health at every size

I’m still fat–back to the root of it all

I shared the blog a few days ago with a colleague.  She was so down and out about life and weight and her doctor….I remembered myself from a few years ago.  Scared to go to the doctor, scared to not diet.  I know the statistics, I read about them every day in the mainstream media.  Next to the gulf oil spill, the fat epidemic is the hottest news story out there.  “HOW BIG IS YOUR FAT?”  “HOW THICK IS YOUR NECK” “FAT PEOPLE ARE SUPER SUPER UNHEALTHY”

I’ll not spend too much time talking about this issue.  Anyone who knows me or comes here to read knows that I am over the fat frenzy.  The diet talk and calorie counting makes me sleep.  But I understand, there are those out there who have yet to read about the benefits of Health at Every Size.  For that reason, I repost.  Here are some links.  There are tons out there.  Just look around for it.  Here are the links:

A study done by the USDA…very interesting.

  • Health at Every Size–Linda Bacon’s Page

  • Health at Every Size: Toward a New Paradigm of Weight and Healtharticlet on Medscape

  • Remember the mantra……………………………….

    And remember the mantra:

    • I am not what I eat…I’m what I do and what I say.
    • I am not how much I weigh or how much I’ve gained or how much I’ve lost.
    • Changing my shape and size isn’t going to make me happy, however, may make me poor, as I will have to buy new clothes.
    • Having happy thoughts about me, you and the world will make me a better person.
    • I respectfully decline to discuss your size, my size, her size or his size in any way…unless it makes you or me laugh and isn’t hurtful to anyone.
    • I will eat what I want, and move on—slowly or quickly depends on what I ate.
    • Being healthy doesn’t mean being thin.  Being fat doesn’t mean unhealthy.
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    Some people hate fat people

    No, not me, but I got my first hate post this week and it disturbed me.  From the violent tone to the assumptions the writer made about me.  I have been fortunate thus far to only come across positive and supportive words by the readers out there.  I guess though, that this is a reminder that “blogging” is public.  Freedom of speech is just that and I’ll just have to accept it.  In the meantime, I continue the blog with a bit of caution. 

    Words can hurt.

    Slow ass tri girl finishes triathlon at a snail’s pace

    So, did I tell you that Accenture was this weekend?  Yeah, big race, the golden one for many a triathlete. For me this was supposed to be the year for the Olympic distance, or the “Oly” as some would call it. I, on the other hand, just couldn’t muster the strength, dedication, interest or stamina to really drive it all home. So, I decided to go ahead and do the sprint instead. I can’t tell you how liberating this was. Perhaps a little too liberating, because my fitness level the day of the event left a tad to be desired. However, I was determined to have a great time.

    Woke up at the same before the crack of the crack of the butt of dawn and loaded up the ford blue van with 3 of my closest friends. We convoyed downtown to meet the packs and droves of insane people on bikes carrying large backpacks and wearing alien helmets. Transition was fun. I was next to this lady named Sandy who I swear, had more makeup on than I have seen on most models. I even mentioned I trained in less time than it took her to apply her mascara. Regardless, friends were made, laughs had. I had dilemma though. My start time was about 7:15 a.m. and I had to put on the wetsuit. See my previous explanations and adventures of trying on the wetsuit to understand why I may not want to do this in public let alone in a port-o-potty. At around 6:30 though, I had no choice. I put it on and immediately began to dehydrate because of the vast pools of sweat dripping from my face.

    Swim start….I am chatting away to anyone who will listen so that I am taken aback when the actual horn goes off. I had no idea it would be that fast. I begin to try to develop some sort of rhythm to no avail because I am being kicked, pulled, yanked and otherwise beaten in the water. I also believe I ran over someone doing backstroke (sorry). Finally though, I am out of the water which is great for me. I search for my shoes which are under the crunch sign and see my girlfriend Kitty who I begin to have a conversation with…right there. We chat for a couple of minutes before I remember that this is a RACE. I proceed to hobble to the bike transition.

    No amount of strength or flexibility will get me out of the wetsuit. I am like a turtle on my back, feet raised trying to get the sucker off of my ankles. Finally people stop to ask if I need help. I must have looked like I needed some medical attention. But, I prevail and walk (can I say that again WALK to the bike exit) I take my time getting on the bike and take off. The bike itself was uneventful. I couldn’t really get any speed worth mentioning, but there were some nice looking bikes along the way. Once off the bike I walk….yes, walk to the rack and change shoes, take off helmet, put on hat, do my hair (wait, I have none) Finally, I am off again. I get out on the run course and realize I still have my bike gloves on. Silly me, so I have to carry them with me.

