I want to look this good while jogging.

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I blatantly stole this image off Facebook, because I want to be this woman.

I look at her legs and her flat stomach and I want to be her. I want to look like that.

A stranger in a Facebook group for entrepreneurs told me I was beautiful after looking at the photos on my website, and my first inclination was not to be flattered or say thank you, but to explain it away… Great makeup guy, good lighting, and photoshop.

I’ve been doing OK lately, really. I’ve been exercising consistently, and not as any kind of punitive measure or even as any kind of “I’m going to trade exercise for food” game.  I’ve been not dieting and not really bingeing. Much.

OK, I did make those things where you put peanut butter cookie dough in a mini muffin tin and then press a Hershey’s kiss in the middle while they’re warm, and I ate like six of them.

But other than that…

(That’s actually a scary thing I haven’t faced yet: being responsible/normal/in-control around foods I normally binge on. One step at a time…)

I realized I’m not ready to count calories. I may never be. I’m trying to be OK with that.

I am writing down what I eat and weighing myself as the book says to do. I need to focus on that for another week at least — maybe until the holidays are over — before I move into swapping out other activities for bingeing. But I feel like I’m making progress.

I’ve been pruning and curating the media I consume. I’m getting rid of traditional women’s magazines and even food magazines. I’m replacing weight loss feeds with recovery feeds on my Facebook.

But one I haven’t got rid of yet is the Whole30 people on Facebook. That’s where that pretty girl up top came from. In her testimonial, she talks about how great she felt doing Whole30, and how it shaved minutes off her 5k time.

And she admits that she doesn’t normally look like that while she’s running.

But still, I want to be her.  I want to look like her. I want to feel happy and excited about running instead of just being proud that I dragged my ass out of bed and made it to the gym without falling asleep or forgetting my pants.

And so I’m going to unfollow Whole30 today.  No offense, Whole30.  It’s not you.

It’s me.

I ate mac and cheese and a cookie today, but it wasn’t a binge.

I’m reading “Overcoming Binge Eating,” and it’s kind of terrifying and awesome in the Old Testament sense.

It is extremely sobering to see yourself in the examples given in a scholarly text about eating disorders.

Like, I knew I had been diagnosed with an eating disorder.  Two actually.  The first therapist said “disordered eating” which is like general or not-otherwise-specified fucked up, and the second therapist said “binge eating disorder.”

But I thought I was kind of on the cusp. Like maybe I was just dipping my toe in the eating disorder waters.  I’m not that kind of eating disorder person, no, no.

Except I totally am.

I have not had a binge where I ate an entire bag of Oreos or chips or whatever since I was a teenager.  (Go me!) But my therapist and this book have pointed out, it’s not about the amount I eat, or the foods I eat, but the feeling of loss of control.

And I feel that  a lot.

So anyway, I’m reading this book and it’s pissing me off pretty royally.  And scaring me.  A lot.  (Who knew that showering in the dark was a symptom of a body image problem?? I thought it was just relaxing, but I’m now thinking it’s a symptom of something bigger.)

I discovered that Weight Watchers almost made me bulimic trying to get to my goal weight and then trying — desperately, flailingly — to stay within 3 pounds of that weight to continue to work there.  (You cannot even imagine the shame I felt when I got a letter from the regional supervisor that I was on probation for being 4.2 pounds over my goal weight.)

And I re-discovered the fact that diets are a big part of the problem for me.

*queue ENORMOUS sigh*

I am heavy right now. There’s just no two ways about it. I am 20 pounds over a weight I am OK with and 40 pounds over where Weight Watchers says I ought to be.

And I am really frustrated with the fact that the book tells me that I probably won’t lose any weight even if I successfully complete the self-help program and start to overcome my disorder.

Because — and this is like rubbing salt in the wound — people with binge eating disorder tend to binge on top of general overeating.

And I’m not supposed to diet or restrict because that can lead to a binge.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, BRAIN?  How did we get ourselves into this situation? I’m seriously angry about this and am considering filing a complaint with someone. Maybe God’s West Coast Rep.

I just… What am I supposed to do, then?  How am I supposed to FIX this? (Because God herself knows how much I need to fix things.)

OK, ok. I know what I’m “supposed” to do.  I’m supposed to follow the book. Concentrate on beating the binge demon. Create space for that first. Trust that the rest will follow.

