ďfat idiotĒ 

I can finally wash my butthole without pulling several muscles in my back.

I wake up early, 9 a.m. is early for me, rariní to go until way past bedtime.

I move differently, a ballerina quarterback with air for shoes.

I cook, clean, do the dishes 50,000 times in an hour, I could probably re-paint the house three times over and not break a sweat. 

I may not have lost any weight at all, I look the same in the mirror and nobody else notices a difference (except my husband, with my amplified energy), but I feel like a size 6 all over again, the way I was in the late Ď80s/early Ď90s and that one period between the year 2000 and 2002 when Atkins didnít leave me with the runs all day. 

Itís Day 12 of a renewed and improved me as I write this. Right around Christmas, 2004, I made a secret vow to regain control over my physical life and become the powerful Scorpio/Sagittarius of my cusp birthright, phoenix from the ashes, never count me out I may surprise you. 

Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, Eddie and I actually looked like this.

Nothing drastic. Iíve done drastic to death. For far too long, I kept my health on hold, because I could not fathom any diet and exercise program that could keep my attention for a lifetime and keep my digestive tract from exploding. Eventually, any fad Ė whether itís the all-protein or only-Ragu-pasta way of eating Ė will take a toll on my body, until my body rebels, rendering it expired. 

So, I went crazy for two months while on the road, this past January and February, eating whatever I wanted, stuffing my face with abandon, and ignoring the myriad opportunities to work myself into a calorie-burning sweat (except for the hour I snuck away on the Princess Cruise ship to swim laps in the pool at the Neptune bar on the last full day left, 68 degrees keeping the crowds away)Ö until I got so sick of junk food that even now, over three weeks back home, I donít think Iíll ever be able to stomach the sight and the flavor of burgers, fries, anything fried, pizza, and sometimes, spaghetti with heavy, thick brown-red tomato sauce. 

When I returned home on February 23rd, I yearned for simple, home cookingÖ a roast chicken with a scoop of steamed rice and a scoop of green beans, a nice salad, lots of nice salads, mixed mesclun greens, pear and apple slices thrown on top, meatless Mediterranean cuisine, I ate a bucketful with my best friend Jon near where he lives in downtown Seattle, days before starting back on the treadmill sitting in our computer room at home. 

Eddie had set up a third TV set in front of the treadmill years ago, at first in the spare empty room that would become the nursery, then downstairs in between my PC, his Mac and a spare. He was the only one in the household using it sporadically, though, if you count once every few weeks when he grew disgusted with himself and how tired he always seemed to be. I could feel him wondering about me as well, when Iíd get off my lazy butt and get back on, to be the six-mile-a-day-jogging, muscular lithe girl he first met, and inspire him to trim down. 

After awhile, that treadmill just sat there without either of us occupying it, serving as a second closet, for at least three years on my part, until I kicked myself into gear on March 7th, 30 minutes on the TV Food Network every morning for one week, then locked into an hour with one of my ABC Daytime soaps, usually GH, till the time flew by. Now, Iím on it like a drug, and Eddieís in the same position I was, staring at me and at it with guilt rising on his face. Soon, heíll join me, and weíll do alright. 

I didnít just suddenly wake up and decide to turn up my health several notches. I certainly didnít decide to do it out of vanity, though God knows I could barely stand to stomach myself in the mirror or in a passing windowÖ I looked like a very ugly, very mean, very bulbous middle-aged, pregnant manÖ Rosie OíDonnell and Anna Nicole, pre-Trim Spa, looked like cover models comparativelyÖ  

And I have fantasized about what it would be like to walk into a church service or the churchís Voice of Praise choir rehearsal looking like a reduced but hot version of my true self, turning every head with amazement, envy and desire.  

Because Iíve been thin before, many times before, I know what to expect; people treat me better, they notice me more, they pick me out of crowds, for some reason, race is no longer an issue as long as the little China doll is packaged for the bedroom, the men they chase me, the women they befriend me out of necessity (the jealousy) or of a realization based purely on aesthetics that Iím an okay chick (read: Iím a normal human being they can relax around and relate to since Iím no longer a heinously ugly alien from the planet Taco Bell), ÖI lose my soul to their smitten looks. 

Kinda the same thing happening, IMHO, to actress Kirstie Alley. 

Didnít Kirstie Alley say she didnít care about her overweight?
Now, sheís caring all the way to the bank, and for a few scraps
of peer approval.

