August 26, 2015


I keep starting blog posts and by the time I have a moment to finish them, it's half a week later and my weight is already down more. I'll have a weigh-in Friday, I promise (last week was a maintain, and I'll talk about why that's a huge victory for me right now).

For today, something I found: a prose poem, of sorts - over a year old, venting frustrations with my marriage and my binge eating. I try to keep stuff about my marriage off of here (no very specific details at least), but today, as I work my way back into running and finally feel like I'm making good progress with weight loss (and I'm binge free for a few weeks now!), it's interesting to reread this and remember how completely destroyed and lost I felt not so long ago.

It's got some rough language, but it's genuine. It's exactly what was on my heart at the time.

Without further ado...


i earn less in south carolina than i did in california.
78.3 percent of my old salary,
and now two more people to support.

i come home exhausted after 10 hour days,
six days a week,
and am happy to do so,
because waiting for me is my sweet son.

m stays home with the baby all day,
and takes advantage of the free time
by exploring the area and neighboring counties.

finally, this week, i told him,
i don’t want to see another fucking picture of a plantation.
because fuck you for enjoying this so much,
and for treating this like an extended vacation
while i work myself ragged
and volunteer for every committee,
every extra course,
every project,
trying to make sure that my job is safe
because m can’t (won’t?) find work anywhere,
and my california savings dried up before we left chicago.

stay at home dad.


of course, go explore,
go show our son the world.
that is not my issue.

but when that is done

and i come home after the latest in a series of long days
to find a messy house
and dinner still raw and in pieces in the fridge,
my anger is reasonable.

and i say
let’s go to osaka
because a yogurt in the morning
is not enough to fuel a 280 pound person all day,
yet i worked through my lunch hour
to try and get as much done as possible,
to try and avoid another saturday spent at the office.
(wasn’t enough, here i am.)

so we head to the chinese buffet,
and they seat us in a back corner.
and with one plate after another,
i try to numb the pain
and forget that this is my reality.

this chicken is too salty,
i think in my head,
as i eat my third piece.

the baby grabs for some,
and i bite my inner cheek,
fighting back tears.

i’m supposed to be his role model.

a year later,
i weigh almost as much as i did the day
my son was born.
and i have no excuses.

the pregnancy weight gain was from poor choices
as i tried to numb the pain
and forget that that was my reality.

and a year later,
i still numb my body,
not nourish it.

at one point,
i had lost about 40 pounds.
then, a wedding neither of us wanted,
and up 10.
a holiday season spent somewhere i didn’t want,
and up 20.
a year of overworking myself,
and coming home to find more to do,
and up 30.

i keep trying to find what clicked last time,
to try and be healthy again.
(fuck thin,
i’d be this size if it meant i did not constantly want to binge,
not treat my body like garbage.)

i tried to run.
registered for a race or two,
and when m found out,
he registered as well,
went out and bought himself all new running gear,
and hasn’t stopped talking about his training.
never once asks about mine.
likely hasn’t realized i stopped running again.

what worked the first time
was that i was allowed to be successful.
i had a healthy selfishness.

this selfishness is not healthy.

i deserve someone who cheers for me,
not competes against me.


Jill Walker said...

Oh, wow. Doesn't get much rawer than this...but that has nothing to do with the use of language. I have been *exactly* there, but could have never gotten up the nerve to share it. What courage!! You are awesome.

Christina @ Love Yourself Healthy said...

I'm happy to hear you are doing well. Thank you for sharing your writing; I can relate to much of what you wrote about.

Joanna said...

I could cry reading this and I am sorry you have had such tough times. You write beautifully.

Brittani said...

That last line says it all. I'm not sure if I've ever commented before but I've been following since before you left for California. I'm so glad you're finding your way again, I see that Mary peeking out.

Valerie said...

We are cheering for you, Mary. And so is your son. As always, your writing is beautiful, direct, and honest. Keep going, and we will keep cheering

Rusti said...

Hey Mary,
This is beautifully written, salty language (and chicken) included. I love how raw this is. Good luck to you and your sweet boy this week while your ex-husband is visiting.

Debby said...

Thank you for sharing your poem. I typically don't like poetry, but this I totally got into. I hope you find what works for you, and know that you have people cheering you on all across the US. Or at least in South Dakota! Even though divorce can be difficult, I'm glad you didn't stay in what wasn't an equal relationship.