I’m supposed to believe that once I am really and truly in recovery from my disorder, that the weight will come off by itself.

I’m supposed to believe that I can love myself thin.

I’m supposed to believe that magical fairies will come and suck the fat out of my stomach and thighs as I achieve enlightenment and no longer crave chocolate chip cookies or bread, but instead feel overwhelming urges to eat raw kale and lentils.

Wait. No lentils. They’re legumes and the devil’s food.

Or, no, wait. Legumes are a good source of lean protein.

But our paleolithic ancestors didn’t eat them. Probably because they were too busy being chased by saber toothed tigers to remember to soak their legumes overnight.

Because God knows, the only way to get nutrition out of legumes or grains or seeds or nuts is to soak them.

Wait, are we eating grains again?  Yes?  No?

Ok, but definitely not sugar, right?  Oh, honey is OK? And molasses?  It doesn’t matter that both of those are pure sugar?  OH I see. It’s only bad if it’s white.

And our flour is rancid. But wait, we’re not supposed to eat flour. So it doesn’t matter.

And don’t even get me started on butter. But lard is OK. Except, wait, doesn’t it contain saturated fats? What about trans fats?

I seem to have gone off on a tangent here…

The point is, I don’t see myself ever overcoming those thoughts. I don’t see myself ever loving myself thin. I don’t believe that will happen.  I DO NOT BELIEVE IT.

And I don’t know how to fix that part of me.

I am healthy and that bums me out.

All my test results came back normal, and I am a little bummed out about that.

See, last year my mom was diagnosed with several serious autoimmune conditions, including Celiac disease. All the literature says that means I am 30 percent more likely to have Celiac, and her doctor suggested that due to my health history, I should be tested.

So I finally got the appointment, got the blood tests.

And they all came back negative.

I do not have antibodies for Celiac disease. My thyroid levels are normal. My liver function is normal. My a1c and cholesterol are normal.

All in all, I’m pretty healthy.

And I find that depressing.

I think I was looking for something to blame.  I think I was looking for a diagnosis to say, “It’s not your fault that you’re overweight. You have these extenuating circumstances.”

I think, once again, I was looking for the magic bullet, the one thing I could change and be “fixed.”

I’m not sick.  Not that way, anyway.

Just fat.

And I’ve got nothing to blame that on except myself.

Stupid Ass Scale

Right now, I’m fighting the urge to binge, so I’m writing about it instead.

I got triggered by a consignment store, of all things.  (Although, I think this has been bubbling under the surface for a while. More on that in a mo.)

About six months ago, I cleaned out my closet and put everything that didn’t really fit into a trunk.  A couple of weeks ago, I felt strong enough to go through the trunk, so I got out all of the clothes and sorted them into keep, donate, consign piles.

I’ll admit it: I kept a few nice dresses that don’t actually fit me right now. I just couldn’t part with them. But I got rid of everything else.

Or, at least, I planned to. I took a big pile of nice clothes to a new consignment store near our house — probably 20+ items.  The lady took six.

Some things were too summery, which is fine, but I was surprised she didn’t take the lined wool pants or the black cashmere turtleneck, given she was looking for fall/winter clothes.  I tried not to feel judged.

Anyway, I paid my $12 fee to set up my consignment account and went on my merry way. Until the next day, when I got a call from the store owner, saying that she didn’t agree with the gal’s assessment, and I needed to come pick up four of the six things because they were “too summery.”

Well, that kinda pissed me off, but I hauled my butt back over there this afternoon to pick up the items: two long-sleeve blouses, a cotton sweater, and a boutique skirt. (Seriously? Too summery??)

And I put them back in my trunk with the rest of the pile of clothes that don’t fit, and started to cry.

I don’t know, there was just something about the combination of the clothes (read: ME) being rejected, combined with the fact that they are all clothes I used to wear, and like and feel good in that no longer fit, and it just all came crashing down.

~*~

Two weeks ago, I was feeling pretty good about myself.

I knew I was overweight, and over where I want to be to feel healthy and happy, but I wasn’t beating myself up about it. Overall, I was feeling pretty positive, like I could make the good changes and achieve the goals I set for myself.

And then I got on the fucking scale.

My therapist told me to throw it away months ago, and I couldn’t do it.  There’s a big part of me that wants to email her and say, “You were right. YOU WERE RIGHT!”

