I Will Always Be Fat

Before...after...more afterer

Before…after…more afterer

I was born fat.  I have been fat, chubby, overweight or on my way to or from one of those adjectives my entire life.  It’s time to stop kidding myself that I will ever be anything else.

Some are yo-yo dieters, but not me.  I’m a mini-tramp dieter.

I made the cheer-leading squad in 8th grade because, despite my size, I had spirit, yes I did.  None of the factory-made uniforms in the school supply locker fit me.  The neighbor lady made mine from a generic pattern, which meant the style, fabric and colors were noticeably different from the rest of the squad’s.  That was mortifying, but I got over it.   As the biggest I was always on the bottom of the human pyramid and the tiny girls climbed all over me.  Jennae pulled my hair or poked me in the eye every time, accidentally but inevitably.   I learned to live with that, too.  My nemesis, however, my Waterloo, was the mini-tramp.

A mini-trampoline is like a regular one, except it stands only 1 foot off the ground and is about 3 feet in diameter.   The plan for our big cheer finale was for each of us to run at the mini-tramp, jump on, and then bounce up into a straight-back, 90-degree, spread-eagle, toe-toucher in mid-air.  We were supposed to yell our names and finish up by landing lightly and skipping off to the side, all the while smiling and clapping.

I did fine with the smiling, clapping and name yelling; every other part was a disaster.

I’m not athletic.  My run up to the trampoline was hesitant, I climbed on rather than bounded aboard, and I couldn’t do the splits.   I wound up doing a pathetic, hunched-over, leg-lift a mere foot in the air.  One time I landed flat on my face.  The worst part, though, the very worst, was whenever I jumped on the thing it hit the floor with an audible “whump.”  Every performance was gleefully watched by a gym-full of sneering, name-calling adolescent boys and smiling-in-your-face-while-stabbing-you-in-the-back junior high Barbie dolls.  Or so it seemed to the impartial observer, namely; me.

This has been the metaphor for my life-long struggle with weight;  I’m either gearing up for the jump into weight-loss, going down, hitting the bottom or, inevitably, springing right back up to where I started.  I can never stick the landing and run off cheering.

Guess which one has trouble stopping at one graham cracker for an afternoon snack?

Guess who can’t stop with one graham cracker for an after-school snack?

Check out this groovy family picture circa 1970.  Ignore, if you will, the funny clothes and hair styles, and concentrate on the people.  All 9 of us kids were raised the same way and fed the same food.   Yet there is only one chunkster in the bunch – the blonde butterball in the back.  That would be me.

A couple of years ago I took part in a well-publicized family weight loss challenge.  It was well publicized because I announced it here on the blog thinking that going public would be a powerful motivator.  It was.  I lost a lot of weight and won universal admiration and a bunch of my siblings’ money.  Four years later I’d gained most of the weight back.   I’m sure only good manners kept my sisters from demanding a refund.

We fat people give a lot of excuses, which we know in our hearts are bogus.

“I don’t know why I can’t lose – I never eat anything!”  That’s Selective Eating Amnesia. We eat so unconsciously we don’t realize we’ve consumed the entire contents of a co-worker’s candy dish while standing at her desk.  We finish off the kids’ plates, snack in the car and by the light of the open fridge and it doesn’t register in our brains.  It does register on our thighs.

“But I’ve got glands, metabolism, big bones, depression, age, take meds, etc.”  That’s crap and you know it.  I know it.  Granted, each and every one of those factors makes it harder, but the bottom line is if we take in more calories than we burn, we gain.  Take in less calories than we burn, we lose.  Period.

It’s not that I don’t know how to lose weight; I do.  It’s not that I lack discipline; I’ve done it countless times.  Most of us have.  10, 20, 40, 60 – I once lost close to 80 pounds.   I could use all the weight I’ve lost to form a small army, which would be great to have.  They could follow me around and provide constant reassurance that I’m still fabulous.  The problem is that my army won’t leave me.

They say you shouldn’t think in terms of diet.   They say in order to succeed at permanent weight-loss you have to change your life.   “They” can kiss my grits.   It is true you only have to change one, simple thing to succeed at permanent weight-loss, but here’s that thing:

You have to be on a starvation diet for the rest of your life.

I’m not about excuses, truly, but it’s clear to me that some of us are hardwired differently about food.  We’re missing the automatic on/off switch when it comes to eating.  Food is an addiction for us, and I think it’s the clingiest monkey you’ll ever try to throw off your back.

I smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day for over 15 years so I know a little about how tough it is to kick addictions.   I quit for 3 years, then started up again, then quit again and this time it stuck.   I haven’t had a puff in 20 years.  I finally got it through my thick skull that I can never have another cigarette.  Never.  Have.  Even.  One.   Because one is all it takes with an addict.

I’m not minimizing the brutality of addictions to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, but the thing is that we CAN quit them.  We can quit those things cold and never touch them again.  We can’t quit eating.  People like me have an angel sitting on one shoulder and a demon on the other and they are perpetually locked in mortal combat.  We have to pick sides every single time we open our mouths.

I know I’m not alone in this.  I hear you, Kirstie Alley.  I AM you, Oprah.

One time I was balking at the high cost of yet another diet – Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem; they all kind of blend together – and my husband said, “If there was a magic pill you could take to lose the weight, wouldn’t you buy it at any price?”  Point taken.  Signed up, lost a ton, gained it back.

There’s a reality show on TV called My Big Fat, Fabulous Life.   It’s about a lovely fat girl who advocates exercise for everyone, along with self-acceptance and no body shaming.   That’s great.   We should all love ourselves and we should get up and move as much as we are able.  I agree.  I’m also positive that girl would give anything to be thin – 100% positive.  If that magic pill did come on the market, even if it cost $1,000,000, she would be right in there with elbows jabbing, trying to get past me and the other Fatty McFatties stampeding to buy it.  She’s a lot younger than I am and probably in much better shape, but I still think I could take her.

