A few weeks ago, while I was clearing out a bookshelf, I came upon a chart I had created over ten years ago to document the progress of a weight-loss regimen. At that time, I was approaching a 'milestone' birthday, and having decided that I was unacceptably overweight, I propelled myself into a serious diet and exercise plan, fastidiously recording every morsel I ate and drank, every weight I lifted and every mile I ran. My plan was an amazing success, and I showed up for my birthday celebration looking more fabulous than I ever had in my entire life. I was lean, I was fit, my body was smokin', slammin' and all the other adjectives that one could possibly apply to a woman as stunning as I was.
Then, something happened. I'm not quite sure when, or how, because I didn't actually witness the event myself. If pressed for an explanation, I can only conclude that sometime in the past ten years, my brain was removed from my body, kicked about on the floor for a while, then placed snugly into the cranium of someone 50 pounds heavier. Strangely, I bear no surgical scars from this procedure, so I can only deduce that this was the work of an alien civilization far more advanced than the human race. I can only speculate as to their reasoning for this macabre experimentation. Perhaps they wanted to document the effects of this transformation on the human mind, and I'm sure they were soundly disappointed by my chosen response of ignoring the whole thing and pretending it never happened. "Just how silly is this human?" they must have wondered "Hasn't she noticed that she's gone from petite flower to roly-poly pumpkin overnight?"
Well, quite honestly, no, I didn't notice!!!! Or rather, my conscious self didn't notice (but that part of my brain was probably damaged in the kicking-about-the-floor bit). For quite a long while, I seemed to carry the weight quite well, or so I've deluded myself into thinking. None of my friends or family ever commented on the weight-gain, and they're usually the first to pipe up about that sort of thing. The only evidence, it seems, was photographic. My reflection in the mirror never revealed the true gravity of the situation to me, but over the years, the snapshots would show and extra bump here and there (especially THERE) that my addled mind would simply dismiss as photographic artifacts - an odd camera angle, the lighting not-quite-right.
Slowly but surely, the veil of denial was being lifted. Clothes didn't fit anymore, construction workers didn't whistle anymore (but seventy year-old Puerto Rican men still find me very attractive - go figure), and little health problems started popping up. And then I found that chart, and gazing at my 'unacceptably' heavy starting weight with ENVY, the truth was finally hammered home.
Of course, knowing you're too fat and actually doing something about it are two entirely different things. I've had many little weight loss victories in that 10 year interim, but each one was progressively more difficult to achieve, and totally impossible to maintain. The tactics that had been wildly effective on my young, nimble frame were barely making a dent in my lumbering carcass as I slouched towards middle-age.
"You're too gung-ho!" argues my significant other, "You do too much, too fast, injure yourself so badly you can't work out, and then you're back to square one". And he's absolutely right, of course. His logic is impeccable, but logic and desperation rarely go hand-in-hand, and true to form, I've gone off once again on some poorly defined diet and exercise plan that after only a few days is showing significant signs of decay. And the only reason I haven't injured myself this time around is because I am so enfeebled that I am unable to do anything intense enough to cause damage! How pathetic is that?
But even in the face of near-certain failure, I must persevere. The mountain grows ever higher and the rock grows ever heavier, but I must continue to push, or I will most certainly be crushed - and trust me, nobody wants to have to clean up that mess!