Stupid, fucking piece of shit scale.

It said a number I didn’t want to see.

And at the time, I thought I handled it pretty gracefully.  I said, “OK, well, that’s not what I want, but it’s just a number. It’s a starting place.”

And then I proceeded to have a downward spiral ever since.

I stopped exercising.

I started eating all kinds of junk food.

And I let the owner of a consignment store influence my self-worth and send me on a crying and almost-binging jag.  (So far, so good; it’s hard to eat and type at the same time…)

I am going on a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime vacation in four days. I am going to eat pasta in Italy, fish in Greece, tapas in Barcelona.

And I’m probably going to feel fat the whole time.

All because I was stupid enough to step on the stupid ass scale.

And I didn’t even REALIZE it. I didn’t realize I’d been triggered until I was sitting in my car, trying not to let my 4-year-old see me cry over the fact that my clothes don’t fit, because I’m trying to raise her WITHOUT all my food and body image baggage, and we are worth more than our clothing size or the number on the FUCKING SCALE.

I’m just so tired of feeling like a failure.  I’m so, so tired of this roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain. I’m so sick of it. I’m so done with it.

And I feel so lost because I do NOT know what the alternative is.  I do not know how to say fuck it and give up caring how much I weigh — GOD, I wish I did.

I’m so tired of letting myself down.

And so I’m not going to binge. I’m going to cry, and rant, and publish bad words on the Internet and hope that makes me feel better.

Because I honestly don’t know what else to do at this point. But at least I’m better enough to know that ice cream isn’t going to fix it.

A Beautiful Guide to Habits: Resources and Science

This is just a round-up of my favorite resources about creating and maintaining good habits.

A habit has 3 parts:

  1. The cue
  2. The routine
  3. The reward

It’s really hard to break a bad habit, but you can replace the routine with something else that gets you the same reward.

For example, if you get stressed out (cue) and go eat a snack (routine) to feel better (reward), you could replace the snack with something else that makes you feel better, like a cup of tea, a walk around the block, or calling a friend.

If you want to start a new good habit (routine), you need to give it a solid cue. For example, if you want to start doing sit-ups, your cue might be going to the bathroom. Every time you go to the bathroom (cue) you do three sit-ups (routine).  The cue doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to be something you’re already doing.

Measure what matters.

Studies show that we pay more attention to what we measure (kind of obvious). So if you want to be more mindful of something, like a habit, you need to track and measure it.

It also helps to schedule things; actually putting an appointment on the calendar to go to the gym might help you achieve it.

Finally, having support and accountability are key. Finding a friend, accountability partner, or group of like-minded people will help you achieve your goals.

Habits 101

  • Focus on physiological fundamentals because a) you have limited willpower and b) they will have the biggest long-term impact.
  • Identify one keystone habit that will MOST improve your life, and start there.
  • Make a 100% commitment for a set period of time.
  • Make it a daily habit.
  • Make it easy to win (tiny habits). Allow yourself to suck. Doing one push-up every day is better than 50 a day that you never do.

“One who has a clear and strong why can endure almost any how.” —Nietzsche

Vaulting Over Old Stories

I just did my first MovNat workout.

And by workout, I mean I tried not to fall over for about 10 minutes.

OK, let me back up a little bit.

Two moths ago (I really should update this blog more often) I hired a… I don’t even know what she is exactly.  I guess she’s a combination of a life coach and a personal trainer.  She’s a certified personal trainer, but for almost two months she didn’t tell me to do one squat or other exercise.

Because she believes you can layer exercise on top of all the emotional crap, but that crap is still going to be there in the long run. So we’ve been working for two and a half months on digging up and through the crap so that we could get me to a place where exercise isn’t anathema to me any more.

And it’s working.  Slowly.

Yesterday, I walked to the park with my daughter, and while she played on the playground, I did incline push-ups, crunches, leg lifts with her sitting on my knees, tricep dips, hanging from the bar (which was intended to be a tiny pull-up, but let’s be real, it was mostly hanging), and walking lunges around the entire perimeter of the playground.  And then we walked home.

And I’ve been getting that much exercise or more every day for the last two weeks or so.

THAT is a pretty big shift.

So, today we were on the phone for our second-to-last consult in this three month stint I hired her for, and she asked me, “How can we take this to the next level? What feels like the next level for you?”

And I hesitated.

