I have tried to write a blog about this a couple of times over the past couple of months. What I ended up with was a bunch of half finished ramblings that I just couldn’t complete. (Honestly, this one has been sitting in my drafts for weeks…)
I have been having a bit of an identity crisis. It started at the end of last summer. My husband and I both came to the same conclusion at the same time that we needed to overhaul how we were eating. For me, it wasn’t about weight loss. As you know, or most of you know, or those who have read my blog or have seen me on TV etc. etc. know, I am perfectly happy being a big woman. However, how we were eating wasn’t nurturing or providing good fuel for our bodies. It was, “yummy, this tastes great…why do I feel so crappy food…” We had done low-carb in the past and had felt great. Like my doctor has said to me about low-carb eating, and I’m paraphrasing, “It’s a great way to eat but it’s hard to sustain as a lifestyle.” And, he’s right!
I have written about the litany of diets I had been on in my life…all stemming from the disdain I had for my body. The difficulty I had growing up feeling like I didn’t fit in. The pain and anguish I felt from being different and teased etc. And, believe me, I am so fortunate! I didn’t have it nearly as bad as so many people have and do. There was always this feeling that there was something wrong with me that I needed to fix. I was reminded all the time by family and society that I needed to lose weight in order to: buy clothes, have a man, have friends, be happy, get a job, etc. etc.
When I was on Oprah years ago discussing being fat the producers had asked me to gather some pictures of me from my childhood and to also go through my journals for pertinent entries (read, high rating nuggets) from growing up. Here’s what I discovered. First, I wasn’t that fat. I really wasn’t. Certainly, I was plump but I wasn’t FAT. Secondly, from my journals, I was ALWAYS on a diet – I would talk about the diet being hard and that it was going to “work” this time or I would be beating myself up for “cheating.” So, so sad!! I was miserable and lonely and sad. Oh, and I was totally in love with Scott Baio!
Not to tell the same stories over and over again. But you know about the epiphany I had before moving to LA. When I realized it was time to stop hating my body and punishing my body for not being how I thought it should be or rather, how society thought it should be, and start loving it. I have talked about it in my one-woman show. I have talked about it in magazines. It’s a story I tell. Suffice it to say, it was like, ENOUGH!! No more yo-yo dieting for the sake of dieting. No more making myself wrong for being who and what I am.
Since that time there have been ups and downs in my weight. Certainly, I lied on Oprah. Funny, I think we all did. There were 4 women on the show and I don’t believe any of us told the truth about our weight. Which is funny. At least for me it is, I can’t speak for them. But I will happily tell you how much I weigh but please don’t ask me my age. I hate lying 🙂
Jump to last summer. I had been in the dumps all summer. It started around my birthday, June 1, 2010 and it rapidly spread throughout the summer. So, by August I was miserable. My husband had some family visiting from the UK and we snapped some pics the day they were leaving. We had gone to breakfast where I had eaten every buttermilk biscuit the restaurant had slathered with butter and homemade jam and then gone outside to snap some photos before they headed to the airport. As soon as I downloaded the pictures I was shocked. I looked ill. I looked like someone had inflated me and then rubbed my face until it was all shiny. It wasn’t my size that made me look bad…it was that I clearly hadn’t been taking care of myself. Honestly, at that point I weighed 30 pounds less than I had on Oprah years earlier and I looked awful. Clearly it wasn’t the weight…
With that, my husband and I decided to start taking care of ourselves. We decided to eat what was nurturing and what provided fuel. Now, I am not going to lie. It has been very rough for me eating low-carb. I am not a fan of meat. I always joke that I am one bad piece of bacon away from being a vegetarian again (I was one for 17 years…). The joke being there is no such thing as a bad piece of bacon. I believed that until I got really sick from a bad piece of bacon a couple of weeks ago. I still eat meat…not thrilled about it…but I haven’t eaten bacon since.
It has been 10 months of eating low-carb. Lots of chicken. Lots of vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, salads. Eggs – boiled, scrambled, poached, crustless quiche etc. We have gone off a couple of times for a planned amount of time. We were in San Francisco for a week where there was no limit to what we could eat. I savored a sour dough asiago twist from Acme Bread Company like it was turkish delight. My husband was in Florida and ate whatever he pleased. We were in Vegas and the same was true. But overall we have chosen to eat low-carb like a lifestyle and eating the other way, “the regular way,” as an occasion.
The results have been astounding. My cholesterol is SUPER good. My blood sugar is awesome! My blood pressure was 100/56 at the doctor a month ago. All crazy good results. Really!! I have also lost, as of this morning, 70 pounds on my scale. I keep reminding myself it isn’t about weight loss. That is a slippery slope that can only lead to no good. I know what it’s like to get on and off the scale looking for some kind of affirmation that I am good and have done the right thing. But if the scale doesn’t move – which it won’t everyday. And, if the scale moves up that’s okay because it isn’t about that. It’s about living a healthy life.
Funny though, I have been reminded of the book Thinner by Richard Bachman aka. Stephen King. As my clothes are getting bigger and bigger and my body is changing I keep wondering when will the weight loss end. At some point, I would think I would stop losing. I have no designs on being a thin person. I know genetically I will never be thin-thin. I will always have what my mother called “the Brounstein Curse” – Big-Ass Small-Breasts.
I know there will be people who will read this and who will congratulate me on my weight loss. And, while that will make me crazy (yes, crazier than I already am…) I know they don’t really mean that there was something wrong with me that needed to be fixed. Right? Gah. We’re programmed funny.
In some places in Africa I would be revered as a Goddess and people would bring me slaughtered goats and milk as offerings to sustain my amazingly beautiful and large body. I am not heading to Africa any time soon. So, I will stick with eating well and ignoring all the “you shoulds” and “you shouldn’ts” and the “you look so good…” with the inference being it was a shame about how I used to look but now I look better… And, when my driver’s license comes due next year I will have to change my weight since for the first time since I got my license I actually weigh less than it says.