Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Positive Sides of Being Fat?

I reckon there MUST be a positive side to being fat - to being overweight. Now, I know, as we all do, that being obese is unhealthy. It's not good for our bodies to carry round extra weight, but before we embark on a plan to become healthy and lose weight, life is pretty comfortable, isn't it?

Now that I am attempting to do something about my size, I have become sort of uncomfortable with me - and with my existence. It's hard to explain, because losing weight, eating healthily and being active are GOOD things to do for the body. I think such activities could be listed under "Self-Love". We care about ourselves when we look after our bodies properly. So, good for the body, good for the self esteem but why am I feeling so prickly, so restless, so discontented lately?

This has happened since I have been blogging. I am ultra-aware of my days and some of my successes but mainly, lots of my failures. I am also permanently aware I am fat, whereas before, when I was eating as I pleased and doing very little, I only had the occasional thought about being a big person...and I carried on lazing around, eating what was in front of me. Yes, there was some self-disgust that I just didn't look good any more, but I wasn't focused on everything I was doing, everything I was eating. I was just living.

Now, I am a person with a campaign...(and a blog.) I have a healthy-eating, healthy living campaign, and to be perfectly honest, I am finding it hard. I am going through the motions, but mentally, I am not there? Anyone know what I mean?

It's almost as though I begrudge giving up my old 'unconscious' lifestyle.That's the only reason I can come up with for feeling the way I it's an up-hill struggle and part of me is extremely half-hearted about the climb.

Of course, to counter that I'd say my new lifestyle is GOOD. My being aware and doing something about it is GOOD. Losing weight is GOOD. But I am not flying. Does that make sense?

Some people get into this...(and yes, different personality types obviously sort out problems in different ways) but I have friends who have lost weight, are still trying to lose weight and they are REALLY INTO a way which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable..but only because I haven't embraced it the way they have. How can this mission take over their lives as it has?  Is it because I am a middle aged biddy who views life slightly differently..through perhaps slightly cynical (realistic?) eyes? Am I doomed to be the person who clings on to what's familiar and what suits me to the detriment of my health? I AM making changes - but if I am completely honest, it's because I HAVE to..not because I really want to. It has to be where is the joy, people? Is there something wrong with me??? Some people just take off and fly. I am dragging my heels.

When I started this blog I swore I wouldn't become a diet-bore in real life. I saw these enthusiastic types as slightly fanatical...becoming totally consumed by their mission. It was their life. They were enthusiastic. (This isn't bad...but it's strange - for me.)  Now, some people would say that's good, but laid-back old me? Nope. There have to be small adjustments...for life. I am not going to peruse menus and discuss the low fat merits of a meal when I am out with friends. I'll order it...and drink water with it..and I can do that. I am not going to talk about the size of the weights I lift (occasionally.) I am not a weight lifter...I am a fat woman doing weird things like lifting weights because she HAS to...not because she wants to. I am a fat woman giving over some of her day (reluctantly) to getting her arse into gear. I am a fat woman walking past the cream cakes in the supermarket because they are bad for me. I can do this...but I won't tell you it's filling me with resolve or happiness. Just being honest...

I don't think I have read a blog yet from a grumpy dieter ;)  Why are you all SO bloody positive? :)

That's it really.

Old life....fine. OK, no worries, not too much brain strain. Disliked flab but could ignore it for the most part. Avoided mirrors...not too traumatic. Food tasty. No guilt trips, no pangs of guilty conscience.

New life...hard going. Full of consciousness which is a drag. Full of little voices urging me on to do the right thing...meals becoming a headache because I have to focus, not just eat...and an awareness every single day of my rolls of flab. Having to talk myself into exercising. Feeling I am doing it reluctantly. Guilt trips galore because I have not done as well as I should have done some days.

It is easier just being fat, isn't it? But we are all here because we know being fat isn't any way, shape or form.

Let's trudge on eh? Give us a shove.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~ Flora Whittemore


  1. Hmm. I don't know if I'm "grumpy", but I'm definitely not "gung-ho". I think people who are all over their weight loss processes have a way of thinking that not everyone can identify with. Their weight loss and body image become their identity. They believe they can cast off all that was bad about them by ditching their eating habits, exercising and sculpting a more society-friendly physique.

    Personally, and you may know this already from my blog, I believe this is usually a dead-end road for most folks and related to why many people regain the weight and more. That new identity is wallpapered over the old one, and the old one is constantly trying to get back out and tear down that paper and reassert itself. Maybe you are grumpy because you know who you are, and aren't really that interested in becoming someone else (I know I'm not). Maybe it's harder for some older people (you're only a bit older than me) to fully embrace the idea of transformation of habits because those are part of what defines us and we aren't that angry with our core selves (and we definitely have a better understanding of who and what we are).

