Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rock Bottom

Okay, I have a somewhat embarrassing confession to make: I've been a little obsessed with the Lindsay Lohan case over the past few days. I enjoy keeping up with celebrity gossip for fun, anyway, but because I've had more time on my hands than usual -- even with my job back in place -- I've been reading ever news story and blog about this trainwreck ... and then I relay everything I've learned to Jon. He won't admit it, but I think he's kind of obsessed with the case, too.

My husband believes that her case is interesting to us because I write about entertainmet and he's a criminal attorney, but for me, I think there's more to it. She's a prime example of how an addiction can lead someone to hit rock bottom over and over and over again -- and how that person STILL can't figure out how to fix herself out. Granted, I'm not a complete basket case who's ruined her life and career due to my eating addiction the way Lindsay has with drugs and alcohol, but I can sort of relate to her destructive tendencies.

Jon thought I was being ridiculous when I shared this with him, but I'm not so sure I am. No, I've never done drugs or have broken the law (unless you count driving 70 in a 65 mile-an-hour zone), but just as Lindsay has completed several stints in rehab, I've lost weight on several different diets. And then, just as she's fallen off the wagon time and time again, so have I -- and I've gained the weight back.

In many of the news articles I've read, sources have said that despite all she's been through Lindsay still hasn't hit her rock bottom -- though that's hard to imagine, given that she's about to go to JAIL. However, this has got me thinking -- have I hit my rock bottom yet? I'm not sure.

There have been plenty of times where my weight has led me to say, "Never again!" or I thought it was THE wake-up call. I was so afraid that I wouldn't fit into my wedding dress that I basically didn't eat for two weeks prior to our wedding. It fit -- it was actually loose -- but I was still an overweight bride and it was very awkward when I had to greet guests whom I hadn't seen since I was a teen. One set of my parents' friends actually gasped when they saw me and it was not a good gasp of, "Hey, look at the beautiful bride." Most of the guests told me how beautiful I was and I think they really meant it, too, but these family friends did not. They just kept staring at me. I vowed to lose the weight so I could at least begin our married life as a thin person. It didn't happen.

In 2004, I went to London with Jon and our friend, Lani. We stayed in a lovely hotel that was a renovated town house and was near many great sights and restaurants. The rooms even had private bathrooms (which can be unusual in England and Europe). Unfortunately, I could barely fit into the bathroom. In order to get to the shower, you had to squeeze around the sink and I just could not make it. They didn't have any other rooms for us so for four days, I had to take sponge baths. I was humiliated.

Later that year, we went to a holiday party at my cousins' home (I don't have any first cousins, but I do have distant ones). I hadn't seen them in years and they, too, were shocked by my weight gain. They kept saying, "You look so, so ... beautiful." When I told one of them that we'd recently been to Australia, she looked me up and down and asked if I rode in first class. I know that she didn't ask this because she actually thought that we could afford it -- she just didn't understand how I could possibly fit into the seats in economy.

Also that year, I was doing a feature on actors' healthy habits and fitness tips. I invited a certain actress up to my office (trust me, it's an F-list actress, no one you've heard of) and this woman gave me a "pep talk" about how I was too young to be this heavy and needed to lose weight and get my life together. She was kind and even offered to go to the doctor with me, but this was none of her business. I was trying to be professional and she ended up embarrassing me and making me cry right there in my office. I didn't ask for her advice and as well-meaning as she may have been, it made me feel terrible about myself.

In 2005, I stopped in a deli for breakfast and this group of guys came in. One looked at me and began singing, "Fatty girl, fatty girl." His friend stopped him and told him to use Spanish instead, but I still understood what they were saying and that they were making fun of me.

In 2006, I began walking a lot and was convinced that I'd lost weight. Yet when I went to my doctor's, he informed me that I hadn't. Then when I broke down in his office, he had no idea what to do. A few days later, while I was still reeling from my doctor's diagnosis, I went for a walk around the city with a friend -- and a homeless guy called out to me really loudly, "Hey, Fat Girl, you got what I need?" Okay, so he was homeless and probably stoned, but I hated being singled out like that.

In 2007, after I'd lost a significant amount of weight, I was walking around the city and passed a little boy and his father. "Look at how fat that lady is!" the boy cried out. I'm proud to say that I lectured the father on teaching his son manners and the father sincerely apologized, but I was still mortified by the incident. The good news is, I made the little brat cry. Served him right!

This year, after I broke my leg, Jon took me to the local medical supply store to get me a walker. The clerk asked me in front of everyone how much I weigh and was afraid to sell me the walker, for fear that it wouldn't support my weight and I'd break it. We convinced him that it would be fine (and it has been fine as I'm using it all the time now), but I hated that this even had to be a concern when I was dealing with so much else.

These are some of the main "rock bottoms" that stand out in my mind, but there have been many other small instances where I've said, "This is it. I'm not going to be fat anymore." And yet, here I am, still obese. Jon said that maybe me breaking my leg is really my rock bottom, but I guess only time will tell.

From all I've read, Lindsay doesn't sound like a very nice person and it's frustrating that she keeps sabotaging herself and putting other people in danger. Still, I hope that jail and rehab end up helping her in the long run. As for me, I also hope that I can continue to pull my life together, but like any other addict -- food or otherwise -- I'll have to continue taking it one day at a time.

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