I was just over at K’s Blog and reading her latest post about needing to lose weight but not really being sure WHY. I left a really long comment, decided to not thread jack her discussion, so I’m going to post my original response (with some extrapolations) here.
Maybe in some way you are looking to recapture that ‘sense of control’ that you felt you had over your life when you dropped out of school. I find myself feeling more and more trapped as years go by… trapped by my ‘career,’ trapped by my finances, trapped by a mortgage, a boyfriend, two dogs, two cats, two birds… Parents who are nearing retirement age with no real savings or plan… What I wouldn’t give right this second to suddenly have nothing more to worry about than an English Lit class and the fact that some dillweed just called me a fat fag.
If only all you had to worry about right now was what you call your ‘weight problem.’ And just for the record, having met you, ‘overweight’ isn’t a word I would use to describe you. I’m not saying that in an effort to demean or otherwise belittle your efforts, just saying that it’s *possible* that you’re letting your self critic be a bit too harsh.
The truth of the matter is despite what the media and “General Public” (I always picture a caricature of some frowning squishy-faced old Army man when I hear that phrase) believe, being thin is not the be all and end all.. nor is it really even possible anymore. Look at the foods we have to eat: High Fructose Corn Syrup in *everything*, trans-fats, and every other ‘technologically advanced’ food stuff. I mean come on, there’s SPRAY CHEESE IN A CAN out there folks, because we’re just too lazy to CUT THE CHEESE!? Is it even really CHEESE? Or, did some body perhaps have some chemical by product left over say… from a dry cleaning business… they noticed that the consitency was rather cheese-like, and hey… with a little food coloring and salt, SOMEONE WILL EAT THIS!
Every bit of food that you put in your mouth can basically be traced back to 5 or 6 major corporations who are out to make money off of you, by any means necessary. It’s a catch-22… they say the public wants those chemicals and additives for taste and longer shelf life, we say we want to be thinner and healthier, but oh my that deep fried twinkie looks good.
Even places that are supposed to help you get back into shape are in on this… I belong to 24 hour fitness, and if you step inside and look at the products they have on the shelf, they are calorie-soaked “nutrition bars” and shakes and mixes, full of the same stuff that got you fat in the first place. They have clothes there for sale that I swear to the Flying Spaghetti Monster are cut far too small, so that even the 3% body fat freaks walking around have trouble fitting into their proper size… all in an effort for you to spend more money trying to get into those clothes.
And designers and clothing manufacturers are added to the mix: How is it that my weight can stay the same, but it’s necessary for me to buy four different sizes of pants and shirts? They say it’s the CUT. I say it’s bullshit. If I need a pair of jeans that have a 38″ waist with a 34″ inseam, I should be able to get any pair of 38/34 jeans AND THEY SHOULD FIT. 38″ = 38″ folks. This should not be rocket science. And I look around at the people next to me on the street, I’m fairly average sized (i’m big, but not “needs his own zip code, has his own orbit” big) yet I have to buy shirts that are marked Extra Extra Large. What!??! If I’m XXL, what is that chick over there who I’m certain hasn’t seen her feet this year, and possibly last? How about that guy whose car slants to one side? He’s got a tee shirt and sweat pants on… where did he get them? And pray tell, what size are they?
I got new tee shirts in for the cafe a couple of weeks ago and the ladies “medium” shirt seriously looks like something I would expect a pre-pubescent 11 year old girl to fit into. How is this right? How is that a medium shirt? I don’t even KNOW any one that small, except perhaps my brother’s girlfriend who frankly looks like she could blow away any moment.
The answer is, we are just going to have to get used to being fat. It’s time to start fighting it. The effort should be refocused in to being “healthy.” I’m overweight, but I can climb stairs, ride a bike and my heart is in fine shape. Maybe long term the weight will kill me… but frankly so will breathing in and out. We have to stop buying into this corporate-sponsored self esteem kill. Companies are making too much money off perpetuating this idea that we have to be thin to be beautiful or successful, or yes, even happy.
I think it’s one of the universe’s greatest jokes that you now have to be rich and famous to be able to afford to eat like people did back when they raised their own food.