So far to go.
It’s been ringing in my ears all day. And all night last night.
Sometimes it’s hard to talk myself down off this cliff. Ultimately, we put ourselves there you know? I have let one thing eat at me and bug me and rattle around in this big old head of mine. I don’t like that it’s there but I can’t make it go away.
Words. Innocent words. Words not meant to hurt. And they didn’t, not in the way that words can often hurt. They weren’t said with malice but they did ring true. I can’t deny their truth and that is the hurt. Not who said it and certainly not how it was meant.
I met someone for a concert last night. James Taylor and son, Ben Taylor. Sweet Baby James and his butter voice and the love child of he and Carly Simon, their son Ben. I was three-quarters of a generation too young to rightfully be at that concert (much like when Stephen and I went to Neil Diamond when we were dating) but the music of James Taylor colored so much of the background of my childhood that I couldn’t help but feel all warm. And Ben Taylor? That apple didn’t fall far from the family tree. His voice is equally smooth but very deep and sounds like you are sinking into a warm bathtub. I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home. Alas. I will just have to buy his albums. And I will. The crowd was weird in a “God, Mom! You are SO embarrassing!” kind of way. Like I said, too young to be there. But I had fun and I am in no position to turn down a night out.
We were returning to our original meeting point and we are talking about my dad and how great he is doing. He has lost, I think, nearly 50 pounds since September. He is off all his meds and isn’t pre-diabetic anymore. He and my mom eat very cleanly. He rides his bike and does yoga. My old man is the picture of doing it right. But 50 pounds? Makes me hate being a girl. Boys lose weight easier than girls. And he’s very good at it. He has just never been good at keeping it off but appears to have it right this time.
This is the conversation that followed:
It’s totally not fair that he started in September and he’s lost more than me. I mean it’s been over a year.
“Yeah, I’ve been reading your blog and, for as hard as you’ve been working, I thought you’d be skinnier.”
Read that again.
My response was quick: Yeah. Me too.
I don’t want anybody to think that it was thoughtless or being mean. It was the truth. And I know it.
Most of you don’t know me personally or, at least, don’t see me often or at all anymore. And if you’ve seen me at all in the last 10 years, I still look pretty much the same. I get that all the time “You haven’t changed a bit!”
I weigh the same, just today, that I did when I got pregnant with Ella. My highest weight was right about the same as the day she was born.
If it’s been since I toured, depending on the year, I am 10-30 pounds heavier than when you saw me.
College? I graduated 40 pounds ago.
Summer stock theatre? Oh, summer stock. You know what Ogunquit, Maine in 1995? You are my goal weight, 54 pounds from this point. I know I am, gulp, 17 years older but I’m just as strong. And maybe stronger.
High school graduation? Forget about it. Nobody gets that. Except my mother. My mother got that. She went back to her 20 year class reunion within 5 pounds of high school graduation. (and I didn’t get a lick of those genes)
So this is what’s been rattling around in my brain all day. I have a headache, and have had a headache since midnight. As in 22 hours. I go between not caring what the stupid scale says and being mad at myself.
Truth is, most days, I’m somewhere in the middle. I weigh myself every day, naked and before breakfast or a shower. If I don’t, I have a hard time with my day and I get into some kind of denial mode that allows me to fuck off at nutrition and skipping out on the gym. So, I weigh. It works for me. And, most days, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done and how it makes me feel.
But it is there, every day. Like the proverbial elephant in the room. It’s just a more compact elephant than a year ago. But still an elephant. I feel fit. I feel fat. I know it’s possible to be both.
And then there are the intangibles, the things that don’t show up on a BMI chart. I went off depression meds in April and haven’t gone back (it’s debatable some days though whether that was a good idea). I couldn’t jog 2 minutes a year ago and now I can go nearly 30 minutes without having to walk. I have done two 5k runs on my own. I am strong. I can feel it in my back, pecs, legs and arms. My abs are even stronger but they are still buried. But there. And they weren’t there a year ago. It hurt to stand for too long and now my posture is better. I can hold a plank for more than two minutes. A year ago, it was 20 seconds.
And I didn’t quit. Haven’t quit. And I usually would have. Boredom and frustration would have won out over patience and hard work. But I’m still going.
But when you come right down to it, I thought I’d be skinnier too.
I still have so far to go.