She went from preaching self-love for the big girls, itís whatís inside that counts, Iím satisfied with my outside, so screw you, society DEFIANT AND PROUD, to another kowtowing Cindy Crawford wannabe, spouting the fat girlís between the party line in Jenny Craig-speak, signing a commercial deal to sell celebrity weight loss like a fallen sinner knocking on heavenís door, SHALLOW AND WEAK. 

Had she been honest from the start, using the media to do more than whine self-righteously and defensively about her weight gain, ballooning up to over 200 pounds and owning it, admitting she let herself go and may or may not do something constructive about it, itís her private businessÖ I may have cut her more slack. 

I have to give her some credit, though. She managed to turn her whining about weight issues into a Showtime original series, Fat Actress, as well as scoring that Jenny Craig deal. And, if the weight continues to fly off, 20 pounds at last count (dude, 20 pounds off her is noticeable, off me, hardly a stretch mark), sheíll probably enjoy the last laugh, back in fine form, pre-Cheers, and the masses will treat her like Lazarus, redeemed, another addict pampered into recovery. 

Then, theyíll remember the charming, seductive, eccentric, beautiful her. 

BTW, some parts of Alleyís Showtime debut were hilarious, like the ďburning a sex holeĒ line by comedienne Rachael Harris, as Kevyn, Alleyís hair/makeup artist, but the rest of it was just so much self-indulgent capitalization on fatties everywhere, following in the footsteps of another former fattie, Anna Nicole and her show. Besides, I canít get over the disingenuousness of it all, Alley acted like the fat didnít bother her and to bugger off. A few tabloid attacks later, and sheís mewling penitent before the paparazzi and the jury of her cocktail partiers, begging for approval if sheís thin enough. 

Not for me, not this time. Iím 40. Iíll be 41 on November 22 this year. I donít have much time left to goof around with weight issues, or play coy. Iím already married and committed 100 percent to Eddie, and our family, Iím out of the dating game. 

I would like to stay alive a lot longer, watch my son grow into a man, retire comfortably, me and the husband tooling around in our Fifth Wheel through the backwoods of this country, go back to school to study medicine and drama just for fun, start up that magazine with my buddiesÖ really live.  

For that, I knew I needed to shape up, pronto. Start small, do it right, baby steps, stop making a public spectacle about my intentions, be a woman of quiet integrity, donít be Kirstie Alley. 

The final push came from an unexpected place, from a yearís worth of recurring dreams touched by Godís Holy Spirit. In these dreams, I am young again, 21, I jog and Iím free for three miles, one hour, every single day, I sprint home to clean, simple, wholesome food, and I gaze at myself in the mirror with awe-struck amazement, to this beautiful stranger. Each time, His voice comes through loud and clear, telling me, ďThis is you, Carol, this is really you. And, this will be you soon. Just trust me, and be.Ē 

Me? This stranger? We seemed so different, sheís so tall, so tanned, almost of Spanish descent, with wide, crinkly mischievous amber-pale brown eyes, high cheekbones, that left dimple, long swan-like neck, long runnerís legs, narrow hips, flat chest, broad shoulders. Maybe because I hadnít paid any attention to her all these wasted years either, but Iím starting to see more of her now, though, Iím looking from the inside. I might even start jogging again, who knows. 

God often shows me areas of my life that need my attention in the most distinctive, poetic way. Besides working on my health, He revealed his intention to shape me socially, spiritually in a series of other recurring dreams where I sung, well, in tune, on pitch. The voice I was hearing wasnít just my own, but that of hundreds of others in a congregation, joining together as one in worship. I could hear forgiveness, bliss, rebirth and pure unadulterated joyful communion in the human spirit in that one voice. His voice came through then, adding, ďI need to hear your voice, Carol, from among the crowd. Loud and clear. Hear it, too.Ē Thatís when, almost two years ago, I joined the church choir as a soprano, which I havenít done since 6th grade back in Newcomb Middle School, N.J. I havenít regretted one moment, this privilege of singing alongside a choir of angels. I even made a new best friend this year when Terrie joined the soprano section too. 

I neednít struggle with starting to change, because Iíd already been changing, through His help. 

Unlike Kirstie Alley, Iím not trying to impress you to be me. 

Thatíll just be the icing. Sugar-free, of course.



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