Do I know just how overweight I am?Posted: September 27, 2011
For me, truthfully, the answer is often no, I don’t really realize it much of the time. I am generally happy and healthy, I am an active person who does the things that are important to me (like a marathon in 2010). I have a husband who thinks I am beautiful and sexy regardless of my size. I have a good community of friends. I have a job that I enjoy and where I am professionally well-respected. My “numbers” are good – as in I don’t have high blood pressure, or high blood sugar, my cholesterol is perhaps a little high but I don’t take any medications for anything. Generally speaking, I can function pretty well in a bubble of oblivion about my weight. Most of the time.
But there are reminders that burst that bubble. After I went north of the 200lb mark, I pretty much quit standing on the scale, so there is one rather scary number I already know is not good, but I still don’t want to face. Anytime I have to buy clothes, I am painfully aware of my current weight. Any remaining delusion about my size or the size of the clothes was lost now that I can only fit into Women’s sizes. I saw a cute marathon jacket at the pre-race Expo in June, but their largest size was still too small. I didn’t like buying jeans or pants back when I wore a size 12, and now that those digits are reversed the experience is mostly an exercise in self-humiliation. Photographs are another touchy subject and when I look at them I am often shocked by what I see and wonder if that is really what I look like “in real life.”
And while my numbers are technically good, there have been impacts on my health. I have a chronic hip joint injury from that infamous marathon I did and while my weight may or may not have contributed to the injury, I know that my recovery would have been greatly improved by losing weight. I also have occasional issues with indigestion that didn’t exist when I was thinner that I am quite confident are weight-related.
I am constantly thinking that I am going to start a new diet, go back to Weight Watchers, start journaling, start this or start that. Just this week, I was looking for some paper to jot down a note for work and I found a page in the back of my notebook that I had written almost exactly a year ago. On it, in writing, were the same goals I told myself this weekend that I was going to commit myself to – being more active, eating smaller portions, eating more vegetables, and eating less sweets and junk food. And I even had some specific milestones to hold myself accountable. Why didn’t I follow through? I don’t really know. I could point to any number of changes in my life that may have triggered the initial downfall, but the slide seems to now have a life of its own. I was particularly moved by the sentiments expressed by Kara Curtis in One Woman’s Struggle to Shed Weight, and Shame:
“It’s a very schizophrenic relationship we have with obesity,” Curtis says. “I understand it as addiction, but then there’s also this other piece of me that knows that there is a lack of willingness on my part. So really, who’s to blame for that?”
I have been successful in losing weight in the past and so I know I have the tools to repeat that success again in the future. I am not sure what will turn the tide for me from contemplation into action, and perhaps this post will be a small step in the right direction. Or at least it’s a reminder that I still care enough – to care about trying.