Thursday, July 16, 2009

#54 Bobbie's Buxom Blues

In the Oprah Magazine, there is one page that is dedicated to a famous person's Aha! moment. I'm dedicating this page to mine.

The background
I am in high school. My boyfriend of one year is going off to college. As far as I know, we are still dating. When I hear he is back home visiting, I wait for him to call. He never does. I find out through his friends that we are no longer an item. I spend a lot of time alone, and a lot of alone time eating. I feel abandoned and go to food for comfort -- no talking to someone, no alcohol, no drugs, no shopping -- just lots of comfort eating . During this time, I am also developing physically [at an exponential rate] and find that the attention my body attracts makes me uncomfortable. I start getting heavy and notice this causes less attention to be directed my way. I have learned to cover my new curves with blubber.

The Middle Time
These are the school years. Throughout high school, college and graduate school, I gain and lose, gain and lose depending on my confidence. If I start losing weight and get the right kind attention, I continue to lose and feel good. If, on the other hand, I feel the attention I am receiving is solely based on my body and am uncomfortable with the feelings that this evokes, I start eating to cover my [what I see as my] sexiness. Up and down I go. It doesn't matter if I have a boyfriend or not, the weight goes on and off. And to make matters even more disturbing, I never share with anyone why I gain and lose because for some reason, I believe it is all my fault. I believe that I must be doing something that attracts the more lascivious and lewd than decent and chaste attention.

Nearing my Aha!
I am a graduate of The George Washington University's undergraduate and graduate schools. I am 39, married and the mother of two young children. I am the Administrative Director for the Emergency Department at The Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Over the past 6 months, I have lost 25 pounds. I am walking up the stairs of an outside pavilion heading into our local supermarket. I hear a car honk. I turn to look thinking it's someone I know saying hello. In the car, there are guys whistling and hooting at me. I turn around and walk into the supermarket. All I can think about is shoving food [lots of it] into my mouth. Later that night, I share this with my husband.

My Aha!
I tell my husband how having those boys/guys/men honk at me brings back all those feelings that I thought were long gone. I tell him that perhaps I was dressed too provocatively [I was wearing black capris, a white t-shirt and sandals]. I give him more reasons for why I attract "this" kind of attention. I can go on and on with self blame, but he stops me. He says, [not in these exact words, but how I wish I could remember them] you are not some young over-budding pubescent teenager anymore. He says, you have a graduate degree and are the administrative director for a busy city emergency room. He says, you are a mother, a wife and a wonderful friend. He says, you have great siblings and parents. He says, you have bought and furnished [on a shoe-string budget] a 250 year old money pit while working full time in the ER. He says, you are an intelligent, fun and loving wife and a fantastic mother. I think I see sparks in front of my eyes. So this is what an epiphany is like I think - this eye opener of great magnitude. I realize that everything he has just said about me, I knew, but I had never stopped and given me the credit for achieving, having, doing and becoming all those things. I can't tell you how it felt, but I can give you the visual.... it is like the weight of an elephant being slowly lifted off one's back. This weight, a physical and emotional one, is suddenly gone ----- just like that.

It's been close to 8 years since that discussion and not once have I felt the need to eat to hide me. Now at 47, the hoots, horn honking and whistlers come fewer and more far between, but on the rare occasion when it does happen, I just smile, take a deep breath, and feel really good.


Anonymous said...

I never realized that weight has been an issue for you. I struggle with mine every moment of every day.
I always thought that you were beautiful and you did not have 'fat girl' issues. You are a great source for support as I struggle to get slimmer !


losing 50 pounds said...

I used to be fat but I manage to lose it and I was success.