Monday, January 1, 2007


Humility is not my strong suit. I’m not sure exactly how I got to be so sure of myself, and so not repentant about it to boot. Sometimes I wish I could cultivate a little bit of humility. I tend to intimidate people who are not as comfortable in their skin as I am in mine. I am not lacking in modesty. I do not condescend unprovoked. I do not beat people metaphorically or literally over the head with skills of mine that outstrip theirs. I just wish that I could somehow find a way to do things I do not like because they are good for me.

I am absolutely horrendous at attending to my own medical care, yet I had absolutely no problem saying such things as "I realize you have a lot of patients, but I have only one mother, and you are going to have to stay here and answer our questions." I hate to go to the doctor. They always ask such freaking nosy questions. "My sex life?" "How exactly is that related to my sinuses?" I’ve heard of a lot of freaky shit in my life, but are there people who do things to themselves or others in a sexual way that causes sinus congestion? Also, they always want to weigh you. I’m always thinking; "Look at me dumbass, I’m fat. We do not need a scale to figure that out Einstein." I went to the doctor last week to follow up about my endoscopy. I am even more of a lard ass than ever.

It really pisses me off. I am not sure what they hell is the matter with me. I know Haagen Dazs is not a breakfast food. I was raised by fat people. I’m a fat people. I have no idea what the hell it is that non-fat people do that is different that makes them non-fat. I am eternally stunned at the sheer volumes of food I see non-fat people consume. I cannot fathom how they eat so much and are so skinny, particularly when I note this behavior in conjunction with such healthful hobbies as sitting on one’s ass doing nothing on a perpetual basis.
My doctors always tell me yeah, I am fat, and that is not good in regard to my eventual health as a geezer, assuming I live that long. However, I do not seem to have fat people problems like high cholesterol, or blood pressure, or diabetes, or any other fat related health issues. I am actually insanely healthy in general and especially for someone my age. I am healthier than other women my age I know. I have much more stamina. I like to tease them and tell them since I am not married I have all that energy they waste looking for the remote and sucking up to their mothers-in-law.

There are some things about being fat that are hard to deal with. I honestly and truly have never seen a woman whose body I would rather have than mine. I am used to my flaws; I do not want someone else’s. I know what my body I capable of, and trust me, it is plenty. What is tough is buying clothes. See, it seems that people who make clothes for anyone other than Barbie don't consider that real women actually like to wear clothes that fit. Clothes that accentuate their attractiveness rather than just throwing on some fabric tent that shields the world from their repulsiveness. I’m not repulsive and I am not inclined to dress to accentuate what I do no like about my body, and de-emphasize what I do like.

It is sometimes tough dealing with other people. In our society it is perfectly acceptable for people I have never seen before in my life to come up to me and tell me I am fat, as if I am too daft to realize this on my own. I am also advised I need to go on a diet from time to time. "Lose weight before it’s too late." (For what?) "Ay Gordo." (Ay, pendejo!) "You have such a pretty face." (You don’t) "If you lost about fifty pounds, you’d be so hot, I’d date you." (Is this a good time to give you the list of things you’d have to change about yourself to have a shot with me?) These comments are often delivered at a high volume. Clearly ignorami believe fatness impairs one’s hearing. Most of the people I meet are very nice. They do not care if I am fat or skinny, or anything else. I am also sure that if I were not fat, the kind of people who say nasty things would make fun of something else about me. Sometimes it is discouraging though.

I did not get to be fat overnight, and it is going to take me some time to figure out what lifestyle changes I need to make in order to lose weight and keep it off. Diets do not work. I need to find out what non-fat people do to be non-fat. I am not sure whom to ask. Where do they keep the secret skinny people food? What do skinny people do when they socialize? Also, I honestly do not want to be a skinny people. I want to be a less fat people. For a long time fat has been like a security blanket for me. But I have outgrown it, and I am ready to become myself.

1 comment:

plain(s)feminist said...

First - a recent, long-term diet study (for which I had the URL but it no longer works) found that diets - including Weight Watchers - do not work.

There is all kinds of evidence to show that what we eat and our level of exercise affect our weight, but that our bodies nonetheless are healthiest at certain weights that are not universal. That means that being fat is NORMAL.

There is also all kinds of evidence to show that fat people are often perfectly healthy - that dieting, surgery, etc. present significant health risks (including death) and that the anti-fat campaign we see in the media, in medicine, and in society in general really has very little to do with actual science. It's simply discrimination.

And it's also been found that fat people and thin people generally eat about the same amount and same types of food. Most fat people are not fat because they eat more than thin people, who are generally not thin because they eat less.

But - if you want to lose weight healthily, the best plan is still to exercise regularly, both cardio (which will burn calories and improve circulation and respiration) and strength-training (building muscle helps the body burn fuel more efficiently) and eating well (all things in moderation, whole grains, lots of veggies, etc.). (It's a lifestyle change, as Weight Watchers urges, and the reason WW was found not to work over the longterm is that people went off the program and gained back the weight.)

I wish I had the research links for you. I don't. But this comes up occasionally on the academic listservs I'm on, and this is what the research shows us.

A good book on the subject, though, is The Dieter's Dilemma. It was published quite some time ago, but it's excellent and still relevant.