The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

A Place Called Wonderland

on February 11, 2013

Only, it’s not spelled Wonderland. It’s One-derland, and it’s kind of a big deal.

I’m sure you guys know the story. My story. I’ve heard it from so many others – overweight as a kid, ostracized, left alone and sad and driven to food (and books) because I was alone and sad. Even when I hit late junior high and high school, when I got friends, got involved in theater, and figured out how to turn my love of books in to a life path (HELLO, English major!), I still ate because I felt sad and alone. Only not alone – lonely. Some big girls out there can back me up on this – when you feel like you’re the co-star, like your best friends are more thin, beautiful, popular, and loveable than you, suddenly, however much you love them, you still feel lonely. And I was sad because I didn’t look like everyone else, and I knew it and they knew it, and we were just all being too polite to directly talk about it. Unless I made the joke, then it was fine – and that happened a lot. So much so that that became my defense method – point it out, make fun of myself, and beat them to the quick. But I was a smart kid, and I knew that eating a bagel and nacho cheese every day for lunch (unless it was pizza day, of course) and working out a couple times a month wasn’t going to fix the problem. It was too hard to do the other stuff, though, so I stayed fat and sad.

In college I was still fat, but I was less sad. More people who loved me, more ways to express myself, a universe of stuff to learn and brilliant people to teach it to me – I loved college. I also started to attempt to think about working out more. And then I moved off campus, got off the eating plan, didn’t want to drive to the gym, and I got gross. 250 pounds of a person I had no interest in looking at anymore. I don’t know, I don’t think I can put an exact date on it. It was right around the time I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan; and I was watching movies on the true cost of food – on our bodies, our planet, or future. I realized that the food I was eating tasted SO DAMN GOOD because someone wanted it to taste that way. And it IS good! But the other stuff is better – not only for my body, but for my wallet, my planet, and being a mom someday. So I did all the stuff I knew the whole time I was already supposed to be doing. I started the Couch to 5k program. I switched to whole wheat, learned to eat oatmeal, stopped hating vegetables (or at least found ways to hide them in stuff), and realized that a diet of McDonalds and stuff from the freezer just wasn’t going to cut it.

And today at the gym a weighed in. At 195. I didn’t have to move that huge sliding block to the 200 mark just to start. And it’s FUCKING amazing. I’m sure you can imagine. Hopefully – it’s accomplishing a goal and the rush that comes with it. Not that I’m accomplished. But I’m closer. WAY closer. And that’s something. Something awesome.

horizontal running


One response to “A Place Called Wonderland

  1. Tanisha says:

    Hey Chelsea, eating disorders are seen in many kids nowadays. Emotional eating is also very common. Tackling these cases at a young age and nipping them in the bud is very important. I think there should be no pressure on school kids to look great and be thin. It is an age when they should take it easy and be comfortable with who they are.

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