Through my fat adult life I had this going for me: women in my family, on my father’s side, got small as they got older. I remember my favorite aunt, my dad’s older sister, always dressed as fashionably as she could. She was after all a rare thing in her day, a single unmarried Black woman who was a career civil servant, in (wait for it ….) Parks and Rec.

The weight didn’t really drop for me, although it did somewhat stabilize at the 215 pound range until about a year ago. What seemed like a happy outcome soon revealed itself to be a health crisis of major proportions. I couldn’t engage in my most utilitarian form of exercise, walking. I could go ten paces and then I would have to stop and rest. This was ridiculous and frustrating and scary, very, very scary. I was also between doctors and I was not particularly impressed with what my high deductible insurance care offered.

Still I got an excellent referral to a well-respected cardiology group that treated me aggressively with blood pressure medications and diuretics. The diuretics did their job quickly. I had started to feel like the water blob changeling in the first X-Men movie. After what seemed like repeat marathon sessions in the loo, I began to feel better, look better and even move better. I resumed both walking and my favorite form of exercise, ecstatic dance. A pricey cardiac procedure provided me with some good news: yeah I was fat but my arteries weren’t clogged. As for my blood pressure, yuck.

Its a year since those weeks of worry and uncertainty. Once tight skinny jeans for a fat body, hang loosely. A size 16 pair of women’s chinos are quite comfortable and loose. A pair of tech hiking pants have to have their drawstring pulled tight, then zipped. I am now well under 200 pounds. It is time for some new clothes!!!

For some women this is all so exciting and potentially fun. For me, not so much. I plan to solicit allies for the experience of “buying a new wardrobe”. I am going to need them, more than that oversized latte with whipped cream that is little more than a milkshake with caffeine.

I can do this. I can.

Veteran Cat Servant