I’m a ‘muller’, a think it out to its conclusion type of person. Not to be confused with a mullet, that awful hairstyle made famous by Billy Ray Cyrus, bless his hick heart. My Dad recently referenced a childhood habit of mine where I’d chew the same mouthful of food for what seemed like an eternity. To him, this only made the morsel bigger. For me, it was a matter of making it smaller and easier to tolerate on the way down.
You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to. Each of us is our own microcosm of idiosyncrasies. It’s what makes us interesting…or irritating…or intolerable.
I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about WHY I’m overweight. It would be simple (and as it turns out, wrong) to say it’s too much food and not enough exercise. It’s far harder to type it out and say it’s because I allowed it to happen. I couldn’t stop the unkind words that pelted me day in and day out for four hellish years. I hated getting up in the morning, knowing the snide comments that were in store and dreading if I ever got caught alone. I remember my parents showing up on campus in an attempt to fix things…my Dad’s frustration and anger and my Mom’s upset. Did it help? Not particularly, but it somehow made the whole experience ‘okay’ because they’d made a stand on my behalf and it gave me just a teensy bit of confidence to make a stand for myself. At the end of those four years, I was outta there, through, never to return. And I haven’t gone back, not once, not even to drive past.
Not physically anyway.
Mentally, I packed it all up and made a decision to carry it forward into what is now my present life. I didn’t even have the mental foresight to pack it in wheeled suitcases, for Pete’s sake! Oh no, no,no…not me. I found the sturdiest, stoutest set of mental luggage possible, the kind that bangs into your ankles with every step. In-de-struc-tible.
I’ve carried it with me for twenty-two years and used it to build a wall around myself where no one gets in unless I let them. Like the Great Wall of China, only shorter and squishier. Somehow, by making myself bigger physically, I thought I’d insulate my feelings, but of course that doesn’t fly now does it? But, as it turns out, I’m a fairly funny fat girl.
I hate her. I hate that I let it go on this long. I hate that as smart as I am, I’ve repeatedly and with exceptional enthusiasm, made stupid choices because it hurt too much to give a good long hard look at what was really bothering me. It’s not the unkind words or food that’s made me this way. It’s me.
Dear Hubby, after almost twenty years together, has learned with a fair degree of accuracy, how to read my moods and can gauge his response accordingly. Am I sporting that bug-eyed, teeth-bared look? Then it’s time for him to give the wide-eyed holy shit look and slowly back out of the room. More often than not, it’s a pat here, a forehead kiss there, a hug while I snivel and an occasional “Did I do it?” thrown in for good measure. I’ve married myself a good man, y’all. He knows when I say “I’m working something out” to just let it be. It’s not something he can or should fix even though it goes against every male instinct to fix the problem and move on to something more interesting. Like NASCAR or nooky.
I’ve been giving myself some swift kicks and decided while I can’t change Then, I can change Now. It’s sufficient for me to say I am enough. Whether someone else believes I am or not, isn’t my concern.