I can remember, many, many years ago, saying these words to my best friend, while observing a rather, shall we say, 'portly' (or, if you please, 'rotund'... 'corpulent'... 'well-padded') woman in a public setting:
"Good God. Please don't ever let me get that fat!"
Was it a nice thing to say? No. No, it certainly was not. But (and I know it doesn't matter, or make it any nicer) I didn't say it within earshot. She had no idea I thought she looked awful or that I was making my friend swear not to allow me to become like her. I was young. And, at times, insensitive. And there was no such thing as 'fat-shaming' back then. Honestly? There weren't as many fat people back then.
Still, it was not nice.
But you know what?
Karma, that's what.
My friend let me down. Way down. Way, way, way down.
See, I got on the scale this morning. For the first time in a while.
And I was afraid Ryan was going to have to call the rescue squad.
I'm guessing I now weigh the equivalent of a third-grader MORE than that fat woman from years ago. I am afraid I am the person skinny college girls look at and say to their best friends, "Good God. Please don't ever let me get that fat!"
Like I said, Karma, baby.
But seriously, how did this happen?
I could give you all sorts of excuses. It's been a rough year. I haven't been feeling well for a long time. I mean, hello! I have cancer!
Did it work for you?
Yeah. Even I didn't buy it.
The truth is, even though I haven't been feeling well for a while, it hasn't stopped me from shoveling all the wrong kinds of food into my mouth (which I've been doing since long before the cancer diagnosis). It hasn't stopped me from making excuses for skipping the gym (which I've been doing since long before the cancer diagnosis). It hasn't stopped me from stepping on the scale every so often to see what's going on, so that I don't have a cardiac episode when I eventually do step on.
In short, I have allowed this to happen.
And yes, I know all about how I need to love myself for who I am, no matter my flaws. I know I am more than the size of my ass (though, truly? I don't think I could be much more than that). I know my personality and my intelligence and my worth as a person have nothing to do with the size of my jeans (which is coming dangerously close to matching my age, for crying out loud).
I do! I know all that. I promise!
But the fact remains, if I gain one more pound, I'm going to be bedridden! And I don't want to get winded tying my shoes! And I would prefer it if my butt does not require its own zip code!
So I marched (where 'marched' equals 'walked slowly, so as not to hurt myself') my ample backside into the gym today and I scheduled several sessions with the personal trainer.
And to give you an idea about how serious I am? I didn't even check to see if I got the cute one.
I will get this in hand. I will. I'll eat better (real, whole foods)... I'll keep those appointments with the trainer (and I'll even do what he says)... I'll do all the right things. I know what they are... I know how and when and where to do them... and, most importantly, I know why I need to do them. My goal, beyond simply feeling (and looking) better, is to be as healthy as I can be; to avoid chemo for as long as possible; to keep my lymph nodes as small as I can for as long as I can. Now, is there any guarantee that living healthier will keep my cancer at bay? No. But I believe, wholeheartedly, that it will help... and if it doesn't, it certainly won't hurt.
And I will put a gag and a straight-jacket on the self-deprecating part of my psyche who seems to want to see me fall on my face. I'll unlock the door she's been guarding -- the one that houses the part of me who says kind things to myself, is encouraging, and who doesn't think I'm an enormous failure.
Although the enormous part is not inaccurate. Just sayin'.
OK, that was the last one. I promise. Really. Honest. The very last.
Yesterday I posted that my Word of the Year is light. So, here's to a lighter me in 2014... in every way.