#3…Just This One Moment…July 2007

I burst into this month like a tap dancer on fire…losing 10 pounds the first two weeks. However, by mid-month my inspiration and motivation seem drained, and I find myself in a familiar place…I am ready to quit. I want to quit Weight Watchers. I want to quit writing. I can’t think of a column. I find myself swept up in a giant irrational flurry of insecurities and self-doubt. Slithering somewhere in the back of my mind is the fear that I will fail once again. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wonder if I should just quit now. In the midst of this I find a gorgeous rent house and begin to move in. I am exhausted and overwhelmed. What if I do fail? Or worse, what if I do succeed? What then? I am nervous of leaving the comfort of my misery that I love to wear like a silk wrap. I have a cute little habit of always being nervous and paranoid. Once, I decided to visit a psychiatrist. I had always imagined a psychiatrist visit to be deep and life changing like in the movies. I would sit there on a leather couch, and tragically, yet beautifully, chain smoke as I listened intently as the “doc” shared monumental life changing advice. There was no leather couch, no cigarettes, and no monumental advice. He suggested I suffered from depression and that losing interest in things was one symptom. I stopped seeing him that day. He had an annoying habit of judging me anyway. “I just need to focus. I need to not lose track.” “Please God; send me a little inspiration…”A smile surprises my face, and my heart high-fives itself. I realize I am doing something I have never done before…I set goals, and I am actually accomplishing them. I lose 5 more pounds and now weigh 169.3. Inspiration strikes, and I reclaim my motivation (just in the nick of time). In this one moment I am happy. And isn’t that all we can hope to change…or enjoy…or live anyway? Just this one present moment…

#2…So Far So Good…June 2007

My first Weight Watchers meeting was much less dramatic than I imagined. We were not all standing in a circle crying over why we are fat or making excuses like our mothers didn’t love us enough. Nor did I get to announce my name and have the whole group greet me simultaneously. First, we each privately weigh in. Being a stickler for accuracy, I remove any extremely heavy objects before stepping on the scale. I remove my rings, my sunglasses, my shoes, my earrings and last, but not least, my smile and my dignity. 197 pounds-hearing it out loud makes me woozy. The thin lady behind the counter doesn’t flinch. She is kind and encouraging. She points me in the direction of the meeting. A flash of a Mexican Pizza pops into my head, and I debate running for the door. “Focus, focus. Today I will change my life. Repeat. Today, I will change my life. Repeat.” The meeting is simple enough. Eat healthy. Eat less. I was hoping they rented out security guards that could taser me every time I was about to stuff my face with junk. But no…it is all up to me…damn it. The first week passes quickly and uneventfully. Sticking to my eating plan wasn’t so bad. However, I feel my life is dull without my Marlboro Lights. I wonder if they miss me as I miss them. Feeling just as fat as usual at my next “weigh in,” I quickly begin spewing excuses for why I haven’t lost weight. The thin lady smiles and informs me that I’ve lost 7 pounds. My attitude changes. There is more pep in my step. I am one bad mutha. The second week, I lose 3.2 pounds. The third and fourth weeks, I lose a combined total of 2.5 pounds. I stand up straight and take a deep breath. The first month is over. So far so good…

#1…On the Verge…May 2007

Have you ever felt like you were on the verge?…of a major change in your life?…on the verge of either really breaking down…or really, finally, breaking through? The morning came too quick, always does. (And probably just to specifically irritate the hell out of me.) I am able to judge my mood before I open my eyes. I am feeling blue. This means I will have to work extra hard today to be functional. There is no reason for my blueness that I care to offer you at this time. (We’ve only just met after all.) Nonetheless, I roll out of bed, opening my eyes just enough to give myself a look of disgust in the mirror. Today I will evaluate my current life circumstances. Today, I will make efforts to change. No…really. This time…I’m serious. I look deep into my brown eyes. I am 28 years old; I wait tables; I live with my parents; I have no college degree. I am 5 foot 3 and weigh 202 pounds, give or take 5 pounds (mostly give). God, how the hell did I wind up here? I move quickly, knowing that the self-deprecation and tears are of no use at this point. When you’re on the verge you have to move quickly because anything can give at anytime. I dress in my elastic-waist pants and extra large t-shirt. I don’t bother with make-up. Today is my first Weight Watchers meeting. Today, I have put off for years…today, I dread. I have always been “the fat one”…pretty face, funny, smart…”the fat one.” I live my life by the credo of “I’ll do it when I lose weight…needless to say I haven’t gotten much done. To get my “new life” off on the right start, I have reluctantly decided to get rid of my beloved Marlboro lights, beer, and late night Whataburger. Drastic times…Oh, but how will I survive without my morning power breakfast of Dr. Pepper and cigs? I’ll just have to worry about how I am going to land later…today, I am just going to jump…