In the spring of 1985, I sat in my music class with my friend Molly on one side and my friend Tiffany on the other. At one point in class, I looked down at my lap and was horrified: my thighs were touching. I shot a quick glance at Molly. No touching thighs. Then at Tiffany (who was an absolute string bean). Her thighs were miles apart. I immediately felt shame about my body.
I was eleven years old.
Truth be told, I’ve been normal-sized up until a couple of years ago, even though I have spent a disgusting amount of time obsessing over my body. Boys didn’t help–at least two that I was semi-serious about broke up with me, telling me they deserved a “hot wife” who was skinny, and I would probably never be skinny.
(Never mind that they both ended up calling me after the breakups, because the “hot wives” they snagged didn’t know how to have conversations. Ew.)
I used to not have a lot of trouble losing a few pounds, but I’m older now, and I’ve heard that it gets tougher the older we get. This summer proved that to me. All that running, all that strength training, all that calorie counting caused me to gain weight. So when school started, I thought it might be time to try something drastic.
My sister has had some great success with this particular brand of shakes, so I figured it was worth a try. It’s been one week, and I’ve gained a pound.
The shakes weren’t horribly tasting at all, but I missed food. I missed chewing. I missed tasting. And whoever said “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” has clearly never eaten a cheesecake. But the worst part of the shakes was that I was constantly hungry, therefore constantly thinking of food, therefore constantly NOT thinking about writing or teaching or being a better person or the meaning of life.
If my church tells me to “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly,” then I have been a big ol’ sinner this past week, as my thoughts have just been about how long I can hang on until the next tiny meal.
So I’m quitting the shakes. I gave it a week, and true, that’s probably not long enough. But the bottom line is that I’m not happy. I like cooking and baking. I like a variety of flavors in my meals. I like not flagellating myself for trying a new dessert a coworker brings to share.
I do need to get back to exercising. Even though I saw 0.0 results with it this past summer, the fact that all my vitals are quite healthy is a testament to the goodness of exercise.
And if all of this means that I’m always going to be a little chubby and a lotta single for the rest of my life, well, I think I’d rather be happy than miserable, emaciated, and married.