Pre-Friday Fun: My New “Baby”

I got a kitten yesterday!!!!  😀

I had been saying for months that I would love to have another cat.  We had 2 when we lived in Illinois – Cheyenne and Dakota (they were brother and sister).  Cheyenne accidentally got locked out of the house the day we brought The Little Chatterbox home from the hospital – Hubby accidentally locked her between the storm door and the screen door and she managed to get the screen door open and ran away.  😦  I swear, I cried for a month afterward.  Dakota we had until The Little Helper set the house on fire in September 2002, and we had to give him away.  We had moved in with my grandmother and she flat-out refused to let us keep him.

A couple of years ago, we took in a former stray that Hubby’s best friend’s wife found.  We named her Jasmine.  Unfortunately, she died in her sleep about 6 months later.  But she was roughly 8 years old, and while that’s not exactly old in cat years, the fact that she was a stray meant that she was pretty much guaranteed to die an early death.  Our only consolation was that she knew she was loved and taken care of at the end.

See, I love animals.  I would absolutely LOVE to have a dog, but that’s one thing Hubby puts his foot down on.  He can’t stand dogs, and absolutely Will. Not. Ever. allow me to have one.  But cats?  Even HE loves cats.  But we aren’t financially able to be paying £80-£100 for a cat from a pet store, and besides, I really like the idea of taking in an animal that needs a home.

Well, I got lucky.  My neighbor’s son David came to the door at the end of last week and asked if I wanted a kitten.  Someone they (the neighbors) knew was giving them away already litter-trained and with all the supplies, even.  I sweet-talked Hubby into letting me take it, and David brought her home yesterday.  Complete with litter tray, food bowl, food, and a small amount of litter.  Enough that I won’t have to worry about it for a good week or so.

She’s a sweetheart, though.  In this picture, she’d climbed up on my shoulder herself.  She’s still a little skittish around the children, but I can’t say I blame her.  They won’t leave the poor thing alone!  And then they wonder why she keeps running away from them.  *headshake*

She’s a bit of a psycho, too.  This morning, as I was waiting for the girls to finish getting ready for school, Hubby was still half-asleep and the kitten was on the corner of the bed… chasing her own tail.  I’ve never seen a cat chase its own tail before.  Dogs, yes.  But not cats.

She’s really taken a shine to the Hubby, too.  He went out this evening, meeting a friend for dinner and a few drinks, and when he got home she nearly attacked him in her eagerness to be held by him.  Which I have to admit makes me just a tiny bit jealous – I’m the one that wanted her in the first damned place! 😉  But eh… as long as she’s getting comfortable with us, that’s all that matters, right?

She doesn’t have a name yet, though.  I’m undecided what to call her.  Hubby calls her “Shithead” — and she answers!  Only him, though; if I say it, she completely ignores me.  He suggested the name “Socks” because of her white paws.  And the girls are wanting “Spot” because of the numerous white spots all over her (feet, stomach, and nose).

Got a suggestion?

No-Diet Talk

Reading the comments on this post really got me thinking. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that having a “no-diet talk” policy is a good thing.

For a lot of us, the road to dieting is a road to crazy-ville. I know that’s true for me. Like Rachel has said, not all diets turn into eating disorders, but most eating disorders began with a simple ‘diet.’ And while I never had a full-blown eating disorder, I’ll be the first to admit that I was well on my way to developing one. My only saving grace was that I had someone who loved me to stop me from killing myself.

My last diet – just last year – ended the day my husband lost it, screamed at me, and smashed my scale to smithereens with his bare hands. What set him off? Well, for one thing, I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t even eating enough to keep a baby alive. 2 pots of yogurt (low-fat, of course) and 1/4 of a meal was pretty much all I would eat – and that was on a good day. If I was having a bad day, I would eat even less. I would drink water to try and fill up my belly, so I wouldn’t feel the hunger. And after a while, I would become immune to the hunger pains anyway.

He watched me starving myself and weighing myself 3.. 4… sometimes even 5 or 6 times a day. It became an obsession. I was obsessed with becoming thin. It was all I could think about. I ate, drank, even breathed ‘weight loss.’ It was the sole purpose of my existence at the time. Nothing else mattered. Not him, not the children, not the house (I’m a housewife, so the house is my ‘job.’) All I could think about was becoming thin. Or at least thinner.

