The dance.

I joined Weight Watchers about four months ago, and lost a total of 13 pounds before¬ deciding my points journal made an awesome coaster for my afternoon pop. Those were 13 long hard pounds, and it was pissing in the¬ ocean when you consider that I have 100+ pounds to shed. I think this is one of the reasons it’s so hard for big people like me to lose weight — the mountain is so high, so unclimbable. It’s like cutting the grass on a football field¬ with a nail clippers.

The feeling I get before I binge is what I can only imagine is the same ravenous, consuming¬ desperation that a junkie feels before shooting up. It’s like the whole world melts away, and the only thing¬ I see in my crosshairs is food. Snickers. Ding Dongs. French fries. Before I can finish my timesheet, before I can¬ concept that print ad, I must¬ soothe the beast. It won’t¬ loosen its¬ unrepentant grip until it has been fed.

And so I eat. And eat. And eat some more, until the food expands, stretches and strains my gut.¬ I feel guilty, powerless, low. Yet I am calm. I’ll be damned if I don’t¬ feel¬ at peace.¬ I am fulfilled and complete. I lie in¬ the wake,¬ a bit dazed by the frenzy that has come to pass.¬

This is the torment that washes over my brain once, sometimes twice, a day. But¬ I must function,¬ I must put up the front. I must¬ bury¬ these thoughts in a hastily dug trench, along with¬ my awkwardness and my shame. For when you are fat, or obese as they say, you must be smarter, funnier and more pulled together than¬ everyone else in the room. You cannot risk appearing slovenly or gluttonous, because that is what they expect of you.¬

If I starch a crisp line into my khakis and maintain a perfect french manicure, will¬ you not notice how my thighs billow out from the steely borders of the conference room chairs?¬ How could you not. I see the¬ disgust in your eyes as they sweep up and down me. And so I dance, hoping my jazz hands will divert your attention from the dark storyline unfolding behind the curtain. The show must go on.¬

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