seems i've always got something on the tip of my tongue.    ©

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fat or Phat, It's All that

Though I’m overweight, I tend to pride myself on the fact that I’m often a fairly athletic person. Of late, I have not been. My pride, too, has been ebbing away. It’s starting to come back, and so is some anger. I’m mad that I have been so neglectful of myself. Every now and then, I realize how little I seem to care for myself just by how I’m failing to exercise or eat well.

I may never be a thin girl. That’s entirely possible. It doesn’t mean I can’t try to get there.

What you probably do not know about me is that The Last Ditch, my other blog, was not my first. No. My first was called Beyond Fat Girl. Nowadays, I’m really pissed that I deleted the blog without backing any of it up. Think twice before you do some dumb shit like that. Today, I would be proud if it were up there. After all, I began that blog in an attempt to finally admit to myself that I had to do something about my weight. Since then, I’ve lost near 50 pounds.

I’m pretty vocal about the media’s attention to heroin-thin being some kind of beauty standard. I think that’s bullshit. I think life’s hard enough without setting unrealistic goals for thinness. There are skinny people out there, and good for them, but most people carry a few pounds extra. I say that’s just peachy. (I’ll write more on why fat is phat later this week, but today’s just a personal reality check. Stay tuned.)

But what I won’t get behind is the idea that morbid obesity is a good way to live. It’s not. It’s unhealthy. It’s unattractive. It’s just plain hard – mentally, spiritually, and physically. That’s not being prejudiced against fat people. That’s using common sense.

I’m fat. I’m overweight. I know it. No shit, Sherlock. But I don’t sit around stuffing my face 24/7 and I don’t eat fast food often and I don’t buy chips often and I don’t drink pop (not even diet pop). I’ve had three hamburgers this week and I think that’s the most I’ve had in a week since I was a kid. I don’t have cookies in my house, nor do I buy baked goods.

If you’re one of these fucking twits who thinks every fat person is some slob sitting on a sofa with a fist full of chips, then you’re a little too prone to stereotyping. Looking fat doesn’t necessarily mean being unfit.

I know exactly why I’m fat. I’m ignorant. I don’t know enough about nutrition. I know far more than I once did, but I could learn a little more. I’m also overweight because I was a profoundly ill child. I had medical tests every week and by the time I was 11, suspected I wouldn’t live to see 20, thanks to what was then a pretty serious kidney disease. I was always sick and physical activity was hard on me. I got excused a lot and honestly never learned to like any kind of activity until my 20s. And then there’s just fat genes.

I also know I can be pretty cute. I’m overweight, and I can and will get thinner, because I know I can improve on what I’m presently doing. Accepting myself as I am, though, is a delicate balance. I don’t loathe myself. I loathe the fact that I feel like a pudgy lazy oaf, but that’s because I’ve been inactive. 10 hours from now, I’ll be in a swimming pool and the proud new owner of a 6-month Fit Pass with the city. Normally, I can do a pretty decent bike ride. Probably the most ever was 65km in a day while packing 45lbs on the bike when I rode Vancouver Island a couple years back. Sometimes I hike, and so forth. And I’m strong, too. I’m good in the gym.

But if I only ever lose maybe another 3 or 4 inches (I’ve lost about six or so already) then I’ll be all right with that – as long as I know I’ve put my all into it, you know? Besides, my body’s a little cuter when I exercise, and I get this little shuffle in my step / ass, and that’s never a bad thing.

I had this bad moment earlier, though. I’ve been having neck and shoulder problems this week, so I’m all hunched over, plus I’ve not been exercising, plus my period’s around the corner, so I’m all bloated anyhow. Well, naturally, I was shopping and I took a sideways glance at myself. Boom, that was it. Self-esteem bottomed right out. “Fuck, man.” I decided then and there the pool was happening in the morning. Good lord, did I.

I think we’ve all had those “Holy shit, has my mirror at home been fucking lying to me or something?!” reality moments when shopping for clothes. It’s enough of a reality smack in the face to send you home early without any new clothes, huh? It’s the lighting. Bastards and their cheap-ass fluorescence.

The point is, it’s not about what you look like compared to others. Do you look better than you did? Do you do your best to look nice? Does it look like you have pride? Great. There you go. Comparing yourself to Brad Pitt or some heroin-tweaked runway goddess is probably not the sane way to go, y’know? Just sayin’.