Holding nothing back…

Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

See that middle majorette? That’s my sister. The one that was kicked off the ASU majorette line for being “too fat.”  No, she’s not as skinny as the other two majorettes, but she isn’t FAT  by a long shot! According to ASU, however, she was 5 lbs to fat to twirl for the university’s marching band. FIVE FREAKING POUNDS! Like that small an amount of weight would have made Jack Diddly bit of difference in how she looked.

Thanks to our former band director, I now have several pictures of my sister in her majorette uniform, but this is the only one that I felt comfortable posting here without editing her face out since her face isn’t exactly recognizable in this particular picture.

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just-me

That is me. 9th grade. All of 14 years old, so 25 years ago. Not too bad, right? Hubby looked at it and said “Jeez, you were cute! Why didn’t we date in high school?”  I look at this picture and wonder why on EARTH I thought I was fat and needed to starve myself.

This picture is proof that anorexics don’t always LOOK anorexic. At least, *I* don’t think I looked anorexic in this picture. But I was. I was skipping breakfast and lunch, and barely eating anything at dinner while telling my parents that I had eaten a big lunch or had a big snack after school. At the point this picture was taken, I was amenorrheal, anemic, my hair was falling out in clumps but I had a fine layer of “fur”, my heart rate was scary slow and my blood pressure was ridiculously low. All physical symptoms of starvation. I wasn’t scary skinny by any means. In fact, I probably looked pretty healthy, weightwise. I know that I had friends that were thinner than I was, but much MUCH healthier. However this was probably the UNhealthiest time of my life.

People noticed that something was wrong, but nobody made the connection to anorexia because I wasn’t underweight. My friends thought I was ill. My parents and doctor thought something was wrong with my thyroid. NOBODY thought I was anorexic but me, and I didn’t want to change it. I honestly couldn’t tell you what turned my health around. I never got professional help. I was never officially diagnosed. Maybe I just didn’t have the “willpower” of most anorexics, or maybe my parents just got wise before I got so far gone that they couldn’t help me without professional intervention. I really do not know. I just know that by the time I went into 10th grade, I wasn’t starving myself anymore.

THIS is why I am so protective of my daughters and my friend’s daughters when it comes to body image. THIS is why I have a size acceptance blog and read other size acceptance blogs voraciously. THIS is why I am so ANTI-diet. And THIS is why I never assume that just because someone isn’t scary skinny, their weight-loss diet isn’t a problem.

Saturday night, DH and I went over to a friend’s house for a cookout. It was just us, friend, his girlfriend, his brother, and his brother’s girlfriend: three couples.

There was TONS of food: bacon wrapped, bbq-sauced, grilled mushrooms for appetizers; chicken breasts drenched in bbq sauce, grilled kielbasa, hamburgers, chips, dips, potato salad, etc. You get the idea. Three couples, but enough food for 10 couples.

After a nice visit around the grill while everything was cooking, we went inside to eat. I notice that the other two women BARELY touch their plates. I mean BARELY: maybe 1 of the mushroom appetizers (which were HELLA GOOD) 2 bites of their hamburgers, a bite or two of potato salad, and maybe three chips each. I’m not kidding! And I’m not the only one that noticed. DH noticed. Friend noticed because he asked if something was wrong with the food.

Turns out, there was nothing wrong with the food. Friend’s Girlfriend has had the lapband surgery, and Friend’s Brother’s Girlfriend has had gastric bypass. Oy vey. I was the only woman there that hadn’t had WLS.

Later in the evening, we were playing a game, and somehow or another, the subject of weight came up (why am I not surprised?); and I said something (non-depricating) about weighing 200 lbs. INSTANTLY, everyone in the room but DH (who knows better) starts in with the “compliments.”

“Well, you sure don’t LOOK like you weigh 200 lbs!”

“Wish I had looked that good at 200!”

“Yeah, but you carry it well.”

Yada.

Yada.

Fucking yada.

Then the subject turned to how much more weight these two BEAUTIFUL (just as they were) women had to lose, and then they looked at me expectantly. Like I’m supposed to chime in with how much weight I want to lose. You should have seen the looks of shock on their faces when I said that I am actually looking for a personal trainer that understands that I don’t give a flying fig if I ever lose a stinking OUNCE, much less several dozen pounds, I just want to be strong(er than I am now), flexible, and build some endurance. After staring at me in shocked, wide-eyed silence for a moment they start in with:

“But you’re so pretty! You’d be GORGEOUS if you lost a few pounds!”

Fuck you! I’m already gorgeous, thankyouverymuch.

“As good as you look now, you probably wouldn’t have to lose MUCH.”

I don’t have to lose anything to look good. You said yourself I look good right where I am.

“I wish I had your confidence.”

Honey, I didn’t always. This level of confidence and comfort with my body has been hard-won and only come RECENTLY.

