Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gratituesday: My Body

A really amazing post on You're Welcome recently has gotten me thinking.  The post, "Why I'm Fat Positive," came at just the right moment for me.  I gained a little bit of weight recently, and I've been obsessing over it.  Not in the way that I think a lot of women obsess over these things, but I think about it more than I usually think about my body.  I know how it got there (eating more, and less healthily, than I usually do, and not working out), but it still felt like a bit of a shock, and so I worried about it.  My family and I just started Weight Watchers, I'm hoping to move back toward vegetarianism, and I've been, dare I say it, running a little bit.  It all feels new, so we'll see where it leads.  I'm glad to be getting healthier, and even though it's only been ten days (and three lost pounds), I'm already feeling better.  I was feeling slower, achier, and like my clothes didn't fit right, all of which left me feeling unhealthy, something I don't like.  I'm so happy to be moving past that.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/37205687@N07/4489969571

But, I also want to make it clear that I'm worried about how upset the extra weight made me.  If you put me at my lowest weight, I'd gained nine pounds.  But my lowest weight isn't really my average weight.  My average weight is a little higher than that, just about where I am now, between 140-145 pounds.  So, in reality, I'd gained about four pounds.  Can someone please tell my emotions how little four pounds is?  Or even nine pounds?  Because good grief, it's not a lot of weight.  If someone else, if anyone else told me they were upset they'd gained four pounds, I'd roll my eyes.  I'd be queen of the eyerolls, because, seriously, four pounds?  That's nothing, and there are plenty of other, far more important things to worry about.  And, really, I think I'm fat positive.  I'm all about eating what you want, when you want, and finding the right fit for you.  I hate counting calories because I think it essentializes nutrition.  I hate dieting because I enjoy food so much and don't believe in restricting things you love.  I believe in exercising, making healthy choices, and above all, being comfortable in your own skin, no matter how big or small it is.

So, um, yeah, consider my surprise when I started to freak out over these four pounds, because I've been saying this, I've been living this, for six years.  I've eaten whatever I wanted (including, but not limited to, enormous portions of fresh pizza, Ethiopian food, cream soups, desserts, and a number of other things I love that don't exactly count as "light" foods), and I've exercised as much as I've enjoyed, either through hard time at the gym or walking copious amounts to get from place to place.  And I thought, This is it, I'm healthy and I'm happy and I'm eating whatever the hell I want: I am living fat-positive.  I didn't realize, though, that part of the reason I was so positive about it was that I was losing weight the whole time - a full fifty pounds from the time I was around 16 to the time I was 20, when I more or less evened out to where I am now.  I was heavy in middle and high school, but somehow managed to avoid being bullied, so any distress over it was entirely internal, but it was a lot of distress, and I'd been glad to be done with it.  Having it come back, so quickly, after so many years of thinking it didn't matter, scares me.

So, I just wanted to say here, for the record, that I love my body.  Even when it's heavy, even when it's slow, even when my knees hurt and my stomach feels tight and my hair is filled with split ends, I'm thankful for everything I can do and all the health I have.  It's not perfect, and it never will be, and frankly, I don't even know what a perfect body is supposed to be.  So, I promise not to turn this into a weight-loss blog, but since everyone was so supportive last Friday, I wanted to share a little of my background and current plans with you.  I'm doing my best to be fat-positive, even as that foundation feels like it was shaken the past few weeks, and I'm doing my best to be healthy.  And that's all I can ask.

6 comments:

  1. This is a post I needed, as I thought to myself today, "Well, Shelby, you've lost some weight, but nobody would call you thin." And then I made and ate lots of deviled eggs (thanks for the recipe, btw). But that aside, I'm generally pretty happy with myself when I'm not comparing myself to others. So what I'm trying to say is that you, Kristin, are in fact thin and 9 pounds is absolutely nothing. So please don't go completely vegetarian, because then who will I eat way too much food with at Dinosaur BBQ?

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  2. I try really hard to be positive about my body, but I have an upper edge to feeling okay, and I'm there. I'm not sure if it's bad (self-image being negative) or good (a call to action). So today I call my gym and then I get active.

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  3. I gained 10 pounds while pregnant and then lost the baby and I was FINE while gaining it at the time but was hateful of the weight after and my body never gave it up. And I TRIED. Lord, I tried. I was a bit terrified with my now pregnany that I would gain another 10 right away, but bodies are funny, they know, and I didn't. And being happy with our bodies is a hell of a lot more fun than hating them.

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  4. Thank you for writing this post. I'm working on a weight loss + wedding post for apw (in my head) and i really love thoughtfulness like this. I am at my lowest weight that I can actually maintain at 140 (funny how everyone's body is soooo different), but if I just stopped paying attention and ate whatever I wanted I would be at 155 and that is where I feel bloated, uncomfortable, achey, etc. And I also have massive issues with weight, so the fact that you seem relatively calm about it is impressive.

    I think the fact that you want to be comfortable in your own skin AND healthy is a good sign, and a great goal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for writing this post. I'm working on a weight loss + wedding post for apw (in my head) and i really love thoughtfulness like this. I am at my lowest weight that I can actually maintain at 140 (funny how everyone's body is soooo different), but if I just stopped paying attention and ate whatever I wanted I would be at 155 and that is where I feel bloated, uncomfortable, achey, etc. And I also have massive issues with weight, so the fact that you seem relatively calm about it is impressive.

    I think the fact that you want to be comfortable in your own skin AND healthy is a good sign, and a great goal.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a post I needed, as I thought to myself today, "Well, Shelby, you've lost some weight, but nobody would call you thin." And then I made and ate lots of deviled eggs (thanks for the recipe, btw). But that aside, I'm generally pretty happy with myself when I'm not comparing myself to others. So what I'm trying to say is that you, Kristin, are in fact thin and 9 pounds is absolutely nothing. So please don't go completely vegetarian, because then who will I eat way too much food with at Dinosaur BBQ?

    ReplyDelete