March 30, 2003
man, I’m a little pimp this week! lol I’m going out with Zach J. now. Took us long enough, huh? He asked me out on Friday, and I decided I’d do it in Math. Haven’t had a real boyfriend in like 2 years and in the past week I’ve had 2. Don’t know what it is, I’m not used to all this attention. It was pretty random, too (that he’d ask me out) because we like haven’t even talked in a week or 2. A week maybe. I like Zach and everything, but I think I said yes because I’m on the rebound from Josh. It’s OK though, I’ll just go with it. He’ll just get really jealous and hate himself for dumping me. haha. OMG I got 2 new outfits yesterday and the skirt I got is a size 6! I’ve never worn a 6 in my life, I’m so happy! I still have a ways to go though: my goal’s`120 by June and I’m about 139. I can do it, just gotta cut down a little. Its all good :) !
Growing up is hard. Growing up fluctuating between a high healthy weight and obesity is a fucking nightmare, and here is a classic example of how much it messed with me as an adolescent. Like, did you really not know why you were getting new attention, Little Allison? It’s because you were a fatass until that pallet expander forced you to stop binge eating during basketball season. Don’t worry, Little A. That surge of attention will pass soon after you return from the annual Maine vacation in August, where you will gain fifteen pounds in a week thanks to a healthy diet of hard ice cream, Poptarts and endless amounts of penny candy. You’ll be rocking 10s again in no time.
I thought I’d talk about trivial young relationships here, but the parallels between my relationship with myself 12 years ago and now are too strong to ignore. Well, maybe it’s not the relationship I have with myself, but the statistics are eerily similar. For the third time since 2003, but what feels like the first time, I am actually, exactly, 139 pounds and a size 6/8. This makes me really, really happy, but not like it did in 8th grade. Today, it makes me happy that I’ve finally reached the healthy weight range for my height in a healthy way. After some drawn-out-followed-by-rapid weight gain that peaked just under a year ago, I’ve lost roughly 50 pounds; trust, Ben & Jerry’s is a hell of a drug. But back in 2003, my weight loss triggered unbridled excitement. Buying a size 6 skirt was a serious step towards skinny, sexy, desireable–and it was starting to show. I was on fire. Now, thanks to a little more maturity and understanding of what weight really reflects, I’m just happy. I’m content. And I feel focused every time I reach a new step towards my goal; graduating to a size 6 means I’m one size closer to the 4 or 2 my frame really should be handling, although this thought alone would have made Little A’s head explode with amazement.
There have been endless chats about childhood habits overflowing to adulthood in this apartment, particularly in the case of food, fitness and how those factors are perceived. If you can imagine the polar opposite setting of what Little Allison grew up in in terms of food, you are picturing where my boyfriend comes from–no salt, no fat, absolutely no sweets, all the time. Of course kids are going to do their own thing when they can, so we both developed our own eating habits independently of what our parents allowed, but our home food rules or lack thereof made huge impacts. We’ve also talked a lot about parental influence. My dad has said that once kids are 12 or so, there’s not a lot you can do to change the way they are. I have no idea what it’s like to be a parent, but I have a hard time agreeing with him there. I was influenced heavily in a lot of ways by both of my parents, in good ways and bad, as well as my grandparents, my babysitters and my closest friends’ parents. I don’t think anyone involved in bringing me up to be a chubby, food-obsessed little girl meant for this to happen, but it did. I wonder all the time how things could have been different.
One of my favorite anecdotes I use to explain my relationship with food and healthy eating habits is this: in 11th grade, when I was 16-years-old, I went over to my friend Sarah’s house after school on a Friday. We ran cross-country together and had become close through the sport. Sarah was, and probably still is, in fantastic shape. She was solid, not just thin, and put in regular work to stay fit. So I go over her house after school and we are hankering for a snack. To me, that meant crackers, chips, maybe even ice cream. But she pulled out carrots… and celery. I was shocked. “Where’s the dip?” I thought. “People eat this shit as a regular old snack? Who… what? Why?” Even at 16, I could not comprehend how carrots and celery could count as an after-school snack. Carrots and celery were reserved for vegetable and dip plates at parties. They were to be the canvas for my beloved sour cream vegetable dip only, or chopped up and thrown in beef stew, or pot roast at least! “These people are freaks,” I thought. “Poor Sarah.” I left later that night feeling Sarah and her family were truly a different breed, and this was reinforced by the ritzy town they lived in, the clothes they wore, the recessed lighting in their perfectly designed kitchen and the ballin’ finished basement we’d hang out in. We’ll get to much more of this class division-type thoughts I developed as we enter high school, but at the time of this entry–the end of 8th grade–I didn’t know a single person who’d whip out carrots and celery to snack on after school. This was not a known practice to me.
Clearly, Little Allison’s goal of 120 was not met in June of that year. It’s never been met, mostly because it’s never been seriously pursued in an educated way before now. My old friend Sarah was incredibly lucky to grow up in an environment where healthy snacking was a natural, preferred way of life, but there are many things in life that have to be figured out as adults, and I’m sure where my support system failed it succeeded in ways that others, like Sarah’s, did not.
What bad childhood habits did you continue as an adult, and how did you overcome them? I’d love to hear success stories from readers–this blog tends to be a solo bitchfest, so let’s make it less about me and more about us. Have a wonderful weekend, APJers!