I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but it was embarrassing.

But I realized as I felt embarrassed about it, that the embarrassment was more old crap, old stories bubbling up to the surface.  So, I blurted out:

“There’s this woman that I met at a conference, and we became friends on Facebook, and she’s into paleo and, like, parkour-style workouts, and I realize that I am literally not physically strong enough to do any of the stuff she does in her videos and stuff, but it kind of looks like fun.”

Except, it probably came out more like:

“There’sthiswomanthatImetataconference, andwebecamefriendson Facebook, and she’sintopaleoandparkourandIamnotstrongenough but it kind of looks like fun.”

I was embarrassed to even admit that something like parkour looked like fun, because it felt so far out of my wheelhouse, so far out of my story about myself and what I’m capable of.

And my coach took a deep breath and said, “Go for it.”

She reminded me that there are plenty of people out there who have overcome much bigger odds than I am looking at to go on American Ninja Warrior or whatever. She told me about a video of an overweight woman doing box burpees. (I searched for the video but couldn’t find it.) And I mentioned seeing an article recently about big girls doing yoga.

The point being: my story isn’t the whole story.  It’s true that I can’t vault over a wall right now.  I would probably fall on my head and kill myself.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t do it some day.

And then she said that it sounded to her like something in my story needed to do this.

My mind immediately flashed over to a post I put up on Facebook recently, about these super cool barrettes that are actually multi-tools, and one of my friends posted and said, “I always knew you were a baddass Bond girl!”

And I thought, “YES!” That’s what I want to be.  A badass Bond girl. I want to be Agent Carter. I want to be Black Widow (except, without all the killing and Russian mind control stuff.) I want to be super competent and capable and able to pick locks and vault over walls.

I don’t know why I want that, but I do.

And my coach said go for it.  Carefully. 😉  No broken bones, she said.

So she suggested this site, MovNat, and I looked it up and found a beginner workout.

And it’s very beginner.  And surprisingly hard. One part of it is jumping up onto a 12-inch tall box.  Well, I had an 8-inch tall stool, so I pulled that out, and for whatever reason, I couldn’t make myself jump onto it with both feet. I was leading with one foot.  (Maybe the landing surface is too small, I don’t know.)

So, instead of being daunted, I got out three bed pillows and jumped up onto those. And I could do that!  And it was still hard!  HA!

But I did it.

And THAT is the biggest shift of all.

Here’s the Deal

I haven’t posted here in a while because I thought I was doing OK.

I certainly wasn’t losing weight, but I wasn’t bingeing either.

I decided that maybe it was enough just to try to be normal for a while.

I think normal isn’t cutting it.

Because, here’s the thing I’ve realized: normal isn’t normal.

Here is some bullshit I believe about “normal”:

  • “Normal” people eat pizza and ice cream and burgers and fries and junk food.
  • “Normal” people do all that and stay skinny.
  • “Normal” people don’t have to give up food groups to be healthy or thin.
  • “Normal” people just move during their normal day, and maybe go hiking on the weekend or go to the gym a few times a week to stay fit.

Here’s the truth:

  • Normal people — as in average Americans — do eat all that crap. And the average American is fat.
  • The only person I know who can eat crap like that and stay skinny is my sister; and to be perfectly honest she eats tiny portions, is an incredibly picky eater, and has a thyroid problem.
  • People who are thin mostly don’t eat like that. They probably do avoid certain food groups.
  • And many people who are model/actor thin work out like crazy people all the time.

What brought all this on?  I ate half a bag of marshmallows today for no reason.  That in and of itself isn’t terrible, but yesterday I ate seven gluten-free chocolate chip cookies in one sitting — before going to a wine and cheese bar for dinner with my husband. And the day before that… Well, I don’t remember, but it hasn’t been a good week, OK?

And I was so pissed off at myself about those damned marshmallows.  I got up and took the dog on a three mile walk, and I asked myself what I thought my therapist would have asked me: “What does it say about you that you can’t give up junk food and sugar?”

It says I’m not in control. I’m a weak person. I’m a stupid person who makes poor choices even when she knows better.

And I asked myself: “What does it say about you if you give up some foods or go Paleo or whatever?”

It says I’m not in control — I have to choose a restrictive diet because I can’t control myself around food. It says I’m not a foodie.  It says I’m vain because I’m always dieting.

