The second worst thing about being in pain all the time.

So here’s the number two most horrible thing about being in pain all day every day (number one being the horrible pain): I’m totally gaining weight and it sucks really bad and I literally don’t know how to stop it.

And before you give me some crap line about moving more and eating less, let me explain some stuff to you.

The pain killers and the nerve medications both list weight gain as a possible side effect. Because of course I didn’t get the random chronic condition that comes with medications that cause unexplained weight loss.

And by “weight gain as a possible side effect” I mean, like I’ll go to the doctor on a Thursday and weigh one thing and then I’ll eat like normal amounts of food (maybe even a little less than normal if I feel particularly crappy) and do normal amounts of things and by my next doctor’s appointment on Monday I will have gained four solid pounds.

And yes, I know that part of this is because I spend so much time with my new BFF, the couch. But that’s because when I do things, like say, shower, or walk around a grocery store, I feel like death afterward.

And so, no, I’m not really burning off any calories. But when I do burn them off, I want to cry and die and drug myself to sleep.

I also know that my eating habits haven’t been the best lately.

But I’m just going to throw it out there that I feel like I’m dying more often than I don’t, and that kind of thing screws with your head in ways you wouldn’t expect, and so yes, many times, when I eat, I’m like, “Dude, whatever, give me another taco. I’m probably going to die tomorrow anyway.”

Like, honestly, I really think I’m going to die tomorrow, pretty much everyday. That’s how much pain I’m in.

Because this is my blog and I want to be honest in this space, I’m just going to go ahead and confess that since February I have literally gained over 40 pounds.

In six months I have gained 40-freaking pounds.

What the what?

I talked with my neurologist, and he switched me from one nerve medication to another, hoping it would help, but I’m still gaining like a pound a day.

Like seriously, I gained 10 pounds while I was on a mission trip, eating sandwiches and one scoop of noodles for dinner every night and painting houses all day.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, everyone in my life has been super amazing about it. My boyfriend has not mentioned it even once, not even in passing. And, neither has any of my family members. And I know that all the kids in my (soon-to-be former) youth group love me dearly, because they are so amazing that I seriously get the impression that they don’t even notice.

But I notice. And my stupid, stupid clothes notice. And the stupid, stupid scale at the doctor’s office notices.

So yesterday, I was like, screw this, I’m going to try to do something. And so I went for a walk.

According to my cell phone, I went 3.89 miles.

I mean, ya, when I came back home and sat on my couch, it felt like my ribs were literally going to explode off of my body because I was in that much pain. But the walk itself wasn’t so bad, what with the help of a the prescription pain pills and whatnot.

Anyway, as most of you know, I’m moving in with my in a couple weeks, and I’m hoping the change will help me eat a little healthier and walk a little more. (My mom seriously loves walks).

In the meantime though, I’m just trying to find lots of reasons to wear yoga pants, because nothing else I own fits me anymore.

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Weight weight, don’t tell me.

Things people say about my weight that weird me out:

I bet you’re beating off the boys with a stick now.

Umm. Huh? First of all, no. No. I am not. I live in the suburbs, where every man is married with 2.5 kids and a upside down mortgage. Second of all, why wouldn’t I have been beating them off with a stick before?

Keep it up.

What the crap? I lost 54 pounds. How in the name of all that is caloric are you not satisfied? What if I just want to keep it down for a while. Gawd.

Oh. Wow. I didn’t recognize you.

Really? You didn’t? For real? That’s insane. I still have the same eyes, nose and pink purse. You need to look closer next time.

I bet you’ll be married in no time now.

Really? Is that all I needed. You’re probably right. I mean, heck I saw a nice young man at the Wal-Mart yesterday, I bet he’ll marry me, what with the fact that I lost weight and all. Give me a break.

You’re skinnier than me now. You suck.

Umm. In fact, you are the one who sucks. I worked my behind off for the last six months so I could weigh two pounds less than you and you’re JEALOUS? Why don’t you just give up soda for like a minute, lose your stupid two pounds, and we’ll call it all even.

Do you feel healthier?

What does that even mean? It’s like asking if someone feels “30” on their birthday. I feel like Crystal.


Uh. Dude. I LOST 54 POUNDS! I think that should at LEAST qualify me for a, “You look nice today.” How are you not going to say anything?

And now, one that someone said that was perfect.

Your thighs look smaller.

