Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finding the Missing Pieces of Charlie. And Jia.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, there lived a hefty girl named Charlie. She ate whatever foods she wanted, sat on her couch for days at a time, and life, while boring and mundane, was consistent. Safe. Controlled.

One day, after seeing her doctor write MORBIDLY OBESE on her medical chart (and he spelled it out as he wrote it for dramatic effect. No lie.) she decided that she had had enough. She was going to change her life, her galaxy, and her ways. She decided to move her pieces.

This moving of pieces didn't come without a considerable amount of kicking and screaming, mind you.

While she wanted change, she didn't want to DO the things it would take to change her life. She would eat a healthy meal, then drink a 2 liter of Coke Classic. She would have only broccoli for dinner, then follow it up with an entire package of oreo double stuffed. She danced the tango with a new life style, but she NEVER really let anyone else lead her. Nope. Hefty Charlie was determined to make only the changes she wanted, and the rest were just too inconvenient.

As you might imagine, this back and forth between dieting and binging took a considerable toll on her psyche. Moving towards a healthy lifestyle always seemed to be a temporary decision, and was usually outweighed (literally) by her hunger, her appetite and her cravings. She felt discouraged and sick. And she was still hefty.

One day, she realized that it wasn't the idea being healthy that scared her so much. She genuinely wanted that for herself. What scared her so much was that SHE HAD NEVER BEEN THIN. Her entire identity had been wrapped up in being the fat friend, the fat bride, the hopeless case. And she understood that identity. She understood those pieces and how they fit together. She thrived in being Fat Charlie. So you can understand why the idea of becoming "not-so-fat Charlie" or even "Thin Charlie" scared the crap out of her. If she lost weight, and the pieces of Charlie got smaller, maybe they wouldn't fit together anymore!

Thankfully, the journey between Fat and Not-so-fat was not a fast one. By making one step at a time, she was able to ease into a new way of life. One that wasn't centered on the couch or in the kitchen. It took a few months of hard decisions and choices, but pretty soon, making the healthy choices was more fun than making the ones she was used to! And her pieces changed indeed.

In Charlie's new galaxy, she learned a lot about herself. One of the most important things she learned was that SHE COULD STILL BE FUNNY as a thinny. SHE COULD STILL BE HERSELF as a thinny. SHE COULD STILL LOVE FOOD as a thinny. Everything that Charlie was when she was fat, she was still able to be.

Except that she was thinnish. Not-so-fat.

The most interesting part of being in this alternate universe of thinnish was that the parts of her that were broken before- her fears, insecurities, neurosis- all of those things began to fall into place, and she found she was able to conquer her issues one at a time. It didn't happen over night, but as she gained confidence while losing weight, she wanted to keep growing. Keep getting better. And she is doing that to this day.

So we get scared about losing weight. Justified or not, we are afraid. We fear that we won't know who we are. That we will lose some of the parts of us that we actually like.

What I am here to tell you is this: THOSE PARTS OF US WE LIKE ONLY GET BETTER.
We don't lose our identity as we lose pounds. We gain it. We get stronger. More determined. Bolder. Braver. We become more ourselves than ever before.

I never thought the puzzle that is Charlie would make sense because I lost a little weight. But it did. Parts of me that were missing got found. Parts that didn't seem to fit before now have a home.

And I can tell you today that Charlie is more complete and whole than she has ever been in her entire life.

So, Jia- are you really ready to start working on your pieces? Together, we can help it all make sense. But you have to trust me to move your pieces around a little bit. It's not always going to be fun, I know. Yet it will pay off in the long run.

I want your pieces, woman.
So give 'em here.


  1. Sigh.

    Okay, everyone should really know that it's so very difficult for me to be serious. Like, really. So replying to this post is just hard.

    Because I want to say how grateful I am that Charlie did this first. That she paved the way. That she knows where my mind is at and how to deal with it.

    But at the same time I want to laugh because she totally wants my pieces.

  2. Oh just wait. Once she gets your pieces put together, she's going to glue them to a big board, shellac them and put a pretty frame around them. AND hang them on the wall!

  3. So Fooken A- I'm assuming that's a positive comment of unrelenting support? lol
    The comments are undoubtedly the best part of this blog...

  4. I love you both and follow Charlie, but now I have to follow you too Jia. Love the blog so much already.

  5. You guys are so cute. I've always enjoyed Jia's blogs (her humor kills me!!!) but I've started following Charlie's now too. (I'm diggin her humor too) I love the back and forth comments. And You both have inspired me. Today I worked out for the first time in... well, at least a year :) xo~Amanda

  6. Weight is so hard to deal with ! I have lost 55 pounds in 3 years...Yeah who would know...It is a struggle for me...I have not posted about it yet. Loved your post and i understand :) You can do it !
    Come follow me back :)