INTRODUCTION TO "I HATE BEING FAT!"
When did it begin? When did the fat start creeping into my body? I think it was in my fifties, piling on even more in my sixties, and now, voila! In my seventies I’m ten-ton Annie!
I ask myself what made the difference in weight between my first forty-nine years and the last twenty-two? And right off the bat I can see it is my activity level and my lifestyle.
Growing up I was extremely active in school, sports and cheer-leading, band, choir, group activities, church activities, working for my dad in his store, constantly on the go, walking all over the place, running from home to school to town and back again, dating, looking and feeling my best at all times ... won best figure in my Junior or Senior Class - don't remember which one.
Then as a young adult throughout my forties, wife and mother (several times), with full time jobs outside the home . . . again, the high activity level continued. Add to that a newly acquired night life, singing, dancing, partying … and you have more activity.
Food wasn’t an issue during those years. I ate when I was hungry and ate whatever I wanted. It didn’t seem to matter, on looking back, whether I ate cheese and crackers, sandwiches, cake, pie, salads, fish & meats, fruit, bread, pizza, spaghetti, mac & cheese, and so forth. I didn’t gain weight. Cheeseburgers galore, didn’t matter.
Then … in my early fifties, I decided to drop out of the workforce and traipse off to god knows what and where with a new man in my life. This was after my kids were raised and had their own lives and families, lived elsewhere. I was single, divorced, and living on my own in L.A., had a fabulous job with a major advertising firm. But one day I quit my fabulous job for a man.
My new boyfriend was moving to Arizona, across the river from Laughlin, Nevada, and wanted me to go with him. The first red flag should have been the fact he didn’t have a job, the second red flag was when he asked me to pay the moving expenses and pay the deposits on the condo and utilities in Bullhead City.
Even though I was in my early fifties at the time, I was still in good physical shape. Was a size eight, no flab, felt good. Loved life.
Needless to say, that excursion lasted only four months. He never got a job, would rather play pool for money all day and night, and I was doing all I could to pay the rent by working for a temp agency. The day came when I packed up a U-Haul with my belongings, left him a ‘dear John’, and returned to California. I lived in the U-Haul for the next week till I rented a room in Brentwood and signed on with a temp agency in West L.A.
But I never got back into the swing of things. My momentum was lost. I was in my 50s, wasn't a spring chicken anymore. I tried several jobs offered by friends, but nothing gelled. Finally I landed a singing gig in Bakersfield with an old friend piano player.
It was then that I met a man from England which began my instant foray into the British segment. But it wasn’t till several years later that I moved to England, married the man and left him, and since then, over twenty years ago, my focus has been my writing. Any work I’ve done since then has been primarily in the creative world and basically on my own time.
So there we go, there it is. On my own time. And that’s when the fat really started creeping onto my frame. You see, my activity level decreased even more, while my stress level increased.
After I left the man in England and returned to California, I met and married an old friend whose life was in community theatre. As it turned out, that became the most stressful time of my life. More fat.
I ended that relationship a couple years later and in the past nine years I’ve focused on full-time writing and have started a publishing company. I’m the happiest I’ve been in years, just me and my three cats, but I’ve become more sedentary due to writing more, sitting at the computer more, or lazing in front of the TV more, and reading more. I spend more hours sitting or lying down than standing and walking.
And it keeps comin' on, fat and more fat.
By the way, how many times have you read a book by a person who has such will-power and restraint from the moment a diet begins and they lose their weight seemingly effortlessly? Is there really such a person? Do they really tell the truth about their trek to skinnydom? Are they leaving out their false starts and falls from the wagon along the way?
Well, I’m telling it all here, I’m tellin’ it like it is.
To be continued . . .