    I hated the run, every bit of it. I walked a lot of it and just smiled when I remembered I wasn’t doing the “Oly”!! Toward the end of the race I see a woman in front of me, she is struggling to get through this, but is giving it her all. I follow her for quite some time until we are within a 1/4 mile of the finish line. At that point I see her start to walk. I shout “Don’t you dare start walking now woman…I have followed you this far, you had better pick it up!!” So she starts running again. We sort of laugh together, the crowd starts to cheer us on because I am cheering her on Man oh Man what a RUSH!! We cross the finish line arm in arm in the actual victory pose. Hip Hip Hooray!!!!! All of the sudden a voice comes over the loudspeaker “Ladies, you have not crossed the finish line yet!!!!” We burst out laughing finish the race with a hop and smile.

    She told me I made her race, that she wouldn’t have been able to do it without me. Now, I know that isn’t true, but it really was a nice thing to hear.

    I had my slowest times ever in this race. I am not going to deny that in the negative area of my brain, that horrible place, I can feel bad about it. But mostly, I had a great time. I laughed and cried when two of my closest friends crossed the “Oly” finish line. I am so proud of them.

    And you know what, even if I was the slowest of the slow….I am proud of me too!!

    Great Job Terry from Naperville….whoever you are. 

    p.s.  If you’d like to see a 30 second video of this finish….let me know….it is priceless.

     UPDATE TO ORIGINAL POST

    En route to the lake for a morning swim today, my girls commented about how they couldn’t believe I put on my wetsuit in the port-o- potty.  I apologize for not being clearer.  In no way did I change in the poop chamber.  I  stood on a grassy knoll in front of thousands of people and wiggled and stretched my way into the wetsuit I lovingly call Michelin. 

    p.s. we found no parking at the lake so in dedicated athlete fashion, we went to breakfast instead.

    Short Fat Girl gets short short hair

    I have wanted short hair for a long time now.  Very short hair.  Last week, a girlfriend told me she had seen a woman at the pool with my build (aka fat) and my face (aka round and full moonish) with a short little boy haircut and it looked awesome.  I was so excited to hear this.  You see, I am of the “you can’t have short hair if you are fat” generation.  I don’t know if our mothers told us that, our peers, our hairdressers or who, but I felt inspired.  The next day, I did some research online about fat girls with short haircuts.  I found a few blogs, some web pages for weight loss….interesting how that always seems to pop up when I type fat……and I finally found this entry on the Shapely Prose (lol your fat)blog.  She struggles to find a person who will cut her hair and not give her grief.  Check out her head gals…she rocks.  So, I drum up all of my strength and make an appointment at a local salon.  I am completely prepared to go tete a tete with anyone who might comment on my size vs. the size of my hair.  I mean, how much of my fat does my hair really cover up anyway? 

    I go to the salon armed with a printout of the entire blog about her haircut, plus her photo.   Leo washes my hair and asks what I want to do with my hair today.  I tell him I want to cut it all off.  Leo proceeds to tell me how great I am going to look with short hair.  That my hair is going to be like art.  Then, he puts his hands around his head, like they are earmuffs and says….”What do you think this is doing for you anyway?”  He is referring to the curls that bush from my head. 

    Since I got the haircut about a million compliments.  Only three “negatives”.  I think people are confused about who I am with this new do!!!  I’ll post a photo tonight. 

    Till then.  Call me pixie!!!

    This is my short fat haircut

    This is my short fat haircut

    Self acceptance tricks….

    REVOLUTION UNDERWAY

    This has been an unbelievable experience.  I can’t tell you how great it is to know I am not in this game of self blah-ness alone.  Check this out,  first, I am getting tons of feedback from athletes of all sizes who are interested in getting workout clothes.  I keep forwarding our news onto the owner of Run Chicago.  When he tells me the clothes are there, let’s plan to storm the store.  

    Second, I had a conversation with my girlfriends this weekend about this whole idea of self acceptance.  One is the same girl I mention in an earlier post.  A point I was pursuing is this….this ever unreachable goal thing.  Saying, if I could only lose weight, I’ll be happier.  (you know what I am talking about)  I asked them flat out if they knew of anyone who made a change like losing weight and actually said they felt better about themselves.  Nope, not one.  The changes that make us feel better are the changes we make about the way we feel about ourselves today.  I am on the path, but I at least can see it this time, like the Brady kids in the Hawaiian cave, I can see the path.  Self acceptance is exactly that.  We have to do it ourselves.  I have started a little internal battle that I believe the side of the light is going to win. 

    Here it is….”SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  That’s right, “SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Every time a negative thought enters my brain about myself (others are still fair game, I need to continue to be snide) I tell myself to shut up.  I have been working on this all week.  It isn’t easy, but I seem to be saying it a little less frequently than I was last week at this time.  Give it a try, you might be surprised how often you knock yourself down.

    Success vs. Good Enough….can they be the same?

