Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What now?


Driving down the road in my old black Saturn SUV, my Mom asked me:

“So, what made you do it?”

“Lose the weight?”

“Yeah.”

I hesitated. And sort of stumbled over my words. The first thing that popped into my head was the easy answer – I don’t know.

But I did know. It was the culmination of a lot of little things. I keep thinking about those little things. Trying to figure out what it is that all of these little things, like fire pokers to my motivation, have in common. The only thing I have come up with is fear…

Early in August, I was perusing the plus size offering in Target, looking for a black swim bottom for our upcoming trip to the Dells. Let’s not even talk about the fact that I am now shopping for swimsuits for the Dells and not for South Beach… that is a whole different post. Depressing. Ok, so back to Target. As it happened, there were 3 alternative black swim bottoms (cause every plus size girls know black is the ONLY option) for the larger set.

I opted for what I thought was my size in the swim skirt option. Took it home. In the privacy of my own home, I tried it on (over my undies, sanitary liner in place, of course). The skirt covered numerous sins evident on my tush and thighs, nice. But ugh, my tummy is getting cut off. Spilling over. Oh, this won’t do.

Return to Target. Return the 20/22. Purchase the 24/26. At home, the skirt now looked less like a swim skirt and more like a granny-church-skirt - hitting me around the mid-thigh. But low and behold, the tummy wasn’t spilling out and at least I was decent. Sorta.

I don’t specifically remember thinking – this is what it has come to – but it felt like that.

I had one option. In one color. In the last available size. Oh, gawd...

Slowly, I kept seeing my options getting limited. Limited by my own weight. Something, I can control. Fear of going to restaurants, wondering if I would be comfortable in the booth? Hearing stories of larger people being kicked off airplanes for spilling into the next seat and wondering will that be me? Or will I just continue to get those looks of relief when someone comes down the aisle and realizes they are not going to have to sit next to me? Fear of not fitting. Fear of can’t. Fear of not… not being able to..

Consider that motivation.

Actually wondering who is going to teach my kids to do the things that kids do when their Mom isn’t able to keep up. Having kids who want to sit in my lap, lean back against their Mommy, but really can’t cause the lap doesn’t exist, and the tummy takes up all the available cuddle room.

I was that person. And I was afraid, really, honestly afraid of what I had let happen. And the only person who could change it was me.

My answer to my Mom was something along these lines. But it is so much more. I am too young to give up. I am too young to just accept that this is what it is. I am too young not to take control. To live in fear and just allow myself to continue to feed myself into a stupor.

What’s the point of trying to figure this out today? I’ve reached 3 huge goals in the past 8 months. 75 lbs. I am a fraction of the size that I was then. I can cross my legs, fit in booths, shop in regular sizes, run around the block, flex my arm muscles (damn good), and navigate the complicated and horrible food options in numerous restaurants. I am my new (and old) young (and adult) self.

It is imporant because in the last 24 hours I’ve started to think – what now? I need to remember what it was like to feel like I had no options. Black. That covering up was the only way. Fading into the background. If I forgot, I will easily not keep on keepin on.

So, one of the fears I really need to embrace today – is the fear that I will forget what that was like. I need to remember to keep going.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mara, You are a brave woman for posting all of this. Thank you for sharing. I have two little girls like you and find that with them taking so much of my time it is so easy to just pop anything and everything into my mouth as I maneuver through my day, and then at the end of the day when they are in bed and i have my own time - celebrate (by eating of course!). I have really appreciated your sharing this journey you are on. It is encouraging to me. Thanks.

Janae Seneker