Friday, August 27, 2010

I can't just blame everything on the fact that I'm fat

Like my title says, I can't just blame everything on the fact that I'm fat, but sometimes I do any way.

Last night I had the lineman from my middle son Dylan's high school football team over for a dinner. They have this thing where the linemen have dinner together on Thursdays before the Friday games. I'd worked hard and made a really nice spread for them which they definitely appreciated. I was friendly with the guys as they were arriving, but then, when they sat down to eat, I wasn't sure if I should stay and hang out with them or leave them to it, so I stayed for a while. They were definitely caught up in their conversation and I was quiet but it did give me a glimpse into Dylan's life which is always interesting. After awhile though I did exit the room because I was starting to feel out of place.

After the meal they went out front and decided to give each other haircuts; all of them got mohawks. The mental thought process of teen males is an interesting one indeed. After I got things cleaned up from dinner, I started feeling restless. My husband John is out of town for a few days and basically I was left to my own devices. A state which I usually have no problem, but for some reason I was feeling antsy. So I called a friend and told her about the dinner and that we had lots of good food still if she'd like to drop by for dinner. She was still commuting home from work, and had already been on the road for around an hour and was expecting at least another hour before she arrived at home; she thanked me for the offer but said that what she really wanted more than anything was to get home and take a bath, I totally understood.

Yet I felt at lose ends. For some reason that negative internal dialogue kicked in. Thoughts like if you weren't such a fat loser you'd have friends to go do something with came to my mind. How ridiculous is that? If I was super thin I still would have been in the same situation. Sometimes everyone get lonely and restless.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I love my mom but she is thin and has weight issues

I visited my mom recently.

I love my mom and want to be a daughter who honors, encourages, helps, and is loving toward her mother. There are lots of great things about my mom.

I am fat because of my own lifestyle.

But my mom's attitude toward weight does not seem healthy to me. My mom has definitely bought into American society's idea of the correct female body - extremely thin. I can remember when I was in fifth grade and I overheard my mom talking with the school librarian (this lady went to my mom's church so she knew her outside of the school) about me. My mom was saying that she just didn't know what she was doing wrong and why I was so chunky. It was at that moment that I took on the self description of being fat, overweight, not good enough. The weird thing is that when I look back at pictures of myself at that age I was not at all overweight, I looked totally normal. Plus, kids in grade school teased some kids unmercifully about being fat, but never me - because I looked similar to all the other kids.

I got to thinking about this because my mom was talking about my 15 yr old niece when I was visiting. My niece and sister live with my mom. My mom was saying how my niece's stomach is just too big and she's going to have start eating healthy and exercising more. From what I've seen my niece could use to eat healthier, and she does have a rather active lifestyle (she's into swimming and water polo and is one of those teens who always wants to be out doing things with others). She is absolutely not over weight looking, in fact she's rather tiny. The issue in my mom's mind is that my niece's stomach is not totally flat. My concern, which I've tried to explain to my mother, is that my niece is already at that oh-so-self-concious-and-unhappy-with-her-looks-and-body stage in life as it is, and she needs positive input. She doesn't need to get into her mind that she's "too fat". She needs input to help her love herself and her body, and to take good care of herself. If they want her to eat healthier, they will just need to work a bit harder to find healthy foods that she likes and not have junk food around the house. I really believe strongly that they shouldn't say things to her about her stomach being "so big". But, I know this sounds negative, but my family is kind of crazy making when it comes to food and weight, so of course they ignored my input.

My mom also managed to mention while I was visiting that she was looking through old pictures recently and saw one of me. She said that the picture was from when I was involved with "that group that met up at the base of the mountains" and that she almost didn't recognize me. She emphasized how different I looked and how she couldn't get over how small I used to be. My question is why did she say this? Was she just talking and not thinking? Was she trying to motivate me to lose weight?

The background on the picture was that several years ago, when I had a 7 yr old, 2 1/2 yr old, and 1 year old son, my then husband was ignoring me. He'd apparently lost sexual interest in me (I later found out that it was because he'd been having an affair with another woman). So I got involved with this weight loss group for about 8 months that met at the base of some mountains near our home at the time. The group made you commit to NEVER ever eat candy or sweets, they told you that if you wanted to be healthy you must say good bye forever to such things. They also made you promise that if you ever slipped/cheated/wavered from their diet that you would confess to the group and leave the program. The program was extremely restricted with regard to food. During the first 4 months of that program I did lose the 50lbs that I needed to lose at that time and kept it off for the next 4 months. Then I "slipped" = ate something with refined sugar and had to take myself out of the program. Which, honestly, by that time I'd had enough of. Over the next 3 years I gained all of that weight back plus 10 more pounds. In the 15 years since then I've dieted off and on and lost back some of that weight only to, following the diet, gain back all that I'd lost plus gain back a few more pounds. So that now, 15 years later, I carry those 50 pounds plus ANOTHER 50 pounds.

Currently I am NOT dieting. But I am seeking to constantly be increasing healthy habits. Things like making sure I am involved in physical activities that I enjoy several times each week, not eating after dinner, drinking plenty of water every day, getting 7 (or more if I'm ever so lucky) hours of sleep each night, including more fresh fruits and veggies in our family foods. Eating for sustenance, health, and pleasure, but not to stuff down feelings. My emphasis at this point in my life is on self acceptance, respect, and love and an increasingly healthy lifestyle.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I appreciate a substantive woman of size

Today Elena Kagan was sworn in as the 112th justice of the Supreme Court.

While I do not appreciate Elena Kagan's politics, I do appreciate that she's a substantive woman. She's intelligent, has worked hard, and contributes to her world in a big way. I might also add that it delights me that she's absolutely NOT thin!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Not everything is about my weight

I love my sons, but my youngest two (age 16 & 17) are driving me crazy!

My middle son, Dylan who is 17, was very difficult today. He had FOUR wisdom teeth taken out and did not want to stay home following surgery. I finally agreed to let him go to his friend's house after calling his friend's mom and talking with her. So off he went for a few hours with a large bowl of strawberry jello in hand. I felt sad when I dropped him off. Dylan says mean things and I can't seem to stop it from hurting me. He feels like he's a man. I understand that he is indeed a young man but still feel like I need to intervene when he's making foolish decisions. In a year he'll be off to college most likely; but, for now, I do try for some minimum input. Especially in matters regarding health and well being.

Anyway, I was feeling so bummed. So I went to the local library and checked out an interesting book which I've quite lost myself in. There's this thing at a very nice couple in our church's house tonight; a hymn sing. A part of me wants to go. But I've been feeling lonely and one of the things I hate most of all is when I'm lonely in a group of people. I have no way of knowing it will be that way, but no way of knowing that it will not. I'm not willing to take the risk, just don't feel up to it. All of this has absolutely nothing to do with my weight. I really don't think I would feel any differently with Dylan today, or about going to the hymn sing tonight, if I were thin.