My struggle with my weight is not a recent thing. It goes back as far as I can remember.

I’ve never been what you would call thin. Looking back to high school and college, however, I can see that I wasn’t as big as I thought I was at the time.

Age 14.  I thought I was fat.

Age 14. I thought I was fat.

That’s not to say I wasn’t plus-size. I was. It was just a more “acceptable” plus size. I could wear size 12 jeans. Tens in some cases. Fourteens in others.

Things really got bad after college. I was just into my first “real” jobs — yes, there were two — and was in a toxic relationship that I could not see for what it was.

My first grown-up job was at MicroAge doing tech support for Apple. Today I would be called an Apple Genius. Back then, I was just one of the many voices who cheerfully answered, “1-800-SOS-APPLE, how may I help you?” and then proceeded to walk Mac Performa owners through saving their icon collections or reinstalling their Solitaire games.

I was one of two, maybe three, women in a building full of men. That’s where the disastrous relationship started. A co-worker. My first mistake with this particular liaison, but unfortunately not the last.

Senior year of high school

Senior year of high school

At the same time, I started working part-time/fill-in at Channel 3, doing what I actually went to college to do. While my status was part-time/fill-in, I was there full-time hours.

My MicroAge shift was 1 p.m.-10 p.m. My Channel 3 shift was 1 a.m.-10 a.m. Between the two, I was working seven days a week.

I was 22. It was doable. And it only went on for a few months.

I eventually was hired full-time at Channel 3 and quickly quit MicroAge and Mr. Disaster.

I’ve spent most of my 20-year (and counting) career working a back-assward shift.

Now let me clarify something. I am not blaming my weird work shifts or my bad relationships for my weight, but they certainly did not help matters.

College freshman

College freshman

While there are a Bermuda Triangle factors at play — physiological (a malfunctioning/cancerous thyroid, PCOS), mental (poor self-esteem and all that goes with it), and situational (work, life, etc.) — the one constant is me. And the buck stops with me. I know that.

When I started packing on the weight, it happened fast. So quickly I didn’t really see it as it was happening. But that was years ago. Like I said, this is not a new issue. At this point in my life, however, it is less a perception and more a reality.

Back to the original question: Why now?

I don’t have a good answer for that other than, “Why not now?” That’s what I wrote on my SWLC intake questionnaire.

I’ve kicked around going to SWLC before, but never pulled the trigger. This time I did. It’s honestly that simple.

There was no real “ah-ha” moment. A light bulb did not suddenly appear over my head. I don’t have a special event I’m preparing for.
I just did it.

This is not the first time I’ve tried to shed the weight.

College junior

College junior

I’ve had limited success with other programs, but every time, my lost pounds found their way home. And brought friends. My lost pounds are apparently quite popular because they have lots of friends, most of whom decided my gut and my ass would be a perfect place to set up housekeeping.

If you pushed me for a more definitive answer, I guess it would have to be this: If not now, when?

Not much better, is it?

The important thing so far as I can see is not the why of what I’m doing, but that I made a decision and am taking action.

I think maybe there are two words that perfectly sum up what I am calling Operation Me.

Carpe. Diem.

What more can a girl do?

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying.
And this same flower that smiles to-day,
To-morrow will be dying.