This morning I read something that hit me right in the feels so hard that it brought me back to the place where I wrote the piece below, and I was inspired to skip the post I had planned for today and re-post this instead. The crazy thing about it is that I wrote it in 2014; not that long ago…and a few months after I wrote it I gave up; I decided to pack it all in and find something else to do because being overweight and being successful as a trainer seemed mutually exclusive.
I stumbled along for another year doing this and that to make ends meet, and then I decided to give it one more shot. I surrounded myself with people who were supportive no matter how I looked, I found my self-respect again (thanks largely – no pun intended, ha ha – to powerlifting) and got my health and my career back on track. Actually, back on track but better than ever, because I learned some stuff in the process. More on that later.
June 22, 2014
The Ugly Truth
So this morning I got on the scale and saw a number I haven’t seen in a long time. Like, we’re talking ‘previous life before kids, before exercise, before MARRIAGE’ kind of long. If I’m honest I kinda knew what was coming. I’ve been feeling shitty about myself for a long time. I dread getting dressed in the morning because my clothes don’t fit. I don’t go to places where I’ll see people I know because I know what they’re going to think. I don’t market my personal training business – the career that I love – because clearly I’m a fraud. I don’t let my husband touch me because I can’t possibly be deserving of affection.
I knew it was coming. But that didn’t make it sting any less.
So how did I handle it?
Well, first I crawled into bed and cried. Then I took a deep breath, stood up, and decided that it’s time to disappear off the face of the earth. Time to give up on my career in fitness and get a menial job (ideally one where I’ll never run into anyone I know), delete my personal and professional Facebook pages, take down my website and my blog. Time to give up on trying to make myself better, time to buy some bigger clothes and quit hoping my existing wardrobe will fit again one day.
I decided to get on all that stuff as soon as I dropped my kid off at her scheduled play date. Which was good because I could stop at the bakery on the way home and pick up some delicious blobs of sugary white flour to help make the pain go away. Fuck it all. Fuck trying. Fuck the everyday struggle of trying to be something I’m not. This is who I am: I am a fat person and I cannot be anything else.
Except that today is Sunday and when I got to the bakery it was closed.
Okay, I thought. I’ll go to the grocery store and get junk food. But then, as I sat in the bakery parking lot, it occurred to me that the other option was to do the brave thing and NOT hide from the whole world. I could do the opposite and put it all out there: the shame, the uncertainty, the feelings of inadequacy…and just maybe, I could use my experience to help someone else get through this too. That’s why I became a personal trainer in the first place, right? Because I know firsthand how this feels? So what am I doing here a second time??
I sat in the parking lot of the Bonton bakery for a while. I don’t remember how long. Wearing my husband’s biggest sweats even though it was 22 degrees outside. I decided to do the right thing and find the courage to put all this out there. Maybe I’ll help someone struggling with the same problem. Maybe I’ll change the way someone thinks about fat people. Maybe I won’t do any good at all, but that doesn’t matter as long as I try.
So here it is: I have 75lbs to lose. I don’t know if I have the strength in me to tackle this again and honestly it feels pretty overwhelming at this point. But like it or not, if I don’t do something about it I’ll be setting a bad example for my daughters. I’ll have to find a new career. And if I don’t find some peace with myself I’m afraid of what will happen…so I will find my sense of humour, my spine, and dammit I will take my big girl pants OFF so that I can start enjoying life again.