I’m going to out myself. The other day I received a package from UPS. There was a powder inside. White powder. I have a problem.
But let us go back in time, to when the problem began. I was a relatively healthy kid, no stick, but not fat by any means. In high school, I officially spent some time as “skinny.” As in skinny enough to get some attention for being “skinny.” It’s like a drug. The attention makes you high. And I got that way because two of my friends threw themselves equally into exercising obsessively along with me. In retrospect, I think I may have qualified as an exercise bulimic because every time I ate something I felt the compulsion to jump, dance, or run around to burn it off immediately. It was a pretty impressive weight loss considering one of the girls in the trio was something of a compulsive liar, and apparently a saboteur as I discovered sometime later in a shop on Buford Highway. My beloved, and as she claimed, low fat, low cal Indian cookies she always had on hand for me at her house were quite the opposite. But how was I to know? It’s not like I could read the label.
But eventually I got bored, hungry and spent more time with other friends, so the exercising waned, I put on a little weight, but not too much and all was fine for my senior year. Then I went to college. Forget the image of the starving student surviving on ramen. I had the meal plan! All you can eat, all day long. And here I was, with more freedom, booze and food than I knew what to do with. (disclaimer: The University of Georgia did not provide booze in the dining halls. Mean students who peer pressured me into drinking 😛 did) I love the pictures we snapped of ourselves that first semester at 11:00 at night as we got ready to hit downtown Athens, mostly because those are the only ones I look good in. Because then I gained the freshman 15. Three times.
After graduation, I used my journalism degree to obtain a high ranking position at Barnes & Noble (see cashier, bookseller). The inability to find a full time job left me with lots of time to exercise again and so I began shedding my college souvenir weight. After about a year of being shocked at how stupid customers in a book store could be (I stupidly assumed we’d get a better clientele than Wal-Mart), I decided I was tired of hearing people whine about how we charged tax on newspapers and that this latte surely wasn’t decaf, so I took a teaching job in Daegu, Korea. I worked out here:
No, seriously. I walked into that building and paid them money with no expectation of being murdered. The movie Hostel hadn’t been released yet. I was innocent to the ways of the world. So despite a lifestyle of being surrounded by countless peers in their 20s who had expendable income to burn on food and drink. And drink. And drink. I did manage to keep from porking up.
I left Korea to face reality…oh, wait. No I didn’t. I went to Spain for two months and took Spanish immersion classes, as I had many Korean won to spend. This is where I started to mildly derail again. Fortunately, being in Europe entails lots of walking, which helped me somewhat fight the effects of Spanish hot chocolate. If you aren’t familiar, hot chocolate there has a consistency of cake batter. It’s thick and amazing. I want to get all Augustus Gloop around it and shove myself into the mug. I’m pretty sure I started to put a couple pounds on again.
The real trouble started when I went home. I started my master’s degree in education and also worked at Starbucks. We’ve already established that higher education makes me fat. Now I also had (unofficial) access to all the mochas I could ever want. I swear I had put on 20 pounds within three months of starting work there. And for those of you who order sugar-free syrup and fat-free milk but keep the whipped cream, well we laugh at you. Starbucks isn’t using Reddi-whip. The whipped cream alone will have Jerry Springer knocking your wall down before you know it. FYI: It’s made with heavy cream.
And so, by the time I began my student teaching I had once again gained a significant amount of weight. As I started my career, I once again began to hit the gym regularly and shed pounds. And I did great. I maintained. I ate well. I discovered that truly the best way to take weight off and keep it off is to make it about eating well and nutrition, not just weight loss. It was the best I ever felt as far as my weight goes. But then I met my now husband, and we ladies know how that often goes. Why go to the gym when you can go out to dinner. And so weight crept on again. This time I decided to reign it in before it got to hideously out of control, and began to lose weight. After some time I decided what better way to lose weight than getting pregnant? Sigh. I love my baby, but not this tummy. And that bring us to the present. I’m nearly 8 months from having Connor and I’ve been at a plateau with the leftover baby weight for about five of those months. I can squeeze into one pair of jeans, and I own about eight. I’m sick of wearing the same flowy shirts over and over. Even though I don’t believe in it, even though I’ve said there is no point in losing weight in a manner you can’t maintain, even though we bought an elliptical and stationary bike, I’m so flipping frustrated that I’ve decided to try the white powder.
Meal replacement shakes. Be afraid. Be very afraid. I like the art of chewing. This could get ugly.