Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Weighty Issue

I was 20 when I worked as a hostess at Shoney’s. I loved the job and I got a free lunch every day. It was great for my budget while in college… skip breakfast, HUGE free lunch from the salad bar and a small dinner (usually just a little rice). My grocery bill was very low.

One day, as I was piling onto my plate, the usual salad bar items, my boss said, “You’re not going to keep that waist line if you keep eating like that.” I just smiled and poured on the ranch dressing, confident in the fact that not only did he not know my secret diet; he had no idea who he was talking to. I never gained weight. I was a whopping 115 lbs and could snarf down an entire pizza without reaching 116. Although I didn’t exercise, I didn’t lead a sedentary life, so I never worried about my weight. Some of, if not all, my high metabolism could be attributed to the food I was raised on. Even after my first baby, I was able to slip into my pre-pregnancy jeans with little effort, creating a false sense of security. Little did I know that the days of using my belly as a table would become all too frequent – and not because I was pregnant.

Flash forward 16 years, as I rest this “laptop” on my ever growing, non-pregnant belly, I realize things have changed. Sure I may have walked 147 miles last week on vacation – it still didn’t outweigh the food I ate and I managed to gain 10 pounds (in a week!!!) Maybe it was all the popcorn.

I have been prone to back problems for a few years now – ever since S was born. But, it has become increasingly worse and is constantly interfering with my life. So, today, I went to see yet another specialist and guess what? He told me, among other things, to lose weight!!!

Have you ever seen a movie or show where time and sound moves in warped, slow motion while the world is still spinning at high speed. It was like that… The words seem to come out of the doctor’s mouth at a morbidly slow pace. And, while I tried very hard to listen to the important stuff about my back, I just kept hearing those stupid words over and over in my head. “When you lose weight…”

WHAT??? For months now, I have ignored the fact that I no longer fit into normal size cloths. I have blamed my bulging belly on my bulging disks (can’t fix one until the other is fixed, right?) I have looked away from the double chin and dismissed the fact that I get stuck on the kids slide. But now, I have it on good authority, I need to drop some pounds. I can’t ignore it anymore.

The thing is, I hate, Hate, HATE what society does to women about weight issues. It shouldn’t be about weight, it should be about feeling good. But the plain, ugly truth is that when you are overweight, there are often problems that come from that – say… back pain. I have known too many people that feel awful about themselves because of their weight. We are failing in society if we place worth on how much a person weighs or how someone looks. I am blessed enough to have a circle of friends that don’t seem to care about my fabulous frump. But not everyone is so lucky. They measure themselves on those stupid standardized charts saying they should fit into a particular group and then feel like left- over pea soup when they don’t fall into the right category.

I think those things are bogus… how can a standardized chart tell me, with a body so different as everyone else, what I am supposed to weigh? It just isn’t right. Still, there are some valid measures out there, and even by those standards, I have some work to do.

Ugggh, I just don’t have the time, desire or discipline for this. But, now I can’t ignore it…


Our Crazy Family said...

I know how you feel--especially the part about never thinking that it would happen to YOU--that's funny, I worked at IHOP in college--yeah for the free food!!! The diet I'm on is a great one--follow the link on my blog to get to it. Tricia has been on it as well. She is more strict than I am, (I cheat--ALOT!) and has lost over 50 pounds. But even with cheating I have been able to lose some weight without too much excercise.

Natalie said...

I also had a crazy metabolism when I was younger. I could eat anything I wanted and not gain an ounce. My how the times have changed. I look at something delicious and it sticks to my stomach with just one passing glance.

Erin said...

I too think the charts for "healthy weight" areevil! I think that a general range would bug me enough but Jesse is borderline morbidly obese according to those charts! Are you kidding! He is a big dude and built very solid so unless he loses 40-50 pounds in addition to the 25 he has already lost, he will always be in the overweight category. I don't think that is right at all.
I really wish the DR's would get on board with their patients being and feeling healthy versus harping on the right weight for the charts.

Huston Family said...

I think you look great! I'm sorry your back is hurting though. Maybe the doc is right, but maybe not. If I've learned anything in my fast paced world of doctors and hospitals, it's that doctors' advice is most often educated guesses, and every doctor has a different idea and a different treatment that he swears by,(kind of like parenting, huh). Find what works for you and what eases your pain, and know that you are beautiful no matter what the scale says!

threehappyhansens@yahoo.com said...

Here, here! I so don't have the desire to work on my "never thought would happen" weighty issuses.
Me thinking about it should be enough...right?