Fat or Not?

When I look in the mirror I fight with my brain. Each and every time. My brain screams you will always be fat. My eyes rebel against the thought. The truth is I am as thin as I have ever been in the last twenty years. I know this to be true because I gave away a suit this week that I have had since college and I could still wear it.

I have struggled with my body image my whole life. It drives me crazy. I was very heavy for a good portion of my childhood and yet there were times I wasn’t. When I turned 18 I put on a huge amount of weight and then took it all off before I exited college (I didn’t start college for real until I was 21).

I steadily put on weight after I got married but nothing crazy. That was until I crushed my back. An injury that haunts me to this day. I went through a three-year period where I packed on pounds and got as heavy as I have ever been. Then through the help of some great physical therapists (who helped me exercise with the injured back) I lost 75 pounds. Then I hurt myself again and gained 35 of the 75 pounds back.

This last November I decided enough and took those 35 pounds right back off. I am now back to my college weight and yet I still feel like I am fat. I want off the yo-yo bus. I want off of the bad self-image train. It’s getting a little ridiculous.

I have accomplished some amazing things these last few months. I have run several half-marathons. I had a month where I ran 170 miles. This summer I have run in 4 different states and seven different cities. I am about to add another state and a few more cities but I seem incapable of letting go of the fat me.

It’s a weird feeling to have because I also feel like a runner. I know part of my worry is my back. I haven’t run these last three days because my back has been bad. However, unlike in the past I worked out on the elliptical for an hour each of those days. I feel good. I want to continue to feel good. I want to live as long as I possibly can. I am married to my best friend. I have to take care of myself for her.

And yet the mirror frakking hates me. I think it may always hate me. I will now endeavor to find a way to not give a fuck. I know I can do it. I turned myself into someone who writes novels. Someone who exercises every day. Someone who wants to run a marathon and thinks he might actually be able to do it. I will find away. In the meantime, I am going on a cruise. I will run everyday. I will walk the stairs and, yes, I will eat food (lots of food as long as I am running). I will enjoy Alaska and I will try to not worry about the damn mirrors.

About csdaley

C.S. Daley was born in California but has spent most of his life in his imagination. His first short story written in third grade, the now classic "Close Encounters of the Turd Kind," was sold to his next door neighbor for a quarter. The neighbor promptly demanded a refund. An unhealthy obsession with the writings of Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Terry Pratchett have left his mind warped and broken. He spends most of his evening swilling down coffee while tapping at a keyboard under the watchful eyes of his kittens. They are there to make sure he doesn't snap. He likes to write fantasy for adults and teens.

2 Responses to “Fat or Not?”

  1. We started together in November on this journey. I couldn’t be more proud to know you right now. We have both come a long way from where we were 8 months ago. And believe me, I know the thought process you are having.

    We are our own worst enemy, as they say. I hope it comes with time that we are fully happy. Until then, just keep at it, and make sure you don’t have to ever actually be fat again. ❤

  2. Chris,

    Remember, you’re not fighting the mirror…you’re fighting yourself. It’s one of those blasted internalized scripts. The way I learned to fight them includes:

    1) awareness – which you clearly have. You know it’s there, and it’s wrong.
    1a) learning what launches those dialogs is important, too.
    2) develop a counter-affirmation. To this day, I have daily affirmations that I recite to myself. I don’t say them out loud, but found that effective when I first started on this quest.

    I love the Pogo line “We have met the enemy and he is us”.

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