I was weak, I would get dizzy spells, I was cranky as hell (okay, I’ll admit it: I was a bitch)… and yet the only thing that mattered to me at the time was becoming thin. Losing weight. Taking up less space.

Until one day he found me in tears in the bathroom. After all my hard work, the scale actually said that I’d gained five pounds. GAINED!!! I was hysterical. No amount of dieting was ever going to work. I was going to be a fat, ugly, worthless pig for the rest of my life. That’s the really sad part. I really believed – at the time – that fat = ugly/worthless/pig. At least for me. (That’s the strange part. I could look at another fat woman and not think those things, but to look in the mirror always brought those thoughts. It was like those particular slurs were meant for me and me alone.) When he saw just how distraught I was, and knew that no amount of trying to support me was helping, he lost it. He couldn’t stand to see me literally trying to kill myself just in the quest to become thin. He started screaming – not so much at me, but at his own frustrations regarding the situation – took my scale, and broke it. It was in pieces. Several pieces.

At first, the thought of not dieting, not knowing how much I weighed? It scared me. It fucking terrified me. I, like a lot of fat people, had the irrational fear that I was going to keep gaining and gaining and eventually take up the whole world. And I feared that he (Hubby) would one day become disgusted with me and would leave me for someone thinner and infinitely more beautiful.

But that didn’t happen. I didn’t gain weight. I haven’t taken over the world. My husband hasn’t left me. If anything, he was the catalyst that led me to FA. Not directly, of course, but I don’t think I would have been ready to accept the concept of FA if I was still in full-blown dieting mode. I don’t think my brain could have grasped the concept.

And, if anything, finding FA and realizing that I don’t have to lose weight just to become an acceptable human being, has made me a better person. Trying to accept and come to love myself just the way I am, without trying to change myself, has improved almost every area of my life. It’s certainly improved my marriage, and I can finally see that my fears over losing my husband just because of my weight were not just unfounded, they were downright ridiculous. Because he’s always loved me just the way I am. He’s attracted to me because I’m fat. (I have to tell you, that knowledge is still mind-blowing. After spending 9 years terrified that he’d ‘settled’ for me, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around that one.)

So… no-diet talk? For me, it’s a must. It would be SOO easy to fall back into that mindset, that thinking that I will only become an acceptable human being once I take up less space. And that thinking? Is crazy thinking. In-fucking-sane. I realize now that I deserve so much better than to think that I have to be something I’m inherently NOT just to become “worthy.” Worthy of what? Of whom? And who says? Who the hell crowned himself king of the world and decided that I have to be X to become a worthy human being? And why in the hell did I ever believe it?

So… yeah. NO DIET TALK. It’s much better for my mental health. And, reading the comments on Paul’s post just proves to me that I’m sure as hell not alone.

Apparently Hubby’s Friends are Size-Positive, too.

I was relating to The Hubster the story about the Olsen twins and their Starbucks Debacle.  He didn’t understand the big deal about it until I turned it around for him.

“What if, say, you and I were out to dinner, and I ordered… ice cream… for a dessert?  And the waitress brought me a bowl of fruit instead, telling me that I needed to lose a few pounds?”

That clicked for him.  He finally ‘got it’ once I put it to him like that.  I never realized before how size-positive he truly was until I really started talking to him about the kind of stuff I’m finding throughout the Fatosphere.

He then told me the story of something that happened when he and his best friend were out at a club.  Apparently this emaciated whip of a woman kept hitting on him.  (Hubby’s best friend is married to his childhood sweetheart – they’ve been together since they were 15 years old.)  Best Friend kept telling the woman he wasn’t interested, but she kept coming back for more.  Eventually, Best Friend got an idea to get through to her.  She came back again and the conversation went like this:

Best Friend: You know what, I’ve changed my mind.  I think I’d like to buy you dinner.
Emaciated Whip of a Woman: I knew it!  You want to f**k me, don’t you?
BF: No, I just want to feed you.  You look like you need to eat!

Of course, EWOAW didn’t take kindly to that remark and finally left BF alone.  And while I realize it’s probably not the nicest example of being a size-positive person (snark much?), The Hubster and I continued to talk.  And I learned some things.

I was always afraid of what his friends would think of me when they finally met me (we’d been married for 4 years before we moved here, and the last time they’d seen him was before he even met me in person for the first time).  I was very much in my self-loathing phase, and feared that when they met me, they would see only fat.  I was astounded to realize that they were very kind people (a far cry to the “American Bitch” comments I’d heard about before*) and they seemed to completely accept me without any reservation whatsoever.

