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The F Word

My New Year's change.

Fat – adjective; having too much flabby tissue, corpulent; obese. A fat person

Hello world, my name is Dara, and I am fat. I am addicted to junk food and reality television and allergic to diets and exercise. I have never met a bag of chips or a “real housewife” episode that I didn’t like and every time I even think about going to the gym or joining Jenny Craig, I start sweating and feel nauseous.

I assure you, being fat isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I hate shopping for clothes thus my addiction to shoes and handbags. I have never had to lie on the bed, struggling to zip up a good Michael Kors handbag. DSW always has my size, and not just one color or style, and no one there ever frowned at me and made the word “plus size” sound like I was asking for the “crack” or “meth” section.  

Being fat has affected all my relationships, including the one with my mother. Many years ago, when I first started gaining weight, my mom would buy me clothes a few sizes smaller and say “for when you get the weight off”. Family members went from telling me how pretty I was and asking for wardrobe tips and started complimenting my hair or saying “your hairstyle flatters your face”.

When you’re fat, you know you’re fat. You live with the pain and depression every day. I wasn’t always fat; in fact, the dress I wore to my high school graduation was a size 6. I played tennis, was a peppette (cheer team) and danced for hours every weekend at the local teen club.

Then life happened; marriage, kids, jobs and dinners from a sack. Being too tired to remember my name at the end of the day, much less the directions to the park or gym became the norm. Let’s not forget eating healthy is expensive, no matter what Oprah or Dr. Oz say. A box of Hamburger Helper is fast and cheap, and no one complains because it smells or tastes nasty.

So, why am I making such a public confession? Because I’m tired and honestly, a little sad. My husband and I made some small changes last year, including giving up fast food at lunch. He has lost 29 pounds, which is happily noted by all our friends and family. I have lost 8 pounds, causing no looks of joy or inquiring how I did it. I don’t know the joy of saying over and over again how my pants are falling off. Yes, I’m jealous because I’ve given up McDonalds too. I haven’t had a real Dr. Pepper in months and haven’t stopped at the QT on the way home for Snickers bar in a year.

So, in this New Year I am going to make changes, but not a resolution because by February, most people have abandoned their resolutions. I am going to deal with the nausea, say goodbye to NeNe and crew and get off the sofa. I am going to move more, eat better and, as I’ve learned, more often. I’m not going to make unrealistic goals, like 60 pounds by summer, but I will say a smaller size by spring break. I will walk a mile without getting winded and I will celebrate my successes and not put pressure on myself to do more. I will find creative and fun ways to exercise and new recipes that are fast and cost effective. I will change my life and remember, “our only security is our ability to change."

Goodbye Fat Dara. 

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Crystal Huskey (Editor) January 04, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Awesome Dara. I attempted this multiple times... I've got the eating thing down, but I tend to hole up in my house too often and avoid all forms of exercise. But I bought some really cute running shoes, so maybe I'll start soon?
Dara Gamble January 04, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Thanks Crystal! Hey, any change is positive, so I say good for you for buying some cute running shoes!
Elexis Hays January 04, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Good for you! You've already got the great, funny attitude going and now you just need to make little changes. There are a million apps on your phone which make things more fun, like runkeeper and diet trackers, but, you guys are right, nothing makes it more fun than cute new shoes. Good luck!
Joy L. Woodson January 05, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Yay, for Dara!!!
Lavonne January 05, 2013 at 02:37 AM
Dara, what can I say? This article is awesome, honest, and revealing. And that is from another one that wore size 8 in high school and ran with my brother for track practice. You inspire me.
Dara Gamble January 05, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Thanks so much everyone! Lavonne, that means a lot coming from you.
Nancy Minor January 05, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Great article ! We all struggle with challenges and I applaud your changes and hope to incorporate some of the same into my own. I live with the laptop which eliminates living at the Y. I guess not 100%, since the Y has wireless, but no one in my past past spinning class had their iPad in front of them. I am going to eliminate 30 minutes of laptop/iPad mania and spend it moving my body. I sure understand the cute running shoes so when I am healthier and maybe thinner I will order the cute red ones I found on line. I will reward myself and when you see me at Y with red shoes on, you will know I accomplished my goal.Go Dora ! Keep us posted and keep us accountable.
Thor Johnson January 05, 2013 at 01:20 PM
What a terrific example of common sense. What ever addiction “one” might have the approach Dara suggests is by far the best…. Common sense. Well done and funny… Keep us posted.
Count Raoul January 05, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Dara, you can do this. I'm proud of you for taking charge of your life. Don't be upset if you fail; you have already had a big win. Many of us strangers are rooting for you. Good luck!
Dara Gamble January 05, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Such kind words, thank you so very much!

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