I am fat again. I mean, technically, I’m just still fat. Not all of a sudden fat again. But there is my just-a-smidge-fat weight and my ugh-this-is really-fat weight. Both are technically fat but only one causes me to cue the spiral of shame and self-hatred.
I’m fat but mostly I’m just tired. Because I’ve done this way too many times before. When you’ve been dieting since the age of 12, dieting starts to feel like the movie Groundhog Day. I’ve even had a baby and bounced back. Twice. Ok, the first time I kind of had to fight my way back, but I did it. And I don’t want to do it again. I’m too tired. I’m becoming the tired old fat mom that no one wants to be.
At my recent physical, my doctor handed me a piece of paper and delicately said, “so here is a little explanation of BMI.” I found myself snapping at her, “Oh, I know all about BMI. ALL. ABOUT. IT.” Because I do. From the handout I learned that I should eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains. Well, thank you. All this time I thought maybe I should be living on red wine and cronuts. Suddenly the world is new again!
I’m 39 years old. How much of my life have I spent thinking about calories, carbohydrates and the pounds on the scale? And yet I simply can’t bear to have that moment where I embrace myself no matter what my size. I don’t want to embrace myself. Actually, that’s the thing. I don’t want think about my outer self at all.
I don’t want to count calories. I don’t want to weigh myself obsessively. I don’t want to think about which clothes might hide my multitude of flaws in a way that doesn’t scream fat, tired and old. I don’t want to replace the joy and pleasure I get from cooking whatever inspires me with the soulless and tedious experience of cooking healthy meals. I don’t want to do any of it.
How much time do most men spend on this sort of thing anyway?
Don’t worry. I know that I’m being melodramatic. I know there are healthy recipes that are quite excellent. I’ve made plenty of them, and I will make plenty more. I know that it’s a privilege just to be alive, and it’s ridiculous to be complaining about any of this. That’s why I dutifully punish myself for all of this melodrama by taking masochistic gym classes led by a teacher who likes to yell — WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT GIVE UP. Well, all right. I won’t give up. I’m just tired.