Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why shoes and boots?

So what am I doing here, starting a new blog?  It’s been years since I’ve blogged religiously, and most of that was private and locked down, kept to a trusted few.  Lately my fingers have been itching and I’ve had that vague sense of unease and I’m hoping I’ll be able to type my way out of some therapy.

The title of this blog is Red Shoes and Knee High Boots.  I should explain that. 

In January I went to the doctor for a physical, one that was very long over due.  I have white coat syndrome.  I hate to go to the doctor, to pretty much anyone who was going to take one look at me and make a judgment on my health based on my size.  See, the funny thing is, despite being a big girl my entire life, I’ve always been essentially healthy.  Beyond my wonky sinuses and being blind as a bat, doctors are consistently surprised by my “numbers” – blood pressure, cholesterol, even how much I actually weigh (I’m much heavier than I apparently look) – healthy as a horse.  

Now though, as I’m approaching 40, several family members approached me about taking care of myself.  Which led to the aforementioned physical. 

Which led to a blood test.  Which led to some less than satisfactory results.  For the first time in my life the judging eyes of the doctor were in fact reflecting the facts.  In essence, I have until I’m 40 to get my weight down to a healthy BMI, and to eat “right” and exercise.  So two years.  To lose a lot of weight.  To take my numbers out of the borderline region, to avoid medication, to “take charge of my health.”  We’re not quite talking triple digits, but we’re close.  And six months in, I’m starting to struggle. 

And here I am.

So the red shoes.  I bought these ridiculous red high heeled peep toe espadrilles when I lost the first ten pounds.  I don’t wear heels.  These are totally shoes that don’t go any further than our bedroom.  (Hello TMI!  How ya doin’?)  They were a reward to myself.  I read some quote on Pinterest that I’ll paraphrase, but sticks with me.  “You’re not a dog, quit rewarding yourself with food.”  I’ve always rewarded myself with food.  I’m an emotional eater.  My mom and I both use food as a means to show love.  I moved right from my mother’s kitchen into my husband’s, and I think not being in charge of my own cooking has enabled a lot of my food issues.  I don’t grasp portion sizes.  I eat like my husband.  Who hikes home up a mountain every day.  I don’t exercise.  Good lord do I loathe exercise.  

Through walking at lunch, and a few calorie apps on my phone, another ten pounds went.  And into our house came the complete Hunger Games collection of nail polish colors.  Another reward.  The next ten pounds meant a sparkly thumb ring.  I haven’t committed to a 40 pound reward, because it hasn’t been “gone for good” – June and July have been hard months for me.  Vacation, travel, family emergencies, things that meant unplanned eating and a lot of yo-yo-ing on the scale.  I’m at “roughly” 40 pounds gone as I start this blog, but I’ve been “roughly” at that point since early June.  

So the knee high boots?  Those are my ultimate goal.  I have horrible legs.  I hate them.  I’ve always had huge calves, back to my pre-teen years, and boots beyond my ankles haven’t happened in, well, ever.  (Beyond my Doc Martens. Which are oh so feminine.)  So as much as I’m doing this for my health, I’m doing this for a pair of those damn boots.  I want to knit some lacy knee high socks and wear boots with a skirt and rock it out like I’ve never been able to before.  

The thing is, I’ve never dressed for style.  Sure, there are clothes I like, and clothes I love.  But as a fat girl, I have always, always, dressed to hide myself.  I have no true fashion sense, no style identity.  I’ve always bought at least one size too big.  As long as it isn’t falling off of me physically, I’d wear it.  Did you notice that my three rewards were girly and fashion related?  Not by accident.  I’m not girly, nor stylish.  And if I have to do this, if my health is necessitating this physician mandated journey, I want to gain something out of it mentally and emotionally as well.  I want to figure out who I am, and who I want to portray to the outside world.  I’m tired of fitting into the stereotype of the fat loveable sidekick.  (Sookie from Girlmore Girls?  Yep.  Got that trope all sewn up.)  

I have mixed feelings about this journey.  I’ve never been thin.  I remember being a 6X as a little girl and then the next size I remember is a 12/14 as a teenager.   I don’t even know if I’m going to succeed.  All of my self identity is in being a big girl, accepting it, being fat positive, loving myself regardless of the rolls and curves.  Not that I’ve got good self esteem – not by a long shot.  But there is just so much connection for women to tie in our self worth with our weight, and I’ve been here too long to have anything but a skewed view of things.  And this is where this blog comes in, me trying to figure it out.  Welcome to my journey*.

* Not that this will entirely be about health.  It's my blog, I'll post what I want.  I think a lot of my issues keeping a consistent journal is that I'm too hard on myself when it comes to content.  So no restrictions.  Recipes, books, stuff about the city I love.  Heck, probably cat pictures.  This is for me.  And for the few friends I'm going to let know about it. 


  1. I have your back 100% and know just as well as you do the struggles to lose weight. I think we need to be more involved with each other's effort in dieting and exercising because I need lots of support since I have a saboteur in the house. One of my goals in life is also knee high boots.

    1. I'm in - we'll talk in person. (And I plan on writing about my own personal saboteur...)