the big w: weight

I spent the better part of my adolescence overweight. I can vividly recall the moment when I was sitting on armrest of my grandmother’s recliner with her when I was roughly 8 or 9 and she leaned over to me with a frustrated look on her face as I was obviously making her (or the chair) uncomfortable: “Just how much do you weigh?,” she asked with her nose crinkled up. To her credit, I’m sure she didn’t think that I’d remember her comment the day after, let alone 18 years after. I love my grandmother more than words can express, but comments such as hers would repeat themselves in my mind for years after-the-fact. Throughout high school, I spent every moment wondering how I looked to others; I’d nervously tug on my shirt, fearing it was too tight. I didn’t wear a shirt that went below the neckline until after I graduated high school. Part of me could blame it on my horrid fashion sense, but most of it amounts to insecurity (and a serious lack of fashion definition from my parents — thanks, mom!).

University started off differently. My freshman year was as adventurous as most: I wore black stilettos to class, skipped far too much class, and pierced my nose against my parents’ wishes. I majored in English Literature, eagerly clinging to topics to write about, often making half-hearted blogs revolving around “Dear Abby” topics in where I analyzed my life to a far too serious degree. Between sophomore and senior year, for reasons that felt out of my control, a mild dose of Lexapro became my new best friend. Within those three years, I gained 50 pounds. As I look back, it was as if I stepped on the scale as a size 10 and found myself as a size 16. I honestly cannot recall a transition period.

After graduation, I, like countless others, failed to find a successful job within 6 months. Within the span of the summer and a few months, I dropped 40 pounds due to becoming more active during a store opening at my college job in doing nothing more than moving boxes, stuffing my face less, and walking, walking, walking.

In March of 2010, I relocated to Iowa without a job (a leap of faith that is not recommended to everyone). I moved into a tiny apartment with my boyfriend and spent the summer wasting my paychecks on trying out nearly every restaurant within a 30 mile radius of Des Moines. Iowa has wonderful food! Not to mention, I finally had my “own” kitchen and began experimenting with recipes that included copious amounts of butter. Mmm, butter.

In July of 2011, I was 10 pounds heavier and finding it difficult to rid myself of my excess weight.  After a successful bout with Weight Watchers, I shed the 10 pounds and am currently still attempting to drop a few more as my body fluctuates back and forth. You’re probably thinking: oh, great, another blog about a skinny girl attempting to maintain. Pleeeease. Trust me, I’ve had the same thought and have tired of the same type of writing in the past. But, I feel it’s important to be embarrassingly honest: when push comes to shove, I’ll grab that mini cupcake sitting on the ledge of my desk whispering “eaaat me, eaaaaaaat me” when a co-worker brings their latest baking adventure to sample at work. After all, there’s no way I’ll be sprawled across my death-bed thinking: “Damn, I wish I ate less ice cream.” What I’m coming to realize is that food is pleasure, not a controlling force. It’s something I’m trying to remember every day.

Inspirational/helpful/quirky reads devoted to all things food and lifestyle:

P.S. My most recent enemy is The Food Network. All of their scrumptious shows are addictive and, once I see a dish on The Best Thing I’ve Ever Made or flip to an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins,and Dives, I’m left with an intense desire to cook, bake, or run to my local Dairy Queen and snab some ice cream because a contestant on Chopped decided to be overly ambitious and make a sorbet.

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