The ads reads:
Why I joined Weight Watchers
Inside every overweight woman is the woman she knows she can be. You look in the mirror and sometimes don’t recognize yourself because you’ve gotten lost, buried in the weight.
But nothing you have been through is ever wasted. So every time I tried and failed, and every I tried again and every time I tried again has brought me to this most powerful moment to say if not now, when?
I feel that way and I know millions of you feel that way too.
Are you ready? Let’s do this together. -Oprah
I decided to write this post after the new year didn’t feel as new anymore. I’ve been notorious for writing bittersweet posts on December 31st/ January 1st about what a failure the last year has been, but how I’m putting it behind me and starting a new year with sunny optimism. I felt the same this year, if not better, but something about posting on January 1st seemed like a trap.
On December 29th I signed up for Weight Watchers, again. I saw the ads and felt something spark in me. As an advertising graduate, I’m definitely not immune to the effects of a good ad. Oprah pulled me right in, but I wouldn’t attribute it all to her, over the holiday break I realized just how in denial I’ve been.
I have a favourite shirt. It’s sheer, black and as flattering as it gets for something with no stretch at all. I’ve had it for years, it’s my go to, I wear it over and over with no shame at all. I put it on a month ago and it felt too snug to wear but I threw a cardigan over it and prayed it would loosen up a bit as the day went on. It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise, I hadn’t felt comfortable in my clothes in months. Mind you, I also hadn’t weighed myself in weeks. When I got home, I took off my cardigan, went to take off my shirt and noticed the arm was ripped. I inspected it and knew it would be very hard to fix, if it even could be fixed. And then came the tears.
Flash forward to right after Christmas. I needed to get rid of the hideous monstrosity of an entertainment center in my bedroom so I went to Ikea to buy a new dresser and bookcase. I got home and started trying to demolish the entertainment center, huffing and puffing the whole time. After walking up and down 13 stairs 5 or 6 times, my 53 year old dad noticed how out of breath and fluorescent pink I was and asked if I needed to take a break.
On December 28th my family went to my grandparent’s house to see them before they left for Arizona for 3 months. It’s the longest they’ve ever been away and I was feeling irrationally abandoned. Before I left, my grandmother told me she wants to be get healthy, I could tell she was genuinely scared for me. My 75 year old grandmother is scared for me.
Last week I split the zipper in my $300 knee length winter jacket and the domes bust open when I sit.
I’m forever exhausted, sore, uncomfortable and out of breath.
All of this was bubbling up to the surface and when I saw that ad, it was the beacon of hope and clarity I needed.
I’ve always been chubby/big/fat/overweight. I was chubby baby and toddler, a big kid and teenager and I’ve been overweight all of my adult life. Trying to determine a goal size is extremely difficult because the lowest weight I’ve been in the last 5 years was 260. I’ve suppressed so much of out denial and shame, I can’t remember what size I was in middle school or high school. So I took a shot in the dark and decided my goal is a size 8-10, roughly.
I’m really sick of feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable, avoiding attention as much as I can.
I’m sick of being scared of being diagnosed with something terrible because of my weight.
I’m sick of how my weight plays a lead part in my social anxiety.
I’m sick of feeling the need to apologize for how much space I take up.
I’m sick of feeling the exact opposite of beautiful and alive and healthy.
A couple days ago it dawned on me it would be a good idea to take some before pictures . While I knew it was a good idea, the thought of it filled me with dread. I decided I was going to try and take a picture that could conceal “the damage”. I thought if I wore a baggier shirt and some leggings the picture I took wouldn’t be as cringe worthy. Instead, I captured a true representation of what I look like. Minus a big cardigan to hide behind, voluminous, bouncy hair or a support garment to smooth down the lumps and bumps. I posted the the picture in a support group on Facebook and on my weight loss inspired Instagram account @erinsdoingit. In a way it was like a ripping off a band aid, no more denial, no more hiding.
I bought a Fitbit in an awesome boxing day sale, I got a vegetable spiralizer for Christmas and I’ve been successfully tracking since I joined. It would appear I’m doing the damn thing.
And, it’s true, if not now, when?