Spring cleaning this weekend. Most people go about it without any issues. For me, however, it’s usually a humbling experience. It’s not something that’s particularly pleasant for me to write about, but it bothered me enough that I knew I had to. And there is sort of a happy ending to this – so if I start bumming you out, keep reading…it really does get good.
I cleaned the master bathroom today. Not a regular cleaning…a big, whopp’in detailed cleaning. We have a wonderful large oval tub in the bathroom. There’s a nice shelf area behind it, on which I have arranged lots of girly indulgences like bubble bath and bath salts (the fizzy kind, not the “I want to eat your face” kind). Every time I clean the shelf, I’m reminded that I never use these wonderful things. They’re just there to look pretty. I can’t use them, you see.
I’ve only used the tub once in the five years we’ve owned this house. After a long day of unpacking, I had decided to fill it up and have a soak. I was really sore…and tired…and had been looking forward to getting in that tub since the day we toured this house. It doesn’t have jets in it or anything, but it’s the nicest bathtub I’ve ever had. And who doesn’t love a few candles and a big tub filled with bubbles after a hard day?
I filled it up, used some gorgeously scented bubble bath, and got in. By the time I was all the way in, the water level had just hit the top of the tub. Not a drop spilled to the floor, but the water was well past the overflow doohicky. When the water was done draining from the overflow valve, there wasn’t nearly enough water to cover me. I was covered in bubbles and getting cold fast. Damn it.
I tried to make the best of the situation, but the fact was…I was too big for my dream bathtub. What was supposed to be an evening of self-pampering quickly turned into an evening of self-loathing. I was really disappointed. And ashamed of myself. And now, every time I clean the shelf with the girly bath stuff, I remember that night.
Today, after I cleaned the shelf and the bathtub (sadly, the tub gets dusty), I got down on the floor to wipe down the baseboards. I usually ask the Hot Mess Hubby to do it, but he was working and I really wanted it done. I guess I was a wee bit cocky after hitting the 45 pound mark this week.
Imagine 336 pounds resting on your knees. On tile. Ouch.
I couldn’t even stand it for a few seconds. I had to get up fast, which I’m sure was quite funny looking, but somehow I made it happen. And I twisted my knee in the process. So now my baseboards are still dirty and I’m limping. Classic!!
I limped out to the kitchen, grabbed a glass of water, and stretched myself out on the couch for a bit. There I was, laying on my side, rubbing my knee and trying not to feel sorry for myself. I reached up above my waist to scratch an itch and I felt my rib cage.
Does it seem weird that a 336 pound woman could actually feel her rib cage? Well…let’s just say that when you’re this big, fat moves and jiggles a lot, constantly reminding you that you’re overweight. It’s like a Twinkie guzzling fairy godmother that rests on your shoulder all the time and screams “You’re FAAAAAAAT!” in your ear. It’s really great. And when a fat person lays on their side all the fat just sort of shifts…it’s horrible, trust me. It’s like I’m part human, part melting snowman when I lay down.
But whatever, I’m not writing today to bash my fatness. Well, not too much. I’m writing because when I felt my rib cage, I started prodding around. With my fingers, I followed the natural curve of my ribs. Poke, poke, poke…prod, prod, prod. When I felt the area where my stomach would normally be if I were a regular sized girl, I nearly fell off the couch. In a good way. Oh my gosh…
I’m little under here!
This may seem strange to y’all, but poking my disgusting fat took me from thinking about my sad, dusty bathtub to being absolutely overjoyed in 2 seconds. I poked myself right out of the mental funk I was in. Just feeling that part of me (that I haven’t seen in over 20 years) filled me up with my usual “Go, girl!” spirit.
Now…I do realize that there will be lots of meat still on my bones when I hit my goal weight. I’m not imagining that I’ll be trot’in around Texas like some bony super model. But when you’re this overweight for this long, you have a very skewed view of what regular sizes are. I know I’ll probably end up around a size 12 or 14 when I’m done, but I can’t even begin to picture it in my head. It’s not realistic to look at pictures of myself in my 20’s and expect to look like that again. I’ve gotten used to flying blind and having no real expectations in that department.
It may not make any sense at all, but I felt hope.
Y’all know what I say: I always try to find the silver lining. But after the dusty bathtub, the unused bath salts, and the twisted knee I wasn’t feeling very optimistic. Isn’t it funny that I would find the silver lining by poking around the very thing I’m trying like hell to get rid of?
I found the me underneath it all. I am fat, but I am not my fat. I needed to reconnect with that today. This fat on my body comes from years of self-abuse, but it is not who I am. I am a fat busting, healthy eating, motivating machine. Someday my outside will measure up to what I am inside.
Sometimes the silver lining is right beneath your fingertips. I’m little under here.