Does anyone remember that episode of “The West Wing” when Jed Bartlet – the president was wrestling with whether or not to pardon someone on death row. He consulted with his priest who relayed a story of sorts about God not answering questions – or rather people not listening to the answers he/she is sending.
The priest tells Bartlet this story:
You know, you remind me of the man that lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town. And that all the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, 'I'm religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.'The waters rose up.
A guy in a row boat came along and he shouted, 'Hey, hey you! You in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety.' But the man shouted back, 'I'm religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.'
A helicopter was hovering overhead. And a guy with a megaphone shouted, 'Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I'll take you to safety.' But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety.
Well... the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter, he demanded an audience with God. 'Lord,' he said, 'I'm a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?'
God said, 'I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?
Religion notwithstanding, I do often times get the sense that the universe is conspiring to tell me something. Sometimes, I think we look for reassurance to corroborate a decision/thought we’re already having.
Sometimes it’s your pants telling you – no, you haven’t regained 101 pounds and you don’t weigh 300 pounds again. However, you have regained 18 pounds and you cannot wear your size 14 trousers without violating obscenity laws.
Yep, it’s happened to me. I hit my low – 196…. 6 lowly pounds away from my goal – earlier this summer. I was too tight for a long time and started to rely on a lot of sweets/sliders. The good news – if that’s all you’re eating, you’re not gaining weight. The bad news, I started to experience some stomach upset and reflux.
I had two unfills (the second after a fluoroscope) and it opened everything right up. I was ready to eat and eat I did. Not binging. Not drive thrus. Not anything too awful, relatively speaking. But, I was eating a bit more than a good bandster should on the “food food” front. Plus, I was keeping up my ad hoc intake of sweets. I just haven’t been mindful. If I want to eat something, I do. Am I hungry? I don’t know. Not really thinking about that. Sound familiar? Might have contributed just a bit to getting within a hair's breath of 300 pounds.
So, my three pairs of size 14 dress pants are too tight. I am not buying new pants. I am not buying new pants. I am not buying new pants.
A few other things I’m not doing….
I’m not going on a crash diet.
I’m not going to stop eating.
I’m not going to wig out.
I’m not going to start thinking I’m fat again.
I’m not going to keep gaining weight.
I’m not going to self-sabotage.
Because frankly, I’ve got enough sabotage from which I can draw in the world around me. Oh yeah, I got called fat today at work. At work. By one of the principals of our firm. In front of other principals and colleagues. And yes, I guess I’m still fat 80 pounds down. God knows what she called me 80 pounds ago.
Afterwards, a co-worker couldn’t believe that I wasn’t more upset.
I’m not upset because I’m numb. I’m numb to a workplace that sustains, rewards and tolerates inappropriate behavior, misogyny, bullying, and just plain social skills poorer than those seen at most junior high school dances. I’ve wanted to leave for a long time. I haven’t because frankly, I was scared to look for a job at my heaviest. But, it’s go time. I’m getting my resume in shape. I’ve got my outreach plan kicking. I am leaving. I’m leaving soon. And that is good.
But back to my weight. I have to say, this little incident has prompted some questions…. Namely, am I still fat? Have I lost 80/100 pounds and I’m still fat? Does the world still see me as a blob – just a smaller blob?
My goal throughout this process has never been to be supermodel thin. Not going to happen. But, I want to be healthy. I’d like to be pretty. I’d like for my pants to fit. I’m good with being chubby. But I’ve worked too damn hard to still be the girl in the room that people think – Man, I hope that chair doesn’t give out on her. I don't want to be the girl that asks to take a middle seat on the airplane and the aisle/window people think.. Aww man. And I don’t think I am that girl anymore. I don't think I'm delusional on this point. The space in my head is working really hard to stick with this viewpoint.
So the idiot commenter came by later in the day to apologize. She tried to say that what she meant was that I had a tall, totally different frame from the other petite woman who was standing there. Who knows, maybe she did. Maybe she was just being a bitch. Maybe she was just being an idiot. Maybe it was all three.
What do I know?
I know that I wear the same size pants as Meryl Streep does and I don’t think anybody is worrying about her going around and breaking chairs.
And I know that I’m getting a new job. My resignation will be my fu*k you to you and you and you. And when I resign, I will be wearing my size 14 trousers and they will look awesome. Some may call this sour grapes but I call it my armageddon. It’s a reckoning. The chickens are coming home to roost. Don’t know how many more metaphors I can mix but I do know that this place isn’t going to have Susan to kick around for much longer. Yeah.
And, I know that I'm going to enjoy a good amount of wine this weekend. 18 pounds be damned.
A Letter to My Body
1 day ago