How did I get here?
The thing that I find so sad is, I wasn’t really doing that badly for awhile there. I’d made another attempt at getting healthy last October. I was going to the gym plus walking the dog every second day. I had cut out so much crap from my diet. But I didn’t give myself any credit for any of that. Since the scales were only showing about half kilo losses (2 pounds or so) every week, or no loss at all, I got very angry at myself.
So little by little, the bad foods started creeping back into my diet. The chocolate, the icecream, the chips. Then the trips to the gym tapered off into nothing. Before I knew it, I’d put all the weight back on, and then some.
I think I’ve been waiting for some sort of epiphany. But there’s not been one dramatic moment, just lots of depressing realisations. On Christmas Eve I was slumped in an armchair at my mother’s house. It was a typical Australian summer afternoon, an energy-sapping 38 degrees. The ceiling fan groaned above me as I slurped away at my second bowl of ice cream. I felt listless and cranky. For the second Christmas in a row, I hadn’t called any of my high school friends to catch up while we were all home, because I didn’t want them to know how big I’d become. I knew I was pretty much settled in for the night, not having the energy to move my massive frame. My only plans for that night consisted of dinner, more dessert, then It’s A Wonderful Life on the television.
You know, I don’t think I feel so wonderful, I thought suddenly. I can’t remember the last time I felt wonderful.
I looked down at my bulky frame then looked across to my sister. I pointed to my sprawling stomach and whispered to her, Right after Christmas, I better do something about this.
So tonight we rocked up to Weight Watchers. My sister has a few pounds she’d like to shed, so she kindly tagged along with me.
I am no stranger to WW, having tried it no less than five times before. But that’s a saga I’ll save for another day. This time round I was terrified, because I knew how huge I was. Not just overweight anymore, but seriously obese.
The place was packed tonight. It felt like the whole city had made LOSE WEIGHT their New Years Resolution. And I quickly noticed that I was definitely the heaviest person in the room. I am getting used to that now. Urgh.
I looked at the scale they had and I knew I weighed more than it’s capacity. This was my worst nightmare. I was just like those Super Fat people you see on A Current Affair, and they have to be weighed on super scales they use for cattle, or maybe at a Heavy Vehicle weighing station. I told my sister I was too big for the scale. She suggested we wait til the end to get weighed, until after the meeting was finished.
The leader was really nice. I’ve had my share of dull and uninspiring ones, but this lady seems great. Very motivating. I felt that it would all be okay.
Then the meeting ended and they had to keep weighing the new people, there was that many of us. I waited right til the end after my sister was weighed and I felt my stomach churning with dread. The weighing lady was smiling, told me to hop on, but I told her that I thought I was too big for the scale. She looked surprised, probably because while I look very overweight, my height kinda disguises just how very heavy I am.
So she had to get the leader to come over and they had to add a special weight to the scale to increase its capacity to 160 kilos. My face was burning with shame. I felt so hideous up there. I must have looked like hell, because the weigh lady said, "You look like you’re about to crack up, don’t worry, we’re here to help you!"
Of course their kindness made me feel even worse and I felt the tears start to come. I can’t begin to describe how humiliating it is, being so huge you’re unweighable.
Finally they got it to balance, and the Leader looked at me and I started to cry. I couldn’t help it. I just felt like utter shit. I hated me so much at that moment.
"I’m not going to tell you what the scale read," she said. "I will write it down and we won’t worry about goal weights or anything for now. You made the big step coming here tonight and let’s just take it slowly from here."
She and the weigh-lady and her assistant and my sister were all looking at me with sympathy and pity and I just felt sick inside. I know they were being kind but I didn’t feel like being kind to me at that point. I was so huge she didn’t even want to tell me how much I weighed. I knew I was on the verge of full-on sobbing so I went over into the corner and hid. The leader came over and gave me a hug and told me it would be okay, I would get there, blah blah blah. But all I could think about was how ugly and hideous I am, how much I have to lose, I felt so overwhelmed. I couldn’t speak to her, only to say "sorry" over and over.
They were such lovely people, really. I especially liked the two weigh girls. Laughing all the time, cracking jokes, giving out little pearls of wisdom to the ladies. And young. I’d say late twenties, early thirties at the most. That’s quite a pleasant change from my previous experiences, where all the people were middle-aged housewives who I couldn’t relate to at all.
They kept reminding me that I’m not on my own this time. They are here to help. And I have my sister and we’re going to do it together. She is a legend. Sibling support network!
But still, I cried in the car all the way home. Pretty pathetic huh? My sister kept reminding me that tonight was the toughest night, it would all be much better after this. Must be positive.
Yeah, I knew that. But I saw my weight on that card. 159.2 kilograms. That’s 351 pounds. I need to lose more than half of my body to be considered healthy. I’m scared, I’m disgusted and I can’t believe I let it get this far.
But I am determined not to fail this time. I don’t want to feel as bad as I felt tonight ever again. So here I am telling the world all about it. Wish me luck… please?