Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Cardinal Rule

Well, it finally happened. I've been overweight for 17 years, obese for at least 10 of them. I suppose it was bound to happen, although I thought by now that everyone (at least every WOMAN) knew the cardinal rule:

Unless a woman says to you, "I am pregnant" OR is actively giving birth before your eyes, never, NEVER, ask her, "So, when are you due?"

My friend and I had a nice appointment at the spa today for pedicures together - just for fun. We had been chatting about two of our friends that are pregnant, so, the pedicurist probably misunderstood that we weren't talking about my own bulging belly when she asked the dreaded question.

I'm a people pleaser, so my first instinct was to quell her embarrassment and tell her, "that's really, it's no big deal". My friend and her pedicurist laughed nervously to try to lighten the situation. My face was bright red. I swallowed my tears and smiled graciously.

Thankfully, it was toward the end of the appointment, so we were out of there soon after. I tipped her 15%.
My friend tried to comfort me. She said, "That's ridiculous. You don't look pregnant." But, of course, I know I do.

The tears didn't really start to flow until I was about half-way home. My shame and anger trickled down. I imagined what I should have said or done instead. Perhaps I should have just kicked her in the mouth. Her teeth weren't that nice anyway.

When I got home, I decided not to tell my husband what happened. As someone who has never been fat, someone who doesn't understand what food cravings are like, someone who doesn't see any emotional connection to food, as kind as he can be, he simply cannot understand how this one comment cuts me to the core. I'm so ashamed of him seeing me in this light.

I told him I didn't feel well and went to lie down. I sobbed into my pillow and thought about last week - I ordered a dress from JCrew (did you know their largest size is a 16 AND they only carry up to size 12 in stores?) and when it arrived, even with my Spanks on, I couldn't get it zipped. It's a beautiful color and I would look great in it - if it fit. I thought about how I signed up for a YMCA membership in November and have gone only a handful of times. I thought about how I'm embarrassed to go back to Weight Watchers. Bob Harper's book "Are you Ready?" shouted out at me from my bookshelf. "The Ultimate Weight Loss Solution" gathers dust on my nightstand. My treadmill is folded in the basement.

I thought about all of my missed opportunities. Every day that I've chosen to sit on the couch instead of exercise. Every time that I "treated" myself to unhealthy food. All of my excuses and tomorrows. I am so angry at myself. And I feel like I'm in such a deep hole that I don't even know where to start to climb out.

I want to say, "OK, today is my fresh start! THIS is going to be the time I do it!" but I really don't feel that optimistic. I'm sad. I feel hopeless.

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