    I agree with you that it's very much harder to focus so much on weight and food everyday. That sort of narrow definition and focus only reminds you constantly of what you do wrong whereas before you didn't feel like you failed at every turn. Initially, I was quite overwhelmed by this, but as I've weaned my attention off of the processes (which I am slowly doing as I master them) and deal with the psychological crap, it becomes less obsession and more routine. Once all of this lifestyle stuff becomes as habitual as taking out the trash, doing the laundry, or washing the dishes (which is really my goal), then it's back to being me... though "me" is going to be different at the end since the new me is someone I've got to unearth slowly from under the piles of neuroses that threaten to drive me back to the old me. :-p

    For me, I walk past the cream cakes and say, "I can have that if I want to pay the price for it," and I'll either decide to pay it or not. I used to feel like you do about the food I couldn't have - resentful and tempted, but that passed by allowing myself to indulge pretty much everyday. I can have it all, just not all at once and not in abundance. It took awhile to train that sense, but it can be done with practice.

  2. Like you, I've confined all my weight loss talk and plans to the blogsphere. I don't want to trot it out in front of friends or have people start walking the other way when they see me at the office. Of course, not telling anyone also means they won't know if I've tried and failed either...

  3. I think one reason for all the cheer is that we're making sure that we are upbeat and positive for ourselves. Because seriously, sometimes that pound cake looks much better than a drop on the scale would... or it seems like it at the time.

    I baked two last week. I know whereof I speak.

  4. I am totally grumpy. I'm with you, baby.

  5. I am not so grumpy these days, but I also think a bowl of ice cream would be good instead of a drop in the scales.. There I go again dreaming.

  6. I totally get where you are! I've mourned for my old way of life that now seems so carefree. I have to pause and remember that it really wasn't. I've been in a diffucult place rebelling (I think) against this new way of life. I feel like my blog isn't really reflective of the true me because I don't think I'm so down all of the time. I also vowed, I would not become one of those diet fanatics. So far, I think I've made good on that promise. I'll eat my way, others can eat theirs and we'll all just get along, right?

  7. Just found your blog and can see a lot of my own thoughts in yours. But I tend to keep things inside and not write about them, so you would never know this from reading my blog. And I have only been blogging for a few months and don't yet feel comfortable in some ways, although the people who jump in and leave comments are helping me with that comfort level.

    I will tell you that it is not easy for any of us. If it was easy, we wouldn't need this little support group. Luckily we don't all fail at the same time. When one fails, falls off the wagon, whatever you want to call it, the others in Blogville jump in to encourage, support, offer a hand or a handkerchief. And we do disagree from time to time.

    I think you have taken a positive step in blogging. As Screaming Fatgirl said, it is the little things we do that become habits and then we pick up another good habit, and then another.

    The two things that are helping me are watching my portion sizes (no seconds) and keeping my body moving (mostly walking). I did not like the walking at first, but now I look forward to it. With the portion sizes, it is difficult at first, but it gets easier.

    I am trying to lose weight mainly for health reasons, but of course there are other reasons. By the way, I will be 53 next month, so I know some of the challenges age brings. But there are advantages, too, and those are what are going to get me to my goal and enable me to maintain it.

    You are doing fine...just having a bit of trouble getting started. Just read other blogs and pick up a few good habits and you will get there!

  8. I'm not uncomfortable being fat. O.K., that's not true. I don't mind being fat in that I don't care what people think about my exterior. All the same, I've reached a size where I am, literally, uncomfortable.

    I'm one of those people who lost a bunch of weight (95 pounds) only to regain it plus some. I now have a memory of being healthier just like I have a memory of all those decadent desserts.

    If the memory of being healthier were so much warmer and happier, I wouldn't be trying so hard to regain control of my diet and exercise habits right now.

    This is a one-moment-at-a-time process, as you all know. Really, it's a one-decision at a time process.

    There will be days when that 150-calorie ice cream cone at McDonalds will fill a void, and feel like a treat. And, there will be days when that same "treat" will set of a chain reaction that will end up in a swollen food journal.

    I think it's perfectly normal to experience a wide range of emotions during the weight loss experience. Some days are simply just better than others.

    And, I think you're correct -- this is really an exercise in self-love.

    Just keep pushing forward. You'll eventually reach your goal. But, on those days when you slip up or need a break, don't punish yourself -- just make better decisions next time.

    To your health,
    Rhi B.
    a.k.a. @AngryFatWoman

  9. I gave you an award