It has been one week since Mom pushed me onto this diet and exercise plan. I weighed 205 pounds after coming from the conference. Friday, to be exact. But, as of this morning, without clothing, I was 196 pounds. I wish so much to be 140. And I will.
The journal entry goes on, describing how I wanted to throw the best dances and parties in high school and for New Year’s and Halloween because I had just watched I Want Him Back. It talks about my exercise regime and the diet pills I was taking that had made me cut my meals down to two a day. I was biking to and from work, picking up a running program, excited about starting school and volleyball again.
I was 16, and I was heavy then. At that point, I had already been a steady participant in a battle that had, at that time, already lasted ten years. There were my good years, in middle school and the beginning of high school, when I was able to manage my weight through year-long involvement with sports on top of an out -of-school exercise regime. I was a machine, cut and with arms that my mom had called “manly.” Guys said I was ripped. No, my arms weren’t manly, they were toned for the strong athlete I had turned into. Today, I would do anything for ripped arms.
But those words stung me then, and mixed with my dwindling eagerness for athletics and burgeoning adoration for music, I dropped sports and joined the drama club full-time. During a time when grunge was hot and girls we revered for their soft bellies peaking from too short shirts and school girl skirts, I welcomed the reversal of all my hard work. My body went from “ripped” to “feminine” to “fat.”
Oh the truth hurts, but these words from the past don’t lie. I only just found this journal after clearing out a room that I am setting aside as an art studio. Before I opened the book I had believed that my weight problems started during the end of my senior year of high school, when the impending reality of college was starting to become a reality. I thought my mother was going out of her mind, insisting that a healthy girl needed to lost weight.
But I was a 205 pound 16-year-old. Big-boned or not, I was overweight by at least 40 pounds. If my Mom was right about this at 16, was she right about this when I was 6? If my body tends to be overweight when I’m not actively restricting calories or involved in an aggressive exercise plan, then am I doomed to be on a diet for the rest of my life?