Some of you know and some of you don’t know – I’ve been actively trying to lose weight for a year.
Last November, I joined Weight Watchers when I decided that it was time to get some help and support because weighing 177 lbs at 5’5″ with a BMI of 29.5 was too much. I asked my doctor’s advice and she agreed that I could afford to lose a few pounds, especially since I carry my fat on my belly which is the worst place in terms of getting things like heart disease. Just for the record though, I never thought I needed to lose weight from an aesthetic point of view. I’ve always thought that I’m pretty damn hot, and sexy as hell when I’m naked. I love my curves. But – because of health considerations, I decided to lose some pounds.
So I jumped on the bandwagon, and I lost 10 lbs fairly quickly. Then I stalled. And stalled. And stalled some more. Then I went to Europe, where I ate pretty much whatever I wanted, although I did choose salads and veggies over fries more often than not in restaurants. I walked quite a bit, more so than I do at home, but I also wasn’t doing martial arts while I was over there. I figured I probably gained a few pounds but lo and behold, when I weighed in when I got back, I had only gained one!
But then counting points became just too much hassle and I switched over to Sparkpeople where I counted calories instead. I started drinking my eight glasses of water a day again, and I lost five more pounds. But then it came back, bit by bit. I got tired from keeping track all the time. I got lazy. I just really wanted bread, dammit!
When I got the news about Glenn’s death, I threw the whole idea out the window. I ate what I wanted to eat, when I wanted to eat it. Funnily enough, I still choose veggies more often than not. I don’t eat many desserts. I have binged on bread a few times but after denying myself for a year, I have a lot of cravings to make up for.
Interestingly enough, I seem to have balanced out at about 168 lbs. Five years ago, when I coughed up for a personal trainer to kick my ass into shape (before I started martial arts) I weighted 165. There’s this interesting idea of every body having a personal set weight that the body is happiest at, and it would seem to me that somewhere in the 160s is mine. Before starting WW I had been eating a lot of junk so I know that that last ten pounds was me being lazy about exercise, lazy about drinking water, and lazy about eating the right things rather than the wrong things. I think that’s why that 10 lbs came off so quickly – my body wanted to get back to its set point.
I’ve always been uncomfortable with people making comments about my weight. I ran into someone that I used to work with recently and she said, “You look fantastic! Have you lost weight?” I don’t think that these two thoughts should go together. I don’t think that commenting on another person’s weight should be considered socially acceptable, unless that comfort zone has already been established between those people. I hate the fact that in some circles, I am considered to have more value because I now weigh less.
I discovered the most amazing blog tonight, Shapely Prose. I have been reading through the back entries and the one that I want to share, and I really want everyone reading this to click on and read, is The Dog Theory of Fatness. It sums up the fucked-up-ness of the way our society views fat people in such an entertaining and succinct way. There’s also this link that points out the flaws in using the BMI as a gauge. Or go watch this slideshow that shows exactly what underweight, normal, or overweight looks like using BMI.
The end result is that I’m never going to be a whippet. I’m never going to be a chihuahua. But I am fit. I am healthy. I have quit smoking. I am learning how to run and how to love it. I can complete an hour long kickboxing class with minimal sweat and a quick two minute recovery time whereas a few months ago I would have felt like throwing up. I hold a brown belt in martial arts that I did not get by being lazy or unmotivated or any other stereotypical thought that people hold about others who carry more weight. I am not skinny. I never will be skinny. But I am me, and I am beautiful, and I am never going to associate my worth with a number on the scale again. What matters is how I feel, and I am the only person who can judge that.
I love myself, exactly the way I am. Which doesn’t mean that I’m not going to keep trying to be better. It means that it’s going to be on my terms, not the unhealthy thin-centric terms of this fucked up society that I happen to live in.