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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;

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 …

Autumn: Fat Woman Stumbling

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“I’m backkkk…” Fewer than two months after posting The “Why” and Conversations with My CPAP …Back on the CPAP. All it took was the Thanksgiving weekend and pretty much unchecked eating for about a week. Seven pounds later and much self-reflection, I have concluded that I was beginning to slip back into the old ways of binge eating, chronic sleepiness, depression, insomnia, and belly bloat. Despite my happy diagnosis of no more Sleep Apnea, I may have shucked the CPAP too soon – a bitter pill to swallow. But it’s better to face this now, and not wait until I have packed on 50 or more pounds, especially when I have the tools to stop it. Looking back, I now realize that the above symptoms were beginning to return shortly after I put away the CPAP, especially the chronic hunger. I just chalked it up to being in Iowa and Washington, D.C., away from my comfortable environment. When I returned home, the symptoms continued, but I rationalized that it was the changing season stoking up my hunger, even …

Autumn: The “Why” and Conversations with My CPAP

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Without my “Why,” I would probably gain my weight back. My Why had better remain strong and at the forefront of my mind – yes, a healthy obsession – otherwise, I will gain the weight back. Indeed, as I have said in previous chapters, there is no guarantee that I will keep the weight off, despite my Why – it is no accident that I refer to myself as a fat woman walking. I need a constant reminder of why I have undertaken this difficult journey and why I continue on its path, even though it remains tricky – in some ways more treacherous than those heady weekly weight losses. Frankly, it’s not all that exciting to see, every day, the same number register on the scale, except to note that it represents a normal weight. Even in paradise, days normalize and become ordinary with the same-old, same-old daily slog. I remember well when my Why was born, a date that will remain forever etched in memory: May 5, 2016 – The day I picked up my new CPAP from the medical supply company. For most people my age, …