Monday, October 4, 2010

Look Out, World

I really don't understand the group brainwashing of American women.  Ask them if they'd like to be thin and every single one will say, "yes."  Ask them if they'd like to lose weight and the overwhelming majority will deliver some  I'm-OK-you're-OK bullshit that rapidly devolves into model bashing and undeniably insane rationalizations.  Of course, that's after they've ripped your head off an chucked it down the street for suggesting they need to lose weight.

In the past when I've said I needed to lose weight, people dismissed my comments at best or flat-out told me I'm crazy at worst.

135 and Size 4/6:

After a twenty-pound weight gain with my first few desk jobs, I worked out and dieted my way down ten pounds to 135.  Friends and family insisted I wasn't eating enough and still reference that weight today as "the time I was too thin." 

When I pointed out that I was in the normal range for my BMI (22.5 in a range of 18.5–24.9), I listened to how BMI is a useless indicator and how it's all about how you feel.  When I said I felt great, the conversation just went back to negative comments about how thin I looked.

Looking at pictures from that time, I looked healthy and normal.  The people around me were the ones with the weight problems.

I was constantly hounded by snotty and unsolicited comments from acquaintances and strangers about "how ridiculously thin" I was, even when there were thinner people around.  It was like the fat kid club had voted to make me the target of their angst.  At 135.  That's pounds, people.  I was hardly heroin chic, even for dairy-loving Wisconsin.

For all we hear about discrimination against fat people, I can't believe the mean, hurtful, spiteful things people will say to a thin person: 

"Some people are just naturally thin."

There was nothing "natural" about it.  I worked out three times a week, walked to and from work whenever the weather allowed, walked every errand except grocery shopping, and ate small, healthy meals. 

Don't dismiss my efforts to get thin and stay thin.

Would you walk up to me today and say, "Some people are just naturally fat?"

"Some people can just eat anything."

All people can eat anything.  I didn't eat high fat, high calorie crap and expect to stay thin.  Not a one.  The world/genetics/McDonalds is not conspiring against fat people.  They are making their own choices and choosing with every bite a junk food to be fat, no matter what they're telling themselves. 

Don't dismiss my efforts to avoid eating junk eliminate.

Would you walk up to me today and say, "Some people just eat anything?"

"I could be thin, too, if I starved myself."

I limited portion sizes for everything, especially any junk food.  I still ate burgers and fries, just not every day or even every week.

Don't dismiss my health-conscious efforts to stay thin as an eating disorder. 

Would you walk up to me today and say, "I could be fat, too, if I ate like you?"

145 and Size 6/8:

At 145, I had a BMI of 24.1 and felt like I needed to drop 10 pounds.  I was dating the world's greatest foodie and eating every other meal on the go.  The need to drop 10 pounds wasn't enough of an incentive to change my ways.  Plus, most people stopped making snotty comments so I felt emotionally normal even if I felt physically chubby.  I still listened to constant comments about how thin I was, but no one actually accused me of having an eating disorder.

Looking back at pictures from that time, I looked healthy but you can clearly see I was carrying too much weight around my middle.

155 and Size 8/10:

At 155, I was just over the threshold for the overweight range for my BMI (25.8 in a range of 25–29.9).  The pictures are not flattering.  My 20 extra pounds show up in every one.  Unfortunately, they're my wedding pictures. 

180 and Size 12/14:

Then, there was the year and a half during which I made the huge jump from 155 to my present weight, which I shudder to share.  I worked constantly, skipping breakfast and lunch, then wolfing down a late drive-thru dinner.  As a new wife, I cleaned and did laundry when I wasn't working.  When I did sit to "relax," I ate in front of the TV or went to a restaurant with my husband.  There are pictures from that uphill climb.  I would rather there weren't.

This past year, I have taught myself to cook anything and everything.  The discovery that one can use a kitchen to make really, really good food has not exactly helped, although I have managed through random dieting to hold the line.

I also quit smoking.  Yay, lungs and heart!  Boo, scale! 

The Dreaded Plateau:

For this past year and despite the entire month I worked with a personal trainer three times a week, my BMI has been 30.  (Obesity is considered 30 or greater.) 

Thanks to age, recovering from two major abdominal surgeries and medications, I've had a really hard time taking the weight off.  It was unbelievably demoralizing to stick to a strict diet and workout schedule for the entire month of May, only to gain two pounds.  For those of you who claim that was muscle, I also gained inches around my waist.  I just couldn't motivate myself to get back to the gym after that.

Just recently, I've switched up my "cocktail" and resorted to a strict lowfat vegan diet, but I've been slipping up regularly.   I'm starting back at the gym this week.

A few people I've shared this with have claimed I don't need to lose weight.  My doctor is not one of them.

Guess what comments are back?

"Oh, you were too thin."

"Oh, you don't need to lose that much."

As lousy as I felt when I was thin and people were making snotty comments, it's ten billion times worse to have to assure people I AM fat. 

I'm 5'5".  Average women's clothing size be damned.  After a particularly horrid series of pictures, I spent this past summer hiding from cameras.  The fact that every phone has a camera is my personal nightmare.  That fact that every single picture is on facebook is like some bizarre fat kid penance.

Regardless of how I look, I feel tired all the time.  The sight of myself in a full-length mirror is depressing.  I involuntarily say, "Oof!" when I bend over to tie my shoes.  I almost burst into tears in a fitting room last week.  That's right.  Me.  I don't cry for anything if I can help it.

I fully acknowledge I eat waaaay too much and all of the wrong things.  Even though I can't use the "I don't have time" excuse, I still frequently skip breakfast, grab something quick for lunch and eat from the time my husband comes home from work until bedtime.  I'll eat a full portion of something to "try it," regardless of whether I'm actually hungry. 

It speaks to my nonexistent exercise level that my dog prefers car rides to walks.  I have all the time in the world to get to the gym.  I've just found new excuses. 

I need to lose weight for my health, for my appearance, and for my sanity. 

I'm going to lose weight and start living a healthier lifestyle in general.  A big part of that will be dismissing anyone who says any of the above comments to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment