If you happen to be Facebook friends with me on my personal account, then you know all too well about my slightly over-dramatic yet heartbreaking post that I am about to talk about, because clearly, I cannot let anything go.
Long story short. I was facilitating a class at my daughter’s school. This was a class for parents, not children. That’s kinda important to note. At the end of the class, as everyone is saying their goodbyes, I had a parent, a parent who I am slowly building a working relationship with, come up to me a little too excited.
“Jennifer! I did not know you were pregnant?!?!”
Slowly, I look behind me, hoping to find a pregnant woman named Jennifer.
There was no one.
I was in shock. Trust when I say there was a bit of an awkward silence.
News flash, I am not pregnant.
I looked at her, quickly running my options through my head.
Option 1~ Be a total Bitch, which I am kinda good at. “Really, you did not know I was pregnant? I did not know those bright yellow sweatpants that are three sizes too small are “back” in style?!
Option 2 ~ Take the higher road, respond with some sort of class.
In any other situation, I would have opted for Option 1. However, since this is a paying job, and my supervisor was present, I decided I needed to go with Option 2.
I put on a good face, even managed to laugh “Nope, not pregnant, just fat!”
Sometimes you just kinda need to come out of the park with honesty. Flip the tables.
Now, in this parent’s defense, she felt horrible. Her exact words to me “Well now I feel like shit!”
I am now finding myself trying to comfort the very person who thought I was pregnant.
“No, no, you are fine, do not even worry about it.”
“Jennifer, I am so sorry, for what it’s worth, you did amazing in the class.”
(An old move. When you offend someone you quickly throw fake compliments their way.)
At this point, I needed to end this conversation because I was either going to break down in tears, or my mouth would once again get me in trouble.
“Listen, you did nothing wrong. It is fine. I needed a wake-up call and you gave me that wake-up call. Do not even worry about it, I will see you next week!”
Food and I have a love/hate relationship. I believe that there may be some form of food addiction, and in the past, I have definitely had body issues. More on that in a later post.
For as long as I can remember, everything was always centered around food. “Did you have a bad day in school? Let me make you a sandwich!” “Congratulations, you passed your history test, let’s go out to eat to celebrate!”
You see? Now, there is nothing wrong with that, however, there is something, for lack of better word, not quite right with my brain. I cannot have just one Oreo, I have to eat the entire box. I do not know my limits, hell, I have no limits.
There was a point in time where I would do some very unhealthy things to keep my weight down, while still enjoying all the food I want, but again, more about that in a later post. I only say this so you can get as much of an understanding as you can that I do indeed have food issues. I always will. Much in the same way, an alcoholic will always be an alcoholic.
Now, because of all of my past habits, because I believe that for me, there may be some chemical imbalance going on, I have to be extra careful to not fall into what I refer to as “The Black Hole.” The Black Hole is a very bad place for me to be in, unfortunately, it is also easy for me to find my way there.
Somewhere along the way, between the bags of Tim’s potato chips, Oreos, and pretty much anything chocolate, I have gained weight. I had a very good friend tell me “Are you happy with yourself? If you are happy with yourself, then do not change a thing, if you are not happy, then change it.”
I am not happy. No matter how many different shades of black I wear to give myself the “slimming” look, no matter how many different scarves I wear to hide my middle section, I cannot hide it. I am fat and it is noticeable. I am just not happy….so I am changing it.
As I was writing this post, I called Christin. Believe it or not, this was not the intended post I was supposed to write. The writing just took on a mind of its own.
“Christin, is this too much? Is it too doom and gloom?”
Christin and I spent a good thirty minutes on the phone as I was telling her about these very words you are reading now. She told me “Keep going, it’s relatable” and from there we shared stories of our past. Both of us grew up in households where we had well-meaning family members tell us “Eat more!” as they were giving us seconds, and sometimes thirds. Christin and I find ourselves doing that to our own kids.
“You did not eat enough.”
“Did you have enough to eat?”
“We still have some pasta left, eat it up!”
You see? If Christin and I can relate to each other, surely we cannot be the only ones.
I suppose that is all I want. I want someone to understand.
My siblings are drop-dead gorgeous. If you put us up all side by side, and sing that old song from Sesame Street…
“One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?”
*Puts hand up*
It’s me!!!! I am not like my siblings. Aesthetically speaking anyway. I am just built differently, and for the longest time, I saw at that as a defect.
