There is a certain point I reach, not mentally, but an actual number on the scale, past which I start to feel kin to Jabba the Hutt. It’s not that I weigh myself, see the number and then start feeling fat; oh, no. I actually start suspecting I’ve gone past this point before I get on the scale, owing to how I feel. Weighing myself only confirms my suspicions. It’s hard to describe but it’s best summed up by saying that I go from merely knowing I’m a chunk to actually, physically feeling obese. I feel bulky and overstuffed and jiggly. I have recently, once again, renewed my acquaintance with this point and it hasn’t been a happy reunion.
However, I have also recently come to the realization that dieting is just not for me. I know myself and they haven’t made a diet or “health plan” yet that can keep me. Not only that but even if I did receive a crashing blow to the head and suddenly find myself able to diet my way to skinniness, studies (and anecdotal evidence) show that it wouldn’t last. Odds are I’d end up gaining back all the weight plus some. I have to say that’s not exactly a great motivator for hitting the old diet trail again.
Then there’s also the fact that my body type simply does not lend itself to slimness. I have a large frame. Yes, I hear you laughing in your sleeves at the fat girl claiming “big bones” but, in my case, it’s true. Now, is the way I look at this exact moment due to bones? Of course not. What I’m saying, though, is that I am not entirely convinced that my naked skeleton, stripped of all flesh, would be a size 0. With a lot of hard work I could probably get down to moderately slim. But how much hard work would it take? How much denial? And how about keeping it off? There are women who can stay slim with a reasonable amount of maintenance on their part. I truly do not feel I am one of those women. In order to be truly slim with this body type I suspect that, in order to maintain, I would have to become a seriously exercise-and-diet-obsessed person. As in, work out every day without fail and make it a major focus of my life. It will probably come as no surprise to anyone who’s known me for any length of time, but this is simply not going to happen. Ever. I am also not going to spend my life saying, “I’d like to have dessert, but…..” Moderation, sure. I need to be practicing moderation. I need to eat better. But I’ll be darned if I’m going to be so worried about gaining an ounce or two that I won’t treat myself.
I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot over the past couple of weeks and I’ve come to the realization that I’m never going to be skinny, and I’m okay with that. I’ve never been hung up on being a particular weight, or clothing size. However, I did have it in my brain that at some nebulous, far-off point, I would suddenly become a health nut and slim way down. That’s not going to happen, and to keep thinking that way is counterproductive. I need to be okay with not being a size four, or six, or probably even eight. And I am. I know I can feel good about myself at a size that I can reasonably be expected to attain. Because, really, whom am I trying to impress, exactly? It’s not as though I am trying to attract members of the opposite sex. The list of males whose opinion I care about in regards to my looks is shockingly brief. We’re talking my husband, Paul McCartney and maybe a few others. And if I care that little about what the opposite sex thinks of me you can imagine how much less I care about what other women think of my looks. The bottom line is that the only thing that really matters is how I feel about myself. If I’m comfortable with how I look that’s what counts. I am not comfortable with how I look right now. But I also don’t need or want to attempt to turn myself into celebrity material because, to me, it’s just not that important. Added to that mindset is the fact that I don’t believe one has to be skinny to be healthy. Contrary to our anti-fat culture I do believe that heavier people can be perfectly healthy if they eat well and get exercise. Therefore my focus is more on being healthy, which does not, in my mind, necessarily require slimness.
So I have two different feelings to try to reconcile, here. I am not happy with how I am right now and yet I neither need nor want to take any drastic measures. I won’t diet anymore and yet I’d like to see some sort of weight loss. Therefore all I can do is identify the bad habits I currently have and change them and see what happens. And so I have chosen three things that I can change….I WILL change.
Number One: Cut way back on soda. I won’t drink diet. I just can’t stand the taste. I am addicted to Coke. I’ve been addicted to it for a couple of decades and it’s only gotten worse the past year or so. Used to be I only drank it while I was eating a meal and I almost never finished one — when I got done eating I quit drinking the Coke, too. I also didn’t used to crave it when thirsty. I only liked it with a meal and when I was truly parched I craved water. Now all I want is Coke, all the time. This has got to change. I would, ideally, like to keep it to one a day, at most, and some days none at all.
Number Two: I will start drinking a lot of water again. Years ago I used to drink 64 oz. a day without fail. Not only is it healthier but it also helped keep my skin clearer. And if I’m full of water I won’t be looking for soda.
Number Three: I will try to get some sort of exercise every day. I’m not saying I’m going to go walk several miles or do an hour-long aerobics video every day. It may just be a matter of getting up and dancing to Eliza’s Wiggles video, or doing exercises during the commercial breaks of my nighttime shows. But anything is going to be an improvement over the current absolutely nothing that constitutes my regimen.
So far today it’s gone well. I had no soda whatsoever and I did some dancing and got my heart rate up for a while. I had a moment of temptation this afternoon when I was thirsty and would’ve loved a fountain Coke, but I resisted, and I made it. Now it’s 9:30 p.m. and I can safely say I have made it through day one and have held up nicely.
I don’t know what sort of results I’ll see from these changes, if any. I’m hoping it helps. Ultimately, though, this is what I can commit to right now, and so it’s good enough. It’s me doing the best that I can and that’s all I can ask of myself.