Mark and I had the BEST sunset dinner last night. It was So delicious and leisurely and the opposite of compulsive.
I’ve Been Feeling Fat Lately
Sigh, the bane of any self-respecting, body-accepting, intuitive-eating, adventurer is the common gotcha bug that can bite at ANY TIME aka as ‘FEELING FAT’. What the hell IS feeling fat anyway? As we all know, fat ISN’T a true emotional feeling like joy, sorrow, anger etc. Fat is a thing. It’s part of our bodies. Can’t have too little, we need some, and it’s debatable exactly how much is too much. So If I look at my hefty-size thigh, WHICH fat cells are the evil bastards, and which are the good, protective soldiers, hmmm?
Can’t tell. Can’t circle with a marker and declare THIS ONE MUST GO – due to any attribute other than quantity. Now, I do know that there actually are different types of fat on our bodies, some more beneficial medically, so I’m not debating that – but truly, where is that magic line that says, “You fat cell, are good” – “You fat cell are evil and shameful”?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of it. It’s like culling the herd, or thinning young oranges off of a tree so the others can grow. The fat cells have done nothing more than exist in too many numbers. Some of the numbers may or may not impact health. Some numbers definately impact our “societal worth”, dang it, but overall, there is NO DIFFERENCE. It’s the luck of the draw which fat cells are protective and which push us into despair.
Trigger 1 – Chairs
Now depending on your body type, booths or chairs may trigger ‘Feeling Fat’. Mark is an apple shape, so he is more concerned with tummy fitting under the table in a booth. I am a pear, so I am more concerned with my behind and thighs fitting into chairs with arms. To be squeezed into either scenario can set off a firestorm of shame and feeling like a monster. A monster who “does not fit in”. Those with society approved, ‘normal’ sized bodies cannot fathom the shame that occurs when you get the glare from those seated next to you in coach class in the air or at the movies when your parts encroach on their space. Now actually, most modern movie and theatrical venues do have bigger seats – some will argue, AWFUL PROOF OF OBESITY EPIDEMIC. But I say, it is about time that we can fit. I don’t mind paying more. In fact, I remember fitting into coach pretty well even at a bigger size than I am today, before low fare, barebones, Southwest airlines began a fare war with all airlines resulting in cost cutting measures including the elimination of decent meals on flights and stuffing as many seats into the plane as possible to maximize profit making seats narrower and leg room less. I won’t even begin to discuss here how horrendously Southwest treats what they call “Oversize” guests either. The embarrassment and shame of it all. I tell you frankly I fly business or first class or I don’t fly. Why? To be elitist? No! To fit in the GD seat! To purchase two coach seats STILL causes me to be squeezed in a vice that leaves bruises on my legs. It only relieves me of the glare of the aforementioned co-sitter who might have to be subjected to my size. Now I’ve told you frankly I weigh around 200-215 pounds at best guess, and I wear 18W pants. This is bigger than the national average. But I have PLENTY OF COMPANY. Mark, btw can fly in coach as his tummy can fit in front of him. He just has trouble if he wants to lower the flight table. And he has NO ROOM for his legs as he is 6’2″. ARGH! Not fitting physically in is psychologically triggering to self-blame.
Same thing with clothes. When our clothes feel tight, we are prone to feeling despair and shame. Wear a size that fits, you’ll feel better.
Anyway, the Pantages is a historical theater with the worlds smallest, least legroom available seats I have EVER squeezed into at any size. I saw the Lion King there when I was thin, and STILL felt squeezed. Today with my glorious curves abounding, it is hell. I LOVE the shows, HATE the chairs, and when this season ticket is over, I won’t go back. I’m over it, truly.
Trigger 2 – Facing the Dr. and the Scale.
I had my annual check-up the other day and as those of you who read my status updates on FB know, I got myself in a huge tizzy of fear and self-loathing over it. I usually diet like mad for the month before the Dr. visit, trying to undo ALL of my compulsive bingeing, AND I get weighed right before so I can tell the nurse a HIGHER number than I know that I am in order to deflect from my actual weight. They always say, “Oh no, you ONLY weigh 285 NOT 315! or some such nonsense”.
This year, as those of you who follow this blog and podcast know, I have no frickin’ clue what I weigh. I don’t know how I compare to last year. I don’t know anything. I couldn’t tell the nurse some number, because it might be less, and she’s have to announce, “sorry, you’re MORE than that”.
Hear all of this angst? I’m right back into diet mentality and shame and feeling “less than as a person” because my possible scale number might prove me unworthy.
Besides that I don’t WANT to know my scale number. I am doing well maintaining my size without weighing. A number is a trigger for me. But I was scared to ask for what I wanted.
Laurie 1 – Scale 0
So I buckled on my spine and passed through a big victory for me.
It’s been over 150 days since I packed up my own scale and put it on the highest shelf in the garage, so I don’t know my weight at all for the first time since I was 6 years old.
However, since I gave up weighing and have been working the principles of IE I’ve been wearing the same size clothing and so know my actual weight hasn’t changed much.
I have been very heavy AND normal sized, but due to my issues with dieting/bingeing, my weight was always in flux, always swinging wildly up and down the scale by 30-40 pounds, usually several times in any one year. So I’m not even sure what I weighed last year. If I had lost, gained or stayed the same.
Determined not to know any number that would derail my progress, I told the nurse, I don’t weigh myself or want to know my weight number anymore. So while you can weigh me for proper medication, I don’t want you to tell me or have the Dr. tell me the actual number.
This was such a big deal in my head, but it wasn’t anything but neutral to the nurse. She has obviously had this request enough to have a process, and just had me weigh with my back to the scale bars, and she slid the bars back to zero before having me step off, and noted my chart. My Dr. never mentioned my weight, just went over which tests we were doing etc. We talked about other health related topics, and how long until the blood test results would be in etc.
I can’t believe I built this up so strongly as fear in my head. It shows how entrenched my shame and diet mentality is and how tied I still am to what a number can say. I’m so happy I spoke up and got what I needed today.– to NOT know what that number is. Someday I might want or need to know, but not today. Today I took care of myself and that feels awesome.
Scales Suck, I Rock, and I’m Going to think on Tiger in Future
My cat Tiger doesn’t care what I weigh. He cares that I love him, spend time him, pet him, brush him, cuddle him and tell him he’s special. Mark doesn’t care what I weigh. He cares that I love him, spend time him, pet him, brush him, cuddle him and tell him he’s special. The BCs don’t care what I weigh when I podcast. They care that I love them, spend time with them, have pet names for them, brush away their fears, cuddle them with my voice and tell them they’re special. I’m going to tell MYSELF that too. Laurie, what makes you special is NOT your body – except in that it holds your brain and heart.