(And even saying those things out loud says to me that my brain is a pretty scary place to live.)

Anyway, I thought about it a lot, and I thought about doing another Whole30, and then I thought that was probably an overreaction to feeling crappy about my decisions. And then I thought about it some more.

I’ve been reveling in the idea that I can eat whatever I want.  But I’m not happy with the results that gets me for my health.

So now I’m going to eat Paleo. Most of the time. I’m going to make a few exceptions when it feels important, and I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I’m going to figure out how to make healthy my new normal.

Because “normal” just wasn’t cutting it.

Numbers Game

Why are we so obsessed with numbers?

I don’t really even like numbers that much. I’ve never been good at math. And yet they seem to rule this part of my life.

Calories. Fat grams. Points. Pounds. Ounces. Cups. Tablespoons.

Losing weight is a numbers game.

Last week at my session, I told my therapist I was going to go buy some bigger pants, because squeezing into my current ones — fresh from the dryer, especially — was an exercise in self loathing.

So today I went jeans shopping.

I ended up with two pairs two sizes bigger than the ones I wore to the store.

And yet, they don’t fit that much differently than the ones I was wearing. Have the ones I have stretched out with wear, and that’s why they seem similar? The in-between ones (at least, the brands I picked up) seemed too small, but the ones two sizes up seemed… Strange. A little baggy?  A little less form fitting?

I realized I have no idea how jeans are supposed to fit. Especially skinny jeans.

And why is it that places say that a size 32 is the same as a size 12, yet I have NEVER in my life fit into a size 32 — even when I was a US size 8??

It’s all numbers. Some brands have vanity sizing to make you feel better about yourself.

Once, a couple of years ago, I read that Tyra Banks weighed 164 pounds. And I at the time, weighed 164 pounds! I WAS THE SAME AS TYRA BANKS!!!! (Let’s ignore the fact that she’s probably two feet taller than me.)

It made me feel good about myself. But why?

Just recently, my very trim — and very tall — friend lamented that she couldn’t shake her 5 pounds of winter weight, making her 175.

I weighed 175 at the time! And yet, it didn’t make me feel better, because she was talking about how fat she felt at that weight.

Let me just explain to you that she’d have to strap a pillow to her midsection to look fat.

And so realizing that she felt fat the way she looked made me wonder, “What must she think of me?!”

I didn’t ask.

Today I weighed 0.8 pounds more than the last time I stepped on the scale — despite going to the gym four times last week and exercising for an average of 40 minutes each time. I ate 1/2 of a Panera carrot cake cupcake today, which was 9 points, and two slices of pizza, which were 15.

But I earned 18 Weight Watchers activity points last week, when my weekly average is usually closer to 5. I only ate half of that cupcake, and I only ate two slices of pizza, when I usually can easily put away 4.

And I had the guts to not only try on, but buy pants that don’t feel like they’re going to squeeze me in half or give me a muffin top that makes me want to cry.

Two steps forward? One step back?

Who the hell knows.

Raw Vegan Militants Need Not Apply

I’m frankly a little afraid of hiring a nutritionist.

I think I know what she is going to say, and that’s pretty much what scares me.

See, I’m not dumb. I actually know quite a lot about nutrition. I’ve read a lot (A LOT) of books on the subject of diet and weight loss. I know my fats from my carbohydrates. I understand macronutrients and micronutrients. And I definitely logically understand the laws of thermodynamics — calories in versus calories out.

That doesn’t mean I apply any of that to myself, though.

I understand. I just don’t seem to be able to make it stick.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you keep getting what you always got.

I asked online for recommendations for nutritionists, because my therapist couldn’t find any around here that she liked. Note to self: ask what her criteria were.

In any case, I got a handful of recommendations and started visiting their websites.

I immediately crossed off the list the one who is a raw vegan with a shaved head. That just ain’t gonna fly.

Several people mentioned that I really need to connect with the practitioner, that that is the most important thing. I specified that I wanted someone with experience dealing with binge eating disorder and who relies on whole foods.

(Are there nutritionists out there who would tell me to drink protein shakes and eat packaged snacks? Maybe not… I don’t know.)

Several of the other options looked OK.  One is having a free webinar next week, so I signed up for that, because I figured it would give me a good idea of what she’s like.

Most of them are from Canada. Not sure what that’s about.

