On Friday, while running errands, I was approached by a local reporter to comment on the impending shutdown of the Federal government. At first I protested explaining that I was a little emotional and fired up about it. She assured me that I would be perfect for her piece. I caved and gave my two cents.
I knew going into this that there was a chance that I would be on t.v., the local news, in all my day-to-day, unrehearsed fatness. I also knew that there wasn't a tree I could hide behind or a valid excuse for not showing a picture or clip of me. Subconsciously, I guess I knew that I would have to face reality and actually get to see how others see me. Yes, I did feel passionate about the story being reported but underneath it all it was an opportunity for me to face my fears and to see the real me. As a camera-shy person, agreeing to be videotaped and then revealed to a large viewing audience was a huge, ballsy step for me.
When I arrived home at five o'clock I told my family that I may actually make be on the news. I wasn't necessarily excited about it but I told my family so that they could offer their support to me in my reaction to how I saw myself. They knew I would need their reassurance and comfort.
My anticipation until 6:00 p.m., when the news started, was more of mental preparation to face the music of my reality. You see, for years, I've been living with a type of body dysmorphic disorder. I look in a mirror and pretty much see what I want to see. But, if for instance, I am out shopping and happen to pass by a mirror or reflective window unexpectedly, I'll avoid it or deny that what I see is me.
This is a pretty crappy way to live. The good thing is I have very few pictures of me in the last 14 years showcasing my morbid obesity. The bad thing is I have very few pictures of me and my loved ones and the celebrations and fun experiences we had. I cut myself out of the photograph of my own life.
I'm not sure why I was ready on this particular Friday to disrobe in public but I guess it is better now than never. I know that I keep gaining weight and I can no longer proceed on this course of unhealthiness. I am so ashamed of my lack of progress that I actually canceled my six-month checkup with my cardiologist because I did not lose weight like I told him I would. I rescheduled my appointment for September so that gives me a good five months to get to work and get serious.
Every Tuesday I watch NBC's, "The Biggest Loser". I sit and wonder (while I'm eating my popcorn on the couch) how I would handle a situation like that. And, yes, I realize I am a perfect candidate for that show. I could see myself in every contestant on the show. The one who makes excuses. The one who sneaks food and cheats. The one who complains, "I can't do it". The one who has an off-week and loses nothing or actually gains a pound! But, as the season comes to an end, and the contestants are nearer to their goal weight I can actually feel some of their power and self-confidence that I had thirty years ago when I lost weight.
But, I digress...
So, the six o'clock news came on and within the first five minutes I saw this woman that, I guess, is really me. What a fat pig, I think to myself. But, boy, does she sound empathetic and intelligent! The reporter ended up using four soundbytes from my interview. And, I was happy with how it turned out. Content-wise I was happy. Looks-wise? Oh, who could get past that quadruple chin?! My mom called to say that I didn't look too bad and I actually looked pretty. Nicolas said from the top of my chin and up I am a pretty woman. He also said that he would help me over the summer. He'll help motivate me, walk with me, and work out with me. After an oral commitment to my mom and son that I would try for the next five months to make some changes, I took a big step this morning.
I know most people begin diets on Monday morning and I am no exception. I got on the scale and weighed myself. I got my tape measure out and wrapped it around my waist. I made some goals, pasted them up on the refrigerator and vowed to make a concerted effort this time.
4/11/2011 First Weigh-In: