I’m truly back to losing weight now, and more motivated than I have been for a long time. In the last two weeks, I lost almost 2.7 kilos (almost six pounds)! I got my fourth star sticker at Weight Watchers (one for every three kilos), and the coach kept praising me. It’s simple, but effective: Going to the meetings makes me want to try harder, because I feel accountable and because it’s nice to be praised and earn rewards. I want to be a success. And I am. I have lost 25 kilos so far (55 lbs). Except for January, I have been losing weight rather quickly, quicker than many others from what I gather at the meetings. The coach is thrilled, naturally. She thinks her program is working. What she doesn’t know is that I take six ballet classes a week and eat more protein than the program suggests. It definitely helps! But I should start cardio again, and something for my upper body. Anyway, I am planning my meals and writing down my points and calories and making choices and seeing results, and it’s fun again. Not easy, but doable, and it gives me a sense of achievement.
There is also a weight loss website, it’s called 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet, that I have been visiting a lot recently. There are many people there who managed to lose over 150 pounds and maintain their new weight, which makes me think that maybe, just maybe I could do that, too. There are also discussions on body image and issues people have after weight loss. Apparently, many still feel fat and need a long time to adjust their self-image to their new weight. Some are afraid, because they can’t hide behind their weight anymore. New issues like feeling invisible or suddenly getting a lot of attention from men come up. These worry me, too. I guess I’d rather feel invisible than stand out negatively. But I, also, don’t know how to deal with attention from men.
Valentine’s Day was just last week, and it made me think about love. There are many issues. I’m quite literally untouched. I’ve never had any experience with relationships. The few men who hit on me can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Mostly immigrants who seemed desperate, and one creepy guy. I first fell in love at eleven, with a boy from my class. I had hopes and daydreams, but when our class broke up two years later, he made it clear that he wasn’t interested. Once, I chose a seat behind him and he told me to go sit somewhere else. On one of the last days, I had been looking at him a lot, just looking, and he stuck out his tongue at me. That was it. I wasn’t even much shocked, I’d guessed all along. In a way that first love didn’t leave me until years later. I was bitter at my new school, making it clear that I hated boys, and thereby maybe inviting the bullying which made me turn to food for comfort. I had regular dreams about him, dreams in which he held my hand and I was so exquisitely happy… There were a few crushes in between, but I never acted on them, was too shy, felt too awkward. Years later, when I was twenty-one, ‘he’ telephoned me out of the blue. We chatted. He wanted to meet. It brought all my old confusing feelings back, even a wild hope for a moment, although I knew he had a girlfriend and I knew his best friend was a girl from our old class. After some soul-searching though, I knew it would never be and I didn’t really want it anymore. We did meet, too, and I was friendly and told him many things, but not THAT thing: that I had loved him hopelessly for years. He had turned into a long-haired biker with silver rings, I into a painfully self-conscious, fat, melancholy dreamer. We exchanged a few letters, and then he moved away and that was the end. I still don’t know why he suddenly called me after so many years, but I’m glad he did because it brought me much-needed closure.
So, now I was free to love and be loved. But nothing happened. I was fat, didn’t care about clothes or my appearance, hated myself and was shy. Not attractive. This changed gradually, and all the while my longing for love came and went like a tide. Sometimes, I felt so lonely I wanted to scream. Sometimes, I was glad I didn’t have anybody to worry about, no ‘relationship issues’. What is really good about the whole thing is that I didn’t rush into things in my teens, like some of my peers. I have no bad experiences, no embarrassing or shameful encounters, no heartbreaks. But also none of the good stuff, the way I imagine it could be; the passion, the joy, the bliss of being loved and having somebody to love. That was just daydreams and dreams.
In the last few years, during my inner growth, there have been moments when I felt ready for love. I wrote about this here and there. And now, too, I sometimes think I’m ready. But I’m not. Because when I meet a man I feel the slightest attraction towards, I shut down. I look away, I flee, I hope he doesn’t see me. When I think about a man falling in love with me and maybe pursuing me, I am afraid. I WANT to be in love and experience everything there is to experience, but just not yet. That is the conclusion of my Valentine’s Day musings, which started with the sad thought that I am still single at twenty-seven. And realising this has been good. I don’t HAVE to have a boyfriend. I can wait until I feel ready, and when I do, a suitable mate will turn up. I don’t worry about that. I rather worry that when I lose more weight, there will be so many that I won’t know which is the right one. I worry that I will be so flattered I’ll mistake it for attraction and make the mistakes others make at fifteen. After all, I have no experience. Being fat is very effective protection against men. Especially in my country, where people seldom are that fat. In the US or UK, it might be different.
Well, this has been a very long post. But I had to write it all down, because it’s all connected.