Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Bigger

Dieting sucks. It's one of my least favorite things to do. Right up there with throwing up. Which I guess explains why I would never be a successful bulimic.

And even though I hate it with a burning passion, I have been committed to losing weight for a while. Well, since July 2, 2007 at 5:47 pm if you want me to be more specific. The extra weight has been on my mind (and let's be honest, my ass) for some time. I mean, I'm not blind and I do own a mirror. Things were getting out of control. But there is a disconnect between my internal self image and my actual image image. You know how people with eating disorders always see themselves as bigger than they really are? Well sometimes when I look in the mirror, I guess I don't see The Bigger. I think sometimes I only see the skinny girl inside. I call this little phenomenon the anti-rexia.

So I guess that's how I let it get to the point where it was out of control. I tend to be a glass half full kind of girl and apparently I am a mirror half full kind of girl too. But then I started to notice things were a little off. For example, I would be talking to my friend Andrea S. on the phone while I was picking up toys or putting laundry away, and she would say "What are you doing, why are you so out of breath?" I hadn't noticed until that specific moment that I was indeed out of breath. And then there were a few really minor things, like the doctor telling me my blood pressure was too high. And then I had trouble with my gall bladder, which in my own defense is a very common issue with women who have had children. And are over weight. But who said I was over weight? I'm just a little fluffier than the average woman, right??

But then last year when Uberman and I went to London, we were on the tube (the Underground, the subway) going back to the hotel when I caught my reflection in the window across from me. It took me a minute to realize that it really was me. I couldn't see the skinny girl inside, I only saw The Bigger. And I don't know if it was the lighting in the United Kingdom or the change in altitude or what, but my anti-rexia was gone. And from that moment on, all I could see was The Bigger.

Of course, I spent the next several months trying to ignore The Bigger. Then resenting The Bigger. Being embarrassed by The Bigger. Getting to know The Bigger. Trying to accept The Bigger. Could The Bigger and I peacefully coexist? I was almost willing to try and make a go of it.

And you know how Oprah always says God throws you stone before he smacks you upside the head with a brick (I think I might be paraphrasing)? Well one day last summer, my hands were a little swollen, I can't remember why. Uberman noticed my wedding ring was cutting into my finger and told me I should take the ring off. I tried. It wouldn't budge. I started to get claustrophobic, like I was going to stop breathing if that ring did not come off rightthisveryminute. It took two hours, water, ice, butter, canola oil, lotion and a lot of profanities, but the ring finally came off. Leaving my finger, and my ego, bruised.

Two days later I still couldn't get my ring back on. Even though my fingers were no longer swollen. I was sad. Uberman tried so hard to be encouraging. "It's okay Babe, we'll just get it expanded." Yes he did! He really said that word. Expanded. I told him, in all the years we have been together (17 at the time, 13 of them being legally bound in the eyes of God and the state of Arizona), that was the most insensitive and rude thing he has ever said. Expanded?? How dare he! He may as well have said, we'll just get you a piece of drainage pipe big enough to fit around your enormously fat, cottage cheese dimpled finger.

I decided at that moment, The Bigger had to go. We had some good times together, The Bigger and I. Sucking back a few cold root beer floats while we noshed on some Krispy Kremes. But there was no more room in my favorite jeans for the both of us.

On July 2, 2007 at 5:47 pm, I joined that program where you count points. It's hard. It sucks. I miss cake and cookies and bread. I miss my mom's lasagna. I wish I could be more like Uberman's aunt Lolo, who actually likes to eat healthy. She will have a bowl of plain fruit and call it dessert. And be happy with calling it dessert. I was raised on Southern food. If it doesn't contain chocolate, cream or some kind of refined sugar, and it's not baked, deep fried and/or covered in whipped cream - it's NOT dessert!! But Lolo doesn't have a Bigger. Lucky Lolo.

It's been a little over 8 months. I have lost over 40 pounds. My blood pressure is normal. Household chores are no longer unintentional cardio. And most importantly (for me anyway) I am wearing my ring again. It even spins around on my finger by itself when I am typing. When I reach my goal weight, I will probably have to have it resized. And maybe one day, when I look in the mirror, I will meet The Smaller. And the bigger girl will hopefully be on the inside.

Because without The Bigger, I could never fully appreciate The Smaller.


RooseFam said...

LOL! That post was an emotional rollar coaster. Oh man, I love to laugh like that! But I completely empathize with you. Isn't it weird how we look in the mirror we don't usually see reality? I've been on both ends of that issue.

Oh man, the bulimia comment and the anti-rexia are still cracking me up...

Anyway, I'm so proud of you for losing so much weight and sticking with it. You really look amazing. Seeing you only once a month, I can see a difference every time!!!

aschmoel said...

Every day this week I have logged in to check your blog. Finally, someone confirmed what I had long been denying about Rick Springfield! Gracias for that! And Daniel Craig...who doesn't want that tasty treat for breakfast? Blue speedo and all!

No new post yesterday and then I log in today to find TWO! I have to admit that I am secretly addicted to reading your blogs and look forward the sunshine they bring into my crazy days @ work!

This post made me laugh and cry. I am so happy for you April. But mostly I am proud of you for sticking to it for so long. I just saw you on Sunday and you looked beautiful! Your watch was bigger than your butt!

Your strength is inspirational. When I am counting points, I can always find a way to justfiy 7 points for a Twix and Diet Coke...I guess that is why I have never lost more than 10 pounds on WW.

I love you!

Chris H said...

I see what you mean April... this is an awesome post. The Bigger , I like it! And I'm going to link it!

Anne said...

All the way from NZ! I loved reading that post!!! For so many years I buried my head in the sand and didn't even really look in a mirror. Too scared I suppose. I think we are all cabapable of burying our heads in the sand. Nowdays every now and then I get a pleasent surprise when catching a glimpse of myself in a shop window.

Will be back to read your older posts.

Name: Lynise said...

Hi, what a great post. I followed the link from Chris H and am another New Zealander with 'a bigger'. I was not bought up on fried or sugary foods, but have had a weight problem for a very long time. In fact, in my family of 'smallers' I am actually the only one who has a weight problem at all. (I thought this thing was suppose to be somewhat heredity, well apprantely not in my case).

But anyway, the whole family are definitely food people but tend to be BBQ's, pasta, meat and vegetables. No gathering seems to be complete without a table full of food to eat and enjoy.
Unfortunately, I enjoy the get togethers and the food, and the regret and disappointment in myself comes after the event when I'm alone trying to squeeze my 'bigger' into clothing, or trying to analyse why I can't seem to stick to a diet plan for more then a month until I slip back into my 'normal' ways.

Anyway, I'm ranting. Just basically wanted to say that I can relate to your post and hi from the bottom of the globe. lol

Amanda said...

Wow what a fabulous post! I came here through Chris H link on her blog. I was in tears at the end, very moved by every word in the post... because it felt like I was reading about myself. I cant wait to publish this comment so I can go and read some more of your blog. Congratulations on the 40 lbs loss! :) Greetings from Holland, Amanda.

Anonymous said...

Great post April! You are a very good writer!

I think you commented on my Mother's Day post... so you know I have a history of eating issues. I am currently BIGGER... actually the biggest I've ever been. When I was younger I had the distorted self image of being bigger than I was... Now, it is distorted in that I see myself smaller than I am. I am often shocked when I see pictures of myself or catch a glimpse of myself while shopping.

Congrats on your success. Very inspirational! I need to get back on plan. sigh...

Julie said...

Oh man, I just did the ring thing too. Our 15th anniversary is next week and I haven't even attempted to get it back on. Bigger swallowed me up too.