I recently joined Weight Watchers, and it was the best decision I have made in a long time. In the period of chaos between meeting my husband, and having 3 back-to-back pregnancies, I entered into this habit of eating- or, well, not-eating until 2:00 p.m., and then eating everything I could reach until I went to bed. I ate so much fast food, I actually just got sick of it.
I’m not a natural cook., probably largely in part to the fact that I’m not naturally patient. So, when hunger struck, I just reached for whatever I could eat immediately. This included some fruit, but mostly cheese-sticks, ice cream, Oreos, and Veggie Straws.
So, when one of my classmates was checking her points on the Weight Watchers web site, I asked her how it was going- and she said she really liked it and had lost 20 pounds this year. Losing 20 pounds would get me to pre-(3rd)-baby weight, and everyone I’ve ever known who has done Weight Watchers has lost weight. So I signed up for the app, and started tracking.
Just by cutting out the bedtime bowl of ice cream, I lost some pounds. Don’t get me wrong, out of habit my body was super hungry at 10:00 p.m. But I stuck to it, and in a matter of time, I stopped being so hungry so late at night and lost the 15 pounds I was trying to lose.
And here I am. I’m still heavier than I was in my 20’s, but, hey. I’m not in my 20’s anymore, and I’m actually happy with myself for the first time I knew to become self-conscious about my body and the amount of space it occupies.
I’m not proud of the weight I lost. I’m proud that I can walk around and not wish for the body of my youth. It’s almost shocking to me to write that: that the tie between the size of my body and my own mental health is so inextricably linked that not feeling self-conscious is an act of rebellion. The relationship between food and size and self-worth has been so embedded in me that it was an actual challenge to reshape my own relationship with food so much that I can enjoy what I enjoy. Truthfully, I think there’s this message that our- specifically female (inclusive) bodies- mean more if they take us less space. And I’m not buying into it anymore.
Refusing to diet shouldn’t be an act of defiance, but it feels like one for me. So here I am, for the first time in my 33 years, happy with myself. I trust the feelings I have in my body about when I’m hungry, when I’m eating out of boredom, and that it’s okay to eat the whole Bric’s ice cream cone because 1) it’s amazing, and 2) enjoying ice cream with my kids is one of my favorite things to do. So here it is. My act of defiance. I’m proud to say this is the space I take up, this is the space I occupy, and I’m done trying to shrink it.