Monday, August 31, 2009

well meaning sabotage

The nice thing about having done this once before (lose lots of weight) is I know how it feels. I know that when my skin feels like this, and my fat feels like that, I'm burning lots of calories & losing weight. It just works that way. Your skin feels taught and you can literally feel your waist a teeny bit thinner each day. So I like that. It's a fun feeling after working really really hard to get in the shower and notice the changes.

So I was washing up just now & thought about the way some people respond when I tell them I'm dieting & working on losing 15 pounds by Halloween (it's twice that overall, but realistically, I won't lose that much by October 31).

They say "oh you're not fat! You don't need to lose that much weight". I guess it's well meaning. They want to make me feel good. Here's the deal, though. I know I'm fat. I see myself in mirrors, and I weigh enough (the scale rarely lies) and I know the BMI charts and everything and what they tell me about my weight. You aren't making me feel better by saying I don't need to lose it. I'm not a skinny chick complaining about the fat thighs or tummy pooch no one but her can see (which, by the way, is really annoying skinny people. Stop it.) According to height/weight charts, the weight I am at is unhealthy. I can tell that my blood pressure is high, and I need to workout and eat better.

I'm not trying to be as skinny as I was when I was 21. Lord Goddess no. But I do want to be thinner, and healthy, and show muscle tone, and be able to walk up my flight of steps without feeling it in my thighs and feeling a little breathless.

I guess the reason people think I "don't look fat" is that our culture has gotten bad at the mixed messages. We have a lot of people (especially here in Louisiana) who are way obese. Like, there's gotta be a word higher than "morbidly". And yet, we say "be happy with yourself, don't strive towards an unrealistic image of perfection." Seriously, I do not want to be Cindy Crawford or some other way of being. I simply want to weigh what the weight charts say I should weigh! When people say "I don't look fat" they sabotage my self-image. I think "really? Am I okay this way? Am I being too hard on myself? Should I be happy with who I am?"

NO! I'm not okay. I know that for every pound of the extra weight, I probably shorten my natural life span. I'm sure if I googled it, I could find the actual statistics. So if you're one of those people who say "Oh, no, you're just fine" then stop sabotaging people. If they really really are skinny, then fine, pass them some cookies. But if you can look at that person and there's any doubt in your mind whether they are 10 pounds or 100 pounds overweight, your support would be better offered by saying "Good for you! You'll do great!"

The last time we lost weight (and I keep saying we because it's always a team effort w/ Andrew) it was partly to be healthy when I had babies. I knew that where I was before (about where I am now, actually) was unhealthy & I needed to prepare my flabby butt for childbirth or end up a "before" picture I didn't want to see. And it worked; the healthy level I was at when pregnant probably was a huge part of why I was able to carry the twins to term, and they were NORMAL BABY SIZE. But now, this time, it's all about me, and making sure I am here on this Earth, barring aliens invading and blowing the planet up, as long as I possibly can be for my kids.

And also, looking hot in a Halloween costume. Rawr.

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