I have a lot more years of desperation driving me.

This is the place where you might be expecting some sort of uplifting, self-affirming declaration like, “I’m through with diets.  I’m OK just the way I am, and so are YOU!”   Nope.  I want to be thin.  Thin looks better, thin is healthier, I know that and I want that.   We ALL want that.

Shoots of self-awareness have sprouted anew, curbing my eating and encouraging me to get outside and walk.  I’ve joined a gym.   I might even visit it someday.  I jumped on the diet mini-tramp and I’m losing weight again because I’m not giving up – I never will.

But I am weary to my bones of the endless, Sisyphean process of rolling this body up and down the same hill.  The truth has finally dawned on me; regardless of where I am on my mini-tramp journey, regardless of how my body looks on the outside at any single point in time, I will always be fat.

And that realization makes me sad.

Can I get an amen?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I wrote most of this last February when the third picture shown above was taken and I was only weeks into my latest attempt to lose weight.  The piece has been sitting in my drafts folder for almost 10 months.  I’ve revisited it since then, tweaking words and rearranging paragraphs, my finger hovering over the “Publish” button a dozen times.   I couldn’t bring myself to hit it.

If I’m being brutally honest with myself, something I usually try to avoid at all costs, I didn’t want to publish this for a couple of reasons.

  1. This is intensely personal. It’s as close to seeing me naked as the vast majority of you will ever get.
  2. I wanted to be able to say, “That was old-me. I’ve lost a ton since then, see? Now-me doesn’t look so bad!”  Like we used to do in the good old days of regular cameras when you took the picture, waited to finish the roll, waited to get it developed and finally saw the finished product when you picked it up at Walgreens 4 months later.  By that point you had full, self-deniability.  We can’t use that excuse in the modern era, sadly, when smart phone pictures are posted on Facebook before your smile muscles have recovered from saying “cheese.”
  3. I am ashamed. I am a reasonably intelligent, reasonably attractive, reasonably etc. woman and I cannot seem to conquer this.  The first thing the world notices about me is my body, and they judge me by this failing.  To a large extent, so do I.

I know you analytical types want the cold hard facts, so here’s where things stand:

  • 62 pounds: lost 5 years ago
  • 55 pounds: gained over the next 4 years
  • 48 pounds: lost in 2016
  • 5 pounds: gained over the holidays
  • 1 pound: lost in 2017

Welcome aboard my mini-tramp.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
This entry was posted in Biggest Loser: Family Edition, General Ramblings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

123 Responses to I Will Always Be Fat

  1. But check out the family photo. That says more than all the lbs. in the whole world.
    Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. k8edid says:

    Darling, I could have written that piece myself. In my life I have been everything from a size 2 to a size too big to mention.

    However, I do not recommend my current weight loss regimen. It is brutal.

    I honestly think that those of us in the larger than beauty and fashion standards size range spend far more time thinking about our size and weight than is really necessary. You are so smart, and funny, and frankly adorable – and I think far fewer people are judging you than you think. But I also understand the feelings of failure. I am a highly educated, determined woman and have been able to master nearly everything I have ever tackled (except backing up a boat trailer and maintaining a healthy weight). I get it.

    So AMEN and pass the biscuits. And honey.

    Like

  3. Piglove says:

    Yes you can have an AMEN sister!! I too was that girl in the back row of family pictures. Have been all of my life. For years I just knew I was adopted – why did the gene pool of good metabolism skip me? But at last, I’ve started yet again in a change my lifestyle of eating… rolls eyes now. Join me on my blog on Mondays for my Journey with Friends. It highlights all of us trying to do the same thing – get rid of that inner child yelling for food 🙂 Have a great Friday. XOXO – Bacon’s MOM

    Like

  4. I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO hear you with this post. I’m in the exact same boat as you – around the time my age hit double digits for the first time, my body expanded to fit that extra digit, and refuses to shrink back down.

    There are so many of us this post fits, and we’re all judging ourselves by the impossible standards set out by ‘society.’ Damn them all. I’m fat…and I’m SASSY. If you’re (society, not you…) going to judge me solely on the size of my pants, then you’re the shallow one, not me.

    Although I jumped on the low-carb bandwagon (because any diet that recommends eating bacon is my kind of diet!) in May last year, and it’s done some impressive things for me (from size 24 pants to size 16 pants) – I’m still nowhere near what society says is ‘healthy,’ and probably never will be.

    But I say that ‘healthy’ is more than a number on a scale – if you’re content with your life and your activities, you’ll be healthier than some skinny chick who could fall through the drain if she slipped in the shower.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    Kudos to you for writing this, Peg. You’re by no means alone in your struggles. It’s a complex issue, which is why I wrote a book with the theme. True, at the basic level it’s calories in/calories out, but it’s never quite that simple, is it? So many other factors peck at the equation, not the least of which is our body’s natural resistance to continued weight loss and its desire to store fat, biologic traits that served us well in caveman days when food was scarce but serve us poorly now in times of excess. Unfortunately our genes can’t change nearly as quickly as our food environment did, which is one of the reasons we’re in such a pickle.

    Thank you for such a great post. Your honesty and terrific writing make for a very compelling read.