WHY do conversations with other women always seem to devolve into Weight Watcher’s meetings? Discussions about current weight, pounds lost, pounds to go, calories and how to restrict them, fat grams and how to restrict them, good foods/bad foods, yada yada boringfuckingyada. I’ve worked too long and too hard to finally accept myself as I am, where I am. I have absolutely no desire to join into a bitchfest about my body and how HORRIBLE it is. Even if we restrict ourselves to discussing things that happen in our own homes (no world or national politics, no celebitchy gossip, etc.), there are so many MORE interesting things to discuss! Shit, we could discuss SOAP OPERAs and it would have been more productive and interesting!

To their credit, it didn’t take either woman too terribly long (maybe about 15 minutes) to realize that I wasn’t going to join in on the WW meeting and that it was boring me half to death and allow me to change the subject. I don’t know that I could have taken much more.

And most of my women friends wonder why the hell I prefer to hang out in the garage with the men! At least THEIR conversations aren’t impromptu Weight Watcher’s meetings.

Saw this ad this morning and it just set me off.  “Sprinkle your coffee with something better than guilt.”

Really? Seriously?

And then there’s this one. “Indulge your sweet tooth, AND your conscience.”

So, once again, the diet industry implies that consuming anything with a calorie should be guilt-inducing. ::::eyeroll:::: 

On another note… DAMN but the diet industry is working overtime this season! Guess they want to try to get their name FIRMLY implanted for all those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. *sigh* I’m so sick of seeing diet ads. It’s Christmas Eve for heaven’s sake! MUST I watch at least one diet-related commercial EVERY commercial break? Within the past 20 minutes, I’ve seen ads for Truvia, Jenny, Nutrisystem, and SlimFast.

Oy. We aren’t even allowed to enjoy a “cease fire” on Christmas!

At first glance, last night’s episode of House would appear to NOT be very fat accepting.  But once I had some time to think about it and look deeper, I realized that it really kind of was.

The show started out showing a “fitness guru” filming an infomercial with some of her clients. Fitness chick was talking to the camera about “being the best YOU you can be” while her clients are climbing bleacher stairs behind/around her, and one of the heavier men was having difficulty. My first thought was “Oh great. Here we go with the ‘fat kills,’ ‘all obese people are walking time bombs,’ obesity epipanic crap.” Then the twist: Instead of one of her clients falling over, it’s Fitness Guru chick! Hello?

During the differential, House’s team uncovers the fact that FG had gastric bypass surgery. Hmmmm… When confronted by the team, she reveals that she “tried everything and nothing worked.” WHOA! You mean someone on national television (even if it was a fictional character) admitted that diets and exercise alone don’t always work?!? And she even gets called on the hypocrisy of hiding her gastric bypass from her clients, while telling them that diet and exercise will work for them! She claims that she’s doing it for the health of her clients, yada, yada, yada; that she “got healthy” and then she “got happy” to which Taub replies “No, you got PRETTY, then you got happy” (Thin Myth anyone? Oh, and I really do NOT like the implication that to be pretty, one must be thin. I’m not thin and I get all kinds of people, both fat and thin, telling me that I’m pretty).

Finally, they discover that she has some extremely rare disorder that literally REQUIRES her to eat a high carb, high glucose diet. When she was fat, she was “self-medicating.” The BEST treatment for her is to have her gastric bypass reversed and start eating high carb, high sugar foods. She asks if there is any other treatment. There is, but it will only make the symptoms manageable; it will not treat the disease. She’ll still be sick, but the symptoms of her illness will be masked somewhat. She chooses the less effective treatment, refusing to have her gastric bypass reversed and gain weight. She would rather be thin and unhealthy than be fat and healthy. And the show didn’t leave you feeling like she had made a good choice. House even commented on how she would rather be “pretty” than healthy (I know, again with the thin=pretty thing, we can’t win them all though, can we?).

Overall, I felt like it was a small step forward. The patient/FG seemed to be the only one assuming that fat=unhealthy even if EVERYONE seemed to assumed that fat/=pretty. I’ll take it though. Even baby steps are still forward progress, right?

I’ve tried and tried and tried to think of a way to put all of this delicately, and I can’t. I’m so upset about it that I’m not even sure I can put it together intelligently even. So I’m just throwing it out there and asking for you to understand that there will be a LOT of frustration talking in this post and that this is bringing up some of my own issues that I am still dealing with. Please bear with me.

TRIGGER WARNING: Talk of childhood obesity, possible emergent eating disorders, and forced calorie/food restrictions follow.  Please be sure you have your Sanity Watchers points saved up, and proceed with caution.

Ok. So. I have this friend with a 9-year-old daughter who doesn’t meet the societal standards of thin. Said child gets teased at school and at home because of her weight. And in the interest of full disclosure, the child *is* technically considered “obese” by all measures of childhood obesity. HOWEVER, I’ve seen the baby pictures, and the toddler pictures, and the preschool pictures, and so on. The child is just BUILT this way! She has been since birth. 

The thing that is driving me absolutely batshit crazy is that the child’s mother, my friend, is constantly riding the child’s butt about her weight! The child’s clothes are all too small, emphasizing that Mom refuses to accept the child’s body as it is, where it is, and dress her accordingly and appropriately. This shouldn’t surprise me too much, considering that Mom does the same to herself.

