So, by some miracle of holiday magic, I lost 2 pounds this week. I'm going to thank hormones, (which I was totally cursing last week.)
That means that I have 35 weeks to lose 53 pounds.
So, since we're talking about weight, can I point you to a kind of awesome blog? It is Dances With Fat written by a super informed, successful, inspiring, healthy, fat woman named Ragen Chastain.
This week, she pointed us to the video of an episode of a Dr. Oz Show, where his guest, Dr. Gaesser, is a medical expert (I believe he is an exercise physiologist) in the arena of Health At Every Size.
You can see the videos of the show here, if you want.
But, Dr. Gaesser went on the show to talk about how it's not being overweight that is the problem (except in the area of joint health)... rather, it's a series of unhealthy lifestyle choices that, in a lot of cases, can lead people to being overweight. He cited research and studies that illustrate that a persons cardiovascular health, AT ANY SIZE, along with the content of their diets (ie. that they're eating heart healthy foods, no matter how rich in calorie content) is the actual indicator of how at risk they are for dying early.
He went on to say that the popular attitude towards being thin as THE ONLY way to be healthy (the one the Dr. Oz most definitely subscribes to) was actually causing fat people to be more unhealthy, not helping anybody. Dr. Gaesser, citing research, said that our current obsession with losing weight in order to battle a host of obesity-related illnesses, is actually making people weight cycle, (or yo-yo diet as we're used to hearing) which puts a tremendous strain on our bodies, particularly our hearts.
Dr. Oz responded in a resplendently douchey fashion and kept trying to make false claims about the things Dr. Gaesser was presenting. He repeatedly twisted Dr. Gaesser's words, saying things like, "Dr. Gaesser actually claims there are BENEFITS TO BEING OBESE!"
And then Dr. Gaesser would say, "Well, I didn't actually say that. What I actually said is that lifestyle is the critical factor, not weight."
Anyway, my opinion of a television celebrity doesn't really matter. What DOES matter is that I'm an overweight woman and I want to lose weight. I am also in total support of the over 30 years of research that concludes that a healthy lifestyle, including cardiovascular fitness, maintenance of muscle mass and a diet full of whole, real foods should be the focus of our efforts to be healthy. That by subscribing to an attitude that the ONLY WAY we'll ever be healthy or beautiful or successful or valid is if we're thin is total bullshit.
So, then... why do I personally want to lose weight?
If I believe that people can be beautiful and healthy at any size, (which I do), why am I trying to lose weight?
I wish I had an answer. I guess my answer is that it's complicated. I guess my answer lies somewhere in the fact that I am a fat girl who grew up in the world. I want to run on lonely roads with a winding snake of yellow. I want to be the only person in the world. I want to accomplish this thing that has been a goal for years. I want to feel awesome. I want to jump really high. I want to knock people's socks off with my appearance, just like I already do with all of the other parts of me.
Most of all, I want to be healthy and live a long life. I can do that while being fat.
Wanting to lose weight is something beyond just wanting to look good, or wanting to be healthy or sexy or whatever it is we've been assaulted into believing about ourselves. It's certainly not the fact that I'm a sad fat person who will only be happy and pretty and desirable once I'm thin.
But, it might be something akin to that. It might be something along the lines of... I know it's shallow and I know it most likely comes from negative information and ideas I've been fed over the course of my whole life and I know it's all about appearances when I don't give a fuck about these kinds of appearances, but I just want to lose weight because it's my body and I want to.
Is that okay?
I'm not asking in a sarcastic way. I really want to know.
Is it okay that I am a person who believes that I am beautiful and fucking sexy weighing exactly this much, but that I want to lose weight so that I can achieve something that I believe will make me feel awesome? So that I can achieve something that I've wanted for years (whether my desires were always coming from healthy, appropriate places or not?)
At the risk of sounding like an asshole -- Something about me is that I'm pretty good at everything I try. I was talking on the phone to my sister about sending my book out to agents and she said, "Just be patient and keep trying. You'll find one. Has there ever been anything you've really tried to do that you've failed at?"
I've done a lot of amazing things. I am an amazing person. The one thing I've tried and failed at is being a thin person.
Being fat doesn't in ANY WAY cancel out everything that is beautiful and impressive about me, or make me unable to see how awesome I am, it's just a thing that I want to be able to say I could do, along with all the other things I tried and succeeded at.
I hope all of this makes sense.