Thursday, September 22, 2011

Coming Clean - Part 2 (My Big Secret From Charlie And How It Affected My Weight)

The first thing you've got to know about Charlie is that he has a PhD in Mathematics. He's smart! But I was able to pull one over on him for a LONG time!

I used to be a cigarette smoker. I know...it's socially unacceptable, it's bad for you, it's nasty and gross, blah, blah, blah. But, I LOVED IT! I started smoking when I was a senior in high school. Kinda late, huh? I was actually the LAST person in my high school to start smoking AND to lose my virginity (but that's another story).

Sam Schaal taught me how to smoke. Bad boy. He's a minister now.

Anyway, I was a smoker when I started dating Charlie at age 25. Like a pack a day smoker! This was in 1980 and we could smoke anywhere - the office, restaurants, college classes, hospital rooms, airplanes, ANYWHERE!

However, Charlie didn't smoke so I hid my smoking from him. Looking back on it, I'm not quite sure how I did it. Gum, perfume, white knuckles, lots of lies.....
He was in love, I guess.... and I come across much more scrupulous than I really am!

We dated for over a year before we got married and, luckily for smoking ME, Charlie spent the last six months of that time in Idaho. Our romance was phone-based. That makes it easy to be a secret smoker - as long as you quietly exhale.

I tried to quit smoking fifty million hundred gazillion times during that six months. But... you know the problem when you quit smoking for a couple of days? It makes you feel SO GOOD to have a cigarette! So I stopped and started, stopped and started, all the way up to my wedding day. The night before my wedding, I dreamed that my wedding ring was a little itsy bitsy tiny ashtray - surrounded by diamonds.

I made it to the second day of our honeymoon before I smoked behind Charlie's back. We were on our way to Idaho when our car broke down right outside of Santa Fe. We had to call a tow truck to tow us into the Dodge place. I STOLE a pack of cigarettes from a carton sitting on the tow truck's dashboard while the tow truck man and Charlie were hooking the car up to the truck.

Now, one thing you have to know about me that I am not a thief. The only other thing I ever remember stealing was my cousin Doak's toys when I was four. And my mom made me give them back. I have a HUGE guilt complex and feel guilty about things I didn't even do! It's a sign of puredee desperation that I stole a pack of cigarettes. I locked myself in the bathroom of the Dodge place for half an hour and smoked as many as I could. In later years (after I came clean to him about smoking), Charlie said he thought I had some sort of bowel problem on our honeymoon because we had to stop so often so I could go to the bathroom!

We were married and living in Idaho for probably six months before I finally told Charlie that I smoked. I finally HAD to get honest when he came home from work earlier than expected one day. I was sitting at the dining table, next to an open window, smoking a cigarette when I heard his car in the garage. I quickly stubbed the cigarette out as best I could and put the ashtray in the dining room buffet. Twenty minutes later, he noticed smoke coming out of the buffet drawer. My bad.

I've got to say that Charlie was one of the most tolerant people around. He accepted the fact that I smoked. It really wasn't a problem for him nearly as much as it was for me.

But, that period of time of having to hide my smoking played havoc with my weight. When you can't smoke, you eat!

So, the second time I joined Weight Watchers was in Idaho. I weighed 133. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY THREE! Oh my God, I was just a little more than half the person I am now. I'd give my eye teeth (the real one and the one that's capped) to weigh that again!

I finally quit smoking two years later when we moved to Los Alamos. Even back in 1984, HARDLY ANYBODY smoked here in Los Alamos. I truly felt like a second class citizen, a pariah.

So, I quit smoking and became THE bitch from hell. Actually the constantly-eating-have-to-have-something-in-my-mouth-bitch-from-hell.

One addiction took the place of the other.

I literally did not know how to stop eating. As a smoker, you end your meal by lighting a cigarette (remember, then you could even do that in a restaurant). As a smoker who is not smoking, you don't know how to end your meal. So you just keep eating.

So, I ate myself up to 185 and then I got pregnant with Tyler...............

1 comment:

  1. Omg Jenn, you and I are so much alike...

    Lisa Brenner

    ReplyDelete