I understand that MUCH of this is societal conditioning. That the mom is brainwashed into thinking that smaller is better, even if the smaller clothing size comes at the expense of comfort AND appearance; and in the case of this mom and child, is enough too small that it makes them both look much bigger than they are, which in turn makes them both feel worse on multiple levels.

There *is* a family history of Type 2 diabetes, so I actually DO get some of the mom’s worry about the child’s weight since there is so much hype about the correllations between obesity and type 2 diabetes (and I cannot get it through this woman’s head that correllation does NOT equal causation). It also doesn’t help that their pediatrician feeds her a bunch of mumbo jumbo about childhood obesity, AND that the child’s school gives her crap about the child’s weight. I GET these things. 

However, I absolutely, positively do NOT get the way this woman is going about trying to get her daughter’s weight “under control.” The tactics she is using are pretty much *guaranteed* to give the child a complex. I can actually SEE the eating disorders forming! I mean LITERALLY see the emergent signs of eating disorders. Sometimes I want to bop this woman on the head with a 2×4 for what she is doing to her daughter’s mental health! Seriously, it is that bad. The tactics include:

  • Drastically limiting the child’s caloric intake.
  • Severely restricting the types of food the child is allowed to eat.
  • Forcing the child to participate in exercise activities, whether the child wants to or not (including, but not limited to joining sports teams)
  • Not allowing the child to eat or drink anything after a certain time of evening, with the only exception being if they are eating dinner late for one reason or another.
  • Absolutely, positively, under-no-circumstances allowing the child to get seconds at any meal, ever.

I have actually SEEN the child sneaking food because she knew her mother would not allow her to have more, and get punished for it when she got caught. I have actually SEEN the child eat herself sick (literally eat until she vomited) when her mother wasn’t around. I have actually SEEN the child get into trouble for accepting one piece of candy that was offered to her (by my daughter) because she had “already had her candy for the day” and she “knew better.”

Since Halloween, the mother took the child’s candy and hid it in Mom’s bedroom because the child, according to Mom, “would eat it all in one sitting” if Mom didn’t.  She doles it out one piece a day, and the child doesn’t even get to pick the piece she gets!  If the child protests AT ALL (“can I have the cherry tootsie-pop instead of the miniature Hershey’s??”) she doesn’t GET her piece of candy that day.

How do I approach Mom about this? How do I tell her that she is destroying her daughter’s self-esteem, and setting her up for a lifetime of disordered eating? How do I point out to her that her daughter is ALREADY, at 9-years-old, showing the emergent signs of eating disorders? How do I gently, and lovingly, and without losing an otherwise valued friend, tell her that she needs to BACK THE F OFF about her daughter’s weight?

I do not feel that I can, with a clear conscience, tell her that I refuse to discuss her daughter’s “weight problem” with her because I feel that what she is doing to her child amounts to physical and psychological abuse. I want to HELP her help her daughter, not tear the family apart, so any comments about reporting them WILL be deleted.

Van Twirlers Suspended for “risque” song

For some reason, WordPress won’t let me use the embed code from this video, so I’ve linked it.  Although what I want to talk about isn’t the song choice, who screwed up in allowing the song to be used, whether or not the routine should have been stopped, etc.

It’s the comments about the twirlers posted here.

“CSS” says:

If there is a crime here, it’s that the twirler interviewed on Ch. 5 should lose a few pounds before going out on the field in that costume.

That is followed shortly by “Shayla” saying:

Wow what happened to twirlers being thin?

Then “Van Vandal Mom” says:

And another thing noticing all the comments on the weight. If you are practicing as you should how come you don’t loose weight, You sre suppose to practice all week , all summer.. What happened to that. that will get you in shape. What they need is to bring back the good line that had 7 on it a couple years ago they were all awsome and some of thenm went to state through the years, Great twirlers there and they didn’t disrespect athority.AND THEY LOOKED GOOD !!!!! And they could all TWIRL !!!And they worked for it to look that good too. And you could learn from that they respected the sponsors and band directors and priciple and the school and them selfs.

Van Vandal Mom assumes that the girls can’t be practicing like they should or they wouldn’t have any extra weight on them, and since they *do* have “extra weight” they “don’t look good.”  Sheesh!  And we wonder why girls the world over are starving themselves trying to be thin! 

When is it ever thin enough?

When does talent and/or skill outweigh (pun intended) appearance?

When do we get to respect ourselves no matter what our weight is?

When do we get to EXPECT respect from others no matter what our weight is?

How about NOW?  TODAY? 

I say:

If the only thing you can say against someone is that they “need to lose a few pounds,” you don’t have anything worthwhile to say.

BullshitMI is NOT an indicator of talent.

Practice time is not indicated by jeans size.

Self-esteem cannot be measured in pounds, kilos, or stones.

That girl in the interview?  Her name is Jordan Downey, and she is just as cute as can be!