My first summer living life on my terms has been awesome. I work when and where I want, letting my freedom and the life happening around me inspire how Fat, Drunk & Fancy will impact the world. Nick and I are writing our first book (to be released in early September!) and are allowing ourselves to move through the creative process with fluidity and without constipation. There’s so much happening and I am loving every second. So much so, that I put on a pair of shorts yesterday and thought, “huh, these are tight; they must have just been washed,” only to feel them continuing to cut into my skin several hours later. And that’s when I knew I had been loving life in the only way I’ve ever known how – through food…and lots of it.
Some of the aforementioned overindulgences…
Yes, I am the creator and owner of a business called Fat, Drunk & Fancy. Yes, I realize it has the word “Fat” in it. Yes, I know people are expecting gluttony and debauchery, but here’s the thing…it’s not just about the food and the wine, although those things do play a part in the story. Nick and I love food…I mean WE.LOVE.FOOD…and we seem to love it in excess. BUT, as Nick and I have been screaming from the rooftops, it’s not just about the food, but about how you experience it with others and the conversations that are had when people are together around it. We are creating a space where people can have conversations about the not so serious, good-hurt-in-your-sides-from-laughing fun stuff as well as the raw, ugly cry, hard stuff. There is no topic that is off limits, but there is a demand for open mindedness, respect and love.
And so it is under this guise of honesty that I share with you that I have always struggled with my weight. I mean I literally can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t overweight. Not in the extra 5, 10 or 15 lbs (space) range, either. In fact, in my experience an extra 10 lbs is simply the consequence of a holiday weekend. No, I’m talking at least 25-30 lbs overweight for as far back in my life as I can remember. I remember being really young and my Dad would make little comments/give me a look when I would put seconds on my plate; my beloved Grandfather, the man who can do no wrong, even once commented after I had lost some weight in my 20’s that “you were starting to look like a house!” I don’t ever remember shopping in a juniors section of the clothing store, but instead going right to adult size. My mom had me in the doctor’s office when I was 16 to go on a diet pill called Meridia, which was later taken off the market by the manufacturer following a study that linked it to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Basically, if I didn’t realize for myself that I had a “weight problem,” my family would do it for me. The conversation was never about weight being a part of an overall picture of health, but instead it was about weight, period, whether it be the number on the scale, the size of my clothes, or how I looked in comparison to all the kids around me.
My cousin Lauren and I at approximately 8 or 9 years old. Good hair, no?
I wish I had some beautiful bow to wrap up this story with that would tell you how I finally lost weight to where I was finally happy with what I see when I look in the mirror. While I don’t yet have that ending, I do have hope. One day in early 2016, I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting after hearing that they had changed the program to be more focused on whole foods instead of the processed packaged foods. I remember talking to the leader of that meeting, Ann, and I said that I just wanted to check out what it was all about, I needed to discuss it with my trainer to see if we thought it was right, blah blah blah, excuse excuse excuse. Ann listened patiently and said something to the effect of, “you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t already know it was time to change.” Whatever the specific words were, she was brutally and refreshingly honest. I joined Weight Watchers a few days later, in February 2016, and by the time Nick and I got married in November 2017, I had lost 48 lbs.
On the left: Me, right after starting Weight Watchers in 2016 / On the right: Me, at our wedding in November 2017.
The last time I went to a meeting and weighed in was almost 3 weeks ago, and I was up 10 lbs from our wedding. Based on the way my clothes are currently feeling, I’d venture to guess I’m probably up another 5 lbs. I have no excuses, no reasons. It just is what it is. Maybe one day I’ll finish the weight loss part of my journey and maybe I won’t. But it’s something that I’ll always be honest and forthcoming about, and something I’ll always look to understand better about myself so that maybe I can help somebody else. In the meantime, there is a Weight Watchers meeting on Tuesday morning with Ann, and I’ll be there to get that beautifully loving slap of honesty that we all need every now and again. And life will go on.
The most recent picture of me (and Nick!) from June 2018.