Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why?

From Jack's blog, which I am not going to get out of linking, a series of provocative questions. Here they are.

Why do you suppose you let your life be less than you imagined it to be?

This is a very good question that also sort of pisses me off. (Spot of denial, anyone?) I will launch into my reasons in a minute. The question is asking why I got fat. I can tell you what it wasn't-- ignorance (I've read avidly about weight and nutrition since I was 14), family schtick (no abuse or major control issues so far as I know), war with spouse (he's the Crown Prince of Tact), weird binges or junk food addiction, or lack of exercise.

What did matter-- pregnancy (I gained all of the weight with my first), genetics/prediabetes (not the whole story but a large factor), contentment, denial, and the Standard American Diet intersecting with a certain amount of innate disorganization. I know from blogging that many people do have fascinating and powerful psychological factors behind their level of fatness. But for me to angst after the psychology of it is probably a false trail. It is not at all difficult for a distracted person whose ancestors evolved on lots of labor and few refined foods to pack on the pounds, especially if that person likes to bake.

But, truly? Some of the happiest years of my life I was 50 pounds overweight. I remember having chipmunk cheeks and size 18 pants and being terrified something bad would happen because I was so happy. I had (have, knock wood, please God) affection, companionship, sweet kids, a cheerful sex life, sufficient money, and a few close friends. As far as I can tell, my major social sacrifices for my fattest years were pleasing my inlaws and getting hit on by strangers.

Why do you stumble so often despite all your good intentions?

50 pounds is maybe 500 calories a day. It is very, very easy to eat 500 extra calories. You don't have to binge. Three chocolate chip cookies and not working out will do it.

Why do you sabotage yourself?

I don't think I do, really. Is that boring?

Why are you here anyway?

Because I'm prediabetic. I may not have minded shopping at Lane Bryant, but I sure do mind losing my gallbladder and probably half of my beta cells. That sucks!

If you’re making it, if you’re succeeding on this weight-loss journey, tell me why this time is different than all the others.

Interestingly, I never did lose this much weight before. I was worried about weight cycling and figured if I didn't have a decent chance of keeping it off for good, I didn't want to take it off at all.

Why are you going to make it this time when you’ve fallen short before?

I don't know that I am, but if I do, it will be because of the proverbial lifestyle change-- I don't (usually) count calories, I eat more like a grownup and less like a silly person. I exercise differently.

Why are you going to keep it off this time when you’ve gained it back before?

See above.

Why are you a different person now than you were before?

I'm not really, and I don't think I have to be. I eat fewer breads and desserts. Otherwise, I'm still me.

Something about these questions touched a nerve. I think it has to do with treading carefully between what is "best" (normal weight) and what is necessary to happiness (whatever that is, for some of us it doesn't have that much to do with weight). If circumstances took from me an eye or a limb or my hearing, I would still hope to suck the juice out of life and burp loudly afterwards. It is painful to me to think of anyone (me included) refusing to dance, date, snuggle, wear pretty clothes, swim in the ocean or think well of themselves because they have too much fat.

I don't want to give a false picture of being perfectly fine with my fatness. If I could change that about myself, I would in a heartbeat. I am envious of bloggers who get a handle on it at 30 or 35. I am doing all I can to spare my kids the hassles of being overfat. I miss my gallbladder. I don't want to have to take Metformin. Even with all that, fatness is not incompatible with happiness. If I get hit by the metabolic bus in 10 years and gain back my 25 pounds, I hope I will still manage to get a kick out of life.

And for those of you that made it to the end of this post: my lies revealed! I cheated, though. Did you catch no. 1? Both 5 + 6 are true. Once when I was traveling in Arizona we stopped at tribal dance. I don't remember what tribe. This shirtless guy in a towering horned mask bumped me with his hip and tried to get me to dance. I still remember looking into that horned mask. I was 15 or 16 and too shy, but I thought it was nice of him to invite me, don't you?

7 comments:

  1. Great post and really a lot to think about. Your answers and mine bear quite a few similarities.

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  2. "eat like a grown-up" That was my problem. I was still eating like a teenager--pizza, tacos, and burgers!

    I didn't get to see any tribal dances when I was in AZ or NM, which gives me yet another reason to go back. :)

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  3. " I would still hope to suck the juice out of life and burp loudly afterwards." lol

    "...and being terrified something bad would happen because I was so happy." - oh, I've had that feeling. I see my wonderful children laughing and playing, and it reminds me of the beginning of tragic movies: they are so happy, you just know something bad is going to happen to them. :/

    Re: guest post - do you want what I had removed (repost it), a condensed (drastically) version?

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  5. I appreciate this post very much. Being overweight did not/has not stopped me from enjoying life. Sometimes I think that is my problem...I am fat and happy. :) And now just a little more fit. LOL

    Have a great weekend!

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  6. "It is very, very easy to eat 500 extra calories. You don't have to binge." That is so true! It's not always about "stumbling" or "sabotage", the ugly "S" words.

    Have you written a book to go along with the ISBN?

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