Also not sure why I’m feeling so resistant to this. I feel like it’s going to be a waste of money, like a nutritionist can’t help me. I feel like I already know this shit, and am already not applying it — so how is paying someone $350 to tell me what I already know (eat food, not too much, mostly plants) going to help me?

I know what to do. I just can’t seem to get myself to do it.

This is my issue, not the nutritionists’. But I don’t know how to bust through this block.

F*ck You, Ms. Peavey

I cried in yoga class today.

This is not a first. It’s not even new. In fact, since starting yoga and therapy simultaneously, I’ve cried at least every other time I’ve gone.

Feelings hide in our bones, our muscles, in our tissues and sinew.

You think just because you were able to swallow that pride, blink back your tears, bite back your anger that it just went away? Nope. It becomes a part of you.

Until you let it out.

So, I was in a bridge, and my instructor came around and adjusted me, and suddenly the bridge was a lot harder.  And I felt angry tears welling up.

You suck at this. You can’t do this. Your body isn’t right for this. You should just give up and stop. 

Wow. I know that refrain. I didn’t explore it too deeply because, hey, I’m still working on this whole feeling my feelings business and didn’t particularly feel like feeling them in front of the whole yoga class.

But when I got to the car, I let it all go.  And it kept going…

…the whole drive home…

…while I took off my shoes and got ready to shower…

…and into the shower.

And as I was trying to let myself feel it, I finally landed on an image of why I was feeling what I was feeling: Elementary school PE class.

Spoiler alert: I hated PE class.

Twice a week for six years of my life, I went to Ms. Peavey’s gym to see what fresh hell awaited me. Group games and sports weren’t too bad.  I didn’t hate dodgeball or deck tennis, but I didn’t love them. Anything that called for me to do something in front of the class? Major anxiety inducer.

But the worst were the physical fitness tests.  Looking back on it, Ms. Peavey could have handled these things a lot better. I get that they were state (or possibly federal?) mandated tests, and I get that there were certain ranges we were supposed to fall into to pass.

But did we have to do the tests in front of the whole class? Did she have to weigh us and measure our body fat with the cruel, pinching caliper in front of two dozen scrutinizing peers?

What exactly was the point of the pull-up test when we never ever practiced pull-ups, or even regularly did any sort of arm-strengthening exercises? Just to test our natural arm strength? News flash: I have none.

And what — dear God someone please tell me — was the value in having us run the mile and then line up in order of our times?

I was dead last.  For six years.

Forget the fact that I had asthma. Forget the fact that I was not naturally an athletic kid, and therefore did not participate in any sort of extracurricular sports.

I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought there was something wrong with my body that it didn’t perform up to the President’s standards. (It was called the Presidential Fitness Test.) I thought there was something wrong with me that all my classmates could pass the tests, but I couldn’t.

And for a smart girl, it was doubly jarring to not be good at something in school.

But here’s the real kicker: No one ever told me differently.

I don’t remember anyone ever telling me that I could practice these things and get stronger, and do better on the tests if I wanted to. I don’t remember anyone ever encouraging me. I remember thinking that was it; if I couldn’t do a pull-up, I would never be able to do a pull-up.

I remember thinking Ms. Peavey hated me. That she wanted me to fail. That she singled me out to shame me into doing better somehow.  I remember, in fifth or sixth grade, deciding to walk the entire mile, not even jogging, and say screw it.

If I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail on my terms.

Fourth through sixth grade, I was in the gifted and talented program, and every Thursday, they bussed us to a different school for special programming.  I remember every single year hoping and praying that my class would have PE on Thursdays so I could miss out on at least one torture session a week.

Nope.  I missed art (which we only got once a week) for three years straight. I wonder if they figured we were getting enough creative expression in the G&T program.

It baffles me that I am still angry about all of this 25 years later.

And yet it doesn’t.

The extra weight around my middle is anger.  It’s anger and sadness and shame that I’ve tried to stuff down with food for 25 years. It’s the physical manifestation of being taught to believe my body was somehow not up to par, that I didn’t live up to what someone else thought I should be.

Well, fuck you, Ms. Peavey, wherever you are. Fuck you, Presidential Fitness Test. Fuck you, classmates who laughed and pointed fingers.

I am not broken. There is nothing wrong with my body. I am perfect and whole and almost miraculously capable.

And it only took me 25 years (and counting) to figure that out.