    Like

  6. Al says:

    When I was about 11 my father took me aside for “The Talk.” I was a little apprehensive, but he quickly put me at ease. He began, “Son, (he always called me that, mainly because I was his son), as you mature now, you will find that you have a newfound fondness for those of the opposite gender. You will find that they smell better than boys, they are much softer than boys, they are fun to flirt with and it gives you a funny feeling when you touch them.” He continued, “You may even get an almost uncontrollable urge to touch them all over. This is all very natural and shouldn’t make you feel guilty.” And here is where he gave me the best advice ever, “I want you to pledge that you will never do one thing. What you must never do, at the risk of putting both you and the girl in a very bad situation, is to ever mention her weight!”

    This advice has stood me in good stead for over 60 years.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. It may seem defeatist to say ‘I will always be fat.’ Part of what keeps the weight-loss industry going is how much we love the idea that optimism and willpower can overcome our health challenges. ‘It’s okay to indulge if you’re willing to do the work.’ But it’s just not true. It’s so incredibly hard to keep weight off. It takes so much motivation, focus and conscious changing of lifestyle to lose weight, but the discouraging secret is that it’s much harder to keep off weight than to lose it. Your brain works and works and works to convince you to gain that weight back. The reality is exactly what you wrote: You have to be on that extreme diet for the rest of your life. I think we have to change the mindset of what’s realistically within our biological power. It may not help us much if we’ve already gained the weight, but it might change the mindset for future generations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks for your honesty. We are really sold a bill of goods to think we can arrive and then get off the boat. Getting and staying fit and thin is a lifelong activity, and there’s no way around it.

      Like

  8. OK- I know many will absolutely slam me for this- but- there are drugs out there now that help with the weight loss and the cravings. The part no one talks about is your body tries to be fat- it`s a holdover of when we had to dig and run for our food. We never knew when we`d be able to catch the next meal. We just need a few more millions of years to evolve. In the meantime, it just sucks all the way around.

    Like

  9. Margy says:

    How incredibly honest and brave, Peg. It makes me sad to think you are ashamed – when everything you write about your life says you shouldn’t be. I think you should be disappointed and angry at the beauty industry, the people who seem to hate ‘fat’ people, and the society that supports this quest for eternal youth and skinniness.

    I just found this item yesterday (https://bodyimagemovement.com/embrace-the-documentary/) and it was quite uplifting for all of us who are so very less than ‘perfect’!

    Like

  10. mandy says:

    I love your brazen honesty. And do you know how many relate to this post? Me especially. Thank you!

    Like

  11. At risk of being one of the few guys who steps into this thread… I find this whole weight loss thing fascinating. I read about, I focus on it, I work out regularly, I’ve tried tracking calories, I’ve tracked macros (fat vs. carbs vs. protein), I eat well (most of the time). It wasn’t always like this. I’ve never really struggled with weight but as I approach 50 I’ve seen it slowly creep up until a few years back I said enough is enough and made a lifestyle change. And it really was a lifestyle change, cut WAY back on sugar intake, eat more protein, drink less booze, eat a lot more stuff out of the ground or from trees and a lot less out of a box or a bag or a plastic container, drink a lot of water. I’ve always worked out some, but I kicked it up a notch, weight training most days and sprinting and playing basketball and pushing limits. To do that I’ve had to restructure and give less time to some other fun hobbies like playing my guitar and writing. Just a choice I made.

    You are right, food obviously is required… you know, or we die or something like that… but food marketing has given us a severely distorted sense of what real food is… eating good, healthy, real food can make you feel amazing! We’ve been fed a bill of goods a mile long by the medical establishment over the last three to four decades about low fat and eat more grains and don’t eat eggs and other BS that’s now proving to be grossly misguided. But food is also a “drug” for many, not much different than booze or cigs or whatever – much of that is sugar driven. It makes us feel good, soothes boredom, eases anxiety – and it drives much of our social existence. I’ve been there, done that – occasionally still do – and that’s okay.

    You are also correct that its a simple math problem – take in less than you burn equals weight loss, take in more than you burn equals weight gain. Certainly there’s more to it than that but that’s the jist of the issue. You either want it or you don’t. Exercise is only a part of that but it increases the burned number which lets you eat more! It’s a mental game too – I’ve told my wife, who’s also recently jumped on the health bandwagon – learn to be hungry sometimes, learn that it feels good to not aimlessly eat every time you feel a hunger pang, learn that you’ll be doing this for the rest of your life (OMFG the rest of my life?!?), learn that sometimes it’s okay to eat the donut or the piece of cake at a kids birthday party, or have some drinks and nachos with friends. But most of the time learn to make the decision that you’d rather drop (or maintain) weight instead of eating the donuts and nachos. It’s a decision – we make hundreds every day – which do you want? Make your food decisions (what and when) with as much care and forethought as you do with your work or your family or your expenses or your blogging or your social activities. No one said its easy…

    I’m sure I sound like I’m standing up on a pedestal but I’m a no excuses kind of person. “I don’t have time”, “It’s too hard”, “I don’t know which exercises to do”, “I don’t know which foods I should eat”, “A gym membership is too expensive”… blah, blah, blah, fuck all that. Unless you are working three jobs and raising four kids or have some major health problems, we ALL have time to exercise, we ALL have time to shop for proper food at the grocery store, we ALL have time for some recreational movement, we ALL can get down on the floor and do some body weight exercises, we ALL can cut back on things like sugar and bread and other valueless foods, we ALL can spend a little time Googling some fitness and nutrition information (there’s endless info out there FOR FREE!). Few of us, men or women, will ever look like the photoshopped models on the covers of magazines either – and perhaps that’s the most important deception that we all need to overcome… doesn’t mean being healthy and fit is still not incredibly important.

