DAY 301: New York times

This was a monumental weekend for me, so I’m just gonna go ahead and overshare the whole thing.

If you follow my posts on DietBet, you may know that I spent the MLK Day weekend in New York. I have a handful of NYC-based friends who are all from different parts of my life, but each is dear to me in a special way. Before life became a monomaniacal weight-loss revolution, I used to visit New York several times a year to see these special people, but until this weekend, I hadn’t been there since the summer of 2014. This was my first totally free weekend in a while and will be my last for the next 3 months, so I decided it was high time I catch up with my favorite New Yorkers.

I left work early on Friday to hop on my bus outta town. As a Recovering Fat Girl, I traveled in a totally mad fashion, sacrificing luggage space most people reserve for clothes so I could instead fit cold lunch to eat during the trip and my snack staples for every single day I’d be gone. (Traveling light is a lifestyle impossibility for me these days, but I’m posting this from the train back and not at all regretting that choice – just ask those carrots I’m about to tear into.) During the bus ride to New York, I had no Internet service and couldn’t concentrate on the magazines I’d brought along to read because the dude next to me was distracting me with his endless phone calls. That’s when I remembered that my lifelong friend, the daughter of my dad’s friends since college who truly grew up with me and has shared so many experiences and family memories with me that we think of each other as sisters, had been trying to get a hold of me. I sent Sis a text and asked if she could talk now, and a few minutes later, we were on the phone. (Two can play that game, noisy seat neighbor! / I have become the enemy.)

Long story short, her reason for trying to reach me was to ask me to be her maid of honor in her wedding next year.

I had figured and hoped that she would ask me to be a bridesmaid, but I didn’t see MoH coming, even in spite of our close relationship. I was so moved when she asked me that I couldn’t even speak. She of course knew why and said, “DON’T CRY, you’re gonna make ME cry!” My response was, “Fuck you, I’m on a bus!” Sweet story, huh? More for family lore. 😉 We both laughed, gushed about how much we love each other, and then she re-asked me so I could accept without profanities, like a fucking lady.

This means a lot, lot, lot to me. I can’t wait to stand beside my only “sister” on the happiest day of her life. I’ve also never been anyone’s maid of honor before, so honored is exactly how I’m feeling.

And to take this in a completely selfish direction, I can’t help thinking that I actually might not be that sad, fat, single girl whom people assume was put in the wedding party out of pity when Sis’s wedding day comes. I’m going to be able to buy my dress from the same store as the other bridesmaids. I’m going to wear it without being self-conscious. I’m going to walk down the aisle without getting winded. I’m going to be able to stand around in heels all day without thinking about it. I’m not going to ruin her pictures. I’m going to eat her wedding cake without fearing that people around me are looking at me and thinking, “ooooh, she really shouldn’t be eating that.” And I’m going to dance my ass off at that reception without breaking a sweat.

The remainder of the bus ride passed pretty quickly, as I was lost in my excited thoughts.

Once I arrived in New York, I subwayed it to meet a friend for dinner. He looked up from the table where he was waiting when he heard the door open, but did a double-take because he didn’t realize it was me. When I got to the table, he stood up and just said, “Hi! You look great!” And then I ate my face off and it was awesome.

When we reached his building, I hoofed up these stairs all the way to his 5th-story walk-up and wasn’t winded until the 4th floor instead of the 4th step.

stairs

I weighed in for a round of a Transformer DietBet at his apartment the next morning. Later, I met his boyfriend and wasn’t the slightest bit shy.

After that, I met up for brunch with a friend, my cousin, and his girlfriend whom I was meeting for the first time. We stayed chatting and laughing for hours. I ate my face off and it was awesome.

That night, we watched a mind-blowingly awful AFC divisional game and then went to my friend’s favorite Indian restaurant for dinner. I ate my face off and it was awesome.

Yesterday was day 300 of my mission. I commemorated it with a banana for breakfast, then brunch at a restaurant where another friend works in the Flat Iron District. I hugged the shit out of him and laughed harder than I have in ages with him and the girlfriend who came with me. He sent essentially the entire menu to our table for free. I ate my face off and it was awesome.

We stumbled through our food coma daze back outside to watch the other AFC divisional game, and it was the first snow. I felt my inner child surge back to life as I caught giant snowflakes in my mouth while zigzagging around the tourists on 5th Avenue and feeling the cold wind whip around me while we waited for our transfer on a platform outside. We got home, watched the game, and concluded the day with pierogies. I ate my face off and it was awesome.

This morning, I peeled my calorie-soaked, sleep-deprived self off my friend’s sleeper couch and staggered to the train station to go home. I took a banana with me, then chose a cup of watermelon and a bran muffin from among the donuts, pastries, and bagels for breakfast, and a hearty salad from among the sandwiches, pizzas, and fried chicken for my on-board lunch for later. I know how to not eat my face off, and it is awesome.

Experiencing New York without that extra hundred pounds was a completely different way of doing it. I wanted to walk everywhere and I exhausted my friends with my nonsense. I tackled all those subway and apartment-building stairs with reckless abandon. I wove in and out of gawking tourists in Midtown with the speed and agility of an aggressive ballerina. I ate shitty stuff, but not a gluttonous amount of it. I fit comfortably onto the subway, inside of elevators, and into restaurant booths. I felt like I got to fully participate in every part of the weekend, and it’s all because of how different my life is now, after all this weight loss and what comes along with it.

I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow, and even though I didn’t hit the weight I was hoping to in time to see her, I am really looking forward to the check-up. I can’t wait to tell her how much I ate my face off, and how awesome it was do it with the joy in my heart that comes from knowing it wasn’t a big deal because I’ve got this. I can’t wait to tell her I’ve lost 100 pounds and am gonna finish the job this year. I’m so excited to eat the healthy meals I spent the first part of my last morning at my friend’s house planning out today. I can’t wait to see what the scale says on Sunday. I can’t wait to pick out my MoH dress.

And yet, I’ve somehow learned to be patient enough to permit indulgent brunches with loved ones here and there. That’s part of being fearless. I’m practically giddy with the knowledge that I almost definitely gained weight over the last 3 days, and I’m about to work it all off and then some. That’s part of being confident.  I’m anxious to get the hell off of this train so I can go to the gym today.  That’s part of being healthy.

Am I a little crazy? Hell, yeah. Am I emotionally high from quality social contact this weekend? No contest. Am I a giant nerd about this whole weight-loss thing all of a sudden? For sure. Want me to say it? OK: I’m a total loser.

That’s what makes me a winner. 😀

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