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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why do I do this to myself?

Anybody ever hear of a stripper with a weight problem?

Probably not. We save all that griping and whining for our super-secret stripper website. We want you, the "outside world" to believe we are all perfect, beautiful, adorable Barbies (OK, in my case, Midge) every single second of our lives. It's part of the "stripper mystique." I mean, I have customers who KNOW I home school, who KNOW we do weekly nature hikes in all weather, who KNOW digging in the garden is a regular pastime for me, and who probably still THINK I do all this in full make-up and 6-inch Lucite heels.

That is why I don't give my customers this URL. It that is what they like to think, then that is what I want them to think. Give the people what they want, yanno?

But check this out . . . . I DO have a weight problem. Not just a few baby pounds that won't go away. Not just a little flab that won't tone up. I mean, I have a real, life-long issue with my weight. It goes back to grade school and having to buy dresses and uniforms in "chubbies" sizes. I was teased incessantly about my weight. No doubt, I was kind of a rotund kid, but I was NOT as grotesque as my peers made me out to be.

Anyway, fast forward 30 or so years. I was tiny and slender in the Army and afterward. I was a lingerie model (Not the Victoria's secret kind, just a girl in a bar selling lingerie and raffle tickets, but still) I was even kind of famous, for about 15 minutes. (See picture, right.) But I got in the habit of just not eating (who has the time?) and when, and age 29, I decided to get out of the entertainment biz, I really just let myself go. I ate all the stuff I had been denying myself, and as much of it as I wanted. Having ruined my metabolism by subsisting on bagels and Diet Coke, I gained at least 40 lbs in 2 years. I gained another 60 during my pregnancy. (Whoa! I just realized what I said. 100 lbs in 3 years! Yikes!)

Well, I got back into the sex-entertainment biz in August when my son was 3. Nursing him and walking around with him in a sling had helped me a lot with my weight. Also, I had just done a half-marathon for Team in Training (To raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) so I was feeling pretty good about myself. But, I gained weight that winter and this begins the current chapter in my battle with myself.

First I spent more than two years trying to figure out how to loose 20 pounds. I am not kidding. I tried everything I could think of. I finally hit on the south Beach diet last January (Courtesy of my stripper friends) and lost 15 lbs. Then I gained back 8 of that on the vacation from hell last summer. I struggled and floundered until I went to the same doctor who did my stop-smoking hypnosis 2 years ago, and had the weight-loss hypnosis. Then I lost 10 more pounds.

Now here comes the hard part. These last 10 lbs really show. You may know from your own experiences, when you have a lot of weight to loose, at first it seems like nothing is happening. Then you feel a little bit lighter, and then--ta-da! --there is an actual difference.

Well, these last 10 pounds made that difference. Now when I look in the mirror, I see a different person. I have lost 2 pants sizes. I have a waist and hips and ribs, where I once had just an expanse of torso. Of course my boobs have shrunk, but then so has the band of fat that used to go from them to a point under my arm. My clothes fit better. My face features more cheekbone and less jowl. I feel better and fitter and I feel like a normal-sized person now. Life is better.

I am not where I want to be yet. I want to be at my Army weight (150) but my friends have half-convinced me that, if 150 was a good weight for me 15 years ago and pre-baby, then 155 might be more appropriate for me now. So I still have either 13 or 18 lbs left to loose, depending on where I want it to end. But here is the sick part: I have stopped trying.

I don't know exactly why I stopped trying, which is the bitch of it. I wake up every morning with good intentions. I know what I have to do. It's not hard, or complicated. I just don't do it. I no longer tell the bartender to mix me virgin drinks. I don't pass up the ubiquitous bits of fudge on the gas-station shelves. I don't opt for black coffee. Little by little, I have given up almost every new, good habit that helped me lose the weight wanted to lose, and gone back to the antithesis of those habits, the poor habits that packed on 40 extra pounds to begin with.

I know when I am doing the wrong things, but I don't really care. I rationalize. I tell myself,"I'll have this piece of fudge, and then I will be back on the wagon." or "I'll have one or two drinks, then I'll tell the bartender to cut me off." Or I tell myself I need the chocolate, like its some kind of medicine.

Right now, I should be working out. Am I?

I have noticed something else abut me, too. (One of the gifts of having had a dissociative disorder is, I am actually a pretty fair observer of myself. I can look at myself as if I am looking at another person.) When I started losing the "weight that matters", I stopped caring about other aspects of my appearance. I stopped caring for my hair, for instance, and I stopped taking care of my skin. I mean, I still showered daily and removed my makeup, but that is about it. I have been doing the bare minimum. I stared sneaking bites of my kiddo's baked goods, like cookies and donuts, even though I know for a fact that even a few bites of such things gives me serious acne lesions. I quit bothering with night cream, acne meds, and even sunscreen. It's been 5 weeks since I had my nails done.

The very feakish thing about all this, is that when I look in the mirror, at first I see a very pretty woman. Then I look again and I start saying things like this: "Well, you'd be pretty IF you'd quit eating things that make you break out, and IF you'd drink more tea and less coffee, and IF you'd lose those last few pounds, and IF you'd get your hair permed and your nails done . . . My God, girl, at LEAST get a haircut . . . . " and on and on.

It's as if I just can't stand to see myself looking good. I criticize myself and sabotage myself.

What is UP with that?

1 comment:

Holly said...

The number of times I have gotten my nails done, you could count on one hand, so I don't know that I am on to take beauty advice from. However, when I was deciding whether or not to dye my hair, due to the increasing grey, I read growing Grey (not a book I would recommend). However, one thing that stuck with me was the idea that making a conscoious decision to make changes, or allow changes, in your appearnce, is not the same as "letting yourself go". Maybe, just a thought, as kiddo gets older, as you're more into school, your appearance is reflecting that shift.