    Anyone that struggles with weight should spend a few weeks using a calorie tracker on their phone – I did it for about a month last year just to see what I was putting in my mouth. You don’t need to do it forever but they are simple to use and it’s a big eye-opener and teaches a lot about the caloric content and nutritional value of different foods. There’s a great meme that floats around the internet that says “if you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you are just bored”. Pretty much sums it up. People DON’T have to be on a starvation diet for the rest of their lives to stay at a healthy weight, they really don’t. Dieting doesn’t work – lifestyle change and making consistent healthy food choices and working out does. “Eat and Train” instead of “Diet and Exercise”.

    Thanks for sharing Peg! Your honesty and of course your humorous take on this whole thing was very refreshing!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks for your honest input. You’re so right about all this, especially about exercise. That’s the part that’s missing from my life right now, for the first time in years. Sure, I like to walk, but actual, break-a-sweat movement has been in short supply. I am resolved to get going on that now.

      BTW, I’m eating an apple with a spoon of peanut butter for lunch while I read your comment – I guess I’m not that bored right now. 🙂

      Like

      • Apple and PB, a most excellent choice! Certainly don’t rush into any extreme exercise routines but I’d encourage you to do some weight lifting – start as light as you need to and slowly increase. Don’t worry you aren’t going to end up like some female Arnold. But weight training is an amazing fat burner, builds muscle mass which in turn burns more calories and helps your joints feel better, etc. Sometimes you need to shock your body a bit into changing! I joke sometimes with people when they say they struggle to lose weight – I’ll say something to the effect of “if you went on that show Naked and Afraid and had to round up some stones and logs and branches and build a shelter, then hunt down some food and survive like that for a few weeks would you lose weight?” Yep!

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          You’re so right about the weight bearing exercise. I was a faithful gym rat with the weights and treadmill, etc until about 2 years ago. I gained weight and reached a point where I stopped going and haven’t gone back. I know it’s a matter of habit and I just have to get back into it.

          Like

  12. Thanks for writing this, Pego, and for being so honest about your weight loss ups and downs.

    I’ve been on a bit of a yo-yo thing since I had kids. I creep back up, then panic and try cut calories to get my pants to fit again. I’ve been over 200 pounds (sure, it was in the year after I had my first baby). I’ve been really thin without even trying (way back in high school). I do think we all have a set point of weight that’s genetic.

    Lately, I blame getting older. Your metabolism slows, so even losing just 5 pounds is hard. Throw menopause in there and damn, I am getting bigger by the minute. I gain weight if I don’t consciously try to eat better all the time and cut calories AND exercise. Just maintaining my weight is a challenge. My husband though? He just lost 35 pounds last year because he stopped drinking soda. It’s just not fair.

    What I also hate is how we all buy into the idea that thin is better or more attractive. We all do that. Personally, I think curves are beautiful. It’s just our bodies, though. Why are we so obsessed? I try to liken my body to a car I’m driving around while I’m here. As long as it gets me from point A to point B, it’s good. Still, I do want to be thinner and I’m ashamed to admit it. God, it’s annoying, isn’t it?! I should just accept me for who I am, dammit. A frumpy middle-aged menopausal rock star! YEAH!

    Anyway, I should just shut up now and get back to work.

    Also, I love you and you are a gorgeous, brilliant, amazing woman and don’t you ever forget it.

    Like

  13. Elyse says:

    It would be easy for me to say that you’re being too hard on yourself, because you are. We all are. We cannot look like the women whose bodies are before us wherever we look. We need to just accept that.

    Unlike you, I’ve never done the up and down elevator of weight loss and gain. I just keep going up. Until I look in the mirror, I’m relatively fine with that. About 60% of the gain is due to problems with Crohn’s. Often I can’t digest anything that would go on anybody’s healthy diet. Limited/no fiber. Limited/no roughage. A salad can double me over in pain. Lettuce is my enemy. Any exercise other than walking causes additional probs. Even with good excuses (and they really are doosies), it doesn’t matter. I am still fat.

    As you said of yourself in the title, I will probably always be fat. I have pretty much accepted that. And you know what? As long as I don’t look in the mirror or let anybody near me with a camera, I’m OK with that.

    Oh, and if they DO come up with a diet pill, be very careful. There really is no magic solution. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I hadn’t thought of what a challenge that would be for weight loss. I have noticed that, the older I get, the more unforgiving my digestive system is, but it’s mainly “bad” foods that do me in. To many carbs or refined sugars and I crash off them and fall asleep in my chair like an old lady.

      I would probably be leery of a pill anyway – I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to drugs and side effects. I have to remind myself to take my Vitamin D pill every day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Janu says:

    Love you Peg. You are gorgeous. I predict this is the last of the Yo-yo dieting.

    Like

  15. We could have been separated at birth. That see-saw, up and down ride is exhausting but like you I will continue to try because I like being thin more than I like being fat. 10 years ago I managed to lose 150 lbs. I literally was half the person I use to be. I felt awesome and didn’t look half bad either. I kept it off for about 4 years continually battling until now I am almost back where I started. Like you , I feel the shame, embarrassment and disappointment. I’m still trying though. Like you I quit smoking, twice. That seems like forever ago now but I know I can’t have one ever again. I lost all that weight once, I know I can do it again no matter how fat I am on the inside. You will do it, too. I know you will.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Your previous success is nothing short of phenomenal! And you know you can do it – it’s not a question of self control. It’s the foreverness about it that’s so discouraging, though, as Greatsby said above. Here’s to us and our will to prevail!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Raw, pure writing. Love your honesty. So many of us can relate, whether it be eating or a number of other challenges. I’m glad you hit that Publish button!

