Friday, October 22, 2010

Claiming the Big "O"


A couple of people have asked me why I started blogging NOW.  The idea of a blog always made me a little bit uncomfortable.  Mainly, it just seems incredibly exposed, but I also have always had a vague disdain for first person narrative.  Along came Carrie Bradshaw & we all became more comfortable with the inner monologue made public.  I still put it off until I hit 1/2 way through my trek--and I got pissed.   And so I wondered, why am I so angry when I have so much to be proud of?

I realized that I had shed a "wow" amount of weight.  I felt physically great, I was wearing clothes that I hadn't worn since college, I had more energy, people were starting to notice (& be brave enough to say something).  I should have been on cloud nine.  The problem was that I was acutely aware that I had an entire "wow" left to get rid of.  I cried for two weeks straight.  There wasn't anything that could be said or done, I just needed to cry.  I was angry at how far I had let things go.  I was mad at how long it takes to turn the titanic.  I was even mad when people gave me compliments.  I wanted to be able to wholeheartedly appreciate people's kind words, but all I could hear in the back of my head was "all of that gone & I'm still obese."

Yup, I'm saying it--the big "O."  And for the first time, I'm not afraid to say it.  Here is what I figured out through all of my tears & bitterness: hiding from obesity had walled me off from being able to appreciate how far I had come & kept me singularly focused on the end goal as opposed to the progress along the way.

According to the CDC, 34% of Americans are overweight & another 34% are obese.  While that is a (terrifying) majority, there is still an incredibly negative connotation to the words overweight & obese that go far beyond health risks.  Lazy, dirty & stupid are often synonyms for obese.  In my subconscious, perhaps if I didn't self identify as obese, I could avoid those associations.  The problem is that it isn't a secret that I'm obese.  It's written all over my body.  By shying away from the problem, I couldn't appreciate the success.  There's no solution if there isn't a problem.

I've now realized that the public nature of the problem requires a public solution for me to be able to work through it mentally.  Thus the blog.  It gives me a public medium, with enough perceived anonymity to satisfy my introverted tendencies. 

Distilled down, I know that I'm obese.  I'm not under the impression that I'm not & I know that you know it, too.  It doesn't matter how many V-necks, vertical stripes or black items I wear, it's still there.  I also know that I'm doing something about it & I appreciate that it is a long way from start to finish but there are great things that are happening from here to there.  Obese is a word that describes me for now, but it isn't a word that I will allow to define me anymore.


  1. But you don't look obese! It's exciting to take control of your own health and we wish you the best of luck. You also have something not everyone, obese or not, has -- lots of people who love you for just who you are. That means lots of support!

  2. I think this post is a wow! I think Gillan and Bob would say you had a break through!

    I've done it with my weight too, spent time crying being mad at myself. Did you know I did weight watchers? I love the program and the going to meetings to weight-in kept me motivated because I knew people were watching.

    What it didn't do a good job with was the mentality shift. I think that's what this blog is about; thinking through why and how and articulating it. It's important. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. As a side note, this post has really lobbed Google Ads a softball.

  4. Hi lady! Love this post-reminds me of one I did a couple of months back about the "f" word. You know the one! Love your blog!

    Here's the post, if you're interested.