You hide food.
Heath bars hidden in the mess on my desk, a box of cookies on the bookshelf, an extra bag of Salsitos from the vending machine at work. Check.
You eat alone.
Going out for lunch almost every day, running to the Wendy's around the corner and getting a large combo, something covered in mayonnaise or a cream-based dressing, deep-fried, crunchy, topped with bacon. The lettuce, tomato, sometimes the onion made me feel less guilty about the poison I was ingesting. The large fries. Sea salt means they're good for you, right? A giant iced tea, unsweetened. I have never liked sugar in my tea. I would let the lemon float on top, sometimes not even squeezing it in. Just nice to know it was there.
The perfect BLT from Waffle House.
Smothered, covered and topped hash browns.
Double Whoppers with bacon and cheese.
Onion rings and zesty sauce.
Twenty piece McNuggets, lots of sweet & sour and honey mustard sauce, gorged on while curled up on the couch watching Steve Wilkos throw chairs on his talk show.
High blood pressure readings at the doctor. Every time.
Trying to make light of it.
"Oh, the construction over here is really horrible! I get stressed out because I don't come to this part of town this much, and I don't really like to drive."
When the construction was over, it wasn't a valid excuse anymore.
The blood pressure readings were too high.
I struggled to catch my breath after walking out to my car after work.
I'm not obese, but I'm overweight.
More important than that, I know I'm not healthy.
Holding my breath and knowing I won't be happy with what I see, I set one foot on the scale.
The numbers flash for a minute and then I see it.
Five foot six, two twenty five.
I'm not healthy.
On Labor Day, my husband and I decide to join the Y. The people who work out there seem normal, varying ages and weights. They seem normal.
My fast food lunches come to a quick and sudden halt. Once a constant at one of the three fast food restaurants by work, I start bringing my lunch with me more often than not.
The Whoppers and onion rings are replaced by taco salad made with ground turkey and Romaine lettuce, topped with beautiful red Roma tomatoes and diced purple onions. We always fight over the leftovers.
Grilled chicken sandwiches if I decide to treat myself on a Sunday.
Eventually my clothes are more comfortable.
I'm drowning in my "I Don't Roll On Shabbas" t-shirt.
The pair of bootcut Levis that I bought at Ross just a couple of months ago are way too big.
And I decide to give blood at work.
I'm hooked up and they give me a blood pressure reading. "125 over 70," says the good-looking young tech, detatching the velcro sleeve from my arm.
Only a few months ago my readings were sky high and my doctor was contemplating the possibility of blood pressure medication.
125 over 70.
Bit by bit and day by day, I'm doing it.
I want to live as long as I can.
The cookies are no longer on the bookshelf.
There are no more candy bars in my purse.
The Heath bars are gone from my desk.
And I think I'm getting off to a pretty good start.