There was a moment on the weekend when I had a glimpse of what it was like to just have a body, as opposed to The Body, that Thing that I waste so much time and energy worrying about. I was with my gorgeous boy at a park, we’d had lunch with his family and were rolling hard-boiled eggs down a hill. I was watching some kids playing on the swings.
"I see you’re bursting for a go on those swings," said my boy with a grin.
"Me? Noooo. I don’t think that seat is designed for the likes of my arse."
"Of course it is! Let’s go!"
To my surprise, I fit on the seat with room to spare. The two of us swang back and forth, made lame jokes about always wanting to be swingers, tried to make our swings crash into each other and yelled at his parents like five year olds, "Look at me! Look at meeeeeee!". It was such a thrill to feel so active and un-self-conscious and… normal.
24 hours later, I was sitting there beside him on the couch, my feet up on the coffee table.
"I hate my feet."
"You shouldn’t hate your feet. They’re great feet. They do what they’re supposed to do. You shouldn’t hate any of your body. It gets you from A to B in style."
"Yeah yeahhhhh, you always say that."
"Don’t worry, the lecture is over!"
I never wanted to be one of those Does My Bum Look Big In This chicks. For the most part I’m not. I’m more of a, Don’t You Agree My Tits Look Good In This chick. But last night I was poles apart from the swinging chick. All I could do was think of my flaws and how much weight I still have left to lose and my seeming inability to lose it.
I’ve really been struggling for the past six months or so. I have been hovering around 90 kilos all that time and cannot seem to get any lower. I know that if I could just knuckle down and work really hard I could lose the 15 kilos I need to get to the top of my healthy weight range, perhaps by this time next year or even sooner. If I could just tap into that determined, obsessive, all-or-nothing attitude that blasted away the last 60-something kilos, I know I could get there.
The thing is, the loss of that that passion/obsession for exercise and food has coincided with me finding, for the first time, just a passion/obsession for life itself. When I started this journey in 2001, losing weight was the entire focus of my life. It was pretty much all I had. I had withdrawn from my family and friends as I was so depressed about my weight, so when I finally decided to do something about it, it was a very private project with few interuptions.
But the more weight I lost the more confidence I gained, and I started to put together ‘a life’ of sorts. This past year, moving overseas has taken it to another level. I am just so excited to be here and to be experiencing so many new things. I have really come out of my shell and started to be more outgoing and adventurous, the person I always suspected I was under the lard suit. Some days I can’t believe I have a body that lets me be like this, the very same body that would hope her sister would pick up the mail so I wouldn’t have to walk all the way to the end of the driveway to the letterbox.
So yeah, I am just living it up now, so focused on friends and travel and love instead of losing weight being my entire existence. I know it’s a good thing to Get A Life, but as dumb as this will sound, there are days when I get frustrated at how I have let life get in the way of my weight loss. I’ve basically been maintaining since for six months – eating and exercising well for the most part, but eating out when I feel like it and only getting incidental exercise on the weekends coz I’m either working, sightseeing or getting cosy with the boy.
I can’t seem to find the right words to explain this strange mix of conflicting feelings I have about all this. It changes so quickly. There’s admiration and pride in myself and in body for all things it can do now because of my hard work, but it’s countered by frustration as I can’t seem to find the focus and determination to finish the job. One minute I am besotted with my new body and can’t stop staring at my collarbones in the mirror. A moment later I am cursing it, like my feet in yesterday’s case, which was just me indirectly saying "I am sick and tired of this whole lumpy mess of a body".
I know I need to take things up a notch if I want to shift more weight. I know I will need to focus. It’s just hard to do when for the first time in my life I have other things to be passionate about aside from losing weight. I am just stuck in this No Man’s Land, not dangerously obese anymore, not limited to elasticated pants, but still too big for my height and still unable to wear trendy clothes. Small enough to feel good about myself, but with the niggling knowledge that my jeans could be smaller than a size 18. I also think about the fact that a great percentage of diet bloggers have started their journey at my weight, or lower, yet here I am living it up like I’m already over the finish line.
And of course, it’s not just Having A Life that’s holding me back. There’s also fear. Fear that I won’t get smaller than this, fear because I’ve never been smaller than this in my adult life. Fear of actually getting off my arse and putting in the effort.
All that swinging and soul-searching has made me exhausted. That’ll do for now.