There is a certain joy in anonymity. Walking into a grocery store in another city brings a freedom that is alluring. Yes I can go without makeup. Is there a large zit lighting up the left region of my face? Who cares? I don’t know a soul. Children lying on floor screaming? You can step over them, pretend they are not yours and no one would know otherwise. No, I do not have to control my children. Yes I can put the extra-large package of toilet paper right next to the frozen burritos and chocolate bars on top of the cart. No need to be discreet, no need to be self-conscious. I can even mutter unkind things to the person with 14 items in the twelve items or less and not worry that he could be my former Bishop.
Thighs feel the same way. As smoke grows to fill a room so does your thigh grow to fill your pants. A size tag on my bottom offers a monitor and a warning for better behavior. While anonymity in a grocery store is freeing – anonymity, as in not knowing what size you are, is dangerous.
Everyone has a favorite pair of fat pants. They are usually comfortably stretchy and in black (the color that minimizes). There is no other size on the tag besides XXL or better yet “one size fits all”. You think they are your best friend but they deceive. I have been known to cut off the size tag of particularly offending apparel just to improve my self esteem. I worry that there could be size police that look inside my clothing and mock me while I am not looking. But the denial of my size is in the big picture going to keep me from changing it.
I have talked before of the danger of denial. Denial is not your friend. I will once again quote the good doctor and say: “you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”
Know your size. Know what your first goal is and when you want to reach it. Did you know that every 10 lbs lost means you shrink a dress size? Are you a 26? Shout it to the world. “I am a 26 and I am not going to take it anymore!” Tell the world “In 2 months time I will be a 24, and in another 2 months I will be a 22, and in another 2 months as a size 20 I will take my 26 pants and use them for a tent to shelter and keep my svelte body warm and dry!“
Police your size. A size is like a ruler. If it seems to be getting a bit harder to breathe in your size 18’s then don’t jump up a size, use the pain to remind you that seconds are out of the question just now, and use them to give you the ability to say: “NO, I do NOT want a doggie bag- I would like to avoid looking like a St. Bernard. “
Time to liken because that is what I like to do: Let’s think repentance. If you do not acknowledge that what you are doing is wrong then you will not be able to get to the actual changing part. Knowledge is power. Knowing our size is like repentance in that we have to understand that what we are doing is taking us in the opposite direction of where we want to go. My mission president told us that every evening we needed to repent, that that was what the gospel is - the gospel of repentance. I felt insulted at first. Could he think that I could sin every day???? Well turns out I can , did, and do. I will never grow if I don't practice repentance. It is such a wonderful way to feel close to Heavenly Father. Not admitting that we are doing things wrong will make it so we can't learn how to do things right. That goes for both sin and the way we care for our bodies.
The last thing that I have to say before I pack for our “holiday” (Canadian word for vacation) is – Always jump into your new size and then burn the bridges that lead back to fat land. As I dropped the weight I found a certain doubt and fear would haunt me. I kept the clothes that were 2 or three sizes too large in a garbage bag in the garage. I kept thinking that it represented a bunch of money and what if I got fat again?
Think every faith analogy that you learned in primary. Think of the fear and faith not being able to co-exist thing. I don’t have time to write all of the lessons but you have taught them a million times. Now teach yourself. It is scary to give up doubt. When you save the clothes that you shrunk out of it means that you don’t believe in your partnership with God. Burning those bridges means a commitment to change. It means that you are ready to be a new person. It means learning a whole new way to walk (anyone else thinking of the sesame street song?). You are going to have to do the likening but I am sure you can tell where I am going. My husband poo-pooed the fear and drove the fat clothes to the D.I. He said that I was being silly and that I wasn’t going to be fat again. I felt scared and excited that he believed that I could do it. This is the new me.
I still have night terrors that include me ballooning like Violet in Wonka Land but, I am building new friendships and I hope that you will all police me. “Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee and together we’ll ascend”