Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fat, so?

So, here's a real controversy for once since most of my topics have been pretty tame lately...

I don't like fat people.

Ok, ok. Hold on before you hit the "NEXT" button on your browser!

When I say I don't like fat people I'm really saying, "I don't like myself as a fat person."

I don't know which school of psychiatry it is that says "what you dislike most in other people is what you dislike most about yourself but are unable to articulate", but that's really what this is.

Don't get me wrong! I have friends who are fat! (Gah! That's kinda like the, "I have nothing against the gays! I have friends who are gay!... even though I just voted for this legislation to strip them of their equal rights" bullshit that politicians pull, isn't it!?) God, does this make me like self-loathing gay republicans who activate against their own interests? I don't know.

When I say that I don't like fat people I am also talking about a judgmental part of myself that I really dislike as well. Yesterday Jedi and I went to see his sister's high school play and one thing I was struck by was how FAT so many of those kids are! Like, shockingly fat! And this one poor girl, her costume didn't fit her at all, and every time she moved around rolls of belly fat were exposed. And I'm ashamed to say that my initial reaction was "Ugh! How gross!" not "Oh, that poor girl! She needs a better fitting costume!"

Don't get me wrong. I AM very ashamed of this reaction. Most especially because I know how it feels. It's the reaction I got MY ENTIRE LIFE from my mom, and my siblings, and the rest of my family (See posts below for more Food and Self-Loathing fun!)

I'm working with my therapist to keep weight and worth from being inextricably linked, but it's hard-- that's the programming I was indoctrinated with.

I'm feeling particularly crummy about myself right now because I have gained weight recently... (So much so that I'll make a cringe-worthy confession-- I took a home pregnancy test to see if that wasn't the reason (Since I'm on BC that skips periods I'm now terrified of ending up on one of those "I didn't know I was pregnant!" shows). And as horrible as it would have been for the results to be positive a small part of me was thinking, "Well, at least if I'm pregnant that means that I'm not just-- ew!-- FAT, yanno!" But no. The results were (thankfully) negative. So, I'm not having a BABY, baby... I'm just, yanno, having... a FOOD baby.) BTW-- Jedi and I were going to go join the gym today, but we got distracted by the ice cream shop on the way there...

I do blame Jedi for some of my recent weight gain. With him in the house I've been buying a lot of things he likes, things that I don't normally get. Chips, cheetos, little debbie cakes, peanut butter and Jelly, pre-packaged over-processed crap-ola type stuff. (Not that he should be eating it either, I suppose) This is because he's "Good" and packs his lunches in the morning, and puts a couple of those treats in there for his lunches. Well, I go to the cafeteria at work most of the time, but I still eat all the crap when I get home too. So, I know this is my "fault" (Even though my therapist doesn't like for me to talk about "fault" where food is concerned. Food is neutral-- it is neither the "good" nor the "bad" that we associate with it, and then associate with OURSELVES when we ingest it. Food is either "Nutritious" or "Not Nutritious." But I sort of digress)...

Part of it is also that Jedi not only doesn't have a problem with my eating, he encourages it. Ok, ok... so, Jedi kind of has a "thing" for chubby girls. I guess that works out well for me, but at the same time I know it's part of the reason that I get complacent when he says, "Wanna get ice cream?" when we've already had ice cream that day.

He really hates it when I call myself fat. It upsets him actually. And while he always says "You're not fat!" ... well, I am. Trust me, dear readers, I am not "Rubenesque" or "Voluptuous" or any other euphemistic phrases that annoy the crap out of me. I say this because I don't want you to think that I'm some 140lb chick who thinks she should lose 20lbs.

(Side note: As I sit here writing this Jedi has just asked, "Do you want me to make you anything to eat?" *sigh* It's lovely that he does so, and it makes me feel loved... but at the same time it does lead me to eat more than I should. Because who in their right mind is going to turn down a sandwich? Yum.)

Part of this issue for me is that my mother always said that I'd never find anyone who would want to be with me if I was fat. Well. Somehow I did. I don't know what to make of that, but I did. So doesn't that mean I should be feeling better about myself? And yet, somehow I'm not.

I know that a big part of the answer is that I need to be kinder to others as a way of being kinder to myself. I know the issues other overweight people struggle with. I KNOW it's not as "easy" as "Just Put the Donut Down!" (And if any trolls say some variation of that in the comments, do trust that you'll be deleted ASAP.) If there was a simple solution, don't you think Oprah would have found it by now? Don't you think some marketer would have packaged and bottled it? I've tried it all-- WW, OA, Atkins, WeighDownWorkshop, Mindful Eating, Anorexia, Bulimia, exercising, etc, etc, etc. It all "worked" to some extent or another... but the problem is ME... not the eating (or not eating) or the food. If it was as easy as taking the weight off that would be one thing. I could get my jaw wired. But even people who have had their stomachs stapled (which is why I've not decided to do this) find ways around that and often regain the weight (or find other addictions.)