    Like

  17. marymtf says:

    My next door neighbour, Trixie, had the best advice. She said losing weight was easy. ‘Lock the pantry door,’ she said ‘and go for a walk.’ It’s an open secret, but still the exercise industry continues to thrive there are any number of machines hiding under my bed. I just don’t get it.

    Like

  18. I am wondering why you didn’t include a picture of your hot self right now for this piece. You should because you are so fabulously slim and fit right now.

    And yet, I know your fear. I have it now, after losing my weight in a nasty, unhealthy way.

    Afraid of putting it back on yet haven’t made those lifestyle changes the other posters have outlined. We all know what to do, it’s in the doing that it gets done.

    You’re a champ and so talented and pretty. No one can take that from you. Hugs!

    Like

  19. elvagreen123 says:

    Well, too bad we have to eat, right? I can identify with feeling ashamed. So sending you a digital hug. I have a niece who is very large. So large that when I went to visit her in November for the first time in her 30 years she warned me to not be alarmed. But, when she met me at the airport the first thing I saw was her smiling face. I told her that later because I realized later that her size meant nothing to me, being with her meant a helluva lot more.

    Like

  20. List of X says:

    My cold analytical skills tell me that you’re still about 50lb down, which is still very impressive. I’ve never really even mustered the willpower to even attempt to seriously lose weight.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It is a vexing task, always worrying about weight and health. Too bad you didn’t include a picture from today as you’re back to slim and fabulous. Well, you’re always fabulous and talented and one helluva writer. Love ya sister!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks sweetie, but slim is not exactly correct. I doubt I will ever be that. You are looking fabulous after the unfortunate sickness diet. Now all we have to do is not gain it back, right?

      Like

  22. Ninasusan says:

    Amen! I totally get you!

    Like

  23. I am fat too, and I know it is very hard to admit that to the public. I applaud you for your courage!

    Like

  24. Hi Peg, your post resonates with me on such a deep level. I have struggled with weight issues my whole adult life. I have tried diets and spent countless days at weight loss camps. I learned tips and techniques but never could quite put all the pieces together in my life. I allowed the reading on the scale define how I thought about myself for years. Imagine tying your self worth to a battery operated mindless machine, what a waste of mental and emotional energy. Recently, I seemed to have put the puzzle together in a way that is working for me and have made some permanent changes to the way I think about myself, eating and food in general. I want to encourage you to keep trying new ideas and combinations of ideas on a physical, mental, and spiritual level because the right mix is out there for you. In the mean time keep on being amazing because that is what you are no matter what the scale reads!

    Like

  25. It’s always so interesting to hear people put words to their inner voice and then show pictures, because by the way you talk about yourself it sounds like you’re 500 pounds, but you’re clearly nowhere close to that.

    I have no patience for the people who leave comments making weight loss something that is black and white. Our self-image is directly tied to our emotions, and it’s not simply “no excuses”. We grow up and live everyday in a world that tells us if we’re not a size two that we’re somehow less worthy of love, of admiration, etc… and that if we don’t fit a particular mold that we are automatically slovenly and unhealthy. The comment on here that pairs the word “fabulous” with “slim” deeply disturbs me as well, as your weight has nothing to do with how wonderful of a person you are, or how “hot” you are. All you have to do is look at 200 pound Ashley Graham to know that weight has nothing to do with sexy. As women we need to focus on owning ourselves and our fabulousness no matter what the scale says, and tell anybody who equates the amount of fat or lack thereof 2 how attractive we are as human beings to go f*** themselves.

    I’ve been everything from a size 4 to a size 20 and currently weigh about 80 pounds more than my naturally thin husband who has taught me a lot about body image and loving what we’ve got. Some people make jokes that my husband can eat 5 cheeseburgers and lose weight but for him he dealt with a lot of self-esteem issues growing up because he had such skinny little legs … and this man absolutely loves my curvy belly and ample booty and strong legs that hold it all up.

    As I prepare to turn 43 in a week and a half, I realize that all I want to feel now is strong. And if that means I lose weight then so be it… I’ve had an interesting relationship with food my whole life, with a father who died from complications based on his morbid obesity and an ex-husband who called me fat when I was a size 12, which is a size I always felt super sexy as, and when that happened I suddenly found myself drowning myself in food because I no longer was embracing my beautiful self both on the inside and out because he made me feel worthless if I wasn’t the size for that I was when he met me in high school. It’s been more than 10 years since I divorced him and a long struggle to regain my sense of self and loving the woman I am both inside and out. Sure I wouldn’t mind getting rid of these layers around my belly and the fat under my chin and having access to more clothing choices, but I’m sure as hell no longer going to let anyone tell me that I’m anything other than beautiful…Including myself.

    My weight may start with a 2, but my blood pressure and cholesterol and blood-sugar are all in great shape, I grow much of my own fruits and vegetables, cook healthy, and love riding my bike, hiking, and doing yoga whenever I can. Sure, if I want to be a smaller size I know what I need to do, but right now I have bigger fish to fry in my life and I know that when and if I want to do that that I will do it not because somebody else thinks I’m fat but because I want to get stronger.

    As women we need to staunchly defend each other’s wonderful diversity of shapes and sizes, and start calling out those who would tell us we are less than worthy simply because we don’t look like someone on television or in a magazine.

    You look f****** great in every photo. I urge you to own your awesomeness and bring your focus back to loving yourself no matter what, and not defining who you are by what the scale says.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks for your well thought-out comment. A couple of things…

      – The “fabulous slim” comment is from my sister. Although you have no way of knowing it, she’s not being insensitive or judgemental – she also struggles with her weight. She was seriously ill last year and the only silver lining to that experience was that she dropped a lot of weight. I think she’s conflicted about looking great being tied up in feeling miserable, as well as the constant problem of how to keep it off.
      – I know what you mean about good blood sugar, pressure, etc. I have been similarly blessed, and agree about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But food choices are part of the equation. Now I’m 57 and those numbers are starting to creep up. It seems some of us can dodge the bullet longer than others, but eventually our bodies catch up with our choices.
      – Your current body image and the attitude of your husband are fabulous. Thanks for the inspiration!

