Let’s be honest. We all have weight issues. Whether it’s our own or somebody else’s. We all have a standard for beauty or propriety or some form of conformity to a “fit” fitness that guides our perceptions. In part we have to. After all, a morbidly obese person can’t fit into an airplane seat or, if they can, they make it incredibly uncomfortable for the person sitting next to them. Well, maybe. Maybe not though for any physical reason, but for the reason that THAT much emotional baggage is hard to deal with day-to-day.
See, that’s the real issue with obesity: emotional baggage. You might just say fat IS emotional baggage. Protection I assert. I assert because I was. Fat. I lost it all though. By the time I was in my mid 20s I was 5:11 and weighed 160 lobs. I was skinny. I ran five miles a day and ate conscientiously. Of course I was no happier than I was when I was thin, but I WAS THIN. I accomplished the goal that stared at me in the face (in the mirror) everyday of my life growing up. I lost weight. I also lost the erroneous impression that weight was the root of my problems. My problems were actually the root of my weight.
I discovered when I lost weight I was alone. Literally. I had moved away from my mom and was living alone in a city where I barely knew anyone. I worked sparingly and then went back to school and worked sparingly some more. I felt no particular attachment to anything and got by through accommodating myself to that which was there for me. In other words, I made friends and did what I could to survive. Normal stuff, right? Not really. I lived like a guerilla warrior on the periphery of life. I didn’t exist as someone with my education and background should. I lived dodgy and oddly. I lived alone. Thin but alone. Thin but still protected by emotional baggage.
I had gotten very used to the old, fat me who knew how to live with people. Once he was gone, I realized that I didn’t know how to live with people because as a fat person, I had never thought of myself as actually being there to live with them. I “played” myself while I was fat as opposed to actually being myself. I was not the person I saw in the mirror everyday so I accentuated and performed the part that was given to me. I was TOO funny or TOO mad. I was “off the charts” in many, many ways. I probably stabbed around borderline personality issues. But by the time I lost the weight, I was in a strange wide and deep valley made up of all the distance that already existed between me and the world. When I had to step up and be me, as it were, I ran off to a place where I could place myself in a quiet and solitary middle of emptiness.
I can never get the years of childhood back. Of course. No one can. I think in some ways I missed a maturation process that I find myself going through now. And though I hate the idea that there is a “process” that everyone has to go through, it does seem to have some relevance to my life. In many ways I’m twelve years old, often snarky and supercilious while seeking to connect and feeling amazingly vulnerable all the time. This is… Well, this has GOT to be a fledgling step in the process of emotional maturity. One that some people probably took earlier than I did because, well, I wasn’t there, remember?
I have more to say on this so more on weighty issues next time.