Often I’m so focussed on how much weight I’ve still got to lose and how far I still am from what I want to be that I lose sight I’ve the things that I’ve achieved. It’s so easy to forget the way I used to be and, as I’ve lost weight, things have changed in my life that I just take for granted now.
For example, for years and years and years, every time I went to the doctor they’d tell me to lose weight and get more exercise. When I got diagnosed with diabetes – lose weight and exercise, when I had problem with my gall bladder – lose weight and exercise, if I had a cold or a stomach bug or a broken fingernail – lose weight and exercise. I’d bitch and moan and do nothing about it.
Now it seems every time I go to the doctor they are telling me to have a break from exercising. And I bitch and moan about that even more. It’s weird, isn’t it – you don’t want to exercise and they tell you to do it, but when you want to, they tell you to stop!
I don’t think I mentioned this before (stop me if you’ve heard this one…) but when I flew back from Sydney earlier this year, a rather large man sat at the end of my aisle. I watched out of the corner of my eye while he did that thing where you test out that the seatbelt is going to fit, digging it under the gut and breathing in to get it clasped, because you’d rather die in a plane crash than have to get a seat belt extender. I watched him raise the arm rest that dug into his side and struggle with the tray table that wouldn’t sit flat over his belly.
I wanted to lean over and say something helpful and reassuring, to let him know that I’d been there but no words existed for me that wouldn’t make him feel embarassed or humiliated – I know, because I’ve been there.
I no longer lay in bed at night, poking and pummelling my fat (that sounds awfully rude, doesn’t it), wishing I could wake up in the morning with it magically gone. I don’t lie away with those feelings of self-loathing and despair. Not that I’m all Magically Happy Self Confident Girl now, but I’d forgotten how dark those pits used to be.