For fat people, there’s a fine line between accepting (and daring to love) ourselves as we are and struggling to lose weight because we feel we should (for myriad reasons including our health, pleasing ourselves or others and/or fitting in an airplane seat).
Spoiler alert: I’ve mentioned my struggle with weight before HERE. If talk about this subject makes you uncomfortable, just mosey along.
Today, I’m sharing about this topic again because I saw a YouTube video that brought me to tears. It’s called Am I Glorifying Obesity? and lasts about 15 minutes, if you’d like to watch it (I hope you will!). I found Glitterandlazers quite by accident while searching for videos about fashion and make-up.
Sidenote: I love watching that kind of stuff! Some of the personalities are hilarious and a joy to watch. I watch a guy in Denmark who cuts hair, too, along with a chef and a comedy series from Great Britain. And cat videos. Sue me. LOL
Anyway, this young woman has her whole life in front of her and I am mesmerized by her bravery and honesty… not just in this video, but also others. She tries on clothes, including shorts and bathing suits. Geez, I had to take a xanax to get into the pool at the Y! And I still walked fast and threw the towel (which had been wrapped around me) against the wall as I turned to jump in before anyone could see me. Ha, as if. Not that anyone was looking. And I guess, in a way, that’s the point. Who’s actually looking at an old fat lady getting in the pool? Another sidenote: I had a fabulous time once I got in. I love to swim! Isn’t that what really matters?
While my weight has always been a struggle, I haven’t always been fat. As an adult, I’ve been as low as 130 lbs. and as high as 300 lbs. I’m neither of those now but not in the middle, either. Also not the point.
While in college studying fashion merchandising — I know! I hardly seem the type, right? I changed my major a half-dozen times. Ugh!— I wrote a paper about my bright idea for getting rid of fat people. How about… I reasoned… manufacturers stop making fat clothes? No kidding, I stood up in front of people and said that if there were no clothes for fat people, they’d eventually have to lose weight to step out the door. Can you believe that? As if dressing people in sackcloth and ashes would do anything but shame them. Tsk, tsk. And, oh yeah, I was thin at the time. Bet you guessed that. Seriously, what the heck was I thinking?
Little did I know that I would need those sizes one day. Karma is such a funny bitch.
The last time I was… at least, normal-ish sized… was 2003. No, wait… again in 2008 or so. Yes. The year of walking. My husband and I started walking every night in May. By August, we’d both lost weight… and in one of the more spectacular instances, I lost more than my husband. I was nearly 50 pounds down. He was 35.
But things and stuff happened… and bob’s yer uncle… both of us gained it back. Plus some.
Up and down. Back and forth.
Would it be better to just accept myself as I am? Yeah, maybe… except for:
- asthma/ breathing
- acid reflux
- sleep issues
- etc etc etc
Yeah. Those are my diagnoses. Maybe losing weight would be a better choice for me.
I think part of the issue has always been a kind of body dysmorphia. Look at this photo. I was 15 years old and thought I was a fat pig. I don’t use that description lightly, as I truly believed it. I had a round face and soft curves… I was *not* fat. But I thought I was. Years later, after I had my children and was actually fat, a neighbor called me “a fat pig without a brain in my head”… I don’t feel like revisiting that story again… but it happened. Is it any wonder I struggle?
Oh, woe is me. Not really. It’s just this monster I’ve had on my back for (what feels like) my entire life. Sucks.
The day before yesterday, I was having a medical test and I had to sit quietly for almost two hours. I watched people coming in and out and realized, with surprise, that there are actually quite a few slim people, at least coming into that office. It was freezing cold and women came in with tight jeans on beautiful, slim thighs and knee high boots. They wore heavy jackets and coats – as we all do – but still were able to walk with grace. I was wearing yoga pants and my snow boots that don’t (can’t) zip all the way up. I lumbered. Also, my arm was too big for the blood pressure monitor, which makes for a wonky reading, which raises my blood pressure (funny, right?) and then my anxiety peaks, which also raises my blood pressure. Win/win. Not.
I hate this about my life. It’s my biggest self-help challenge. I may be a whisperer but I’m also just me.
Anyone else struggle with this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Oh, and about the featured photo: My husband and I have always loved Empire Cookies. A tourist town about a half hour away has them and they were always a treat when we visited. Then, one day, we figured out how to make our own. This is the result. This is what NOT to do if you want to lose weight — don’t be figuring out how to make a treat at home that you heretofore only ate once a year. Just asking for trouble. Know what I mean?