Walking on Empty

Trigger warning: This blog post includes discussion of disordered eating and depression.

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If they chose to look, the workers fixing my broken deck could see me through the family room windows. And that was a problem, since they weren’t likely to understand what they’d witness.

I wasn’t entirely certain I understood, either. Not anymore.

But I joked with them, trying to explain away what might seem like aberrant, borderline-disturbed behavior. “I’m just trying to get in my steps, and I can’t go to the gym today!” I said. “So don’t be alarmed when you see me circling my coffee table.”

They nodded and offered a confused smile, then got to work.

When you’re fat and discussing an attempt to exercise, people don’t tend to question the whys or hows. They simply approve. This was true of the workers (who left my deck in excellent condition), my doctor, and pretty much everyone else who’d noticed my rapid weight loss. Dropping one hundred pounds in about ten months had earned me praise from all quarters, declarations of how good I now looked, and questions as to how I’d done it.

The same had been true seven years before, when I’d lost 110 pounds. The admiration and questions had ceased when I regained all that weight, plus fifty pounds extra.

So everyone approved of my most recent weight loss attempt except my husband, whose gentle hints had become plainer over the last month or two. “You’re exercising for longer chunks of time than I did when I trained for the Iron Man,” he told me. “Be careful.” Continue reading