I often wonder if my time as a weight loss blogger turned marathon/maintenance blogger is coming or should come to an end. How long do I continue to sit down at the laptop and hope that (usually by some miracle) words will form coherently on my fingertips as the chaos of my thought process(es) continue to rattle around in my head.
It was so much easier when my life consisted of counting calories, measuring food servings and desperately fighting my morbidly obese body to get out of bed and move like my life depended on it. It was emotional and of course there were some days where I felt like I just couldn’t keep up with what I was
demanding lovingly pushing my body to do but the focus was clear and the determination was fierce.
My life is so full of complexities I’m not sure what direction this blog is supposed to take. I write about struggles with food of which I still battle on a regular basis. I do the product reviews. I run the races (though few and far in between this year) and write the emotional recaps…
But there is so much more.
I don’t eat because I’m trying to lose weight. I eat because I am trying to remain a part of the small percentage of people that after losing weight keep it off. It was much easier when I had a set number of calories, a heart rate monitor to help me estimate how many calories I burned at the gym or on a run and a solid schedule to follow from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. Now I rely on how my clothes fit (or don’t fit) to tell me when I’m on track. A scale isn’t allowed in our house because the thought of stepping on it every day (and quite possibly up to 6 times a day) brings me to tears. I trust in my ability to cook meals at home, using fresh (as organic and local as possible) rather than a prepared frozen meal that I pop in the microwave as I calculate the recommended grams of protein to fats to carbohydrates.
I also eat because I am emotional.
Don’t want to feel left out.
Want to be like everyone else.
Don’t have cravings but just want to shove something in my piehole.
Because I can.
It was easier when I could talk myself out of plunging a spoon into a pint of ice cream because for the first time in my adult life I wanted to pronounce to the world I was now considered over weight instead of morbidly obese. It was easier only eating a slice of pizza instead of an entire pizza because I was *this close* to going down another pant size and I wanted to take another picture of all my pant sizes (in descending size order).
Instead of that sometimes encouraging little voice urging me to take the road to Onederland because I deserved to lose the weight, that very same voice whispers “Tara, it’s okay to eat that cake now. Remember you lost 110 pounds. So what if your pants feel a little tighter, they are still a size 10…a size 10!!! Remember when you were wearing a size 24???? In fact, eat a second slice…with some ice cream. Yes you already had some chips, and yes of course you’re full and really want to be done eating but look around you. Everyone else is enjoying the calorie heavy food. Just one bite…”
Just one more bite.
(Maybe you could purge afterwards)
It was easier when I was only conscious of the food I was eating when losing weight. When I was with Mitch it didn’t affect me the way he ate. We were on very different paths and those paths were travelling farther and farther apart. His long hours at work and most of my eating done before I got home didn’t leave much time for shared meals. He had no interest in losing weight and I had no interest in continuing to eat the way I had been.
It was easier when I was living on my own. My world consisted of a bedroom I rented, a cabinet in the kitchen and a few shelves in the refrigerator. Everything I bought and ate was for me and me alone. I didn’t have to worry about whether someone would grow bored of having the same thing for dinner every night for a week. I didn’t have to explain why I was choosing to eat off of a specific list of food items. I didn’t have to think about other people, their food and the emotions that came with what they chose to eat.
I never really knew what it felt like to feel someone else’s pain and struggle. It doesn’t help that having Aspergers means it takes me a really long time to make the connection from what someone is feeling to what actions I should be taking (that is another story and one I still am trying to understand and improve on). But with Meegan I feel her struggle. I see the frustrations that she has with food and the long recovery from being hit by a truck just a few short months ago. I want to stand firm making “healthier” choices but it’s so hard when she is suffering not only from physical pain but also the emotional pain of not being able to move the way she so desperately wants. I see the comfort (albeit so very temporary) certain foods bring her and I don’t want her to be in that place alone.
Even the role of gender was easier when I kept my mind shut to the possibility that there was more gender-variance under my very own skin than I was comfortable acknowledging. When I started working out it was because I wanted to lose weight and that was the focus. Now when I think about working out, it’s not because I want to keep my “girlish” figure but because I want my body to look like a boy. The longer I keep the weight off, the more the idea of gender-variance becomes stronger. In that there is fear and in that fear there is comfort in food…
This blog started out as as a girl trying to lose weight through food and exercise.
But that’s not who I am.
My life isn’t about losing weight.
It’s about trying to make sense of who I am in this relatively new body, living in a relatively new place. It’s about understanding that the struggles of other people affect me profoundly and that my own struggles have become very complex. I need to allow this blog to become all of that without fear of losing readership. Without fear that I’m choosing my words because of what I think people want to read but rather because my words are important no matter who reads them.
I’ve been holding back writing about gender, love, loss, moving on, changing focus and what it’s like living in the moment of who I am because I thought I had to be strict in keeping the focus on food and weight loss. But in reality food and weight loss (or maintenance) are such a small part of the much larger picture. The bigger picture includes other people and my relationship with Meegan. It includes the freedom to explore gender and what that means for me. It includes making sure I remain in that small percentage of people who lose and maintain a large amount of weight loss.
So we’ll see what happens around these parts. We’ll see if I can relax a little and without fear of opening the laptop because what I want to write about may have nothing to do with what I’m eating but instead about how I felt dressing up in a hot fedora and swanky suspenders. We’ll see if I can open up about loving someone so completely that for the first time I understand what it means when someone says “When you hurt, I hurt too” and finding comfort in food emotionally not because of my own physical pain but because of the pain in someone else. We’ll see if I can open up about Mitch and the loss of that relationship even more than a year later because it still affects me deeply to have hurt someone the way I did (even if it was unintentional).
Don’t get me wrong; the running of races and the epic recaps and reviews will still be here. They are as much a part of who I am as everything else that makes up that handsome looking beast over there.
(in case you were confused at who I was referring too)
buckle in kids…