I guess most of what I'm saying is not THAT controversial. I mean, I'm a self-hating fat person! What could be more passe than that? But I spend a lot of time thinking about this because #1) I obviously still don't have a good handle on it, and #2) I really don't want to pass this on to any future kids, and #3) it really annoys me when people (thin people, in my experience) DON'T GET IT!

As for #3) I've found that most of those people think this is a matter of willpower... even though studies have shown junk food is as addictive as cocaine. For those people for whom food is not an issue-- well, Great for them! I liken it to people who don't get addicted to cigarettes. Some people aren't predisposed to addiction-- and those that are can avoid cigarettes... but I can't avoid food. Can I avoid just Ice cream? Or Bread? Or XYZ? Sure... for a little while. But in no other addiction are you constantly confronted with the object of your addiction-- ENCOURAGED even to partake... and then vilified when the effects (fattening!) become visible.

Please believe me when I say that being anorexic was easier than trying to eat mindfully. When you're not eating at all you're not confronted with choices. When you don't have to make choices it becomes a lot easier to be in control. With choices every step is a potential misstep. And every misstep is the potential 3-day binge.

I was doing well with my eating up until Jedi moved in. I ate when I was hungry, I didn't when I wasn't. It's not fair to blame him, but I eat more socially and I eat more junk when he's around. I wasn't thrilled with my weight but I had stabilized at size 18 for 2 years. I had accepted myself, come to appreciate myself and find that I was ok there.... Now I've crept to 22 and I'm scared I won't be able to halt the progression, or WORSE won't be able to reverse it. I DO NOT want to fall back into the self-destructive behaviors of the past... but I can't seem to find a healthy way of eating right now. (Who am I kidding, "Right Now." I don't know if I've EVER had a healthy way of eating.) What was working for me was deliberately NOT thinking about food, but with Jedi around offering me food that I mindlessly eat, this is not a good solution.

So what to do? Besides be kinder to others and myself? I'm not sure.


Anonymous said...

I hear you. 100% I hear you.

And I don't know what the solution is. Actually, that is not true. For me, I do know what the solution is, because I have done it before. A year before my wedding I dropped a good 40lbs. How? 1) Food diary ( 2)I had desert every night (a low fat 100-150 calories, but still). And then there was baby... and I am back up where I was. The problem is that I can't seem to get myself to do it again. I don't know why.

So yeah, I hear you.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This is such a tough one, because, well, I AM fat people--pretty much the size you used to be, but shorter. But I know exactly what you mean, and I can understand how you feel. I think a lot of it is motivated by fear: do I look like that? do other people see me this way? what if I end up *that* fat? etc.

Like K, I don't know what to do about those feelings either. But I will advise this: stop thinking of Jedi as a "chubby chaser." He's not with you because of what you look like. Sure, he's attracted to you, but he's attracted to *you*. There are millions of women who weigh such and such and wear such and such. He loves *you*. Does that make sense?

megs said...

I've been called a "chubby chaser" before my friends. While I have dated people much thinner than me my eyes always go to the bigger guys at a party. And my major relationships have all been with tall, big (big big) guys. But I've also been in desperate love and lust for thinner men as well, so it's just a basic "type" of mine not necessarily a fetish, okay? Anyway, I don't even know why I'm sharing this. I think it's to say it's nice for my partner that I like big guys because he doesn't feel any pressure to lose weight from me. But it doesn't mean that if he were to drop 60 lbs I wouldn't like him just as much as I do. And obviously my interest in him doesn't start and end at him being a chubby man. So, what Perpetua said, as usual.

megs said...

(megs=Accidents, the "handle" I usually use for blogs...for some reason OpenID for comments never works for me). And I'm so glad you participate in ControverSundays, I need to get to reading your archives.

Hypatia said...

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!

Moment- I used to use fitday to track info, but I just found it so tedious! I couldn't keep up with it (and I'd be estimating amounts and probably being way off.) I know what you mean about not being able to do it again! I've lost the same 50lbs at least 5 times.

Perpetua-- Thanks, I know you're right. And if he wasn't so effusive in his admiration I know I'd doubt his sincerity.

Megs- Thanks. I know you're right too... I mean, there are weird things I really like in a guy-- Ears that stick out, big noses... etc. things that some people would consider "flaws" I find beautiful. I know it's probably the same for Jedi.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how you say that when you see other fat people you cringe at them, because you subconsciously, i guess "cringing" at yourself. I am the opposite. I see a Victoria Secret catalogue and dream of having legs like those chicks. All the while, I'm told everyday that i am just as skinny as those girls. (not bragging or boasting at all i promise, there's a deeper point to this)
Sometimes, i wish i could have an out of body experience to see what i really look like from other people's perspectives. Because from mine, i am not "model skinny"
Anyway, agreed 100percent about your food is as addicting as cocaine comparison. Agreed 100percent.