On Thursday, I had a conversation with my brand spankin’ new primary doctor, Dr. S., &, while it wasn’t anything anyone hadn’t said to me before, there it was again:
“You need to lose weight.”
And I knew that, I did. I just didn’t understand it, I suppose, because I stopped weighing myself on a scale long ago, & had weighed myself in the opinions of others & myself. Men still found me attractive; my friends still told me I was pretty; I could look in the mirror and like what I saw there. Then, Dr. S. showed me her chart, showed me what the scale said, &, all at once, I understood.
260.8 pounds. Two-hundred & sixty point eight. On my 5’5” frame, that’s just… I was appalled. I had never thought I weighed that much, that close to 300 & that far from 200. That’s more than halfway to 500. I could not believe how far I let myself go.
I’ve always been heavy. I remember starting high school by barely squeezing into a pair of size 13 flared jeans. I remember graduating at a size 16, skipping prom because they didn’t make pretty dresses in “size fat.” I remember dating my first serious boyfriend at a size 18 & him telling me I was pretty. & I remember him leaving me at a size 20, because I was getting “too fat.” But, through it all, I’d always liked myself.
I have a mother who tells me I’m pretty & a father who tells me the same. I have a brother who, though he poked fun at me when we were kids, is my biggest champion, always thinking I can do better & that I should want better, because I deserve the world. &, in a way, I think they’ve done me a disservice. Because 260.8 isn’t pretty. 260.8 is, by the standards of the CDC, well into obese territory.
“Your BMI is 43.4, indicating your weight is in the Obese category for adults of your height. For your height, a normal weight range would be from 111 to 150 pounds. People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.”
They left off “death,” but that’s probably because it’s not a chronic condition. It can only happen once, from what I know. But, at 260.8, it’s not hard to imagine it happening. That was the biggest wake up call of all: I am eating myself to death.
I have this friend, & I’ll leave her nameless because that’s the appropriate thing to do, & this friend is a recovering heroin addict. Heroin. I knew her on the drugs & I knew her off of them. I watched her journey out of addiction & into recovery, & she did it with such grace & determination. & when I got home from the doctor on Thursday, she was all I could think about. Because, if she can get off heroin, one of the most addictive drugs known to man, I can put down the damn bag of chips & get off my ass. So, that’s what I did, what I’m doing.
I am quitting my addiction. One day at a time. & I invite you to come along for the ride.