      Like

  26. Catacosmosis says:

    Love your post. I agree so much with so much of it, and love your writing! BUT, I have to disagree with your stance on meds – from my experience I think that the opinion that meds being an excuse for fatness is way off. I used to actually believe that myself, until I was 20 and was put on Zoloft. The only time I’ve ever been TRULY fat is when I was on antidepressant meds, and when I was on them I exercised double because I a) finally f***ing felt like it and b) knew they would make me fat. I’ve been on several varieties of antidepressant and benzo for my anxiety and panic disorder issues, and EVERY time, without fail, I get fat. It’s NOT because my eating habits change. In fact, the only thing that changes is my exercising habits because I am able to get out more and actually do more. On meds I eat less, am more active, and am more outgoing (hiking, biking, etc) because I’m not afraid to leave the house. I eat less because I’m conscious of the weight gain these meds cause and start dieting/calorie counting as soon as I begin taking them, and I’m more busy and don’t make time to eat. Yet, I gain weight. Zoloft, Mirt, and Prostiq have been the absolute worst. My highest weight on them has been 186, so far. I’m currently 151. I’m 38 now and my ability to shed weight is less than it used to be – I’m in early perimenopause and that, too, truly does make a huge difference in metabolism and weight gain/loss ability and realities. I’m not on meds right now – off for about a year and currently doing a holistic regiment that is helpful enough…and trying to find better ways of encouraging myself and overcoming my fears that are easier on my body as I get older. So maybe it’s just an exuse for you, or for others, but it’s not for everyone. Many medical conditions and meds DO cause weight issues and metabolism issues, and exercise and a clean diet DOESN’T always equal a fit body.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      No, no, I agree with you. I’m 57 so I KNOW that menopause makes it much more difficult to lose weight. I also have family members on anti-depressants and know that makes it a hell of a lot more difficult.

      All I’m saying is that more difficult doesn’t mean impossible. I’m not a scientist, but I believe that the bottom line is numbers – if our bodies burn more calories than they take in, they use up stored fat.

      Keep up the good work!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Peg, I can relate to your struggle. I have been on one diet or another for thirty years. Just when I have said, no more, I will be happy with who I am, the doctor starts harping on me about my health. So now I am faced with the challenge of changing everything about myself. Any advice will be welcome. Also, my sister had the same dress as your sister on your left in your family pictures. Gotta love the 70’s fashions.

    Like

  28. What do you mean funny clothes and hair styles? I see no evidence of that.

    Nine?!?! As in, one after eight, but before ten? They don’t do it that way anymore. It’s too difficult.

    You are Oprah with one slight difference.

    My family is most large. And I don’t mean there’s nine of us. My rolly-polly Italian Mama taught everyone that food = love. The more food you eat, the more love you have. What a recipe for disaster.

    Like

    • P.S. I do not struggle with my weight the way a lot of (most?) people do. But fear not. I still hang on my cross. It’s just for different horrors. They’re too horrible to put in a comment section or blog post but rest assured, I’ve escaped nothing. It’s just that I can have some Twinkies and weep about it and I won’t put on weight.

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        I hear you.

        If life has taught me only one thing (although I hope it has taught me a couple more things as well) it’s this:
        – Everybody carries their own cross. Some we can see and some we can’t, but ain’t nobody who gets out of this unscathed. And whatever our burden is, it doesn’t matter if someone else could lift it easily; if it is heavy to US, then it is heavy.

        Like

  29. Um, I didn’t know anyone else knew about the “on/off” eating switch. So at 63 years of age….I shall come to your fountain of knowledge and drink. Thank you for your open comradery and the gifts that you generously share!
    My name is Sylvia, and I follow you….gladly.

    Like

  30. I must commend your courage for posting this personal article. Being someone who struggles with body image myself, I must thank you for sharing your experience and for writing this account. Many thanks, E.J

    Like

  31. Here’s my secret to weight loss. I don’t share it with most people, but because you were so honest and open, I felt it was only fair. https://youtu.be/9XFaW8nX85Y

    My only problem is I don’t know where this is, so I sit and eat pretzels while watching it over and over. Sigh…

    Like

  32. i just stumbled upon your post and what amuses me is the fact that i am quite slim (and hate being called SKINNY) and Ghanaian. Now this is where when you are slim you are called all sorts of names and when you put on weight you get so much praise and compliments. So my struggle is different: avoiding the temptation to resort to fattening diets, or the use of pills to boost my appetite to make me, hopefully, put on some weight so I can get the compliments I would love to hear, (and put an end to questions like, ‘do you eat at all?’) I end up reminding myself that true worth is on the inside and i comfort myself with verses like ‘the Lord is not interested in the legs of man’ and ‘I am beautifully and wonderfully made’.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      How fascinating – beauty really is a function of culture, isn’t it? And you’re so right about our worth in God’s eyes having nothing to do with our bodies, but with our hearts, minds and souls.

      Like

  33. Hi Peg,
    Your post is very honest. I am also struggling to loose weight since ages :D.
    Tried gm diets and still surf about how to get a flat tummy, how to tone up thighs etc.
    In one way ,you are a great motivator ,as you said you never give up,neither do I.
    There is this constant reminder in my head that get up,you have to get out of your comfort zone.
    Getting out of our comfort zone is the only thing we have to do. And worry worry all the time is not going to help at all.
    So,i really thank you for your cool and humorous post. Keep posting,its a motivation.

