Not Just Your Garden-Variety Neurotic Smartass.

Stress and Fat.

(CW: This talks about weight and fat, and while I have absolutely no problem with any other person’s size or shape, I have a history of eating disorders and most definitely have an adverse reaction to being overweight. If this offends you, you might want to skip this particular post.)

Hello from the woman that doesn’t update nearly enough. Life has been crazy with physical therapy three times a week, seizures, landlord duties, and needy pets; but I am hanging in there.

What’s really on my mind this morning – aside from the 1200 other things on my mind – is fat, specifically my fat. I don’t care about anyone else’s fat.

Since giving birth to my daughter in 1998, I’ve traveled up and down the scale a fair few times. I have always struggled with food and weight and the mind-numbing stress of anorexia, bulimia, and also binge eating.

The way food and weight have affected my life is profound. I have severely weakened (and quite a few missing) teeth as a result, I’ve had stomach bleeding and esophageal tears, and I often wonder whether all of it has had a profound effect on my general health, which is typically not good.

At the beginning of 2019, I weighed in at a reasonable 140 pounds for my 5’10 frame. At this moment in time I am 250 pounds.

I assure you that as much as I have blathered on about my life online, that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to type.

I injured my shoulder badly in June of ‘19, and after that I stopped going to the gym and gained quite a bit of weight throughout the rest of that year. Then in 2020 both Covid and my shoulder replacement happened, and the rest is my DoorDash history, so to speak.

I don’t recognize myself. I went from being a person who got up at four to go to the gym every day and wore a size eight to a person who can literally grab a big handful of fat under her chin. I am inactive except for physical therapy, and I typically don’t eat until the evening, when I pull out all the stops.

I know how to eat properly and also what to eat. As an eating disordered person, I could expound on every available diet for days, and probably could rattle off the calorie and carbohydrate content of most foods, but the problem lies in practice. I am never physically hungry – I either Want or Don’t Want. Lately, I Want. It’s tied into stress.

Therapists and shrinks have been largely useless in dealing with this problem – there is no magic psychiatric medication to fix an eating disorder, and they are notoriously difficult to treat. I have had most psychiatrists give me such useless advice that it’s comical, such as “Just eat celery with salsa” or “Just don’t think about food”.

All my life I have thought about food, because the eating of it or removal of it or the denial of it has been such an inherent part of my psyche that I wish that I could survive from just taking a pill three or four times a day and avoid food altogether. That has been a lifelong dream of mine, that and unzipping my body and stepping out of it as an absolutely svelte person without putting in any of the work.

I’m not a lazy person and I don’t mind doing the work, but it does take a fair amount of gumption to get started and I’ve fallen into such a miserable routine and have been so stressed out (food and stress are the best of friends) that I’ve been short on gumption.

When I look in the mirror, I see a fat woman, middle-aged, with a fat face, actual jowls, and a fat, thick neck. My stomach and behind are both enormous, and trust me when I tell you that I do not look cute and chubby, more covered in cellulite and stretch marks and white, veiny flesh. The thought of anyone seeing me naked, ever, sends me into a panic. I had to have a full-body check recently by the dermatologist, and I cried.

It’s become imperative that I get my proverbial shit together – my blood pressure has gone from very low to high, I am having stomach problems from inhaling too much crap food, and the slightest amount of exercise leaves me red-faced and breathless. I have entered the danger zone. To continue my current lifestyle could put me into heart attack territory. I need to start eating healthily, now, and I need to get moving – but I also need not to take it too far.

Today I am not going to eat any junk food or fast food. It’s a start. I am also going to start taking walks in the evening, when I won’t be embarrassed by the unforgiving light of the sun.

It’s something. Have a great day.

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