The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

A Place Called Wonderland

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.

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