The Hubster told me that he and his friends were never “into” this stick-thin boy-body version of “beauty.”  Best Friend’s wife is very thin, but there’s no way in hell she’s even remotely close to this “size 0 ideal.”  And none of his other friends has ever said anything disparaging about me or my size (I was concerned that they would reserve all their comments for him alone, but it turns out they’ve never said anything).

I don’t know why I found this so surprising.  After all, as The Hubster himself said, he’s always preferred “larger women.”  So if that’s been the case, I’m sure his ex-girlfriends were probably larger women, too.  (I have to admit that I’ve always had images in my head of thin beautiful women hanging on his arm, though.)  And if his friends were going to have a problem with it, they would have had one long before I ever came into the picture.

I’ve been surrounded by size-positive people and didn’t even know it.

Sometimes my own stupidity astounds me.

* – Back before we had ever even met in person, The Hubster was proudly telling everyone he knew that he was traveling to America to marry me.  His friends were understandably upset at this, especially considering that they have all been friends since the age of 3.  They would try to talk him out of it, asking him “Why would you want to go there and marry some American Bitch?”  And I have to admit that him telling me that colored my perception of them just a tiny little bit.  Is it any wonder I feared meeting them for the first time?  After all, I AM the American Bitch.  But now I can see that it was said mainly out of their own fear and sadness at losing The Hubster as a friend.

Reason #153568736165687 why my husband is awesome.

(The man in question, on a bouncy castle with Number One Daughter.)

As I said in a previous post, we have been communicating a lot more. Some of it has been a change in him, but the change in me has increased that desire for communication tenfold. As an experiment today, I asked him to find me a picture of someone whom he thinks I look like.

Contrary to what you might think, this was not a roundabout way of putting him on the spot and trying to get him to tell me I look better than I am. It was a way to get it straight in my head what he sees when he looks at me.

Because I gotta tell you, from the language he’s used when he describes me to myself, I really got the impression that he saw something completely different to what I see when I look in the mirror. The only way I could think of to put myself in his position and see what he sees would be to find a picture of someone else that he thinks I resemble physically.

When I saw the picture, I didn’t know what to say. Because it was obvious at that point, that he wasn’t seeing something different to what I saw… he just had a different opinion about what he saw.

You know, it was easier to understand when I thought he was seeing me completely differently. But to know that he’s seeing the exact same thing that I’m seeing… and he likes what he sees? It’s just really hard to comprehend. Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you. I just find it hard to wrap my brain around (as I said to him after seeing the picture, my brain hurts now).

So we talked about why I have such body-image issues. And this man, bless him, knows me inside and out.

“I think your biggest problem with your own looks is your stomach,” he said to me. And you know what? He’s absolutely, 100% spot-on. That IS my biggest problem. Ever since having children (because I didn’t have a problem until becoming a mother), the shape of my stomach has horrified me. I can’t stand looking at it, so I can’t understand how anybody else could look at me and not want to throw up, either.

So what does he do? He doesn’t say how disgusting my stomach is. He doesn’t just brush aside my insecurities. Instead, he suggests I try using a collagen-based skin cream to see if it would tighten the skin on my saggy belly.

And then says to me:

“You don’t have to lose weight for me, because I think you look beautiful as you are. As a matter of fact, I think you would look strange if you were thin. You don’t have the build for it.”

You know, he’s the first person in my entire life to say that to me. But it’s something I’ve thought about myself for years. I’ve never been thin. I’ve been thinner, but I’ve never been thin. I think I would look weird if I were to suddenly lose enough weight to be considered thin. I’ve got my polish great-grandmother’s build: short and stocky. Big bones, wide shoulders, the whole nine. And honestly? If my stomach had never come out of childbirth being so saggy, I really don’t think I would have the body image issues that I have now. That’s not to say that I would be perfectly happy with the way I look, because I never have been. Yes, I’m making a LOT of progress lately, but I’m not 100% there yet. But if my stomach looked even vaguely like it was before children? I’d be a lot happier with the way I look than I am right now.

And I just think it’s awesome that this man not only loves me for the way I look right now, but understands what it is that bothers me about the way I look and why, and cares enough to make suggestions on how to remedy it. And not because it bothers him, but because it bothers me.

