The Weight

I'm quitting Weight Watchers.

This isn't a huge deal since I was never really all that into it in the first place. I have friends that loved it and lost weight on it and still use it as a maintenance tool and that is wonderful. I'm not knocking it (so please don't try to change my mind in the comments!).

I decided to quit Weight Watchers after my father called me fat on the phone today.

Let me explain…

I got pregnant. I ate like a sitcom version of a pregnant woman. I gained weight like a real life woman who ate like a sitcom version of a pregnant woman. I had the baby. I started losing weight. I was sucked into a vortex of depression and an anxiety laden hell the likes of which I do not wish on my worst enemy and I have been battling my way out ever since.

A month ago I weighed MORE than I did the day before Buddy was born. You read that right - MORE. That was the thing that people could see. They couldn't see the millions of tiny weights dragging me down every second of every day. They couldn't see the bands of hot fire that squeeze my heart and lungs on a regular basis. They cannot understand the depression or the anxiety so they focus on the weight.

They make assumptions - that I'm eating too much, or eating the wrong things, or being lazy, or not really sticking with Weight Watchers. They don't ask if there is anything else going on. Please God, don't let anyone have to talk about feelings!

I want to live. I want to be healthy. I want to live a healthy life. I actively want those things. This is a revelation for me because there were months and months when I could not say any of that truthfully. I was living because the only way to love my son and Adam was to be alive. That was it.  To dull the pain - and sometimes to reinforce the pain - I ate. Moving hurt - so I didn't do it. My entire existence was centered around escaping the pain as much as possible.

I don't know if it was the drugs, or writing here, or people pissing me off, or missing the relationship that Adam and I used to have or watching Buddy grow into this remarkable baby but something was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I'm in therapy now. I took action to try and get better. Dr. Warren tells me that life isn't supposed to be this hard and it doesn't have to hurt this much. The only way to better is through the pain though. Every morning I take my Zoloft. I take my vitamins. I get out of bed and I take care of my child. I work to grow my business and I plan for my future. I do my mental health 'homework' - reading something Dr. Warren has suggested or paying attention to stray thoughts and feelings - whatever she asks me to do. Five times a week I either go to the gym or to a Barre Evolution class.

I'm not trying to lose weight - I'm trying to save my life.

I'm not trying to lose weight so that I don't embarrass my dad or to make anyone else more comfortable.  I'm trying to be more healthy because I have been promised by people who should know what they are talking about that it is possible for me to feel happiness again. They say that I have a chance at more than a fleeting second of not horrible. They say that I can get back to real, genuine laughter and a smile that is not 90% mask. They say that I can be the woman that I want my son to have as his first love and Adam to have as his last. They say that to become that woman I need the endorphins, stamina and general health that working out and eating well will bring me.

Instead of WW this is my new 'diet'. I won't be on a diet. EVER. AGAIN. I'm going to try and stay away from any food that has ingredients that I cannot pronounce. (Special exceptions will be made once a quarter for Velveeta Shells and Cheese… because I said so) I'm going to eat all the veggies I want and I'm going to try and have multiple colors on each plate. I'm going to stick to the hand rule for meat and starches: a serving size is meat the size of your fist and for starches a handful. I'm not counting calories and I'm not tracking points. I'm going to treat my body like something I'm grateful for and maybe someday soon I will actually BE grateful for it.

My father says I have to lose the weight. My question - which he never answered - is: Or what? What is this thing that will happen if I don't? Will I lose my job? My child? Adam? Do you think that love is something that can be lost or gained because of numbers on a scale? What do you think will happen if I never lose any weight?

WHY DO YOU CARE SO MUCH ABOUT MY WEIGHT AND SO LITTLE ABOUT MY MENTAL HEALTH?!?

I am the least educated person in my immediate family and I am the only person in my immediate family who has done any research at all on depression and anxiety. Of course, I had to - for me this is life and death. Still, it makes a nearly unbearable day even worse when the ones who love you and who should be fighting for your life along side you are making ridiculous assumptions and focusing on trivialities. I know that they love me. 

I just wish that they knew me.

It hurts every day. Living is painful. Not romantically painful or melodramatically painful, but annoyingly painful. It is pain like nails on a chalkboard. Living hurts me and it frustrates me and it wears me down every day. Adam says that we will get through this. He has never lied to me and so I have faith. Dr. Warren says that I can do this and that she will help me. She has a PhD after her name, kind eyes and steel in her voice and so I will do as she says. My best friend says she misses me. She has always been right there when I needed her and so I will reach out. The glimmer in my baby's eyes and the beam of his smile are my lights at the end of the tunnel and so I will crawl towards them day after day.

I will get better.

I will get stronger.

I will be healthy.

I will have a life and I will wake up one day  EXCITED to be alive. I could give less than two shits how much I weigh when that day comes.

Graeme Seabrook