Saturday, April 24, 2010

slim goodbody, i am not

"i'm not sure if you know this, but there are two kinds of fat people: there's fat people that were born to be fat, and there's fat people that were once thin but became fat... so when you look at 'em you can sorta see that thin person inside." - john bender in "the breakfast club"

if kirstie alley can do it, so can i, right?

*deep breath*

i weigh 190 pounds. i am 36 years old, 5'7" and 190 pounds. this is NOT something i'm proud of or happy to admit but until i, we, start admitting these things, to ourselves and others, we cannot begin to erase the pain, fear and shame attached to these seemingly trivial numbers.

as a child, i was not a "normal" weight - i was thin, skinny, slim. i can still clearly recall going shopping with my mother and wearing clothes labeled "slim." of course, me being me, i was unhappy about this. "slim" wasn't "normal." in fact, normal was so normal, there was no special labeling necessary. "normal" was where it was at. what child in the 70s and early 80s wanted to be anything "different"? i sure as hell didn't. it got to the point that my childhood best friend, who was admittedly "chubby," and i were offered a challenge by her mother. if said friend lost 10 pounds and i gained 10 pounds, we would get to go to a theme park. wow, what a concept. being offered a potential REWARD for GAINING weight. sadly, we never met that challenge. that elusive prize remained so forever. sure i got to that park, eventually, with my own family but it had nothing to do with weight, which is how it should be. my point is, i was "slim" and now i'm not. there is another word i can substitute. it is a cruel word that was thrust upon me in a recent nurse practitioner's order for blood work. it is a word i hate but sadly a word i will always remember. no matter how much weight i may lose or gain in the future, i know that on this day, april 24, 2010, a medical professional considers me "obese." knock me over with a feather. i can honestly say, i NEVER thought such a word would be attributed to me. sure i knew i had gained weight over the years. i haven't seen a "slim" pair of pants since my age was in single digits but i never thought i would reach the opposite extreme. labels, in general, are hurtful, demeaning, cruel and unnecessary. i honestly could have lived the rest of my life without ever being called "obese" and believe me, it wouldn't have been a hardship. alas, there it is. i am now, at least to one observer, "obese."

i started working out a few days ago, three to be exact (including today). my workouts have consisted of wii fit and wii sports, sometimes with my husband, sometimes alone. to some, this may not mean much but to me, the girl who has NEVER (at least to my recollection) enjoyed exercise, it's a *helluva lot. the last time i exerted myself voluntarily was my senior year of college, circa 1995. i had to choose some electives my final semester and was really kind of over mental exertion, so i chose "self defense" (sadly, none of which i recall save the fact that a sharp upwards blow to the nose will incapacitate most attackers, if only temporarily) and "fitness for life" (which, despite instructor pat's best intentions, left no real impact on me except the reaffirmation that i DETEST running and will only do so voluntarily at the point of a gun.) so, here we are, 15 (audible gasp) years later and i am attempting to incorporate exercise into my life. i would love to say this is simply because i want to be healthy(ier). i would love to say that it's all internally motivated. but honestly, it's not. this is motivated by the fact that someone, a random nurse practitioner, someone i will see once more (because that's the kind of health care one gets in america when they are unemployed, uninsured and financially struggling) and hopefully never again, called me "obese." maybe someday i will be grateful. perhaps i will look her up and thank her for the kick in the ass that has gotten me off my proverbial ass. but honestly, because i am NOTHING if not honest, i doubt it.

*writer's note to self: be sure to look up google blog's policy on profanity. i am nothing if not profane.

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