Well, actually it’s the opposite of funny–it’s kind of soul crushing, but still!
I started this blog (blogs! does anyone blog anymore, really?) in 2010 when I was 184 pounds and I wanted to lose weight. It was then my highest-ever weight. Skip ahead 8 years, and I’m 35 and 230.6 pounds–my new highest-ever weight. All those thoughts and feelings I had about weighing 184 seem so quaint.
I don’t know if I thought, when I started this blog, that I would lose 60 lbs, get down to 125, and then keep it all off forever. Maybe. I think intellectually, I knew I would have to maintain the behavioral changes indefinitely if I wanted to keep the weight off. But I didn’t truly comprehend what that would entail. And I didn’t know how to do it without making weight loss/maintenance the main focus of my life. When I lost those 45 lbs in 2010, I didn’t have a job. My then-boyfriend was 2,000 miles away. Weight loss was my job. Guess what? When you actually have a job, weight loss/maintenance suddenly is way harder. It’s not a fun game–it’s one more thing to do.
And of course, just in general, losing weight (or dieting, or adopting a new lifestyle, or whatever you want to call it) is truly a sisphyean effort. You lose, you maintain, you gain it all back and then some, you lose a little bit, you gain that back, you lose it, you gain it back plus way more…and on. Until you die. Seriously, this is what happens for most people. Google it.
Realizing this, of course, is extremely de-motivating. And so there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to make any effort to change my eating behaviors and lose weight. There’s another part of me that is just completely bored with the idea of losing weight—it’s like, ugh, it’s 2018, why are we even still talking about this? It’s like I know the whole weight loss narrative that plays out — I know what I have to do, I know the pratfalls, I know the platitudes, I know the success stories, the non-scale victories, the falling-off-the-wagon binges, the plateaus, the temptations, and on and on. It’s fucking boring as shit. There are no surprises. Weight loss is like a subculture I was “into” in the past and now it’s just a wash of meh.
I also often feel like weight loss is such a sad, narrow-minded goal. It’s so very…unliberated housewife…in my mind. I don’t know. Like, it’s just my weight. Why can’t I wholly accept all aspects of myself, including my weight?
And yet. And yet.
I still want to lose weight. I still want to change my eating habits. Again. I just do. Maybe it’s internalized fat-phobia? Maybe it’s my mother? Maybe it’s because deep down, I really can’t kick the false idea that if I only I weighed less, I would be better, happier, more? Or maybe it’s because if I actually did lose weight, I really would be better, happier, more. Who the fuck knows.
My more immediate, avowed reasons are the same old boring (perfectly rational, but still, boring) reasons, too — I don’t want to get diabetes, I want to feel more comfortable in my body, I want to prove that I can wear all my old clothes (now, they’re the clothes I had when I weighed 185, my previous high weight). And now I also have some new reasons: my range of motion is restricted by my weight, I can’t turn and bend to buckle shoe straps that are on the outside of my ankles (very specific problem), I fear I have sleep apnea, my feet hurt if I am on them for extended periods of time, I’m now squarely in my mid-30s and my youth is draining away from me and I want more time with a healthier, smaller body when I am young-ish.
And so even though I’m pretty much “been there, done that”….here I am.
And to up the ante even more, I just joined Weight Watchers. It’s not a cult but it’s a definite community (although isn’t a cult just a really, really tight-knit community?) with its own language, philosophy, and all that. I joined because if I am going to do this when I have a job and a boyfriend, I’m going to have to join a community. Also, I need the accountability and — what’s the word? shame? — of being weighed in every week. (Despite what they say, I think there is a definite shame thing going on with the weigh-ins. But it is effective, at least in the short term, it seems.)
I’m not going to say I’m fired up and ready to go. I’m not Barack Obama circa fall 2008. I’m not going to be all “I got this” followed by excessive exclamation points. I know I can do it if I want to, but I’m not super motivated—but then, maybe you don’t need motivation. Maybe weight loss is just something I am doing; maybe I don’t need to find the perfect intellectual justification for everything I do.
And why I am back here, writing? Well, it feels good to write in this journalistic way—I haven’t done that in a long time. I used to write to understand what I was experiencing in life or decide my thoughts on a subject. A blog feels so relaxed and luxurious, too. So hopefully I can keep this up. If I’m not eating my feelings so much, I’ll need a place to put them, after all.