It happened all at once, yet not at all.
I got fat.
Fat to me is about 10 pounds. I know exactly how I got this way. Abraham joked that instead of doing the Couch to 5k, I did the 5k to Couch. It's been a year since I ran my last race, months since my last run. Abraham couldn't keep up with me, complaining of a hurt knee, and my geriatric dog just wanted to smell the river. So after 2 miles, we packed up and went home. Forever.
Our nights were spent together with beers in our hands, at local bars, at concerts, at hockey and baseball games. Because our nights are spent together, I stopped buying perishable food. Perishable food! Also known as real food! Fruits and vegetables and cheese and meat! I switched from skim milk to organic soy milk, just because it lasts longer. When I did go to the grocery store, I loaded up on eggs, canned tuna and ramen noodles.
Abraham wasn't any better behaved. His house has dog biscuits, leftover matzo from Passover and a few canned goods. He keeps a jar of dark chocolate peanut m&ms on his nightstand because he knows I love them. He has no milk product, soy or otherwise.
The excuse is we're busy. Work. Kickball two nights a week. Parties. Friend invites. Sunday Funday. I can't remember the last time we've had a night in. Eating has efficiently become a social activity.
But my pants still fit, so it kept me in denial. How fat can you really be if you're wearing the same pair of pants?
Abraham and I have been invited to four weddings in six weeks. Last week I pulled out my beautiful dresses from last summer and laid them on my bed. Which to choose to wear? It quickly became evident. I would wear the dress that zips. Only none of them did. I'd get them all the way up to my breast and they wouldn't budge.
I got fat. There is certainly shame in no longer being able to fit in your clothes. I panicked. I called South Carolina Bestie and asked her how many tears would I have to cry to burn enough calories to fit in my dress. Turns out it was more than I had. I tried a corset with my dresses. Nada. I was just fat.
I called Abraham next. I told him my predicament. He heard my sniffles.
"Are you crying?" he asked.
"Are you lying?" he asked.
His voice got soft. He assured me I wasn't fat. I remembered what The Leader once told me, "If a guy really liked you, 10 – 15 pounds wouldn't make a difference." The Leader was right.
I told Abraham I wanted to start running again. He agreed. I said I needed to buy a fat girl dress this weekend for the first wedding.
"Anything you want."
I asked his roommate for dieting tips, knowing she was also in the midst of losing weight. "My boyfriend is responsible for 4 – 6 pounds," she told me. "It's a nice trade off though, isn't it?"
That's what everyone tells me when I say I got fat. They've been called "happy pounds" or "relationship pounds." But the way she phrased it—as a trade off—it soothed me.
"I'd rather be happy than skinny," I said.
The next day I dejectedly walked into Abraham's house after work. He stopped what he was doing and rushed across the room to greet me. He held me so tight. "You're not fat," he said. "I'm sorry you were upset last night and I couldn't be there for you. I love you."
It is a nice trade off.
We have since run 6 miles. We're starting back at the beginning of Couch to 5k, and he signed us up for a 5k in September. He told me he was proud of my running and my drive.
"Do you think I'll lose the weight?"
"And then some."
"What if I don't lose the weight? What if I look like this forever?"
"Then I'll still love you."
4 days ago