On weight

10 06 2007

I’m not skinny. I keep thinking I’m not ‘fat’, because I can still wear clothes bought in ‘normal’ stores, and I don’t ever think ‘gee, I’d like to do X but I’m not physically able to because of my weight’. I do whatever I please, from hiking to swimming to hoisting heavy stuff. But the thing is, I AM. I’m fat. When I was a teenager, I was borderline anorexic, going for days with so many knots in my stomach that I could only eat salad and drink diet coke. I was never ‘skinny’ – I think my lowest weight once I reached full growth was 120 pounds, which meant a size 9. And that was in starvation mode. When I reached maturity in my early 20s I started birth control pills. Then, over a period of six months or so, while being vegetarian and going to the uni gym about 4 times a week, I gained 60 pounds that I have never ever lost.

I have a hard time with self image. My friends are used to how vehemently anti-photo I am – my outsides as captured on film never ever match my insides, and it hurts. For the longest time, I thought the answer was just to starve myself. To keep starving myself. I could never do it though. The only time I ever lost weight was when I was at my most depressed, most miserable after I had my son. I struggle every day to love myself as I am, because I’m not lazy. I do not have high blood pressure. I do not have bad cholesterol. I am nowhere near diabetic. I am active. I work SO HARD to keep my home and raise my kids and further my career, but I feel that I will never ever be good enough.

What’s awful is the hypocrisy. I don’t know how many times I’ve sat in a restaurant eating something, and have some muscular, mesomorph looking person get up and walk past me and give me a LOOK. You know the look. What stings? The fact that they’ve just gotten up from eating the same. damn. thing. Exactly what I ate. Maybe more. They might be going home to veg on the couch instead of going on a hike like me. Or going home to clean house or walk the dog. Or play with the kids. But I’m the fat, disgusting pig who dared to eat something.

Or, just maybe, I might be going home to curl up on the couch myself and read a book and take a break for a little while, but that’s not okay for me. In any case, going out to eat, alone because dating is something else I can’t handle at all, is like running a gauntlet. I do it, because I am stubborn that way, but it seems like nearly every time  there’s some kind of LOOK.

I once had a GYN tell me that I had severe endometriosis because I wasn’t ‘exercising regularly’. I asked him how I could do that, when I woke up at 5 already for work every day, got my daughter to daycare, worked till 5, picked her up, and then cooked, cleaned, took care of her, etc till she went to bed, and then I followed, and was only making 20K a year – hardly enough for a gym membership. He told me ‘get up at 4 and run’. He wouldn’t help me at all beyond that. Get up at 4. (For the record, he was a flabby old white dude.)

I will never be thin. It’s just as simple as that. Not ever. I had a stupid crush on a gorgeous guy (who turned out to be gay – the ONE time my gaydar fails me!) and thought hey, if I only eat 1,000 calories a day, I’ll lose weight fast! He might like me! I stayed with that for about a month and a half, lost 10 lbs of water the first week, then nothing at all thereafter. Then I said ‘fuck it’ and he turned out to be gay anyway. It seemed like fate. That was the last time I tried dieting.

That was less than a year ago, and I feel like some kind of junkie trying to let go of the needle, you know? Every. single. time. I eat something ‘bad’ I feel guilty and wrong. But dieting just doesn’t work for me. Neither does consistent exercise. I just am what I am.  And that’s the hardest thing of all to accept.

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2 responses

7 07 2007
Goo

Our stories, weight-wise, are so very similar…except it wasn’t birth control that did it to me, it was beta blockers for my migraines.

Either way, the weight is there, and seemingly there for good. And now, I have the fun of menopause thrown in to the mix, which changes your body into this foreign object that will *never* *ever* *ever* match your insides again, and yeah. It sucks.

But you don’t. And I don’t. And we know it, and lots of other people know it as well. You know you are fabulous, and doing an amazing job at everything you do. So fuck ’em if they don’t like what’s on your plate. Challenge them to a game of Scrabble and make them feel like shit.

I love you, sweetie. Miss you too!

3 01 2008
swisaro

I really enjoyed reading your blog. I am 38 and don’t have kids, but imagine that I’d have the same sentiments about things if I did. I mean, I do, and I still would with kids.

I’m a brainwashed skinny worshipper who’s been anorexic and bulimic and skinny and not so skinny. They all suck, ‘cos not matter what your outside looks like, you always feel like crap inside. I’m working on the inside. It’s starting to make me like the outside. Or at least just not look as much 🙂

Thanks for sharing.

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