I had two victories today! First, I beat the vending machine. I considered buying something from it at work today — those M&Ms were staring at me — but I had plain yogurt with fruit instead. Then at home, I was craving pizza for dinner. My solution? I compromised. I ordered a thin crust veggie pizza and had two small slices. I then wrapped up the rest for tomorrow. Like I said before, it’s all about me learning to eat things in moderation — not too little, not too much. I’m on my way to a healthy me!

In other good news, after a week-long stay, my father was finally released from the hospital! However, as happy as I am that he’s well enough to be at home, a small part of me — the probably very selfish part — is relieved that I managed to avoid running into the many family friends who’d visited him; the ones who haven’t seen me in a few years and have no idea how big I’ve gotten.

Having once been thin and now grossly overweight makes getting together with old acquaintences interesting, to say the least. I experienced this in full-force at my wedding, where I wasn’t even at my top weight; I was about 220 at the time — skinny compared to what I am now! For those who weren’t expecting to see a fat bride, my appearance was a shock, and I could see it in their expressions. “Oh, uh, er… congratulations!” Sure, most of my friends and family told me I was a beautiful bride, and I do have to say, I look okay in our photos. Still, there were some guests who were clearly uncomfortable with my change and didn’t know what to say; on a day where I was supposed to be the prettiest woman in the room, I felt self-conscious.

As for everyone else I’ve gotten back in touch with — which is really easy to do these days with Facebook, MySpace and the other reunion sites — I’ve had mixed results. Before we make any arrangements, I always give the person a warning about my weight so he or she won’t be too shocked.  A handful, including a childhood friend, simply stopped calling after actually seeing me. But there have been a few who didn’t care and have stayed friends. Whenever I see the name of an old classmate who I liked, I’m always torn between honoring my dignity or my desire to reignite a relationship. Usually the friendship wins out.

My most successful reunion to date has been with my friend Scott. He and I were band buddies in high school (we both played sax) and though we weren’t extremely close, we always got along well.  He was also very encouraging when it came to my music career. For my final jazz band concert during senior year, I decided to play an improvised flute solo (my main instrument). I almost didn’t do it, but Scott pursuaded me to go through with it. That helped launch my career as a jazz flautist.

After college, he and I lost touch for about 10 years, but when I saw his information online, I just knew I had  to call him. I did, and we had a great conversation. He then suggested he meet up with Jon and me for lunch.

“First, I have to tell you something,” I warned. “I’m really fat now.”

“So? Most of us look different now that we’re older,” he replied.

“No, you don’t understand,” I explained. “I’m fat, like really fat — I’m fucking HUGE!”

“I don’t give a shit,” he said. “I just want to meet you for lunch.”

We met up and sure enough, Scott didn’t seem to care about what I looked like. As it turns out, he had a little secret of his own: he’s gay. Once that was out, we dropped all pretenses and discussed everything we could think of. Three years later, he’s one of my best friends.

The one thing we don’t have in common is that he’s in really, really great shape. He runs marathons and cycles. When he joined us in Mexico, he ran up the freakin’ Pyramid Of the Sun! He’s the one who got Jon and me to do that 20-mile charity walk last year.  Like Jon, he’s gone out of his way to help me get back into shape. He constantly cheers me on and even had me send him daily workout and food diaries (which if you’re reading this Scott, I promise I’ll start doing that again).

I’m not sure exactly where I slipped up this time around, especially with such a great support system behind me. But I’m determined to beat this and be the person I know I can be. I want to be able to attend my 20th high school reuion without having to warn everyone first.