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Am I Small Enough?
Do you ever wonder how many times a day you think about your weight? It’s been so ingrained in us that I am sure it would be some astronomical number. I myself am working on becoming more aware of when these thoughts pass through my head. There isn’t a single activity that I engage in where the thought of how fat I am doesn’t pass through my head. Is this body dysmorphia or is this just me being a “good” fat person, who feels disgusted with herself for being fat? Whichever it is, it’s bloody exhausting. There is a voice in my head constantly telling me I’m fat, telling me I shouldn’t eat…pretty much anything. Telling me I shouldn’t be trying to have fun, I should be trying to lose weight, and telling me that I am not good enough the way I am. I am so tired of not being able to focus on anything because of this running narrative.
Am I ashamed enough?
When I sit I adjust my shirt because I don’t want to see how my belly fat makes a big roll. When I lay down in bed I see how my belly spreads out, my legs constantly touch, and my breasts flop down into each of my armpits. When I walk my daughter to the bus stop I wonder if all the people driving by see is a fat woman waddling along. I occasionally do baking for a deli and I sweat profusely when I do it because it’s hot, because I wear a hat, because I run back and forth in order to get things done quickly, and I wonder if the customers think “look at the fat woman sweating from just standing around”. I wonder if people driving by in higher vehicles than mine can see how the seatbelt is hidden under my stomach fat, or see how large my legs look as they snuggle up together and hang over the sides of the seat. It’s an endless barrage of thoughts focusing on how fat, how obese, how corpulent I am. And it is exhausting.
Am I Positive Enough?
Culturally there is a lot more focus recently on body positivity, whatever that means. For some people it simply means attempting to love yourself as you are. For others, it means eschewing all thoughts of weight loss or of wanting to change your body shape. Is it body positivity or fat acceptance? Should you hate your body until it’s what you want it to be or should you love it as is and refuse to attempt to change it in any way? Should you love it until it changes? Should you hide yourself away in a deep, dark hole until your body is more “acceptable”for public consumption? Or should you say “fuck it” and eat everything in sight until you’re so big that you can’t even leave the house? I am obviously exaggerating but it’s all so confusing and so incredibly difficult. Every person is an expert yet no one knows what the hell they’re talking about.
Am I Thankful Enough?
My body has helped me bring two beautiful kids into this world and for that I am grateful. But I still hate what those pregnancies did to my body. I hate that I’m too tired to do anything about it. I hate that other people have figured it out and that they are happy with their bodies. I feel like mine is a betrayal, like it’s not even mine. Like I’m wearing a fat suit that I can’t take off.
Am I Trying Hard Enough?
I’ve been overweight off and on for a good portion of my life. I’ve managed to lose weight several times but it’s always been through extreme measures, usually of the overexercising variety. Lately my brain has decided to really rebel and as soon as the thought of losing weight or changing my eating enters my head I am immediately thrown into what I call “last supper” mode. I binge. I eat everything that I deem “bad” in large quantities because my brain feels like I won’t get to eat them again. I’ve take nutrition courses. I’ve read so many books on eating habits and diets and exercise. I know what I “should” do. I know that I need to make a “lifestyle change” that is sustainable. I know on the surface that there are no “good” and “bad” foods yet in the back of my mind I still attribute morality to food. When I make a plan to lose weight my brain and my body feel the impending “deprivation” and so I binge.
Am I Brave Enough?
So what is a fat woman to do?
I’ve decided, for the sake of my health, and for the sake of being a good example for my children, that I do need to get healthier. And I’ve accepted that in the process of doing that I may or may not lose weight. And I am just going to have to be fine with that. I am not going to focus on losing weight as a goal because it makes me crazy. Instead I am going to focus on things that are, for me, easier and more manageable. Things like eating more vegetables and fruits every day. Or going for a walk with my family after dinner. Or even just focusing on getting more steps into my day through my regular activities. I also have a squat rack, barbell, and weights in my basement and I get in workouts when I feel like it, which is infrequently at best. I’m hoping to be more consistent with hitting the weights because I like feeling strong but for now I’m just focused on increasing general activity.
What if I don’t lose weight? Am I Accepting Enough?
This is a question I have asked myself before embarking on any weight loss journey. And the answer was usually “of course I will lose weight. I’m going to eat perfectly and never miss a workout”. Which was way too much pressure and clearly didn’t work out for me. So now I tell myself “If don’t lose weight I will continue to live my best life, take care of my body, and enjoy the activities that I enjoy”. I don’t need to lose weight to find happiness. I don’t need to lose weight to be a good person. And I don’t need to lose weight to be worthy of respect. If I don’t lose weight then I will just go on living my life, simple as that.
Am I Helpful Enough?
How are you feeling about your body now? Are you able to go about your day without focusing on your perceived “flaws”? Do you know deep down that you are deserving of love and respect, from yourself and others, regardless of your size and shape? I hope reading about my experience has at least made you realize that you’re not alone. Send me a message and let me know how you plan to take care of yourself in the coming weeks. I plan to keep you updated on my journey to get healthy and I invite you to do the same for me. I want to know all about your victories and your setbacks. We can start a “get healthy” team 😀
I will be posting weekly about my progress and I hope to see you on the next post. Let me know what kinds of things you want to know about so I can work those things in for you.
Until Next Time,
Chantal the secular homemaker
I’ve collected some resources that I think will help me in this journey and so far I am finding them to be quite useful. I will share them with you here in case you are interested in checking some of them out.
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The book The Fuck It Diethas been a catalyst for me living my best life now instead of waiting until I’m some acceptable weight before I do it. Caroline Dooner broaches the subject of chronic dieting with humour and compassion. Because of this book I am trying harder and harder to cut myself some slack when it comes to eating.
On the seemingly opposite end of the spectrum is the book The Diet Fix> Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff has given me the freedom to accept that I want to lose some weight and insights into how to do so without going off the rails into complete binge mode. One important takeaway was the notion to track my food so that I can be sure I am getting enough, rather than to make sure I’m not eating too much. That was a game changer for me.
I have tried many different methods for tracking and so far the least binge triggering way that I’ve found is simple pen and paper tracking, I really like the layout in the Fitbook by Fitlosophy. The planning section is great for goal setting and the food tracking section is perfect for tracking foods and quantities without having to figure out calorie totals right away. (Knowing the total calories as I go along triggers a binge response in me so I find it better not to total up the day until the end.
I also enjoy tracking using the BiteSnap app on my phone. This makes it even easier to track because I can just take a picture of what I’m about to eat and worry about quantities and whatnot after the fact, if I decide to calculate that at all. Some days I only loosely track, or don’t track at all, because my brain can’t deal with the numbers that day. BiteSnap is available for both iOS and android devices.
And of course I can’t forget my Fitbit Versa. This thing is glorious. I pretty much just use it as a watch and to keep track of steps right now but it has all sorts of other amazing features that can be useful in a health journey. I also really like the silent alarm clock option. I use it to make sure I’m up on time to get my daughter to the school bus so I don’t have to drive her, and to get a short walk in first thing in the morning 😀 Message me if you want to be Fitbit buddies, we can cheer each other on!