I really don’t know if it would do any good – the collagen-based skin cream, that is – but the fact that that’s what he thought of? Not plastic surgery, not fad diets, not exercising until I collapse in a heap? The man is made of win.

No wonder I love him so much. 🙂

Marital Revelations

In the last couple of weeks, as I said in the previous post, my marriage seems to have done a total 180 – for the better!

My hubby and I are talking more, laughing more, and having a lot more sex. I can partly thank the people in the LiveJournal group fatshionista. Since joining over there (I’m MrsNoName1999 over there; somebody hijacked my username, dammit!), they have opened my eyes so that I’m seeing myself in a totally different light. It started with the clothes, but it’s gone so much deeper than that.

A few weeks back, I posted some pictures, asking for some advice. I’d bought some tops on a whim, off a clearance rack, and could have taken them back if I’d wanted to, but I needed somebody to tell me if it looked good on me or not first. I had absolutely no idea. I’m a complete idiot when it comes to dressing myself – I’ve been hiding in Omar The Tentmaker clothes for so long that I just don’t even know what kinds of things I should be wearing or not. Thus the reason I joined fatshionista in the first place. In doing so, I got a lot of remarks about how the one top I was the most concerned about was the best one for me, because it showed my shape a whole lot more.

That literally blew my mind. Shape? What shape? I have no shape! I’m just…. round. …. aren’t I?

But after having several people say the exact same thing to me, I took a step back and tried to look at it objectively. I stared at the photos for a while, and I realized they were right. I still have the hourglass shape I had when I was a teenager – it’s just a little bit different on the bottom now, because I’ve had children. But it’s still there.

Those comments sparked something in me, and were really the catalyst that got me back over here.

Sometimes I seriously wonder if I don’t have body dysmorphia. Because for as long as I can remember, I’ve seen myself completely differently to what others tell me they see. I look in the mirror, and I see someone who is twice the size I actually am. My “problem areas” seem much more pronounced to me than they do to other people (apparently; I’m just going by what people have actually said to me). But, just as hearing that I was fat, ugly, and worthless got tattooed on my brain, having people tell me that I actually have a nice shape and have body parts that should be flaunted and not hidden away has started to imprint on my brain just as much.

It’s like counter-brainwashing. I needed to hear (or read) people tell me that I’m not what I think I am. If they can honestly see me that way, then maybe – just maybe – I can start to see it for myself. And so far, it’s working. I can feel myself, bit by bit, becoming more and more accepting of myself – and even more than that. Not just accepting, but almost to the point of liking myself. For the first time in my life, I’m almost to the point where I can say that I like myself. I’m 32 years old – better late than never, I guess.

But all of this has had a knock-on effect on my marriage. A wonderful effect. While things had spontaneously started getting better between my husband and I, what’s happening within myself is making them even more better. (Mo’ betta?) We’re communicating about what my self-loathing has done to our relationship, and realizing that we’re much better together when I like myself. And in this communication, he’s told me things that he’s never really told me before. But now things are starting to make sense.

When we first got married, I felt as if I were living in a dream. I couldn’t believe that he actually wanted to marry me. ME?! I seriously thought I’d never get married. Why? Because I was fat. Who would want to marry a fat woman who already had 2 children, one of whom was disabled? My disbelief was so bad that I unconsciously started a fight the night before our wedding, pretty much opening the door and telling him that he didn’t have to marry me, because I didn’t feel worthy of him. Of his love. Of his promise to spend the rest of his life with me. (I honestly didn’t realize that was what I was doing; it is only in hindsight that I can see it.) But even with all of that, he still wanted to marry me. And marry me he did.

All throughout our marriage, I felt that he had settled for me. I always worried that he married me because he felt he ‘had’ to; that he wasn’t willing to renege on a promise, even if he didn’t really love me as much as he said he did. I would look at other, better looking (to me) women and wonder why the hell he ever settled for me. And it would just make the self-loathing even worse.

In the beginning of our marriage, he would try to tell me that I was good-looking. I would brush off every compliment, just like a good fatty would, and tell him that he was wrong. After taking so much of this, eventually he gave up and just stopped trying. And so I deducted that I was right; I wasn’t any of those things. I was an ugly, worthless fatty that he had simply settled for.

