Sunday, February 06, 2011

"What happened to you?"

On Friday, I rode two buses and a monorail to meet Jer downtown for a few drinks with his coworkers. We left when the karaoke started, but aside from getting inappropriately hit on by two different guys (with Jer sitting next to me), it was a good evening.

"For the love of God," I responded, "I'm wearing FLANNEL!"

Apparently flannel is like catnip to drunk dudes in Seattle.

Since then I've been sabotaging my diet for reasons I don't totally understand. Possibly because part of me thinks that would never have happened if I still weighed 20 more pounds. It's not the most apt comparison, but on Celebrity Fit Club I remember Kelly LeBrock (woman in red) said something similar I will paraphrase from memory. Excess weight protected her from unwanted attention from men. It became a literal safety blanket. And it was a real issue she had to face before she could commit to the program.

When she said that I thought it was all kinds of stupid because I didn't factor in the mental side of weight loss, at least for myself. The mind games, the thought traps, the self-sabotage. It's physical, I said. You put down the fork. You move more. Gimme a break.

Though I tell myself those drunk dudes weren't worth it and it was a fluke and I'm being too sensitive, there still is the very real issue that I've been skipping the gym and eating poorly and not tracking.

It's amazing what sticks with you. I was a cute, somewhat skinny kid up until third grade when I put on some weight. In sixth grade I made an effort to lose the weight, mostly by not eating. In seventh grade, a kid named Marvin bumped into me at the bicycle racks.

"I remember you in second grade Mr. Coop's class," he said. "You were so skinny. What happened to you?"

I've never consciously struggled with my size for any length of time because I am capable of large quantities of self-delusion. And it was always more important to me to be perceived as smart and capable instead of pretty and thin. But I won't lie to you. Words a 13 year old boy tossed off without even thinking are stuck in my brain 20 years later.

"What happened to you?"

Small, insidious moments shape you. Make you what you are. I don't believe I can have lasting change until I face it, deal with it, and let go. But first I have to admit it.

People say stupid things all the time. I am the queen of saying stupid things. It's your choice whether or not to let it affect you. I get that. So for the category of "Things boys-I-don't-know have said about my physical appearance" I need to admit that my shell thins out there and work harder to build it back up. Maybe invest in some repair work, like persistent positive self-talk. Or a new pair of jeans.

And hey, if I've said something stupid to you -- if I know you in real life the chances are good -- I sure can't take it back, but I hope you can make peace with it eventually. The words weren't launched as a weapon; I'm sorry if they struck true.

2 comments:

Dan said...

Very well expressed. It's like I've always said, don't let drunk dudes (or seventh graders) impact who you are or want to be. Words to live by. Give yourself a pass for Super Sunday, then try to get back on track Monday.

Christy said...

Thanks, Dan. :)

I seriously can't believe I've given a 13 year old that much power.