Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A fat rant

A member of one of my email lists posted a link to this video on YouTube:


I love this woman! She said a lot of things that a lot of us fat people are thinking, would like to say, but probably wouldn't because we'd be crucified. I have encountered so many of the things she talked about in the video:

* I've had people talk to me about other fat people, pretty much all of whom were thinner than me. HUH?!? I don't get that. They say that fat people are either targets or are invisible; I guess I'm the latter to these folks.

* There are lots of things in life that I've avoided or put off "until I lose weight." Sad, really, thinking that only a thin person is allowed to enjoy life.

* Exercising can be problematic. People think that fat people never exercise, but then make fun of us when they drive by us out for a walk or a bike ride. Seriously - I've had that happen. Long ago I was ina hospital-based weight loss program. I worked out at a regular gym as part of the program. People there were downright amazed that I showed up regularly. I guess to them, fat people are supposed to diet themselves down to an acceptable size before exercising in public. Interestingly, when I belonged to my employer's fitness center for a few years after that, people were very supportive. Yay them!

* Buying clothes can be downright depressing. I'd like to know why the fashion industry thinks that I only want to wear neutral colors? This even happens with the "plus size" manufacturers. The nicer colors only go up to a certain size, then it's black, navy, maybe beige. Those colors all have a place in my wardrobe, but not to the exclusion of the other colors of the rainbow. Maybe it's part of the plot to make us invisible.

When I have lost a significant amount of weight, wow! The change in people's treatment of me was amazing. The first time this happened I was in high school. I was following one of those diet-clinic diets, where I could have a grand total of 600Kcal a day. Once I fainted while on this plan and the nurse at the clinic told me, if that happens again, just eat an orange. O-kay then. It was funny though, all the popular girls in my gym class started talking to me. I never lost enough weight to be invited to actually do anything with them, but they quit ignoring me. It was my junior year and I was voted class treasurer for my senior year. I was also nominated for homecoming court - didn't make the cut but do you think Fat Liz would have experienced either of these things? Doubtful, since I wasn't blessed with a big personality to make up for the weight; instead I was pretty shy. I went through the same thing in college, although people in general were nicer to me there. Unfortunately, I went about losing weight to attract the attention of a guy; he was unsure of embarking on a relationship and my weight took away the comfort barrier. So I yo-yoed back up. Had I never done these diets, I'm certain I would be a lot thinner today, but instead I really messed up my setpoint and my metabolism.

***Disclaimer*** I am working on changing my eating and exercise habits this year, and I have lost a modest amount of weight since the beginning of the year. I am dong this because I realized that last summer, when I learned that my cancer might have returned, I just kind of gave up on my eating, and as a result gained up to my highest non-pregnant weight ever. That scared me. I finally woke up and realized that I've been given a gift in that I remain cancer-free. I want to make the most of my life and enjoy it with my family. So, I try to undo the bad behaviors that have been part of my life for so long. It is definitely not easy, but I keep trying. I told someone recently that it's not even an issue of me getting back on the wagon, as it is an issue of me holding on to the back bumper of the wagon, holding on for dear life as it careens down the road. Some days I can pull myself back up, some I can't but I'm not letting go.

I'm not going to try to be"thin" because I am not sure that I could, even if I ate a minimal amount of calories and exercised for hours a day. Instead Fat Me will eat my moderate amount of calories, do my best to limit treats, and take some walks with my girls. Which option sounds better?


Regina said...

I love your comment about the wagon - sometimes I feel the same way. I keep on keepin' on though!

And I agree - the walks with the girls and better eating are better than making yourself crazy trying to be "thin" - live healthy, but still LIVE!!!

sherri said...

Wow is right. Thanks for sharing that link. I know I've been putting off things until I weighed less. I didn't realize that I was purposely losing pieces of my own life in the process. And the point where she discussed using fat as an excuse to avoid working on other aspects of her life - I'm there too. What an eyeopener.

You'd think that I'd be more accepting of fat people, myself being fat. But I find myself making value judgments against them (and conversely for thin people) even though we're all the same. Must work on that. I mean, I see these weight loss commercials and testimonials where people went from size 14 (gasp!) to a 4 and I just wonder - is 14 (my size) really that bad? So bad that people won't be photographed with their family? So bad that I shouldn't wear a bathing suit in public?

I've already started doing a few of the things she suggested - I cleaned out my closet of all the things I used to love when I was thinner and I don't buy clothes that are smaller than I am. But I've also begun throwing out pieces that are unflattering even though they are big enough.

An Joy - she is really lovely. I'd never have put her at 222. Would she be upset to hear me say that?

Sarah said...

That's a great video! As a thin person, I'll agree that the secret to thinness is having thin parents/ancestors!

Sort of a flip side view of the negative caste to being fat, being thin shouldn't necessarily been viewed as some sort of accomplishment. I guess there really is something to the adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover." : )