I specifically remember one argument we had gotten into, because he felt that I was comparing him to the men in my past. I wasn’t, but he had taken it the wrong way. The problem was that every single man before him had mistreated me in one way or another. But they weren’t all alike, either. One took me for granted, one physically abused me, one fucked with my head – all of it was bad, but it wasn’t all the same. So I took from that that there was something wrong with me, something that made men want to mistreat me. And that’s why I feared him doing the same to me; because while he wasn’t like the men in my past, I was still me. And since I so obviously drove those men to mistreat me, then the same thing would happen to him. Just one example of how my self-loathing was threatening to drive us apart.

And it got worse after he had the affair four years ago. That, too, reinforced every negative thought I’d ever had about myself. Because, in my mind, if none of that was true, then he wouldn’t have had the affair. Never mind the fact that we had both made mistakes in the marriage itself, and had pretty much driven ourselves apart. Before the affair ever happened. Nope, in my mind, it was all my fault for being the ugly, worthless fatty that I was.

But he loved me enough to not only try to fix our marriage but to prove to me that it wasn’t anything I had done – or been – that had caused it to happen. He had made the choice, and he tried to fix it as best he could.

What I didn’t realize then was that when I would look at a woman that I thought looked better than me, what he saw was someone completely unattractive. Why? Because he’s always preferred big women. My husband has always been a chubby chaser, and I only realized this last night. I don’t know if he didn’t think I was capable of taking it in, but he never told me that before. (I do remember one comment he made to me, when I was actively trying to lose weight. He told me that if I ever became as skinny as he is [he’s 5’11” and 145 lbs.], he would divorce me. That blew my mind, and I never understood it until last night.) While I was panicking, worrying that he would find me disgusting because of my fat, he looked at me and saw a sexy, desirable woman.

But up until recently, I couldn’t have believed him. Not that I didn’t want to. I was completely and utterly incapable of believing it. It wouldn’t have computed. I needed to get to a certain place psychologically before I was capable of believing it. And I do believe him. Now, I do believe him. I don’t think he could fake the passion for me that he has had lately, ever since I started seeing myself in a different light.

What I regret are the lost years. All these years of arguments and iciness. All these years of me hating myself and thinking that he simply settled for me when in reality, I was exactly what he’d wanted all along. It literally brings me to tears when I realize that every time he told me that he thought I was beautiful and desirable and I just brushed him off, he was telling me the truth. The. Truth. How must it have made him feel, knowing I didn’t believe him? I cringe just thinking about it.

But at the same time, knowing that he loved me enough to stick by me and wait patiently until I got to the place where I could believe him? That thought brings tears as well – tears of joy and happiness.

Who would have thought that getting to a place in my life where I’m starting to like myself would make my marriage like new again?

I’m not really sure how to take this.

After reading several blog posts and comments from around the fatosphere regarding fat women whose husbands actually love them because of their bodies and not in spite of them, it led me to wondering.  Where does my own husband stand?  I really didn’t know.

So about ten minutes ago, I gathered up the courage to ask him.

Me: I need to ask you a serious question, but you’re probably going to think I’m nuts.
Hub: Ooooookaaaaaaaaay………..
Me: You say you love me, right?
Hub: (looking insulted) Yes.
Me: (after an uncomfortable pause) Is that because of the way I look or in spite of the way I look?
Hub: (thought for a second) A little bit of both, I guess.

I just don’t know how to feel.  Part of me thinks I guess it was just too much to ask for him to actually like the way I look.  But another part of me thinks that maybe I’m being too harsh on him and myself.  My husband is not the most communicative of people (okay, that’s the understatement of the century).  In order for me to truly understand what he means by that, I would have to continue questioning him – and to be honest, after that answer, I don’t know that I have the emotional stamina to do that.  Of course, the fact that I’ve been suffering through a flu since Sunday doesn’t help any – I get really emotional and downright bitchy when I’m sick.  So I realize that the fact of me being sick may have something to do with my reaction to his answer.

It’s just that once upon a time, this man used to tell me that he liked the way I looked – that I was beautiful.  But he hasn’t said that in years – and he blames me.  He has said that because of my own nonexistent self-esteem and the fact that I would “argue” with him when he said it (he’d say it and I would say something like “no I’m not”), he stopped trying.  But since I’ve found Fat Acceptance and realized that maybe – just possibly – I might be okay the way I am, I started feeling a lot better about myself.  (Well, until I caught this damned flu, that is.)  And knowing what he used to say to me, I guess I was just hoping that he truly thought of me differently than I always had (although my thinking is starting to change) and he would say something to that effect.

