I am in therapy for being fat. Truly. My excess weight, my failure to lose excess weight, my sometimes debilitating obsession with my excess weight got to a point where I was at a loss as to what to do next.
I now see this amazing woman who talks to me about things. She is very reasonable, very kind, very funny, and very encouraging. Despite the fact that I cry a lot during the sessions. And I am *not* cute when I cry. I went to her because I wanted to lose weight and I saw this as my only hope, but then so much more has happened.
First, I haven’t lost any weight. I am not actually completely sure about that because I don’t weigh myself anymore. I don’t count calories. I don’t write down what I eat. So completely weird. And scary. And liberating.
Second, I have learned a lot. People who are bullied to lose weight generally don’t. People who are made to feel badly about their weight generally don’t lose weight. Calorie restriction, limiting foods, and all other types of dieting generally don’t work for people. They work for some people. People I am insanely jealous of. But they don’t work for most people. Just ask the multi-bazillion dollar diet industry.
At our last session, she asked me a simple question that brought me to tears. What if you never lost weight?
Almost my whole life has been about being in the process of trying to lose weight or planning to try to lose weight. Lots of my life has changed, but that has never ever changed. Hating the way I look and changing it have been my constant companion.
That is very sad. And absurd. And that is why I cried. And also because that most likely will be the case, if past performance is an indicator. And I can’t live my life the way I want if I am fat.
I won’t find love.
I won’t be successful.
I won’t have friends.
I won’t be cool.
I won’t be worthy.
I won’t be healthy.
So my pretty therapist friend let me know that was BS, in her nice way. I have love. I am successful enough. I have friends. I am not cool, but losing weight won’t change that. Most importantly, I am worthy.
Which leaves health. And so I am going to be healthy. Exercise enough. Get enough water and fruits and vegetables. Because another thing I have learned is that thin doesn’t mean healthy and fat doesn’t mean unhealthy. I can work for health and still love myself and be fat. Yes, yes I can.
Which leaves really stupid things, like not having a lot of options in clothing and *other* people thinking I am not worthy because I am fat.
I don’t really have enough money or interest to be a clothes horse. And F people who judge me because I am fat. Seriously.
So I decided to just start liking myself.
This is of course harder said than done – talk of weight loss permeates lots of my life. And I encourage others to go where their path is taking them – which may be weight loss. But my path is taking me to work for health and to everyday like myself as much as I possibly can. And if anybody asks me what I am doing to lose weight or if I think I should lose weight, I am going to tell them that on August 10, 2011 I decided to like myself just the way I am and stop trying to lose weight.
At age 37 I am going to start living and loving my life, not failing at losing weight.