    Love
    Neha

    Like

  34. I get this!! So relatable. I lost 100lb in 2015 and now… I’m only down 30lb down. Let’s do this! Xx

    Like

  35. starrpickle says:

    Wow, hats off to you. I know that must have been very hard to post. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      THanks. I suspect that what is the equivalent to standing nude in the town square to me, is a shoulder-shrugged “meh” to most skinny people. 🙂

      Like

      • starrpickle says:

        I think most people – skinny or not – would have a hard time stripping down and bearing it all. Thanks again for the candor. It is so hard to find these days. It was a great read.

        Like

  36. news5778 says:

    Been there done that. Truly what you really have to do is embrace your body and love it, this will help you alot. You already accepted it. No one is perfect and that’s life. We really all don’t look like we did in our 20’s; that’s the best part we are older and wiser. We don’t need anyone’s approval to accept and love ourselves for how we look on the outside. We are all beautiful soul and that’s what matters. So love yourself that much more when things get that much harder.

    Like

  37. I am right there with you. I was never ultra thin in my life. My sister was a stick, and I was the ball. My body never seemed to fit into the 70’s stick figure Twiggy clothes so my mom made mine. I was relatively normal of body frame until I hit puberty. Then I filled out and the filling out kept climbing until my first and only pregnancy. I gained 60 pounds on bedrest and it never left me. Weight then attached itself to me like a magnet whether I starved myself or followed diets or took meds. I found out I had metabolic disorder, making it almost impossible to get pregnant again, so I didn’t. Weight added slowly pound by pound. I am at 224 (down from 245 2 years ago) and stuck there. I am now pre diabetic, post back surgery, bad knees, depressed, have hypothyroidism, hypertension, and menopausal (damn hot flashes), all of which I am medicated for. Adding to my misery is a lack of family and friends where I am currently living. Where I am from in the Midwest, chunky is not abnormal. I now live in Texas, where the sun shines hard on my pale skin plumpness surrounded by hispanic dark haired beauties or blond skinny cheerleaders. It is a life long struggle that most do not understand. Whether genetics, medication, or mindset, some of us will always struggle to find the perfect body in ourselves that will never exist. We will always chase the dream like it’s as satisfying as a piece of chocolate. My body is now in such disrepair I have pain with exercise and being skinny is not an option. So, I am learning to accept it by just trying to eat as healthy as possible, try to not over eat, walk when I don’t have pain, and hope I have another 10 good walking years in my condemned frame. If you can exercise, do it and like it, because many of us have disabilities, medical problems, or physical limitations that prevent it. Praying you have success to meet your goals whatever they are.

    Like

  38. brookebeauty13 says:

    This was a really good read! It’s a double edged sword anyway you look at it though…I am skinny myself & people constantly ask me “are you eating?” “you look like your starving” all the great questions or whatever rude comments they have to say. I have a very hard time gaining weight. And I’m one of the most unhealthiest of eaters, I know not good. But even stripping down to nothing makes me uncomfortable. I believe as women, most of us do feel awkward in our birthday suit. There’s always going to be something we want to change or make better. We are quick to rip each other down, instead of building us up! I do makeup and hair for a living. I strive at making women feel beautiful in their own skin! I would love to help you anyway I could as well! You are a great women, beautiful writer and strong! Don’t let the way you look get you down…EVER!!

    Like

  39. susielindau says:

    Weight is a tough thing since we all have to eat. If I diet, I’m hungry all the time. I’ve had my battles especially since I have to sit in order to write, but this year, I’m taking breaks from the computer every day to get outside (except when I’m running a fever-ahem). That’s my new resolution and it really works on all kinds of levels.

    I don’t think weight is as important as health and I never judge anyone by size. I’ve been mopped up on the tennis court by women who are twice my size and don’t break a sweat while I’m soaked to my socks and can’t breathe.

    My daughter is a super fitness girl and goes on the 21-day Fix. I have adapted it since I put on a few pounds every winter. It’s a fruit, veggie, meat with some carbs, intelligent diet. She swears by it and it only lasts 21 days. She can barely eat all of the food for the day. It does require food prep, which is pretty popular among twenty-somethings these days. It gets her in the habit of eating healthy and her body craves it when the three weeks are over. I’m all about that!

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Pay attention to what your doctors say and stay healthy, my friend! I want you to live a long fun-filled life!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Your approach to food and weight is the healthy ideal – you remain pretty active most of the time, and dial back on eating when you’re not as active. For people like me, food is a hobby, not just a fuel, and that’s why we run into trouble.

      I’ve got the binge eating under control, for now, and the next step is to ramp up the exercise. You inspire me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • susielindau says:

        I’m so glad to hear that, Peg! Weight is such a touchy issue. After I gained my freshman fifteen, I overheard my favorite uncle say, “She’s gotten really fat, hasn’t she?” So rude! It really hurt my feelings.
        Fear of gaining weight again is a great motivator.

        Like

  40. I am you and you are me. 😱😱 And I love you!! Way to tell it and to own it! I’ll toast to this with a Sangria and nachos with extra cheese.