But this?  I just don’t know how to take it.  I don’t know whether I should be hurt or not.

God, this self-acceptance thing sure as hell ain’t easy.

Has the insurance industry lost its collective mind?

According to my husband, who just watched SiCKO a few days ago, if we ever decided to move back home to the U.S., we’d be… well… fucked.

Ya see, my hubby?  He’s “underweight.”

Me?  I’m “obese.”

And my oldest daughter?  She’s autistic and epileptic. (Heck, she might even be overweight, too, but I actually don’t know how much she weighs!)

All three of us would be ineligible for insurance coverage.

ALL THREE OF US.

My hubby and I because of our weights, and my daughter because of the disabilities she was born with.

You know what really gets me about all of this?  I used to work in the insurance industry! 

I used to work for UniCare, from 1999-2003.  If I’m honest, I’d probably still be working there if we’d never moved to the other side of the freaking world.  I worked in this office.

I used to not want to tell people where I used to work.  I don’t know why – I guess it seemed like I was betraying something if I told people where I used to work and how insurance companies actually treat their clients’ claims and whatnot.

But with all of this shit that I’m hearing about how the insurance industry in the U.S. is going down the toilet, I thought it was time to speak up.

Apparently, not only would half of my family (I have three other daughters who would be accepted in a heartbeat for coverage) be ineligible for coverege, but they wouldn’t even tell me up front.

According to the hubby, in the movie SiCKO, there is a story about a woman who underwent major surgery while under insurance coverage.  She was told prior to the surgery that everything would be covered, and the claim was actually PAID by the insurer.  But then (insert suspenseful music here)… some claim investigator found out she’d had a yeast infection years before and didn’t disclose that information.  So her coverage was retroactively cancelled, they requested a refund from the doctor and hospital, and told said doctor and hospital that they should go after the patient for the money.

All because of a yeast infection.

Now, if you’re a woman, I ask you: do you know a single woman who has never in her life had a yeast infection?  I didn’t think so.  Would you think that not disclosing information about a yeast infection would get you booted off your insurance plan?  I didn’t think so, either.

The reason I’m speaking up about this now?  Because I know for a fact that when I was still working there, UniCare – and most other large insurance companies – wouldn’t have dreamed about doing something like that, because they would be taken to court and sued – and they’d lose.  I was “just” a “lowly” data entry technician (don’tcha love “professional” titles?), but I was one of those people who would literally talk to anybody about anything.  And I smoked – so I would meet people from all of our departments just by talking to the people around me outside.  And while, granted, I wasn’t in the office with them all the time, I know enough from my discussions with people about the ways claims were approved or denied to know that something like a yeast infection – back then, anyway – would have been laughable as a reason for denying a claim.  That’s not even touching cancelling someone’s coverage for one.

I don’t know what the hell has happened with the law in the last 4.5 years, but obviously some “genius” (yes, I’m being ironical) decided to pass some law that said that insurance companies could get away with this shit.  People have been fighting with insurance companies – and especially HMOs – for YEARS because of fraudulent practices.  And now they go backwards instead of forwards?

Is it just me, or has the entire fucking world lost its collective mind?  Not just the insurance industry, but the whole thingNew Zealand is denying entry to people just because they’re fat.  Here in the UK, you’re being denied treatment because you’re fat.  Women are afraid to go to the doctor when there’s something wrong, because we’re either hysterical, hypochondriacs, or we’re just too fat (even when we’re NOT).

It’s not just angering me, it’s downright scaring me.  What’s next?  Are we going to pass a law that says that if you’re not absolutely 100% “perfect,” you’re going to be put to sleep?  Yeah, I’m exaggerating here – but only a little. 

The fear?  It’s almost enough to make me go back on my promise to myself never to diet again.  Almost.  But you know what?  I am intelligent enough to realize that even if I DID diet again, there’s no guarantee that I would lose any weight.  As a matter of fact, I seem to be slowly shrinking now, without even trying.  But I’m feeling better than I have in years – because I’m eating well, I’m exercising, and I’m not berating myself about every single little thing.  If I were to go back and try dieting again, I would be depressed, anxious, and I can guaran-fucking-tee you that I would go right back to hating every single thing about myself.  The evil twin inside my head would rip off her gag and start telling me how ugly and worthless I am.

And I’m not willing to go back to THAT for anything.