Since I've inflated a bit (more) over the holidays, I've been contemplating the diet that I'm supposed to be on. I've been on one diet or another for 17 years, with only two being what I'd term "acceptable" in the way of results.
The first was when I was first engaged and was horrified when the bridal salon owner wanted to order my dress in a size 20. I was wearing a size 14 jeans, so I knew I was chubby, but a size 20? Fuck you, lady! So, I decided right then and there to embark on my first diet. I literally starved myself all day and ate a small dinner. For 24 hours, no sustenance beyond Diet Sprite and sugarless chewing gum would pass my lips. I lost 30 pounds and fit into a size 8. I looked beautiful in my wedding dress - like a brunette Barbie doll.
I eventually gained that back and more, until 8 years later, I was wearing that size 20 that I had originally been so horrified by. I went to one of the chain weight-loss centers (not
Weight Watchers, by the way) to get help. After paying an extortionate fee, I embarked on their Draconian plan. I was soooooo disciplined, too. In 9 months, I lost 95 pounds. I was a size 8 again. I turned heads, literally.
What marks this period of time for me, though, is fear and anger. I felt naked and exposed without my flab. People were so nosy and intrusive, too. It felt like everyone had something to say about my weight loss - how much better I looked, how I must've taken pills to lose the weight, how my husband must want me so much more. Can you see how my equilibrium would be off-kilter? I know people were trying to be complimentary, but damn! Telling me, or at least tacitly implying, that I used to look like an undesirable, hopelessly sexless lump of lard is not
I vividly remember the one incident that put me over the edge and made me stop following the Draconian Diet Plan I had been on. I was temping at a large company over the summer to earn the money for a new wardrobe. Dressing is so much more difficult when you've got choices, and those choices can be expensive. Anyway, that morning, I had put on one of my favorite new dresses - hot pink linen with small gold-tone buttons down the front from Talbots. The V-neckline was scalloped, as was the hem. It had princess seams, so it showed off my hourglass figure. I really had one, back in the day. Hair & makeup done, high heels on, I went off to work.
My boss-of-the-moment had me delivering folders all over the building. I walked past a group of men in the hall and heard one say "Oooooh! Look at her!" I looked around, and no one was there but me. Hmmm. Turning down another hall, I passed another man, who swiveled his head around to follow my path. Heading back to my cubicle, I walked down the main hall of the building and saw a man turn his head as I passed and drop his glance to my behind. I put some pep in my step and got to the ladies room as fast as I could.
Once there, I checked out my backside in the full-length mirror. Nothing there but my backside, and it looked fierce!
I grabbed the counter and held on as the room grew dim and I broke out in a cold sweat. I was so upset by the reactions I was getting. What made me angry, at that point, is that I didn't know why
I was so angry.
For the rest of that week, no matter what I wore, I continued to turn heads.
I started to eat again. I got pregnant. I ate some more. I gave birth. I ate and ate and ate until I was past my highest pregnancy weight. I'm still there, huge and uncomfortable, but oddly protected. I can flirt with impunity, because hey, who would want a piece of this? I want to lose weight, because I'm damn unhealthy. I just don't know if I'll be able to handle the reactions any better this time than I did before.
Wish me luck.