You see, as much fun as it is to be self-deprecating on my blog and tell you about all of those crazy mama moments in my house, it is still just that -- my blog. And who wants to show everything -- their warts and all -- on her own blog?!?
So, there is something many of you may not know about me. Everyone who knows me in real life knows. But many of my readers don't, because either we have never actually met or you haven't seen me in a while. Sure, you have seen pictures of me, but I have complete control over what I show you and how you see me. And quite frankly, I like it that way. That is part of the fun of having a blog and sharing everything you want to share and nothing you don't.
But I don't want to keep this a secret anymore.
To many, I have committed a mortal sin. Some would view it as a societal crime. And if you met me, I wouldn't be able to hide it. Unlike alcoholism, drug addiction, or a rap sheet from here to Timbuktu, I can't hide my horrible deed from others. And that is what made me write this post.
I had to have my very own eyes opened for me at least three times before I really, truly saw it myself.
The first time...I was in my classroom teaching with my door shut. In my peripheral vision, I saw someone in the glass door whom I didn't recognize. That person did not go away, despite my glares. After several double-takes, I realized that the "person" I saw was my own reflection.
The second time...I was asked to sing on stage in our auditorium at a concert as a surprise to my students. One of my friends videotaped my performance and was nice enough to give me a copy afterwards. The piece had gone surprisingly well, and I was eager to see and hear it to see if it matched the wonderful memory in my mind. Instead, I had to turn off the television before I sang a note because I wasn't able to watch through my tears of disgust.
The third time...I was at our high school's graduation. I was one of the teachers who would walk in with the seniors to "Pomp and Circumstance" and sit at the end of one of the aisles along with some other colleagues to represent the faculty. All of us wore graduation gowns (you know, the tent-like black robes) with our respective college hoods in back. I had dutifully worn mine every year, so before I left for the ceremony, I made sure it was pressed and hung it in my car. A few moments before the ceremony, I was helping others with their corsages and decided I should pin my own on as well. Soon after, I desperately fought the urge to run back to my car and drive the forty minutes home and instead find out if they -- possibly??? -- had another gown I could wear.
The moral to all three of these stories? I finally admitted to myself that I had a major problem. One that I couldn't control anymore. And believe me, it's not easy to convince a control freak that she is out of control. But I had to face facts.
I was extremely fat.
Now, you precious blog readers, do not misinterpret. I don't mean I was darn-it-I-still-have-to-lose-that-baby-weight fat. I also don't mean I was wow-I-must-have-gone-up-a-jeans-size fat. I mean I was capital F-A-T fat.
It's not that I didn't know what was happening. I have mirrors. I wear clothes. I knew the size I had to buy and the three stores in the mall that carried them. But what I felt like on the inside was never ever what I looked like on the outside. I really tried to avoid having my picture taken and I refused to see what the unforgiving lens showed me so blatantly when the occasional photo opportunity came along. I posed behind people and things and even cut myself out of other pictures.
All the while, I thought this was the ultimate, absolute worst monstrosity I could possibly have allowed myself to become. After all, when you want to really insult a woman, you only have to use one word: the "f-word." (No, not that f-word! The three-letter-one that's even worse than that.) In fact, in my opinion, one of the only acts of hatred that you can still admit in our society without being politically incorrect is a prejudice towards overweight people. Want a good laugh? Type "fat kid" into YouTube's search engine and see all of the "must see" videos. "Fat kid nearly dies on a rollercoaster! Hilarious!" Or think about conservative pundit Laura Ingraham's recently publicized insults towards Meghan McCain for asserting her opinion; Ingraham chose not to (as McCain says best) "intellectually debate our ideological differences" but instead use "heartless, substance-less attacks about weight" as a retort. In other words, she responded by calling McCain "fat." And how many people can't wait to call all of their friends and report that a fellow classmate has put on a bunch of pounds? I am sure that the classmate-who-put-on-a-bunch-of-pounds phone calls centered around yours truly after I had the courage to show my larger-than-life self at my twentieth high school reunion last year. I really forced myself to go to see so many people I cared deeply about, but I was relieved that there wasn't a prized doughnut for the Girl Who Gained the Most Weight Since 1988.
So why am I sharing this with you now?!? Why pour out my chubby heart to people who don't even have to know? Because I like being honest. And in all honesty, I am not a good liar. And because...well, I am now halfway.
Those last three eye-opening times made a definite impact. They caused me to get back in control. And just a few weeks ago, I cried in a store dressing room. But not for the same reason I cried at my performance video or because I could no longer zip my graduation gown. I cried because I fit into a size I hadn't seen since before getting pregnant with Peanut.
Since the summer, I have lost 48 pounds and four sizes. Whew. It feels good to write that.
For most people, that would be that. But I told you, I was capital F-A-T fat. For me, this is just over halfway to my goal. But I see the light. In fact, I feel the light, or rather, I feel lighter. I feel happier. I can see my progress, and the mirror no longer has to lie to me. I can look at the number on my pants now and not want to cut out the tag. And people are starting to see me and not the person I was using to cover up me.
So now you know the real me, [fat] warts and all. And you know what? I'm no longer ashamed to show you.
Before (obviously on the left) and After...so far (on the right)
P.S. Thank you, Weight Watchers!