Those of you who follow this blog know that I always make jokes about my weight. I’m really not a rival for the fat lady in the circus (do they even still have a fat lady in the circus? along with the bearded lady? which I definitely am, before I see Kim, my fabulous wax artiste, every other Wednesday!) Anyway, I am overweight, but even Michele Obama would be hard-pressed to call me morbidly obese. I was disappointed because I didn’t qualify for either The Biggest Loser or the lap band because I am way below their qualifying weight. (Thankfully.)
I was with a friend the other day and we were talking about the never-ending battle of the bulge. It reminded me of some of the “close encounters of the fat kind” I have had in my silly life.
I think I’ve tried pretty much every program and diet there is. Some with good results, some with no results. Usually with some results. At least I’ve never gained weight with any of them.
There was a time in my 30′s that I participated in a group therapy kind of deal that was coupled with modifying your habits and your diet to become a healthy eater. I did pretty well with it, but it required my attending a meeting once a week sort of like an Overeaters’ Anonymous, but it wasn’t that. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was a fair distance from my house and my kids were small so it involved some juggling of sitters and the spouse to be able to make those meetings.
Enroute to one I was in my usual hurry to not be late and pulled up behind a pick up truck that had an old refrigerator loosely strapped into it’s bay. It was bouncing around and I have a very bad habit of tailgating when I am running late. At the precise moment that I had an opportunity to pass him and began to pull around, the refrigerator decided to commit suicide and started to tumble off the back of the truck. I avoided catastrophe and also what would have been a very amusing obituary: “Judy was taken from us too early when a refrigerator fell from a truck, crushing her. Sadly, she was hurrying to a meeting with her diet counselor.”
That same group had a rule that when you first came in, you had to take a slip of paper and write something good that you’d done for yourself on it and place it in a bowl for the counselor to go through and discuss. The meeting room was outfitted with those form-fitting plastic chairs, sort of like you would see on The Jetsons. There’s a picture of it at the beginning of the blog. At the last meeting I attended (and I must be honest, this was the reason it was the last meeting I went to) one of the other participants attempted to get up to place hers in the basket and unfortunately, her bottom was securely wedged in the chair. Instead of pulling it off, she kept it there, waddled a full five feet to the drop-off spot with the chair still attached, then backed up and sat again. No one said anything. No one laughed…except me. I really, really tried not to, but it was just funny beyond words. I excused myself very quickly and left. I never went back.
The best case of feeling really good about myself happened when I was probably at my lowest point of self-esteem while at my highest weight physically. I realized that I out-weighed Phil Simms, who was then the star quarterback of the NY Giants. I knew that drastic measures were required to rectify my health, so I contacted Careen (our exclusive OCAS travel advisor) and asked her to find me a fat farm that I could get to as soon as possible. She did her usual beyond efficient job and voila! I was on my way to Vermont in February for what was to be a real turning point in my life.
It was a highly touted place, known for producing fantastic results and had many truly obese people there on long-term basis on their way to overcoming their personal struggles. I could only go for one week, but as it turned out, I learned quite enough in those seven days and over the succeeding months I lost 55 pounds and I’ve never gone back to being mistaken for a pro-football player since.
I arrived on a snowy Sunday afternoon and all was quiet on the campus. I was greeted by the owner/founder who showed me to my room and told me I’d be meeting the other ”classmates” at dinner that evening. She was, of course, slender and toned.
When I walked into the dining room the seven or eight truly huge women gathered there stopped talking and looked at me. I was truly embarrassed. I wasn’t quite sure what was wrong, until one woman piped up in a high voice that didn’t match her body “My goodness!!! You look fantastic! How long have you been here?” I thought about saying “oh, about three hours…” but that would have been rude.
They turned out to be a marvelous group and I kept in touch with them for quite awhile afterwards.
This blog would be longer but it’s time to cook dinner…and that’s another thing. I’ve never learned how to cook for less than five people, which was my whole family. I haven’t had a child living home in many years, yet I still make three pounds of chili, a pound of pasta and 15 meatballs. Someday. Hopefully before I’m drafted by the circus for the side show.