Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Number games:

When I graduated high school, I weighed 160lbs. I remember that distinctly because S. Zugschwerdt (real last name, although probably not spelled right. T. can you help me out here?) weighed 130lbs and I remember thinking how nice it would be to weigh that.

In college, I went up to 165-170 by eating four enormous meals a day, working out every morning, six days a week, and most afternoons, 3-4 days a week. Rock solid was how I looked by April every year.

In England, I rode my bicycle around Oxford, which is deceptively large for such a small country. I consumed warm beer and not much else, dropping my weight down to 155 or so. That summer I lived in Houston, rode my bike to work in 100+ degree heat, waiting tables at Red Lobster, and going 8-10 hours without eating.

Senior year of college, I made up for the weight loss and bounced back to 185.

I stayed at 180 for my first year of Peace Corps in Mongolia. I hated weighing that much and remembering wondering if J. would notice the stretch marks forming and spreading on my butt.

Then I hit a deep depression that involved a lot of running (for 30-45 minutes every day, I could only dream to be that lucky again to be seriously depressed and actually WANT to run) and not enough food. I constantly worried about not having enough food or water for myself and my cat, Buddy, who was killed during my trip to America in late summer. In the hospital in D.C., I stepped on the scale in the dining room (don't ask me why there was a scale there, it seemed weird for me to considering what floor I was on) and I weighed 155 and fit into a size 10.

In New Hampshire, I drank large amounts of freshly brewed light beer, fried foods, and pizza and went up to 182, which is what I weighed on the Planned Parenthood scale the day that I got the prescription for the birth control pill (which (ha!) ultimately failed).

Then I got pregnant and I don't talk about those weights or how big I actually got. I saw the number on the scale once and then never again. I'm embarassed and ashamed when I think back to then. I had Zac in July of 2005 and lost 40lbs my first week post-partum. Aunt Jen put it nicely when she said that I looked "squishy", like if she were to poke me with a pin, water would squirt out of the hole.

When I started Weight Watchers in April 2006, I weighed 197. I didn't fit into most of my size 16 clothes and I couldn't imagine being anything other than a lactating woman that still couldn't bend over. I threw away all my "skinny" clothes, including most of what I wore in New Hampshire (although clearly I wasn't that skinny then. I just didn't have the flap of extra skin around my belly button and the enormous breasts). Everything I owned was a size 16-18.

This morning, I stepped on the scale and it read 180, exactly. It was a little mind boggling because I don't feel like I've been doing that much differently lately, just trying not to binge. I was tempted to abuse my body after my conversations with J. the past couple of days but I've done well staying focusing and not eating hard foods (dental problems, not eating ones).

Throughout most of my teenaged and adult life, my life has been dictated by these numbers. I can't believe that I'm actually going to post them because I work so hard to hide what I actually weigh and coyly avoid discussing metrics of size and shape. This is Weight Watchers has given me - it's given me the confidence to say: I've lost 17 pounds and I feel better about myself at this weight. I have a long way to go, but I'm getting there.


g-starr said...

it is incredibly brave of you to publish all that, and you should be really proud of that 17 pounds.

of course, the most important thing is that you feel happy and not just what the scale says. but you seem to be doing well on both accounts. it's quite inspiring.

well done :o)

Ali said...

Woohoo! Good for you, I knew you could do it. Are you still going to the gym? Have you found a sitter for Zach yet? Keep it up, patience is a virtue!

p said...

What g-starr said!

p.s. I can't wait to see hippie Z in his tie-dyed beauty! Glad you got 'em...


Anonymous said...

Great for you for sharing with all of us this past post. Congrats on the 17lbs lost. That is wonderful. I have doing weight watchers for two weeks now and with just one weigh in I have lost 4.8lbs. I was shocked, but made me realize WW really does work.

Good for you for now eating when you were so upset after this past weekend. I am sure it was hard not to. I so tend to eat right after I get upset.

Anonymous said...

I know that took a lot of courage to post. I'm not up to doing that myself yet. Right now I am within a pound or two of you and am disappointed in myself because that is 10 pounds more than where I was a few months ago. We have decided to start WW up again on Nov. 1st, after the in-laws are gone and I have control of my kitchen again. Between now and then, I'm just trying to keep a little better eye on my portion sizes and snacking.

You are doing great and I'm sure you will continue to do so. All it takes is a little determination and control.

Anonymous said...

first of all, my sympathies for your cat.

secondly, i think it's really awesome that you made this post, and one of the things that continually impresses me about this blog-- aside from just how insightful your entries are-- is how honest and open they are.

i have the opposite problem-- i can go 10 days at a time eating only liquids, or i'll eat 8 kalamata olives and call it dinner. None of my clothes fit me anymore, and in the past few weeks, several people have greeted me with, "Holy sh*t, you're tiny!," rather than "hello."

so, as soon as i finish writing this, i'm going to go over to my pantry and make dinner for myself for real. (it's almost 9 and of course i haven't had dinner yet.) and not just broth, but actual food.

so thank you for that, and for making me reflect upon my own size, now and in the past, and helping me to take responsibility for that.


Stacey said...

I struggle with my own weight issues...that was a very motivational post. Must.get.back.on.treadmill!