Month: June 2008

I’m fat, I tri, and I’m mad

As I said in an earlier post.  I am a triathlete.  I’ve never felt entirely comfortable calling myself that, for some reason I picture an ironman/woman with cut arms in the victory-over-the-head pose crossing the finish line when I picture a triathlete.  Nope, I don’t look like that when I cross it.  I tend to look red faced, sweaty and bloated.  But the point is….I cross it.  Or at least hope to cross it.  I am thinking about the differences in myself from last year to this year.  What has changed about me since last summer when I ventured into my first race?  Last year, I was nervous and excited to start.  Scared about the start and the swim, more scared about the run.  This year, I was more nervous about the overall time.  I secretly wishedI that last year I hadn’t worked so hard so that this year I had a shot at being faster.  My biggest fear was that I would be slower than last year. 

And guess what folks….I was.  

By a whopping 4 minutes.  It really hasn’t affected me that much.  What has affected me and pissed me off entirely is this….the following ditty.

I was excited to attend the expo, find some fun tanks, tees, shorts, suits…all of the stuff that helps us identify that we are triathletes.  The “I TRI therefore I am” stuff, you all know what I am talking about.

I see women in all shapes and sizes at this all female event.   I would venture a guess that 10% of the gals are size 16 and bigger.  Some even (gasp) are the same size as me 18 – 22 (depending on the maker)

I go from booth to booth, feeling more and more dejected each castaway bin I tear through.  There is NOTHING that fits my frame, let alone my breasts.  Nothing for my top or bottom.  Even the technical T’s that are free giveaways, I can’t get a tank top because they don’t have it in my size.  I settle for the short sleeve version.  I am surprised at this point that there isn’t a sign on the back of the tee that says something like “we were forced to give this fat girl a t-shirt” 

I am not the size that you imagine a triathlete should be.  I don’t look like the rest of my tri team either, but we can go head to head in an event.  I want to wear the t-shirts, the skorts.  I want a wet suit to swim in lake Michigan in August. 

Where are the manufacturers who understand that curvey women (and men?) have money too.   

I came home with a bumpersticker and a pair of socks and a crappy attitude resigned to the fact that 2 years into this, I still can’t find a “fit” in this sport.

Fast forward a few days.  I decide to venture into a running store.  I had the need for a running cap.  I figure, surely my head isn’t fat too, maybe I can squeeze into one of their caps.  As I am checking out, the cashier and owner are standing there.  They asked if I had shopped at the store before.  I indicated, that given my size and their selection of clothing….no, I hadn’t EVER purchased anything at their store.  I then take it upon myself to tell this guy what a HUGE market he is missing out on.  How, just because I am a big girl, doesn’t mean I don’t want to go out there and sweat it up, stink it up with the rest of them.  I also told him about the vendors at the event.  I honestly think he was embarrassed.  What does he do, pull out a catalogue, we start going through it item by plus size wicking wear item.  He promises to have some stuff on the shelves for us in the next two months.  In the future when I type in plus size running clothes will his page pop up?  In the meantime, I’ll go ahead and share his info….let’s hope that he doesn’t let us down.

http://www.runchicago.com/home/index.php

I like ice cream, but I like my husband more

To reiterate what my intention for this blog is….to share with others, my journey in the health at every size revolution.  I choose to call it that, because I believe I am standing out against the grain and am participating in something that might make a difference for others. 

A Revolution is:

1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.
2. Sociology. a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, esp. one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence (on this point, let’s hope not). 
3. a sudden, complete or marked change in something: the present revolution in body size 

Yes, I think I picked the right word. 

That said, I had what I consider a bit of a breakthrough this week.  One of the many things I “work on” every day is to consider the emotions associated with food outside of hunger.  Mouth hunger is what it is called, though I believe that is a little misleading, because sometimes I eat when neither my mouth or stomach are hungry.  I am getting pretty good at figuring out what I am actually hungry for and identifying when I am not hungry but still eat.  I mean, I will sit there with a bag of nuts or chips and tell myself that I am not hungry, I am bored, and still continue to eat.  That is okay though.  I am not supposed to pass judgement on myself at this point in the process….and I hope ever. 

So, here I am talking to my therapist about how I am really getting pretty good creating the right food matches for when I am hungry.  Eating out of hunger.  Where I struggle is with the ice cream.  I mean come on.  We have this great Gelato place down the road that we go to…the bacci is so good.  I begin to explain the ritual that I go through with  my husband when we go out for gelato.  Well…we put the kids to bed, or sometimes the mother in law does that for us and we head out of the house for gelato.  As my very clever therapist sits there eyeballing me with the look of “duh” another piece of the puzzle goes into place in my brain.  Here we both are, very active people just trying to get our shit done.  We barely have three minutes of alone time and I wouldn’t call any conversation we have at home a connection.  When we actually get out of the house, away from it all, we are able to connect on a deeper level.  I KNOW I am a BRAIN surgeon here.  But really, what I am doing to myself is going to eat gelato so that I can talk to my husband. 

Case and point, this week, we couldn’t get away.  I put our son to bed and my husband came home with my very favorite gelato.  When he showed me the brown bag filled with gelato, I actually felt myself getting a little irritated and couldn’t figure out why.  I sit down to eat the gelato while he lays on the sofa watching TV.  I decide to just put the gelato back in the freezer and go to bed.  

After I have this revelation in my revolution, I decide to talk to my husband about my new found wisdom.  Don’t think that I am all of the sudden blaming this lack of communication with hubby for the reason I overeat….that isn’t it.   What I did see is that I really do eat out of emotion….every day.  If I spend a little more time thinking about why, maybe I won’t substitute food for something like communication. 

While the gelato actually might have helped me get to my husband.  It isn’t going to replace him and it certainly isn’t going to talk to me. 

Fat girls can’t wear pumps.

Have you ever played the game Apples to Apples?  Well, around the family game table at Christmas our family was playing.  The premise is this, you get a “hand” of 6 or so cards with something written on it.  It can be noun or verb.  I don’t think adjectives or adverbs…..anyway.  From the six you have to choose the best card–the one card that the person who is “it” would like.  

While I don’t remember the actual cards that were on the table that night, they were something like this:

 barf bag,  high heel shoes, pantyhose, and Hummers

I put the cards into the following order starting with the things I like: 

high heel shoes

pantyhose

barf bag

hummers

So my sister starts challenging the order of the cards, she is thinking I misunderstood or made a mistake.  Like, I should love barf bags more than high heels, or hummers for goodness sake.  My other sister starts defending my love of a little height in the shoe.  She knows I enjoy some lift on occasion.  I was curious about my one sister’s reaction.   At first, I thought it wasn’t okay for anyone to wear pumps, like she is a pump racist or something.  But as the conversation continued, I realized that she feels  “normal size” people can wear them, but it isn’t okay for any fat girl to wear pumps. 

It reminds me of what the goddesses of fat fashion say about dress buying.  (click there cause her talk of hiding the fatty bits here and there will make you laugh.)

I am so confused about this philosophy of “you are too big to wear ______”.  Okay, so I choose not to wear a mini skirt and bikini top to work.  But a pair of shoes?  How are shoes too flashy for the fat girl?  I have nice biker girl legs, I feel taller in them which gives me very good posture (of course I often fear walking on any newly polished surface, but that is another issue)  Frankly, I can’t wear Birkenstocks and Keens every day to work.  I try to be a professional some of the time and come on, slacks and Keens aren’t business attire.

I thought I would put it out there as a topic for discussion, and even let the sister know I have this blog so she can speak for herself.   Comments welcome  wanted.