Sunday, May 29, 2005

Facing Fat Isn't for Sissies

My battle with weight goes WAAAAAY back, starting with a fat childhood, ups and downs through adolescence and college, and eventually maintaining a normal weight for the past 15 years (although, as Dr. Phil would say, I did a lot of "white knuckle" dieting to maintain it). Lately, I've gained a lot of weight fast (see previous blog entry "Working the Night Shift") and boy, am I conflicted. Part of me wants to jump on this like a Master's Thesis: research it, study it, plan it, edit it, present it brilliantly, and emerge victorious. The other part of me wants to take a break from worrying about my size for a while and find satisfaction in something more "important." But can you really focus on something else when you feel so undeserving and disappointed inside? And is there anything more important than establishing a healthy relationship with your body?

Like most of life's challenges, fighting fat teaches you lessons about much more than the lard on your butt. It's not been fun to walk around with these extra pounds lately. It's like living in a padded shell with no hope. For a while, I got to feel "normal" and sometimes even superior because I could maintain a normal weight, but as the rest of the country gets fatter, I'm finding myself joining them. We're all getting older, slowing down, and eating more, and the solution to that equation is bigger bodies and buying your clothes in sizes that begin and end in "X".

Part of my successful weight loss was tied to bigger goals about life, career, and relationships and it came at a time when I had a "fire in my belly" (so to speak) to make something more out of myself. Now, a decade and a half later, I've accomplished quite a lot and that same desire isn't burning as hot. And to make things worse, my doctors don't seem too alarmed and my boyfriend loves my body! It's tough to tap into that internal drive that moves you toward a dream, especially when it's buried underneath too many layers of satisfaction, contentment, and indulgence.

So, I am once again carrying too many pounds around with me in the world and I am trying to figure out why I feel the need to bring them along. The additional pounds also come with burdensome thoughts that threaten to keep me hidden. Here are some demons I'm wrestling with now:

Fifteen Things About Being Fat

15. You get to eat anything you want (Duh-uh!)
14. M&Ms and ice cream are easy. Setting goals and working toward them is hard work.
13. You can blame any disappointment on your weight rather than the actual cause.
12. You don't have to worry about anyone noticing you when you enter a room.
11. As long as someone makes a larger size, you can find something to wear.
10. Any feeling can be covered up by a snack.
9. Your plans for the evening require no imagination -- or movement.
8. In today's society, there's always someone fatter than you.
7. Food is the perfect solution for boredom.
6. You can judge thin people as superficial and too obsessed with their
looks without actually knowing them.
5. So many scones, so little time.
4. Feeling too fat is a great excuse for missing a social event.
3. If people are nice to you, you can assume it's not because of your looks.
2. You don't have to worry about being tempted to cheat on your relationship.
1. As long as you fret about losing (or not losing) weight, you never have to focus
on a bigger goal like, say, fighting injustice, curing disease, or making
something more out of your life.


At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic piece! I LOVE your 15 points.Isn't it funny, the media tells us we're too fat then late at night inundates us with commercials showing VERY underweight (I refuse to use the word "skinny") people eating steaming hot hamburgers and french fries?
Just think how popular Burger Kinger would be if it showed REAL customers eating their products on their commercials....Lynch out.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Baby Chronicles said...

Hey Kel...

Thanks for using my photo right before your 15 points... I told you that was for your private viewing only!!! HA HA HA.
I love your writing and in 4 weeks I too will be struggleing with my weight. As Herman use to say, "I'd like to piggy back on what you said"... I might have to write my own piece.
Love you

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think after 40 it's an issue of fat or skinny or if I'm hot or not. It's an issue of eating healthy food so as not to be just another statistic. We watched Supersize Me. It's enough to give you religion--even Gary, the cheeseburger man. Don't we all feel more in control of our lives and better about ourselves when most of what we eat is fresh, good for you food? (fruits, veggies, whole grain breads and cereals, yogurt, milk, meat). It just makes a person feel more energetic. We shouldn't give a damn whether anyone thinks we look good or not but we need to eat in a way that we feel healthy. The rest will take care of itself.

At 3:08 PM, Blogger WHS Cheer Girl said...

Our society has such an obsession with weight that no matter what a woman weighs, it is a matter of discussion. I know that I am constantly feeling the pressure of those few extra punds and furtively glance at the waist lines of those around me to guage where I fit in on the "fat scale" in the room. I feel I should be over this by now since I have a man who adores the way I look and married me four years ago at my current weight, but sad to say, it seems that societal pressures mean more than the voice of the man I love.

I would love to either be one of those naturally skinny women or one of those women who just don't give a damn. Every once in a while I read a work by a woman who has seemingly embraced her plumpness (Strangely enough, these are usually written by Southern women - do tiaras really give one self-esteem?) and feel better for about two hours. Then I try on a pair of jeans that fit perfectly last week. Maybe I can just blame it on Calvin Klein.


At 9:35 PM, Blogger TC Byrd said...

Have you read "The Fat Girl's Guide to Life"? It was fantastic. I slept in the nude for the first time in forever after reading it. . . .


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home