Dear Sue Ann,
Since you don’t really believe in making New Year’s Resolutions, I am writing to you from a year ago – December 31, 2009. It’s me. Your inner voice. Your conscience. Your voice of reason. Well, maybe not reason. But the voice in your head. The one that knows all your secrets, and the truth about all the stuff that makes you YOU.
I’m writing either as a participant in a kickass celebration of how far you’ve come in 2010, or as that voice telling you to get your head out of your ass because you’ve wasted another one. We won’t really know for sure until the day comes that you open this and read it to yourself.
I hope to God I’m finding you at your goal weight, because for fuck’s sake why would you want to spend another year of your life trying to lose? You’re a smart cookie. You know what to do to make the number go down, and if you haven’t by this point then it’s just you being stubborn, fighting against that thing that feels so restrictive but could actually set you free.
And the nasty truth is, chica, if you can’t handle the loss phase, then you don’t have a chance at the maintenance, which is the real challenge. I think losing weight is like labor; painful and ugly, and at times you think you’ll never make it out alive. But it’s only temporary. The real hard part is raising the kid, day and day out, loving it even when it yells at you, rolls it’s eyes at you, disobeys you, or looks at you like you are the absolute epitome of all that is uncool.
Maintenance is like parenthood. Only, if you’ve made it that far, then even though you have to work even harder to stay there, you at least have the chance to rock it in a bikini at the beach. Which, I don’t need to remind you, was your goal for the summer, to wear the two-piece that’s stashed away in the drawer under your bed. Was I not supposed to say that out loud? Well, I did. And you do. So, were you able to pull it out and strut your stuff?
Now, I know you made one of those notaresolutions about saying thank you when somebody offers you a compliment. No self deprecating comment, no joke. Just taking it in and saying thanks. And I agree that it’s a good start. But because I’m you, I know that it’s only the first step. And maybe some of the folks who read this rag are on to you, or maybe they aren’t, but I know that your snark is half humor and half fear. Fear that you aren’t good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or worthy enough. That you make the joke before somebody else has a chance to make it at your expense. And I know that sometimes you still think that if you can just get your body back, it will make everything else just fall into place.
It’s a good thing you write with such an honest voice. That honesty gives me faith that when you reach your goal hotass jeans size and realize that you’re still a mess, you’ll actually hang in and keep doing the work you need to do to get to a place of comfort in your skin. I don’t know what I can say or do to make you believe this, but you deserve that. To be comfortable in your skin. Dumbass.
And you also deserve to make yourself a priority from time to time. If you keep setting yourself aside to take care of everybody else first? You just might forget what it is you needed to begin with. To risk sounding like that cosmetics commercial, you’re worth it.
Which brings me to this: I hope you rocked your bio class, finished writing your book, got better at returning phone calls and emails, always told your parents you loved them before hanging up the phone, hugged your family at least a hundred times a day, made a connection with somebody you care about, let somebody make a connection with the real you, not just the one you pretend to be, and for crying out loud I hope you started doing more cardio. Because that’s the key to all of this. More cardio.
Looking forward to catching up with you a year from now.