I've figured it out. I'm afraid to be skinny. I've been fat for so long that it's become familiar and cozy, like an old couch, and skinniness sounds like a foreign idea. If I'm skinny, then I won't have an excuse not to do things - then I'll feel like I need to get up and do things. And people might notice me.
Of course, I need to get over these feelings. Others have - losing the weight will mean that my body will be healthier, more able to keep up with my children. I'll stop having problems with my knees (hopefully) and won't have to worry about any unsightly bulges. I might be comfortable in a swimming suit again, not embarrassed by the pooch of my thighs.
Is that what I want? If so, why do I constantly crave food and say to myself "It's all right to do it right now - you can start losing weight tomorrow." Except I've been doing that for more than a year and no diet has started yet.
Lately, I've done pretty well just watching what I eat, making sure it's mostly fruits and vegetables and trying to stay away from ingredients I can't pronounce. I've lost about 9 pounds, which means I have 51 left to go. This week, in four days, I was at the gym six times. I did my regular eliptical routine in the morning (fifteen minutes forwards, fifteen backwards) and situps, then Monday I did cardio and Wednesday I did kickboxing. This will become a fairly normal routine for me, I think. I need the exercise and I feel pretty good, considering.
Now I need to start drinking water. Lots of water. Like 2-3 liters of water a day. I can do this - it will make my body feel better, make my skin healthier, and help me lose the water weight I carry around every day.
All of this to climb a mountain. I will make it to the summit of Kilimanjaro on July 22, 2013. I will stand there to see the sunrise over Africa and I will be proud.
But I have a long journey before that climb even begins.
And I have to stop being afraid to be skinny.