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.
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??
I am new to blogging. I feel compelled to share these feelings and thoughts. I didn’t know if anyone would actually read what I am writing. I am completely pleased to see that there are actually people who read what I wrote. Thank you thank you. Not only that, but posed some really interesting questions…some that I am dealing with at different times as well.
Is this movement a “thinly veiled diet”? I hope not, but will enjoy the thinking this comment inspires.
I want to be happy with my body/myself as I am right now. What I am in the future, is irrelevant. Therefore weight loss…or god forbid weight gain is a non issue.
It is about my struggles with self loathing. It is about the struggle to be better, but never defining better so consistently “failing”.
It is about the revolution of not doubting my own worth based on how much weight I lose.
I started to struggle to come up with phrases that would help me when challenged about my reversal of dieting culture. I often came up speechless when someone would comment on another person’s weight, what they ate and how much of it in a day, how many pants sizes they had dropped. I had to come up with some one liners to lead me through the responses. This became my mantra.
I am not how much I weigh or how much I’ve gained or how much I’ve lost.
I am not what I eat…I’m what I do and what I say.
Changing my shape and size isn’t going to make me happy
Changing the way I feel about my body/myself will.
I respectfully decline to discuss your size, my size, her size or his size in any way.
I will eat what I want, and move on.
I swim, bike, or run every day…being healthy doesn’t mean being thin.
I embrace my body as a part of me.
How do you respond comments about your weight or other’s weight? Why do people think it is acceptable?