    I was out for coffee a few days back when I overheard a friend of mine taking about how she doesn’t feel good about herself.  I was astounded.  I mean, this chick has it all, a great home, a great job, a great life partner, a great sense of humor, a great family, she is fit and fabulous and here she is, in the flesh talking to ME (the president of Not Good Enough Land) about her own self image.  This is universal isn’t it?  It isn’t just me, it isn’t just you, it’s a lot of women and men out there filled with self doubt.  My issues go like this…..   

    I am not a good enough mother, wife, swimmer, runner, biker or friend.  My body is not good enough. 

    When I read the list of these things, pretty much every in every aspect of my life I don’t feel good enough at and that scares the shit out of me.  Do I seriously need to improve upon every single aspect of my being or am I so used to saying it, it has become an automatic way to think about myself?  For example, I put in the list I am not a good enough friend.  Okay, so what does that mean, did some girlfriend tell me that?  No!!!  What is a good enough friend?  Who holds the yardstick on that one?    What is a good size?  I arbitrarily tell myself that the magic number is size 16.  Well, wake up and smell the poop, I used to be a size 16 and I STILL didn’t think I was good enough.  I STILL needed to be smaller…not good enough.

    I was given the yard stick of good enough but the words “good enough” were never actually written on the wood.  When I ask the question of myself, what does a good enough mother look like, I can’t wrap my arms around what that is…I just feel that I am not good enough.  I don’t know if defining good enough is something that we are supposed to stumble upon through life, or if it is something shown to us by our parents.  Either way, no one has ever said to me…”now that, that thing over there, is success.” 

    So, this is my personal question to you.  Are you good enough?  Are there aspects of your life that you feel like you are successful in, are there areas that you too are challenged thinking you aren’t good enough. 

    Tell me about you, I am dying to know.

    Fat girl buys wetsuit

    I call the dressing room the Satan’s Den of Despair.  I asked for a barf bag because my nerves were shot.  After about 15 minutes of pain, I got it on.  It is a Mens XL …but it fit….I feel a little like something shrink wrapped, but….I got it.  I told the owner how difficult it is for someone my short fat size to come into a store like his and see nothing obvious that fits except a sweatband.  He seemed to “hear” what I was talking about.  He also assured me that EVERYONE feels uncomfortable trying to put on a wetsuit.

    I guess the lesson learned here for me is not to jump to conclusions.  Sometimes, even in the most unimaginable places, things might actually fit. 

    The intended owner had a penis, but I have BALLS!!!

     

    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.

    Letter to my size friendly doctor

    I sat down with my counselor a few weeks ago struggling with the idea that I really need to get into my doctor’s office for a physical.  The last time I was there I was down 15 pounds from the previous visit, but still had higher than desired blood pressure.  On top of that, I believe I have actually put some weight on since then.  My counselor sort of put me in check by stating the obvious contradiction….I need to get to the office to check on the status of my health, but I won’t go to the office because I am afraid I am not healthy enough.  Of course after thinking about this, I realize the absurdity of it all.  So, armed with some encouragement from her and a damn good sample of a letter to a doctor from Hanne Blank I was armed with tools to write the following letter:

    I have been doing a lot of personal growth work lately…not to sound too Oprahish. I continue to work out 5 – 6 times a week, I completed 2 triathlons last summer, this summer I am registered for two more and perhaps a mini marathon by the years end. However, I am about 4 months overdue on my annual physical. It is baggage that I have been carrying with me for a while now. The reason I have delayed the appointment month after month is my concern that I have not lost enough weight to actually put a dent in my blood pressure levels. In fact, the reason I can’t muster the courage to come into your office is because I am still fat and I don’t want to discuss my weight.

    In February I decided I needed to talk to someone about my issues with eating. I have been seeing a counselor at the Family Institute for a few months now who has me questioning a lot about health, weight and food. She has introduced me to a movement called Health at Every Size. It is an approach to health that focuses on intuitive eating and physical activity rather than dieting or weight loss. That said, I need to come in for an appointment, to get a general check up and to get some blood work done for sugars, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Before I make my appointment though, I wanted to say that I prefer NOT to be weighed when I come into the office. I spent most of my childhood and teenaged years completely focused on my weight. I had to be weighed weekly and was punished when I didn’t lose enough weight in a given timeframe. The whole weigh in experience is traumatic, very depressing and I feel like crap for weeks afterward. If there is a pressing medical reason that I should be weighed, please talk to me about it….

    I‘d like to hear what you think about this. You motivated me to quit smoking…now I’d like to have you as partner in my quest for self acceptance, increased physical activity and normalized eating (without dieting).

    So, stay tuned for the response from the doctor….

    How would you have handled this?

    Do you have any resources with lists of doctors who are size friendly??