By Paula MandezOn Zealous Thierry
When I was a kid I never gave in to other people’s opinions about how I should look or how much I should weigh. Dieting was for weaklings.
I felt superior to kids who were always talking about their weight and how little they ate. If a girl turned down dessert for fear of getting fat, I’d roll my eyes and order the hot biggest fudge sundae on the menu. I never got on a scale, because I felt fine the way I was.
Some people referred to me as chubby: I didn’t care. But when my cousin got married and asked me to be in the wedding, I had to be fitted for a bridesmaid dress. I’d always hated shopping. I wore whatever my mother got for me. With elastic waistbands. Now I had to face a mirror, and the fact that I was a size 16. The biggest size the bridal store sold! I got a scale, weighed myself, and found I was what the chart called “obese”.
I went on the South Beach Diet. I gave up sugar and started obsessing about food and weight, including noticing other people’s weight and judging them on it! I’d never that done before. I was really strict, and lost nearly 2 pounds a week for six months– until I had some kind of breakdown. I was depressed and faint and went on crying jags– just like those dieting weaklings I used to feel superior to in seventh grade!
Now I’ve gained back half of what I’d lost, but I think I’ll be all right. Even though I’m not strict any more, some of the better eating habits– more vegetables, more protein, less pasta and sugar– have settled in.
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