Guys, I’m not fat. I realize that. But I am fatter. I am a recovering skinny girl who still shops and dresses like a skinny girl. It’s not until I find myself in a changing room stuck in a pair of jeans that won’t go past my thighs that I remember the thirty extra pounds I’m carrying. I still wear my old clothes, because why waste my money on new clothes? Buying new clothes is admitting defeat, and I’m going to lose this extra weight any day now! Three years later, I’m still using this weak-ass argument to justify not buying clothes that actually fit. So I continue to wear my too-small clothes, but with minor (embarrassing) adjustments. For example, today my student worker helpfully pointed out that my skirt had come unzipped. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I couldn’t have zipped it any further even if I had burned another skirt as a sacrifice to the Fat Gods.
I blame Surrey, mostly. I bounced back pretty easily after the first two babies. It’s that third pregnancy that fucks up your body. Being in your thirties doesn’t really help, either. Then I had my gall bladder out a year ago, which helped me to pile on an additional ten pounds. But that’s not my fault! My surgeon reassured me that this would not happen. Well, actually, what he said was, “Many people say that having your gall bladder removed makes you gain weight, but that is not true. While it is true that you may not feel full when you eat the way you did before the surgery, as long as you stay within a normal calorie range, you will not gain weight.” I guess that’s what he said — I wasn’t really listening, I was hungry and daydreaming about the Baconator I was going to get from Wendy’s on the way home from my appointment. But here’s how it probably would have gone if I had actually been paying attention:
Surgeon: “Make sure you eat like a normal person and you won’t gain weight”
Surgeon: “STOP EATING DUDE.”
Me: “LOL NO.”
Here’s my main problem: losing weight takes waaaay too long. The longest I can last on a diet is two weeks. That’s not nearly enough time to lose an appreciable amount of weight. Recently, it dawned on me that I need to figure out a way to lose all the weight I need to lose within a faster period of time. I thought about finding a faith healer to speak in tongues and then shove me backwards, ridding me of the Doritos demon that has taken control of my midsection. Instead, I decided to go old-school and try something that I remember from ’80s childhood: Slimfast. If it was good enough for my mother’s generation, then dammit, it was good enough for me. I felt like such a hipster buying my canister of powdered chocolate-flavored drink at the drug store. The feeling faded as I went to work with my liquid “meal.” I told everyone I was drinking a protein shake for lunch. That sounded way cooler than, “I’m a little chunky so I’m drinking Slimfast because I’m approaching middle age and this is what we do.”
I did great the first two days. I felt very retro with my ’80s-style weight-loss solution. I considered ordering a Sweatin’ to the Oldies video, but then I remembered our VCR didn’t work and also it wasn’t 1989 anymore. I lost a few pounds, and figured I could lose a decent amount by the following Friday. Things were going well, right up until I found myself in my bathroom at the end of day two struggling to give birth to the enormous turd baby that had lodged itself inside of me. It seems that constipation is a serious issue with Slimfast, a fact I wish I hadn’t found out from Googling on my phone while sitting on the toilet. “Never again,” I whispered to myself between contractions. I began to wonder if there was such a thing as a butt C-section. Silver lining: I lost at least two pounds after delivering that unholy dump. Win!
(BTW: It was a boy. I named him Scooter.)
A few weeks after the Slimfast disaster, I was looking through the discount bin at the grocery store when I found a box of powdered Slimquick. I was sold on the name alone. I mean, finally — here’s a company that fucking gets it. I don’t need to get slimfast, I need to get slimquick! I couldn’t wait to get really skinny by drinking this berry-flavored concoction of vitamins and sketchy-sounding herbs and (presumably) a mega-dose of caffeine. I lasted one day. All it did was stain my water cup at work a beautiful shade of red, and piss off my kids because I wouldn’t share my “Kool-Aid” with them. Plus, by this point I really missed eating. I just wanted to chew again, you know? “Drinking your lunch” sounds way cooler when you’re a ’60s advertising executive than when you’re a slightly round librarian who keeps food in her desk.
Oh well. It’s probably better that things worked out this way. There’s far too much Halloween candy in this house, which I don’t think counts as a 100 calorie snack or a sensible meal. Better to just say “fuck it, I’m fat” until New Year’s. What better way to begin the new year than cranky and perpetually thisclose to clawing your husband’s face off for daring to eat fast food in front of you? “Happy New Year, FUCK YOU AND YOUR BURGER.”
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