A Heavy Burden

Like so many women, I’ve struggled with my weight. Over the last five years, I’ve oscillated between a size 2 and a size 12. In order to stay on the lower end, I have to watch what I eat very carefully. This has resulted in never ending criticism when dining with others, usually beginning with some form of sarcasm and ending with, “You’re so small.” I cannot help but roll my eyes.

Yes, I am small. However, I work very hard at it. It is not something that I was genetically blessed with. Two years ago I weighed 148lbs. It took six months of daily cardio and a diet of 1400 calories per day, combined with a terrible marriage and divorce, to shed thirty pounds. In those six months, I went from a size 12-14 to a 0-2, my lowest as an adult.

During that time, I ate a Slim Fast shake for breakfast, a Lean Cuisine/Healthy Choice meal for lunch(only those under 200 calories), a Luna bar snack, and endless vegetables for dinner. I did not allow myself sugar, bread, fruit, or caffeine. As soon as I got home, I immediately went to the gym. Though a daily workout time is painful for some, it was a retreat from marital hell. That is, until my ex-husband decided he would join me. Shortly after he began doing that, I left him.

Several months later, I met the indomitable. It was at a time when I was ready to reintroduce myself to a social life. That involved drinking too much wine and eating way too much sushi. One thing that did draw me to the indomitable was his YMCA membership. A few months before we met, he joined the Y and started going in the morning with his dad. Since I belonged to the Y also, we started going in the evenings after work; therefore, he was going twice a day. Needless to say, he found himself losing substantial amounts of weight. I, however, saw my weight increase since my calorie intake had increased.

Today, I weigh 130lbs and wear a size 6. This is a few pounds heavier than usual due to honeymoon gorging. Also, the indomitable and I lift weights twice a week, a newer activity for me, so I’d like to think that accounts for a few pounds. Regardless of the reason, I am several sizes bigger than I was this time last year.

However, I’ve come to a conclusion about my body: I’m okay with it. No, I wouldn’t mind weighing a few pounds less. There is something upsetting about 130 vs. 129, but I’m not going to kill myself over it. For the past few years, I’ve fluctuated between eating everything as if it’s my last opportunity to eat it again and eating as if I need Sally Struthers to do a telethon on my behalf. I’m going to try to just enjoy myself, which means taking pleasure in food and my health and well-being. I will no longer beat myself up for eating a bagel or piece of cheese nor will I continue to avoid dining out with friends because there is nothing healthy on the menu. Hopefully, I can avoid criticism when I decide to refrain from eating a piece of cake or some other sweet. And if I do receive it, I’m going to correct them and say, “No. I’m so medium.”