 years old on, wearing my age. From college through my late twenties, my age was reflected in my dress size. Which is ridiculous when you realize that means gaining a dress size every single year. Although it explains how a little over a year ago I was 29 years old, wearing a size 28, weighing 311 pounds.
And there it is. Three hundred and eleven pounds. What the hell is that? I mean, seriously? I have times now where I look in the mirror or see a picture and the reality of weighing 248 is enough to horrify me, only to then have a realization half a second later that I used to be 60 pounds heavier. What the hell was I doing to myself back then?
But, see, here is where things get complicated. As much as I don’t want to be overweight anymore, it’s scary to be anything but this. This is what I know. I know how to move through the world as a Fat Girl. I know how to approach people and life. This isn’t what I know: it’s all that I know. I think that’s why I self-sabotage: there is a part of me that doesn’t want to lose weight. Not because I don’t want to be skinny but because changing that much is scary and she’d much rather stay in the safe cocoon that she has grown accustomed to.
Because it’s not just my body that’s changing. It’s me. I feel like I exude happiness and confidence these days, but there’s so much more the further I go on this journey. It’s a brave new world out there and while it’s exciting to think about, it’s also fucking terrifying. Just the simple idea of being able to, oh, I don’t know, fit into a pair of Gap jeans or a Victoria’s Secret bra is insane. And don’t even get me started on dating. I’ve been single for two and a half years. After a shitty break-up that left me with a big ol’ wounded heart for about 18 months, I now want to date but, sadly, don’t exactly have a line of suitors waiting to take me out. I’m 30 and as much as I hate to admit this, don’t have a lot of dating experience. While I don’t want to paint a wide brush and say it’s because all men are shallow, I do know that has to play some part in this. So right now maybe I don’t put myself out there as much as I could because as much as I want to date, the fear of rejection is wide and well-established. So what the hell is dating going to be like ninety pounds from now when I hit my goal weight? I mean, hello, talk about terrifying.
But, honestly, no point in worrying about that now. Now I have bigger obstacles to tackle. Like that stupid headstand. Which I will get one of these days, Wile E. Coyote be damned.
Love from the ashes,