Standing at about 5'8" with a broad frame and the requisite curves (including a huge rack), I used to be the kind of girl that some boys chased after.
But it wasn't always that way.
I started gaining weight as a teen. Genetics is partly to blame, but I also attribute it to an 800 mile move to the East Coast the summer before my sophomore year in high school. Connecticut was foreign territory full of foreign people who were more aggressive, more stand-offish, and more rich than I was accustomed to while growing up in Cincinnati.
I found solace in food - it didn't matter what it was. Heaping aluminum tins of Chinese takeout, tubs of Ben and Jerry's. The bags upon bags of Pecan Sandies and Doritos my mother would stock in the kitchen pantry.
I was the new girl in town and food was my only friend in the world. It was the start of a beautiful relationship.
To make matters worse, my DNA code was predisposed to weight gain. Both sides of my ancestry include a history of sturdy people - solid German and Irish folks who had their differing ways to prepare a potato. To this day, that starchy goodness is my favorite food, but I digress.
The genes got in the way and I was never a track star or a soccer queen. Rather, I was the kind of girl who hid behind books in the library and sang in madrigal choirs - in big, flowing velvet and satin dresses. My particular dress was bigger than everyone else's, and though I wasn't the slimmest girl in the chorus, I probably had the biggest bones, so it didn't really bother me.
Then I got to college.
I saw all the little girls with the little black pants and the tiny tops, and I so wanted to play along. I spent one summer with a pair of roller blades permanently fixed to the bottom of my feet. I carried a water bottle everywhere I went.
I started looking pretty good.
Fast forward a couple years. The Ball dropped on New Year's Eve and the world ushered in 2000. I woke up to watch the parades and had a strong conviction - this would be my year to reinvent myself. It was so cliche - I joined Weight Watchers January 2nd. I started running - slow as a turtle at first. I'd carry one of those portable CD players with me as my sneakers pounded the pavement, listening to Beyonce wail I don't think you're ready for this jelly.
By May I was 30 pounds lighter, running 3 miles a day, between three and five days a week.
I was wearing little dresses and little tops. Short skirts. Everywhere I went, friends would marvel at my brand new look. Men showered me with compliments and advances. I was never denied a date, a drink, a kiss from a man I desired.
Then I got complacent. I'd cheat. I stopped counting points. I'd allow myself one meal off the wagon. That snowballed into one day off the wagon and then one weekend off the wagon. I'd trade my time in the gym for time on the couch or at happy hour. I opted for another margarita instead of a Diet Coke.
A few years later - I was back to the old body.
Since then, I've had spurts of dedication. I've renewed the WW membership more than once and I've picked up my fair share of water bottles, all in the hopes of renewing some good habits.
Three years ago - not my smallest (and not even close to my thinner sister), but better than my current status. Notice how I have the standing to the side thing down pat?
For some reason, I just can't make it stick.
Now I'm in my 30s, and I look like lots of housewives my age - extra padding on my hips, my thighs and my tummy. The catch is - I'm not a housewife. I'm not a mother. I'm still a single girl who should be enjoying the time of her life.
I should still be hot.
Instead, I think I'm just luke warm.
Taken in June at my friend's wedding. I've got my chin cocked upward to try and smooth out the double chin. It doesn't help that my friend is likely a size 00.
So here I am, teaming up with some fellow blogging chicks who want to wage a war on their weight. I'm not at a place where I feel comfortable sharing with you my current weight or size, but I WILL tell you I hope to lose 45 pounds.
I already went out and bought 14 Lean Cuisines, a water bottle and a box of single serving Crystal Lite packs.
The memory card in my digital camera has fewer and fewer pictures of myself - only because I don't want them to be preserved for all eternity.
I consistently ask people to take pictures of me from a vantage point that's above me - because that's more flattering for fleshy faces.
I know how to beat the system. But I don't want to anymore. I want to get rid of the monkey on my back, my waist and my thighs.
I want to be hot.