Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Good, The Bad And The Jiggly

Tonight I worked on abs and chest. That's three days in a row, people! My muscles are a bit sore from the workouts, even with switching muscle groups, but I don't mind. It's a satisfying soreness that lets me know I'm doing something right.

I've been thinking a lot about my weight and why I've chosen to stay obese for all of these years. And yes, it's absolutely my choice because I've never been force fed cookies or pizza. Still, I'm hoping this blog will help me figure out why I've made this choice and how I can move beyond it.

I have to admit that there are some things about being obese that are well, positive for me. And no, I don't think that being overweight is healthy at all, but as in any abusive relationship, there are reasons why I've had a hard time leaving my fat self in the dust.

For one thing, being large has forced me to become more outgoing. Until I was about 19, I was very thin and very shy, especially when it came to dealing with things like parties. But when you're overweight, you can end up becoming invisible, too, despite your size. It's unfortunate, but happens often; go into a store, for instance, and the clerk will be unfriendly, or even worse, ignore you altogether. Over the years, though, I've become much more assertive, making the first move in a positive way. I'll smile and make eye contact with a cashier or a bus driver ... and you know what? They're usually friendly back. As for parties, I'm now much more comfortable going up to strangers and introducing myself. It's partially a defense in getting people to see past my appearance, but it's a change that I like and plan to take with me if -- no when -- I eventually become a normal-sized person.

Another "positive" is that I feel less pressure about overeating. While many obese people have been overweight for their entire lives, I was actually bullemic and borderline anorexic in high school. Food was "bad" to me and I spent a lot of time avoiding it. I've since learned to enjoy food (albeit wayyy too much), and despite needing to lose weight, no longer feel guilty about going out to eat with friends. I think I also have a better understanding of what a healthy size is. I no longer wish to be 90 pounds, but would settle for being able to wear regular-sized clothing.

That said, there is a certain comfort in knowing that I've already let myself go. Back when I was starving myself, I thought that my life would be over if I gained weight. In some respects that's certainly true, given all of the potential health problems I currently face. But in the figurative sense, life really hasn't been that bad. When I was skinny, I never thought a fat person could find love (I did); or a job (check!); or friends, or gain any respect (check and check). I've encountered plenty of schmucks along the way, but I've also learned that there are many good people who just don't care about your appearance. Having a husband and friends who've stuck by me through thick and thin -- literally -- makes me appreciate what great people I have in my life.

I think I've gotten too comfortable, though. Whenever I binge it doesn't bother me as much as it should because well, I'm already fat. I'm already at my worse-case scenario so scarfing an extra donut isn't going to change much. Contrast that to my slender friends who fret over everything they order at a restaurant. Plus, after starving myself for so many years, there's that voice in my head that says, "More, more, more!" and likes being quelled.

But I know that I can't hang onto these crutches forever. I need to find a way to make peace with food, my body and myself. Because at the rate I'm going, my idea of rock bottom is getting lower and lower.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting - especially the reasons how being overweight has changed you in a positive way - I can relate to being a shy teenager and hoping to work my way to being an assertive adult - once we grow into the person we want to be, I don't think anything or anyone can take that away