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Prologue

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I am a fat woman in a thin body. I am a thin woman in a fat body. I am a fat girl in a thin body. I am a thin girl in a fat body. Fat girl, fat woman – Fat woman, thin girl – Thin girl, fat woman – Fat woman, fat girl – Fat girl, thin woman – Thin woman, fat girl – Fat girl, fat woman – Fat woman, fat girl – Fat girl, thin girl – Thin girl, fat girl – Fat girl, fat woman... Around and around I go, Not-so-merry-go-round. Fat is my truth, Consuming above all. Two tales, one body, One body, two tales. Two bodies? Thin narrates a sudden lie, Fat an epic truth, *A Tale of Two Bodies* Another truth: Fat, I am shamed; Thin, I am raw. A bared secret: I turn to fat, In a flash;

Lady Troddenhill: A Short Story (Jennifer Semple Siegel)

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From the beginning, I have hated Lady Troddenhill. There she stands in the family room, large and imperious, her slim gray lines, her curves, her blinking green display, her nagging beeps. Judgmental bitch. Like a wild horse, she bucks, threatening to toss me off like a rag doll. Who needs that? Yet, for Sheldon, she performs perfectly: as Sheldon runs her tread – first at 4 mph, eventually reaching 5.5 mph, 15% grade – her well-oiled motor hums evenly. For the past three and a half years, Sheldon has run in place for one hour, every day, wearing out three pairs of Nikes. Damn him. My song, defiant and zaftig, echoes:
“Fat Lady Phantasy in B-Minor” Oh, Lord, I’m just another fat lady What song would you want me to sing? I’ll sing my song all over this place, praise Thee!
I’ll mix the blues with a symphony of paisley. Tell me, Lord, what colors may I bring? Oh, Lord, I’m just another fat lady.
Tell me, Lord, You think I’m red hot crazy? Please bestow me with rainbow pitch, no strings. I’ll sing my song …

Autumn -- A Dream: My Doctor is Breaking Up With Me?

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As I was walking to the polls on November 6, I recalled a strange dream I had experienced the previous night. I was at my doctor’s – only she wasn’t my regular doctor, who is from Bangladesh and is very sweet, lovely, and kind. I adore her. My “dream” doctor, on the other hand, was pale and blond, and she had an attitude –she reminded me of the ladies at Fox News. She was too young, too skinny, too glam, too made up, just too damn perfect – too intimidating. But she was my doctor, and I needed her for whatever ailed me (unknown as to what that was – isn’t it odd how dreams often leave out important information?). “I’m going to be honest with you, Jennifer,” she said, standing away from me, taking care not to touch me. “You can’t be my patient anymore.” “What?” My doctor was breaking up with me? How could I not see this coming? But I hadn’t. I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. “You’ll have to find someone else.” She paused. “In fact, no one else in this practice wants you, either.” “But, why?” I …

Autumn: A Difficult Decision – Pulling Back from WW (Formerly Weight Watchers)

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I’m taking a break from meetings at Weight Watchers, now known as WW, although I’ll probably continue weighing in. This has not been an easy decision; WW has been my second home for the past two and a half years – it was there when I needed it most, and I’m forever grateful. However, for the past year or so, my uneasiness has slowly grown, first as a nagging little voice letting me know that all wasn’t right, at least for me, to full-blown discontent. Before I offer my reasons for pulling back, let me first affirm what I still love about WW. 1.The program itself is sound, emphasizing a life-style change, as opposed to “being-on-a diet.” Because of this focus, I have, within a 16-pound window, kept the weight off for over a year and a half, something I have never done before. 2.The people, both the other members and the staff, are very welcoming. No one has ever said a mean thing to me, and, as far as I know, to anyone else. 3.WW is a no judgment zone. Back in the bad old days – 1970’s – the…

Autumn: If Wishes Were Horses, Then…

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“I wish I could walk like her.” A woman, about my age and hobbling with a cane, said this to her younger male companion, possibly her son or caretaker. I had never seen this pair before this day, but I greeted them as I do everyone on my walk. They nodded in my direction and moved on, to the yard sale down the street. The comment was not meant for my ears, but I’m always hyper-aware around strangers, especially in a neighborhood teetering on the edge – one reason I don’t listen to music on my outside walks. My hearing sharp, I could hear the woman’s plaintive wish, half a block away. I felt a little shamed. Here I was, bouncing around and walking fast, and… Feeling sorry for myself. I had just made the painful decision to go back on my CPAP – I could feel myself slipping into old habits: sleeping late, going to bed late, getting up late, eating as if were just coming out of a famine, and slacking off on my walks – for me, the last bastion of healthy body weight and overall health. The slacking …