I do not see my siblings as often as I like. The only reason for that is because we are scattered throughout the United States. However, when I do see them, it takes a toll on me. Damn, that sounds harsh huh? It is nothing they do. It never has, it never will be. I have known from a young age that I was different and it is no one’s fault I am different. Standing next to them, whether in our teenage years, young adults, or settled in our life now, I feel I am the odd one out. It’s especially hard when I feel compliments come so easy to them. No matter who it is. Family members or strangers on the street. “Wow, you look great!” Things like that. I do not get those types of compliments. It took me a very long time to tell myself “Do not base your self-worth on how you look.” I am better at it at this stage of my life, or, I was better until this person thought I was pregnant, but it is not always easy. A constant work in progress for me. My issues and mine alone.
I still feel pretty good about myself. Quite honestly the only issue I have is my weight. I am the type of person who knows how to make things happen. I survived three physically abusive relationships (clearly it takes me some time to learn from my mistakes.) I am so determined. I am stubborn. I may not have hundreds of friends, but the ones I do have, they are pretty bad ass. Quality over quantity. I have no problem cutting anyone out of my life who I feel is an asshole. I am strong. It took me a very long time to find my strength, but I am a strong woman. I am caring, I am loyal I am protective. I have so much more to me than what the number on the scale or the size of my jeans dictates. Come see me in three months, I will have lost weight. Not because I feel pressured to, not because I am shallow, I will have lost weight for me, and for me alone. because I want to.
In my quest to lose this weight, I decided to sorta kinda psych myself out. I had a plan.
I went to the store and bought a pair of pants about a half a size too big. The logic being, I can feel what it is like to wear clothes that are slightly too big, and that would be one part of my motivation to keep me going. I picked out a cute pair of black leggings. Only a half a size too big, just enough to give me a taste, of what it would feel like once I start dropping weight.
I wore the leggings with a cute striped black and white shirt, and a lightweight black vest over it. Remember, wearing the color black the right way could be an excellent optical illusion. All day long the leggings kept falling down. This should not be happening because I only bought a half a size too big…and we all know there is no way I lost ten pounds overnight.
After a long day of discreetly pulling up my leggings, I come home and prepare to take a shower. I slither my new black leggings off, and something is just not right. With the hot water running, I inspect my new black leggings……I hold them up…..I hold them out….I inspect the tag…….wait a minute…..there it is……this is not right……….something is wrong…….oh my God kill me now.
My new black leggings that I assumed were “only” a half a size too big…..the black leggings that I intended to use as one of many motivation factors……..wait for it……the goddamn leggings were……..are you ready for this……..they were maternity pants!!
Look, do not even ask questions because I seriously have no answers. All I can tell you is somehow my dumbass, the strong, motivational woman who I was talking above, is a strong, motivational flake! I bought freaking maternity pants thinking they were “only” a half a size up. How the hell does that even happen?!?!
So, to recap, I pretty much spent my entire day is pregnant pants!
And…..I am not, nor will ever be pregnant.
After the realization that my dumbass accidentally bought maternity pants, I decided “Whey end there? Let’s take a picture!”
Yeah, I know, at this point all logic has been thrown out the window.
I figured a picture of me in black leggings with a black tank top would be a nice “before” picture to see my starting point once I drop this weight. You follow? Easy enough, what could go wrong?
Vinnie was up, not doing anything, I grabbed him and told him to take a picture of me. Now, Vinnie already thinks I am nuts with this whole weight-loss thing, but, he sees me in a different light. I am his mother. He does not see me with the same glasses as I see myself, or to take it one step further, as anyone else sees me.
“Mom, you do not need to lose weight!”
“Just humor me and take the damn picture.”
You guys, it was the worst picture ever. Seriously, I am not even kidding. If it were not for the fact that I looked like an overweight washed up porn star, I would post the picture, but there is no way I can. Maybe it was the angle, and by angle I mean Vinnie was too lazy to stand up and take the picture, but, trust when I say it is bad. So so bad.
One day in the very near future I will post the picture, while placing perfectly placed stickers on the areas that need some cover up. I will post my overweight washed-up porn star picture when I lose my first twenty pounds, and I will lose at least twenty pounds because I am both strong and determined.
I have a lifetime of insecurities behind my very large belt that I am now able to stomp on. I am able to take those sour grapes and make something that resembles lemonade out of them.
Just wait, you will see.