The Girl Who Could (Formerly) Eat Anything

Getting fit and taking names

Yes, There’s Some Vanity Involved

Some motivation.

Every once in a while, when the subject of weight and dieting comes up, I experience push back. It doesn’t come from everyone, but it happens.

I commonly hear that the scale doesn’t matter or that bodies of every size and shape are beautiful, so I shouldn’t care. I have friends and family who are overweight and of course they are beautiful to me (and hopefully to others). Some of them have no desire to change anything about themselves, physically or otherwise. That’s their prerogative and I support it.

But their values for themselves are not my values for me.

One thing I need to make clear: If I weighed 500 pounds or 100 pounds, my self-worth would be the same. My weight doesn’t change my intelligence (or lack of, I’m sure some people would say — you know who you are, but you probably aren’t reading this, anyway), that I’m kind, that I love animals and am worthy of love myself. I get that. What I look like doesn’t have any effect on who I am inside.

My weight, however, does have a connection to who I am. I am not, deep down, an overweight person. I was thin my entire life until a few years ago. I don’t know how to be overweight. I don’t know how to carry myself, find clothes I like, almost exist on a physical plane. I’m emotionally uncomfortable and the higher my weight, the moreso this is true.

I haven’t been completely comfortable for a long time, and I’m frankly tired of it.

Goal: Avoid needing this for as long as possible.

I’ve met people who were overweight their entire lives and were literally frightened of being thin. How you look changes everything and gaining or losing weight affects everything around you. We’re all comfortable with our places in the world and change is difficult and scary. If it’s OK to be afraid of losing weight, it should be OK to be afraid of gaining it.

So there is my vanity. I want to be able to easily find clothing I like that looks good on me. I want to look cute in a bikini. I want to like how I look in photographs. And I want to feel like myself.

But more than wanting to look good, there is a quality of life issue when it comes to weight. I maintained the majority of my Weight Watchers loss for so long, I almost forgot what I felt like at my higher weight. I forgot about how uncomfortable my clothes were and how my thighs rubbed together too much — not fun when you live in Florida in the super hot weather and like to wear dresses just to stay cool. Even shorts that fit aren’t comfortable because the legs ride up and I have the same problem I do with dresses. Skirts, pants and shorts that fit comfortable while I’m standing in the morning begin digging into my stomach as I sit at my desk in the late afternoon. Even my stretchy workout clothes get too tight, no matter the size.

It’s just not comfortable.

But wait … there’s more!

Shortly after I initially lost the weight the first time, I went to Disneyworld and we spent one day at one of the water parks. One of my favorite water slides required climbing hundreds of stairs while carrying a very large, somewhat heavy inner tube in order to reach the top and slide down. If we’d gone before I started eating right and exercising, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the top once, much less the at least five times that we climbed and slid down.

And I saw a lot of people — overweight and middle-aged, most of them — riding around the park on scooters. This was no doubt because they just couldn’t walk the park. Does that make them bad people? Of course not. But I don’t want to be riding a scooter around a water park when I’m 50. I want to be running up the stairs with my inner tube.

Even at my age, I see friends with weight problems who can barely walk a city block without having to rest. These are people who have been physically active their entire lives, but the older we get, the less our bodies can take. I was born with messed up knees. There used to be days when I’d stretch my leg and shooting pain would radiate up and down my entire leg from my knee. Since I started exercising regularly and lost weight, that hasn’t happened. The better care we take of our bodies and the less stress we add, the more we’ll be able to do for longer.

And so, despite the pitfalls and frustrations, I will continue fighting to lose. The bikini isn’t my only reward. There are more to come. Unless, of course, I get hit by a bus and paralyzed. But let’s hope that doesn’t happen, either.

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July 14, 2011 - Posted by | Nothing More Than Feelings

5 Comments »

  1. Your posts here are really speaking to me lately! Thank you for the inspiration. Maybe when I get back from my travels I can talk with you more about all of this and get a plan of my own started!

    Comment by lesleehorner | July 14, 2011 | Reply

    • I’d be happy to be your drill sergeant. 🙂

      We ran around Lake Ella last night and there was a Boot Camp going on. The guy sounded so mean! But it did look like a great workout.

      Comment by Renee | July 14, 2011 | Reply

  2. “But their values for themselves are not my values for me.”

    Well stated. You have to do what makes YOU comfortable. I hate when people hear you are trying to get healthier and automatically go into a “fat acceptance retort”. My wanting to be comfortable in my own skin has nothing to do with whether or not I accept others to live and be exactly how they want to be. In fact, it’s promoting the choice to live in your body the way you want to, I just want to live in mine more comfortably which, for me, means healthier and thinner.

    Comment by Just_Kelly | July 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Exactly! I think people take it personally when other decide to change their appearance, as though we’re saying there’s something wrong with them or that we’re judging them.

      Comment by Renee | July 14, 2011 | Reply

    • And how come I never knew you had a blog????

      Comment by Renee | July 14, 2011 | Reply


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