Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Smile, pretty

Last night, I went to pick up Chinese takeout. I heard the guy in front of me leeringly tell the girl behind the counter that she had a beautiful smile. She looked uncomfortable and said, “I guess the braces worked.” He didn’t want to leave. I kind of pushed him aside. The cashier looked relieved.

Let’s look at this interaction more closely. She is 18, tall, blonde and beautiful. He looked to be about 50, with bad skin, beady eyes and mild body odor.

And yet, like most men, he truly THOUGHT HE HAD A CHANCE!

After the guy left, the lovely young cashier told me she gets hit on all the time.  She said, “I wish, for once, guys would just come in and get their food”.

What is it with men? First of all, she’s pretty much a child.  Second, she’s really, really pretty – pretty much out of most guys league.

After I left the Chinese restaurant, I went to the drugstore. The pharmacy tech was young, very handsome and very sweet. He made me feel very old.  It didn’t occur to me to tell him he had a beautiful smile, nice hands, great hair………

What is it with men?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Residual Effects of Fat Shaming

In my last post, I talked about fat shaming. I sure got a lot of it when I weighed 80 pounds more than I do now. Everyone had an opinion on what I should or shouldn’t eat. No one seemed to have any inhibition about sharing those opinions either.

My life turned on shame and guilt about my body size and what I ate. Eventually, I stopped eating, hoping to get skinny and to get the great life I assumed would be mine. I’d have a terrific boyfriend, a wonderful career, great friendships and an easy life. Instead, I found anorexia, bulimia, alcoholism and drug addiction.

What if I’d been left alone about my weight? Who knows?

I’ve come a long, long way and consider myself pretty healthy today and very pleased with my relationship with food. I truly see it as fuel. The obsession is gone, and I get to live a full life.
There’s one niggling little issue tho. When I weighed more, I believed fully that I was unlovable. I was sure no man would want me -- I didn’t even go on my first date until I was 36 and finally thin.

I’ve been thin a long time now, but with age, I’ve been gaining some weight. I still have my free and easy relationship with food, and I’m not eating any differently – but my hormones sure are changing. Even my friends who have always been naturally thin have picked up weight in their 50s.  It’s normal, and I have decide whether to eat less and/or exercise more OR deal with the extra pounds. Not a big deal.

I know it’s fine. I know I’m fine BUT, that old, “will he still love me….?,” starts to creep in. Which is ridiculous, as the guy I date couldn’t care less about what I weigh. He doesn’t even notice AND my weight gain has certainly not dulled his passion!

Old beliefs die hard.  Yet, they’re worth losing, once and for all.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Okay to Fat Shame?

I was at a bridal shower where everyone got smashingly drunk. The bridal party arrived at noon and, by all accounts, left the restaurant at 9:30 or so.

Everyone laughed and giggled as nearly every woman in attendance got blastered. 

Not a peep of disapproval was heard, BUT when one of the bridesmaids – a very heavy woman – ate a cupcake, her cousin leaned over and said, “are you sure you really want that?”   Her mom nodded, adding, “have some fruit, Eva”.  Everyone nodded.

Why is it okay to be sloppy drunk , no matter who you are, but not okay to eat a cupcake if you’re not thin?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"You've Lost Weight!"

Is it a compliment to tell someone they look like they've lost weight? Such a loaded question for me. I try so hard to remind myself constantly that weight doesn't matter, but old habits die hard. "You lost weight!", is still a knee jerk commit, and I always assume it's a huge compliment. I've even said it when it didn't look like the person had lost weight - I just thought it was a great thing to say!

Of course, who even knows why someone lost the weight. Are they ill? Are they going through an unhappy time?

And the ultimate question - why have I always thought that weight loss is such a great thing anyway?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Does Weight Loss have Moral Value?

I didn't have a chance to eat much yesterday. When I woke up this morning, I felt light.

The first thing I did was commend myself for being good yesterday.

Then I caught myself. After all these years, do I still equate weight loss with "being good". A low calorie day has moral value?

The fact is - two days ago, I did much more real good. I went to church, worked with sponsees, spoke at an AA meeting, and spent the afternoon with  a friend who's having a tough time. And i had a big dinner. No commendation here, lol

Yesterday, i slept late, lounged around my brother's pool, read all day, took a nap and then watched TV. 

And yet it was yesterday that got the gold star.

This crap is really embedded. Time to get rid of it!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Fat and Shame

“I don’t want to be the fat girl who doesn’t eat”, said my friend, Denise, who was about to attend a dessert party for her best friend’s b’day. Denise’s doctor had just told her she needed to lose 100 pounds and she needed to cut out sugar.

I’m not Denise. When I weighed 70 pounds more than I weigh now, I was the exact opposite. I didn’t want to be the fat girl seen eating cake! Most people would make some commenst, “Are you sure you want that?” “Do you think you really need that?”  (Funny, now that I’m thin and rarely eat cake, food is so often pushed on me!)

The shame of being fat and eating foods to keep me that way ran through me like DNA. Somehow I thought I had to apologize to the world for my weight, and in particular apologize to my normal-sized family. How embarrassed must my parents have been to introduce fat me as their daughter, I thought?

Here I stood with this family, my much older dad, so proudly the same weight as when drafted into World War 2. My mother, a dieting veteran, so vigilant about every mouthful and so disgusted by any weight gain of her own. And my two thin siblings, brother and sister, happily nerdy genius and popular cheerleader respectively.

And then me, the Fat Child.

I carried the shame of ‘fat” for many years. Running from fat became my reason for living. First came anorexia and then bulimia. I turned to alcohol, hoping that if I drank, I wouldn’t eat. Finally, my life became starving, drinking, binging and then throwing up all night. That was daily life, and I was so miserable that when someone offered me crack, I took it as the best form of relief I could imagine.

I did put them all down – first crack, then alcoholic, then sick food behaviors. I will say, though, that I was never actually ashamed of my alcoholism or drug addiction – I saw them as my acts of desperation. They made sense. I was never embarrassed by them, just very saddened by my wasted years and the pain I caused others.

But the food and the weight. Nothing BUT shame.



Monday, June 27, 2016

My Own Fat Prejudice - Ouch

There’s a picture of gorgeous plus-sized model Ashley Benson(she of the Sports Illustrated cover), wearing a very short dress and riding a bike.  She’s a beautiful women but (and?) her upper legs are covered with cellulite. Many applauded her for being comfortable looking like a “normal” woman and felt she looked great.

I am sad to say my first thought was, “why doesn’t she cover that ugly cellulite?”  And sort of nastily, I guess, “boy, those Sports Illustrated pictures must have been really retouched”, (note the italics!)

Also, I thought she looked too chunky to be wearing those bikinis, which I can hardly believe I’m confesssing. I don’t care if she wears them, actually, I just don’t think she looks very good.

Holy crap – would you listen to me!!! Where does my narrow, prejudiced fattist thinking come from?