I confess to not being a huge sports fan. I wasn’t on the soccer or basketball team in high school, although I did march in the football games because I was the drum major for my school band. (I often tell the kids that’s why I’m so good at telling everyone what to do because I got to wave my arms around and 300 people moved in formation when I was in high school!)
During my years at the university, I developed more of an interest in football because it was fun to go to the Florida State University games and be part of a huge crowd of people cheering our team on. After John and I got married we occasionally went to the games but once the kids started coming along, we settled for watching our team play on television. I confess that those game times were more about eating nachos and brownies than watching the game though!
I don’t know how you are, but I kept my weight a total and complete secret from everyone except my doctor and myself. John didn’t know, none of my friends knew, and my in-laws certainly didn’t know. If John accompanied me to the doctor’s office, I made him stand back while the nurse weighed me. Logically I knew that he could tell I had gained weight from the 165 pounds that I weighed when we got married, but I still didn’t want him to know that I was in the 300 pound range.
One day, while we were watching a FSU game on television, the sports announcer said, “The defensive end, who weighs an impressive 285 pounds, is . . . .” I couldn’t help myself. The words blurted out of my mouth. “I weigh more than that guy does.”
John swiveled around to look at me and said, “Oh, there is no way. You don’t.” I told him I really, really did, and we both sat there not knowing what else to say. I’ve never asked him, but I know he had to be a bit shocked. I know I was. I couldn’t believe that I had just said my weight out loud.
Not only was I upset when I realized that I had shared my secret with John, but I was shocked that I weighed more than that humongous college defensive end. I mean really. That guy was enormous. His legs were massive and strong looking, his shoulders were super-wide, and his neck was huge.
Surely I wasn’t really as large as that guy was. Oh, but I was. The truth was that I was all squish and fat, while he was all muscle. But I really was as big as he was when it came to weight.
Instead of vowing to lose some weight and be as slim as the smallish kicker FSU had at the time, I got off the couch and made more nachos. Later, I had diet coke with ice cream, cookies, and chocolate syrup. I was trying to cover up my fat and weight with more food.
However, the truth was, I couldn’t cover up my fat with food, with large clothes, or even by trying to bury my head in the sand. I could try, but it never would work because my weight, and size and unhealthy lifestyle were always there with me.
Years later, I’d still joke about that day when I inadvertently confessed to John that I was as big as a football player. But every time I joked, I almost choked on my words because I absolutely hated being that big and knew it wasn’t good for me physically and did nothing for my self-esteem. It would be several more years before I finally got to the point where I did something about my weight.
These kinds of revelations about ourselves can be hard to handle, but it was good for me in the long-run to admit my weight to myself and to John. After that day, I found it harder to convince myself that it was okay to cover my fatness in food, and eventually, I was able to use that experience as a motivator to keep going when it was hard to make the good choices that allowed me to lose 158 pounds.
Was there ever a time when you had to accept your size? Was it motivating or not? Diane