Courtesy of my little sister. Just out of the blue. All, “Your thighs look smaller.” Made me giddy for bathing suit season.

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“Hey, Crystal. Your face looks way thinner”

I’m pretty sure people keep complimenting my hair because I’ve lost weight.

They either don’t realize I look different, or they don’t know how to say “Hey, Crystal. Your face looks way thinner.” without sounding awkward.

It’s cool. I’ll take it.

The holidays have been a pretty startling check-in point for me. Lots of people around whom I haven’t seen in about 20 or 30 or 43 pounds. Lots of “WOAH! You look GREAT!” and “How’d you do it?”

I keep teetering between blurting out every ounce of detail and simply smiling away their questions. Does anyone really want to know what I’ve gone through to lose each and every pound?

I want to tell them. But I don’t really think they want to know. I think they want to pretend people lose 43 pounds eating five small meals a day with appropriate servings of fruits and vegetables and 30 minutes of wonderful glow-inducing cardio.

I don’t know those people.

I didn’t lose weight that way.

I lost weight by making my body so hungry that it started eating away at my fat.

It’s called the “that’s how you actually lose weight” diet.

It’s not pretty. I’m never full. I weigh myself two to seven times each day. And I’ve been at this for four long months – all so I could fit into the correct box on the chart at my doctor’s office.

I’m just 14 little pounds away from my overall goal now – I’m still not AT my goal, but I’m so close I could smile.

I wanted to wait until I hit that goal to throw the ITs out there though.

You know.

My weights and measures.

What I started with. What I’m at.

The ITs.

My best friend April has been the only one I’ve discussed those numbers with on a regular basis and that’s only because I trust her to be my friend no matter what those numbers are. It’s a trust she’s earned by sticking out 11 years worth of confessions, clothing sizes, and crying sessions as my friend.

But now, the losing-weight-thing has hit an ankle-based roadblock and the figures are moving so, so, so slowly. And really, I’m actually very, very happy to be where I’m at.

I kind of want to shout it from the Internet rooftops.

I’m very, very happy to walk into a room and think ‘I look normal.’ I probably don’t, but I feel like I do. I know that, at the very least, I don’t feel like someone is thinking “Wow. She’s umm, fat. That’s why she’s (fill in the blank with any number of human failures or ailments).”

Instead, at this weight, I feel like people think “Look. A normal girl. Let me listen to what she is saying.”

And since I’m so happy/content/tickled to be where I’m at, I thinking I’m going to just go ahead and throw it out there.



See what just happened there? I just typed my current weight and then I hit delete, delete, delete.

I don’t know if I can do it.

I don’t know what you’ll say when you see those easy-to-judge little numbers.

The weirdest part of this is that I never actually felt “huge” or “fat” or whatever you want to call it. I felt like “Crystal.” It was the scale that was all judgmental. The chart at the doctor’s office that screamed “SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU.”

And now. I don’t feel “thin,” or “healthy” or whatever.

I just still feel like “Crystal.” Still (mostly) funny. Still wearing my heart right there on the edge of my cardigan sleeve. Still trying my best to make a living as a writer.

But I’m not the same. I’m more likely to be financially successful, more like to get married and more likely to make friends.

Why is that?

Why do you think that’s an OK thing? Do you think I’m different now? Am I more deserving of financial success, marriage or friends because I weigh less? I think I’m the same deserving level as I was on July 31, before I lost a single pound.

I guess, in the spirit of that conclusion though, I should just do it.

Just BAM! Type those stupid numbers that are burned in my mind.

They don’t change one sliver of the bottle of spirit and soul and Taco Bell magic that makes “me,” “Crystal” after all.

So, um. Here you go.

I started at 198.

I’m now at 155.

I’d like to be 141.

I’ll be totally happy if I don’t ever lose even one more single pound ever.

I’ll be totally “me” no matter what I type at the end of those three sentences, ever.


Anyway, in complete opposition to every sentence I just typed, I present to you some visual aids:





I realize this isn’t the fairest “after” picture, since I’m kind of behind my mom on the left, but it was either A. this, B. a head shot I took of myself last week or C. a random picture taken right now at 3:30 a.m. of me in my super mario pajama pants and glasses.

I picked A. this.

If you want to see a full version, call me, make plans and come visit – I’ll even wear my skinny jeans that are now, umm, too big for me.

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