Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Silver Lining?

Tonight's post begins with a statement of fact: I am not fat. I know it, all my friends know it, even God knows it. I am the size of a real person, so no one is going to solicit my services on a catwalk, but nonetheless I am not fat. To the right is a recent photo of me wearing a size 6 Betsey Johnson dress as a means of illustration. No, I don't wear a size 6 in every style of Betsey Johnson dress, but whatever.

Okay, it's possible I have a bit of a fat ass. And hips. But thanks to the popularity of Beyonce and J.Lo, it has, once again, become acceptable for women to be decently-endowed on the backside. I'm no fan of either Beyonce or J.Lo, but I owe them a debt of gratitude for that.

I'm saying all this so you don't think I have some skewed perception of my body when you read the rest of this post.

As I have written before on this space, I have gained quite a bit of weight over the last year and a half. You see, four years ago, I was the thinnest I had ever been. And I mean "ever." I was an overweight child and teenager, hence my knowledge that I am not currently fat. I lost a big chunk of weight during college and became quite the slender, if curvy, girl. And I would remain that way, give or take a few pound fluctuation, for the next 11 years.

Then, in the fall of 2002, I went through a teeny, tiny post-break-up depression. Not only did I get dumped (for which I now thank God), but in the aftermath, I learned that the guy in question was a complete lunatic. Honestly. We hadn't gone out that long, but we had been friends for a couple of years before the dating shenanigans began. So it was quite a surprise to learn that he was (is) an absolute mental case whom I couldn't even keep as a friend.

Believe me, such a revelation would kill your appetite, too.

I dropped almost 20 pounds during my blue period. Once this became clear to me, I figured I would gain it all back the minute I got my appetite back. However, as luck would have it, I started, through work, a free personal training program at the gym just as my appetite returned. So I lost a few more pounds and found myself the thinnest I had ever been. My friend Schleevin even expressed some concern after seeing a photo taken of me during that time, but I was perfectly healthy. Just really skinny. And I stayed that way through all of 2003 and 2004, rendering virtually all the clothes in my closet useless because they were too big. Not being a Rockefeller, only slowly was I able to replace my wardrobe with a few pieces that actually fit. But throughout the two years, I collected an array of appropriately-sized pants, tops and dresses. However, I was also smart enough not to throw out any of my pre-sadness/personal trainer clothing. I knew the weight could creep back at any time.

I will pause and tell you that, in all seriousness, I learned something very valuable during those two years. Being thinner does not mean being happier. Being a fat teen was no fun, but in my adulthood, I had all the same issues when I was really skinny that I'd had when I was curvier. And more than a few times in 2003 I found myself thinking, "At least I could eat more before..." I also fell into some slightly obsessive thinking about food during those two years. It was nothing really bad, but it wasn't terribly emotionally healthy either.

But back to the tale at hand. Flash forward to the present day, and I find myself with a different job. One that does not engage in any promotions that allow me to have a free personal trainer. I do still exercise a lot but not nearly as efficiently or effectively as when a trainer was cheering me on. Plus, my current job very often features snacks. Delicious snacks like pizza. Yummy. And workplace snacks aside, I just allow myself to eat more these days. A lot more. So between mid-2005 and now, I believe I have gained enough to put me close to my pre-fall of 2002 weight.

I won't lie, it has been a little hard to accept my expanding waistline. Not so hard that I stop eating, but hard nonetheless. But here is where the silver lining comes in. I was getting dressed the other morning, and I pulled out a skirt I had bought in 1998. I bought it from a fairly conservative store, so the skirt is not out of style. I put it on and discovered that it pretty much fits again. I began trying on several skirts I had retired during my super-skinny period and while still a tiny bit too big, they can be worn again.

So the silver lining on my weight gain is that I can re-introduce clothing I haven't been able to wear for almost four years. It's like a whole new wardrobe! As for the clothes I bought in 2003 and 2004, virtually all those tops, skirts and dresses still fit. Yes, I have about six pairs of pants that do nothing but laugh when I look at them, but what are you going to do? I now can get re-acquainted with clothes I once loved and restart my affair with them.

Okay, maybe I'm stretching here, but a girl's gotta find some way to look at the bright side of weight gain.

So that's how I am justifying my eating habits this evening. I was supposed to go cocktailing with my friend Katie tonight, but she was felled by an illness very much resembling food poisoning. Needless to say, we both thought it best that she take a raincheck. Tomorrow I have to work, even though it's supposed to be my day off. But then I'm going to dinner with Jack and Wendy before taking in Bart Davenport at the Rickshaw Stop. On Thursday it's Erin's birthday party, and on Friday I'm seeing a play at the Marsh before possibly catching Tippy Canoe and the Paddlemen at the Knock Out.

So it's probably for the best that I'm staying in tonight. I'm 37 and need to sleep like it at least a couple nights a week.


wendy said...

Girlfriend, you look HOT!
A few years ago, I heard something about women after 40 (not that you are ANYWHERE near that, that would be ME!). But, what I was told was that a woman, after 40, have to choose between her face or her ass. She can keep herself supersvelt and go all haggard (see Madonna, by way of example) or can carry an extra 20 pounds on her backside, in return for which, she can keep her full and youthful face. Frankly, I would choose(and CLEARLY have chosen) the latter.

Whatever you are doing, it is working, 'cause you look BEAUTIFUL! So, go on with your bad self! (to quote, um, you!) wendy

Mike Riley said...

No, you are definetely NOT fat. Take it from someone who knows fat. I'm in the midst of trying to get rid of the combined accumilation of 48 years of poor diet and minimalist exercise. It ain't easy, but it's the right thing to do.

(Great blog, by the bye. I thought I was the only broadcaster doing this sort of thing [yes, we ALL know Katie Couric is doing one, but frankly, given her ratings, who cares?]. Hang in, keep blogging, and STAY EMPLOYED!)

- MR