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Archive for September, 2008

Okay, so seriously, these are a lot of topics to cover in one post, but I’ve been very absent from my blogging lately and reading posts on The Rotund have got me thinking about my unique experience as a fatty.

Oh, and also, my mom won’t stop bugging me about loosing weight.  And it’s driving me crazy.

So, here’s the scoop.  I’ve gained about 60 pounds or so since I graduated from high school.  Some of that weight gain I can attribute to very stressful times in my life (loosing two jobs in a row, moving, etc.) and some of it I can attribute to just feeling lazy.  I’d say its about half and half. I am definitely not proud that i spent (spend?) a lot of my time in front of the television, eating crappy food out of a box.  So, all of this, combined with a hereditary influence to be overweight, puts me in the “obese” category.  By contrast, my sister is rail thin.  She inherited my dad’s genes.  She doesn’t really watch what she eats, and she isn’t really strict about going to the gym, but I wouldn’t say she doesn’t exercise or eats whatever she wants either.  However, gaining weight is clearly not a problem for her.  At the same time I was gaining weight, my mom was trying to take it off.  She succeeded pretty well, dropping about 15-20 pounds, I suspect.  I justified a lot of my weight gain by telling myself that, “at least I’m still smaller than my mom.”  But when I took a huge leap and flew past her weight, I could no longer use that justification and I guess my mom thought that since she lost weight by taking up running, she was now entitled to give me advice (if that’s what you want to call it) on weight loss.

My journey towards fat acceptance has been slow and rather painful.  I am still struggling a lot with my notion of HAES and trying to make it fit with my lifestyle.  However, I have gotten past my obsession with the scale and my concern with an arbitrary size number and my feeling that to be beautiful and fashionable, you must be a size 4.  I think that is definitely progress.  But when I look at my lifestyle … my activity level and my food choices … I begin to think that I am not a “good fatty.”  

I’ve been questioning my health more and more, especially as I read about fatties who go to the gym, not for the sole purpose of loosing weight, but just so that they can feel more energetic when they leave.  The summer Olympics got me hooked on swimming and I have recently taken up swimming laps and going to water aerobics classes.  As I have gone more and more often, I am beginning to notice the effects that an exercise routine can have on a person.  One of these effects if not weight loss.  However, I have noticed some toning in my arms and shoulders, and I have definitely seen an increase in my stamina and a lowering of my heart rate. 

Discussing my progress with my mom (among others) has been difficult.  I want them to praise me for my dedication and my new found fondness for an actual physical activity.  Instead, I hear, “Well, you need to watch what you eat too” and “Good for you, but you still want to loose weight, don’t you?”  I haven’t yet found the ability to explain fat acceptance and HAES to my family, so I suffer through the comments. 

And yet, despite how much I hate these comments, despite what I know about weight loss, fat acceptance, and HAES, I still keep thinking that I want to loose weight. 

I’ve been an employee of a certain plus sized store for about a year now and my mom suggested to me that perhaps I am not loosing weight because of the clothing I can buy there.  I brushed off her comment at first, but then I started thinking more about it and I realized that she was probably right.  Loosing a significant amount of weight can be a major financial issue for people with established closets.  Can you really replace everything in your closet several times over as you loose weight?  But besides that, what I mostly thought about was that if I loose a moderate amount of weight (say, 20 pounds or so), I will be put back into that in-betweenie status (size 12ish).  It was so much more difficult to find clothing 20 pounds ago than it is now.  I can actually walk into my store and everything fits!  Before I crossed the line to mythical plus size status, I found that pants were always slightly too small, the XXL never really fit, and sometimes the stores didn’t even carry a size 12.  So yes, shopping is a much better experience now than it has ever been.

All of this just complicates my notions of fat acceptance and self.  It will undoubtedly be a very long time before I completely understand what fat acceptance, weight loss, and HAES means to me.  However, I’m hoping that this blog with give me the opportunity to talk more about all of these issues; share my experience with you, the theoretical reader; and get your feedback on FA issues that concern all of us (size 0 to size 32).

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