    I have my long list of excuses, it’s the prednisone, it’s the RA, it’s my feet, it’s the full moon – some may be contributing to my weight gain but I know that I love food, period. It doesn’t necessarily comfort me, it’s more about the good taste. I must have overactive taste buds that climax when there’s food in my mouth!! (Ew)

    Like

  41. Amen! I myself could use to lose over 70 pounds. I like to think that I still look pretty good, and I do think that, until I see pictures of myself and then I’m all, “Jesus Christ, Don…” It is what it is. I should be even more ashamed than those who’ve always struggled with weight, because I’m not built to be fat. It’s not in my genes. I’ve had to work hard, with 20 plus years of poor eating, binge drinking and disregard for exercise. The sad thing is, if I applied myself even a little bit, I could probably lose weight pretty easily, but it really is hard. Old habits are hard to break and I really love to eat good food. Plus, so many places give a cop half off or even free food that it doesn’t help. If losing weight is what you want, then I am rooting for you. At the end of the day though, we should be doing what makes us happy, as long as we’re not hurting others. I want to be thinner so I can keep up with my little ones and maybe not drop dead of a heart attack at 46 years old, so there is that. Let’s do this, girl!!! Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      Exactly! You reach a point where it occurs to you that carrying around all that extra weight can KILL you, and that’s not fair to those little ones. Let’s do it indeed, Don! Within moderation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  42. This is so honest, brave and encouraging…thanks!!!

    Like

  43. I understand completely. I lost 40 pounds, and while caring for Mom and Dad, I gained it all back because I didn’t have time to exercise. (That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.) It’s so frustrating to think that I did all of that work for nothing. Oh well… It’s back to the exercise bike for me.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      There really is something to that – it takes time to be healthy. It’s much quicker to eat junk food and lie around, especially if you’re exhausted by daily life. I need to start exercising, as it has been way too long.

      Like

  44. Nurse Laura says:

    I really enjoy your style of writing and your topic speaks to me. I was always the chubby baby and chubby kid in the hand me down clothes. I didn’t even notice when I was no longer chubby looking in high school because I was still chubby in my mind. I’m not sure how I maintained a healthy weight or what had changed. As soon as I started having babies it all changed. I went from 120 to 170 with the first. I went from 130 to 200 with the second. I lost all the weight after that baby and gained a couple of pounds when I gave up my gym membership post divorce. I was happy at 130-140 and happy with how I looked. I went from 150 to 210 with baby number 3 and 150 to 205 with baby number four (loosing all the weight between babies). This may not seem like a big deal because I lost the weight, so who cares? I struggle with EVERY BITE. When I stop being very strict I gain weight right away. It sucks. I feel your pain. Good luck on your journey.

    Like

  45. I feel you on this. I really do. I’m so sorry it has been a roller coaster. I have lost about 70 pounds and I know I have to keep doing my tracking, weighing and measuring forever if I want to keep the weight off. I don’t feel like I’m on a starvation diet though… I could keep doing this forever and be perfectly happy! Maybe you just haven’t had the “click” yet; in a routine that you could do indefinitely? Anyway, hugs! Sharing these feelings is really tough!

    Like

  46. Atheria says:

    I found your blog by accident…although I don’t believe in “accidents” or “coincidences”. I don’t believe you, or anyone…unless he/she has a MAJOR endocrine problem…is fated to be overweight. That being said, not everyone is meant to be a size 0 either. Bone structure is set in stone. I happen to have miniscule bones. When I saw my first DEXA scan in 4/2014 I could not believe how tiny my bones are. Like, how do those hips and femurs hold me up?! I have a friend whose femur weighs more than my entire body! (Good news for her is that she will never have an osteoporosis problem.)

    I have come to the conclusion that the calorie thing….3,500 = one pound….is a bunch of shit. I can gain a pound on 200 extra calories (in one day!) or lose 2 lbs. (in one day!) depending on how much anxiety/stress I’m under…..and HORMONES. I just read about a guy on The Biggest Loser who gained 30 lbs. between Thursday and Sunday or Monday because he screwed up his metabolism so bad! Many things come into play regarding metabolism. At 50, I have to live on almost nothing to keep weight off…..but…..I’m obsessive and live on almost nothing. Menopause time does wreak havoc….ugh.

    I’m vegan, and I really do think that avoiding animal products makes it easier to keep weight off. Dairy is especially evil. Unrelatedly, numerous personal trainers have told me that 90% of physique is DIET…..not exercise. In my experience, that’s true. (I do love mini trampolines but my bladder control issues now make bouncing a wet experience.) I can exercise for hours a day (used to do 3 hours) and it just makes me so much hungrier that I eat more and don’t lose anything.

    http://lanimuelrath.com/my-mcdougall-diet-failure/ What I like about Lani’s story is what she said about how animals in the wild don’t get fat….that there HAS to be a way of eating that humans are meant to do, that keeps them fit and not constantly hungry.

    Personally, I’m just going to become a breatharian and stop eating altogether. That would solve weight and digestive issues. 😕

    Best wishes,
    Atheria

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I think the breatharian concept could really catch on. Too bad I LIKE to eat so much.

      Obesity is a direct result of prosperity. Our bodies were designed, like other animals, to live off scarce food resources. Our bodies think they’re doing us a favor by storing up fat so we can ride out the next famine. The problem is that there isn’t a next famine – food is cheap and plentiful (although it seems obscene to say plentiful food is a problem.)

      Stay tuned for an upcoming post where I present a revolutionary diet that plays off this fact. 🙂

      Like

  47. Kudos to you on your journey:) thank you for writing this – so many can relate!

    Like

  48. Nicole says:

    So relatable! Do you think that you will finally come to terms with just being heavier, or will this be a lifelong battle for you?

    Like

  49. Amazing brave writing.
    I can relate to having always carried too much weight in a state and place (So Cal Beachtown) where nobody was fat… and I got lots of exercise. But I am a chubby person and hated that shape,
    NOW for the first time I am really fat. I need to lose about 70 lbs. I am having a helluva time taking it off at 61 (came on due to a surgery and being laid up) and don’t know if I ever will.

    Like

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