Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fat Bigot

The title of today's little foray into my "life is good, no it's not", conflicted mind, I am not talking about a bigot that is fat. I am talking about all the bigots out there that have biases, intolerance, and pure disgust for people that are fat.

Weight issues are the BIG daddy of all my conflicted theories.

I have been firmly planted on both sides of the fence in regards to being overweight.
In yesterday's blog post, I was talking about things that offend people (or not) and I can't think of anything that pushes people's hot buttons more that discussions of body size.

A little background to get the ball rolling....In the past (say 15 years ago or so) I put on some weight. I really have no idea how much as I decided denial was the first way to fight it. I simply quit weighing myself. That worked out pretty well for a while. We were living in Nebraska (that period is 4 homes,3 moves ago, for those keeping track) when the pounds starting accumulating.

Before all you Nebraskans out there take offense at the NE to fat correlation, let me tell you up front that I really liked living in Nebraska BUT...it turned out I started living my life from a very "comfort" oriented point of view and all ideas of staying fit went by the (Nebraskan) wayside. Our dear friends also were eating all the comfortable homey goodies. I was fitting into the granny looking, cookie making, pie baking, environment nicely. The big flaw with looking like someone's rotund little cookie making grandma is that my two kids were barely college age at that point. I was not to be a grandma for another 16 years. Another ex-Nebraskan, had her own interesting theory.  She said she thinks that there is a subliminal need to pack on layers of fat (much akin to a bear getting ready to hibernate) to survive the winters there.  As soon as she moved south, she too took off a whole lotta layers of fat. Her theory not mine but it fits.  HMMM what should we call that theory???  How about the Hefty Husker Theory.  To be fair we should also have the Dakotas' Dowdy Theory or the Wisconsin Packer-onners Theory and given enough time to think about other cold places, I am sure there are other theories to be formulated.

Our home was situated in a community that had a private restaurant called the Saddle Club. The Saddle Club had themes to each night's meals. There were Italian Nights, Mexican Fiesta Night, Texas BBQ, and hundreds of other creative food themed meals. I can't tell you all of them as I was way too busy eating to notice.

As we made our way through the various foody themes, we made great friends. Really great friends!!! With great friends we started having our own little get togethers which all revolved around food.  Turns out you just can't have to many pot luck suppers. 

One of the most notable was once a month, hubby and I would have an adult slumber party. (you with the dirty minds out there...we are talking G rated slumber parties) We would pick a movie and a matching meal. One example is we had the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" Our meal had among other things, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cream gravy, lemon meringue pie, and the fried green tomatoes.

We ate, we watched movies, and anyone that was tired was welcome to spend the night. (Everyone brought their sleeping bags or pillows and blankets in the event they chose to stay). The bonus of staying would mean they could stick around for more eating in the morning.

Sooo, after 6 years of eating my time away in Nebraska, I had packed on a lot of weight. I do know that I was 10 dress sizes bigger then than I am today. Not sure what that is in pounds but it is a LOT.

Here are a few facts, I know.

1. On my body fat looks bad. I see attractive people all the time that probably weigh at least the same or more than I have weighed and they look fine. I did not. No matter how nice of clothes I bought, nothing fit nicely. I was uncomfortable. My blood pressure went up.  A slogan that applies to my situation..You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig.  For me this could be words to live by.

2. When I got fat, my self esteem went down. I was disgusted with myself and my lack of willpower.

3. I learned a lot about myself and I learned a lot about tolerance and lack thereof.

It turns out, (some) people treat others differently depending on body image. I noticed a very obvious difference in how people related to me depending on my size. Of course, this depends on the size of the person you are dealing with. Fat people treat other fat people in one way, thin people in another. AND VICE VERSA  Some thin people treat fat people like a whore at a church picnic.

 Funny, now that I am my thin self, I am HYPER- aware of all  the nasty comments being made behind fat peoples backs. Well, actually it isn't always behind their target's back.  RUDE and HURTFUL. 

By the time we moved to Texas (refer to post about the "Didn't know it could get that HOT") I had to lose the weight or lose my mind.

Here's the thing. I know how to eat right. I had gained and lost smaller amounts of weight prior to my fat period. With all the voracious reading I do, I have read 100's of books about proper nutrition. I totally KNOW about healthy eating. I had to start actually putting into practice all this knowledge.

Oh, yeah, the other component, EXERCISE. UGH. Kill me now!!!! I was probably 90 pounds overweight (again, not sure) and it was 110 degrees. SHIT!!!! I was miserable. The good news is, once I started eating correctly like real people are supposed to do, I dropped weight pretty quickly.

Six months or so later, when I actually waddled onto a scale, I figured out that I had about 40 some pound left to go. As luck would have it I met Texas pal and we have walked nearly every morning together since March of 1999.

Additional things I know...

1. I don't mind exercise anymore. I walk every morning. I joined a gym and get there 3 times a week without fail. I meet with a trainer from time to time to go over where I am and where I need to be.

2. I feel better being thin. Not just physically but emotionally.

3. And the thing I am most sure of, is that there is some serious discrimination and bigotry against fat people.

Looking at this subject from the Good Cop, Bad Cop mentality. I hate to see the sneering, jeering behavior that makes people rude and insufferable in their treatment of an overweight person BUT I also, think any person carrying excess lbs. to the point it impacts their life negatively in any way, needs to take some personal responsibility.

First step....Get off your plump posterior and educated yourself. Read a book about nutrition. Don't starve yourself, just start eating correctly.

Second step....Start moving...Exercise is the key.

Third step...If you can't do first and second step on your own, get help.  Find a pal, a dietitian, a personal trainer, a gym or anyone else that can motivate you. Also, a visit to your doctor is a must. My doc wasn't too harsh with me but  the numbers weren't good on things like cholesterol and BP. (when the weight came off the numbers became impressive)

My first step in TX was to go to a local university that offered a free assessment and the use of a workout room that was so cheap that just about anybody could use it.  Because it was staffed by grad students as part of their course work in  phys ed, hiring a personal trainer also was dirt cheap.  Pilate classes were free. (GREAT PRICE=FREE)

Since this blog is all about my conflicts and observations in life, I am including this topic. For a lot of years, I continue to try to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. I have relapses and have to start again. Never ending battle....

The Good....Feeling proud of yourself for moving in the right direction.  Setting a goal and working toward that goal is really rewarding.

The Bad....Rude people that treat others badly.  Why do the narcissistic personalities out there seem to think they are better than anyone else???    Remember my mind game "Bus Headed for a Cliff".  Some of these rude asses are on board.  On a future post I will discuss the folks that have earned a permanent bus pass.

The Weird---An observation of mine!!!!  The RUDER THAN RUDE person seems to always be the one that seems to have the biggest most obvious flaws.  In my opinion, we can all have opinions regarding other people but we still should  be civil to each other. (at least in person, you can always have an imaginary bus)

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