I feel so heavy.
I put on quite a bit of weight during my vacation last year, didn’t take it off, then put on another bunch of pounds while vacationing this month. I feel like a different person. It was more than a decade ago when, over a period of two years, I lost a hundred pounds. It was fascinating to go to the gym, pick up a hundred pounds in weights and walk around with them, demonstrating to myself the extent of the corporeal load I’d been burdened with every moment of every day for many years of my waking and sleeping life. It was a surreal exercise, though. It didn’t seem possible that I’d been so heavy. No way possible I’d survived that. How had I climbed stairs? How had I taken baths, ridden a bike, made love? How had I managed any sense of well-being whatever, carrying such a load?
Now, it’s no longer an exercise. I feel every bit of the extra thirty pounds I’ve put back on. I feel it in the heaviness of every movement, in the ponderous drag when I walk, in the futility of trying to hurry anywhere. I feel the regained weight as a girdle of fat around my middle, as a thickness in my limbs, restricting my movement, squeezing out the room I had in my clothing, insulating me almost. I’m slower. The lightness I’d gained, that had felt like liberation, like re-birth when I first reclaimed it, is gone.
Horrifying to consider what it would mean to regain the other seventy pounds I lost. Surely, it would mean death – spiritually, if not in fact. It’s beyond imagining. Except that I once grew to that weight in the first place. And a year ago, I was confident that I’d never again grow to even the size I’m at now. I must remember how easy it can be to adapt, accept, surrender.
Of course, there is the remedy. There are the many, small steps I took to reclaim fitness. The key element was awareness. After that, resolve, commitment, patience. The lightness came slowly, but it came surely. As surely as steps become miles, and seconds stretch into days. It’s time to begin, again.