Phat

For those who see me in-person on a regular basis, it should come as no surprise that I’ve shrunk a bit. Well, thirty-four pounds to be exact.

And in my eyes, it’s still only the beginning.

Not part of some get-thin-quick scheme, or some corny – far too high in carbs – New Year’s Resolution; my decision to lose weight was mine, and mine alone.

I come from a family that is obsessed with its weight. I’ve had relatives on both ends of the spectrum – too skinny and too plump.

I knew, then, when I decided to sign up for Weight Watchers in July, that my decision would draw some familial attention.

For the most part, I tend not to care what people think of me. In my family, though, they make it known.

First, there was my Great Uncle. He has a reputation for jousting people about their weight, despite his own struggles to maintain his own. Following his prodding was my paternal grandmother. Obsessed with aesthetics, she began equating weight to beauty. Leave it to a member of the Kirsch clan to make someone feel ugly. Lastly, a cousin of mine, who I admire more than I can explain through written words, made a comment about how I present myself. She tiptoed around what had become “the weight issue,” and I caught on quickly.

I started to care. People noticed something that it seemed I had ignored.

The first steps were the hardest. The decision to rejoin the gym and Weight Watchers were stepping stones in what continues to be a long, but successful journey.

The next in those first steps involved filtering out the noise.

Dieting, as a concept, annoys me just as much as the word “fat” when applied as an insult and not an element of daily nutrition. I had become so sick of hearing people, close friends included, pick apart passersby, people whom they had never met, based on appearance and most often on weight.

I once heard the phrase, “Guilt is fattening,” and it has since become one of my favorite ways to let insiders in on my lifestyle change.

I’m holding myself accountable – all bites count – but I’m in no way “dieting.”

Nothing is off limits, but everything requires planning. And, it would seem that in my family of prodders and change-inducers, this is something that they do not understand. I still hear mumblings of, “Well, you can’t have that.” Or, “Is there something you can have on this menu.” And, while I’m tempted to call them daft, I smile, nod, and move on with my order or nibble, knowing that this is my journey, not theirs.

So please, spare me your information on the glycemic index, or your rules about not eating after 6 p.m.

I have it under control.

I didn’t think anything could be as hard as committing to making a change. But there was just one more thing I had not planned for – the fact that not everyone would be so thrilled with my weight loss.

So, I say this to anyone thinking about making a lifestyle change, do it for you, and do it wholeheartedly. If you hold back, even a little bit, it won’t last. Do what you can to eliminate the outside noise, the naysayers, anything that is adverse to motivation. Surround yourself with positivity, and make health the most important.

I continue my weight loss, with no set goal or expectation in mind. I’ve made great strides, and hope only to continue on that path for life. My cheekbones are far too high for emaciated to be a good look on me, and my hips would jut out in low-riding jeans.

I just want to be comfortable being me.

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