Weight : 221 pounds
Lost in 2 weeks : 2 pounds
Total Lost : 32 pounds
New Year, New You!
If you have eyes, you've probably seen it around 450 times a day since December 26th. Maybe you think that the new year brings a new slogan, but that never seems to happen. Even though it is not someone else's intention when I see this slogan, I hear:
At last stop being rubbish and actually become a decent, thin person!
Or if I'm really in a bad mood, it will be:
Hey, you damn bastard, why do not you do the only worthwhile segment of society – thin people!
Obviously, my own insecurities give this four-word phrase an unnecessary subtext. I understand why gyms across the country promise a "new you" from January 1st – for most of my life that's exactly what I wanted. Sure, I wanted to wear smaller pants, but mainly I wanted to be someone else . Someone with a lot of friends and agents breaking in their door. Someone who has never had conversations at parties and thought, The girl I'm talking to looks around. She does not want to talk to me. I am boring. How can I not get bored? She just wants to leave, but you caught her in your stupid conversation. Why did you talk about scones at the Puyallup Fair? This is not interesting for anyone. She looks around again. She's probably looking for a knife so she can stab herself to get herself out of the conversation .
I always thought that losing weight would magically transform me from a clumsy idiot with fear of social situations into a model of fierceness with confidence.
But that's not how it works.
In my late teens, the fantasy of losing weight was always about boys. Surely nobody likes me now, I thought. But if I lost weight, would someone lower their standard to date me? Until I was about 22, I really believed that no man was sexually attracted to me. I figured maybe I could make a guy like me and out of desperation he would calm down. I knew it was fun to be a nice friend, but what reasonable man would want to sleep with a fat-bellied girl?
These are all things that I really believed . And I was not sad about it. It was only a fact. A day on earth has 24 hours, the lunar cycle controls the tides, and I am sexually abominable – all equally truthful statements to my young brain.
To pull this sad state of mind out of nowhere. My story with romance seemed to prove my hypothesis: I was never asked to dance, on Valentine's Day I never got a candy grunt and I only came up with a kiss on the cheek (I kiss him) with my school friend – the next day's relationship finished because he "did not want a physical relationship". When I went to a man's house in high school "to help with homework," we really just did homework.
After a dance (and yes, I had asked the boy) we said that we had an appointment should just go to his house. His parents were in Hawaii and we had the space for ourselves. Guess what we did see Ghostbusters . He made no move because he was completely uninterested. And after high school, I spent a lot of time being ignored in bars while my friends were hit by my boys. I survived the whole college without a single date. So it was not completely unreasonable that I thought my chances for romance were low.
During this time I have always had the idea that weight loss would be the means to end my loneliness. Lucky for me, I found a nice guy and married him – without losing a pound.
But though I found the love I was so desperate for, my dreams of losing weight did not go away. Strangely, they became stronger.
At the age of 20, I started seriously nourishing. Although I did not know it then, I wanted a new body for a "new me". The depression that really blossomed in me at the age of 30 started to establish itself, and I figured if I could lose weight, it would change everything I did not like about my life and myself.
So I lost 40 pounds and there were good things about it. People told me how good I looked, and there was an unspoken feeling that somehow I deserved more respect from my peers because I was thinner. I was proud to have worked hard and see results.
But there were bad things too. I became obsessed and would freak out if something I ate had more calories than I thought. I was worried that I was not training hard enough and crying when the scale went wrong. When I looked in the mirror, I only saw my stomach. My fat belly It was still too big. Soon my weight loss slowed down. People did not congratulate me anymore. I was still working hard and saw no results. I was thinner, but it was not enough. I was still me.
So when I see all these signs New Year, New You it brings me back to all the desperate days of hope that a new body will completely change my life. This time, I know that if I lose weight now I'm unhappy, 50 pounds from now on I'm unhappy. The scale is just a tiny part of the "transformation" that promises all this sports advertising.
I firmly believe that I will reach my goal weight. And if I do, I'll be exactly the same person in a smaller size. So when I'm working on losing weight, I work just as hard to value my life and put my sanity first. Also, I often have to remember that I'm an adorable person, and it's a lot of fun to be myself – even in different sizes. This year, my motto could be: New Year, Same Me, Lucky You.
Amber Petty is a L.A-based writer and a regular contributor to Greatist. Follow her as she describes her weight loss journey in her new bimonthly Slim Chance column. Join Sing A Different Tune singing lessons and follow her on Instagram @ Ambernpetty.