Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Keeping the Weight

I have a friend, Morgan, who is all by charts considered morbidly obese. She’s written about it successfully and continues to write and blog.

I met Morgan years ago after she had lost 190 pounds (half her weight) and had written a book about the weight loss. She was speaking at a workshop I attended, and we’ve been pen pals ever since. Morgan received some acclaim for her significant weight loss and book – she made television appearances and was interviewed by Oprah Magazine, etc.

Fast forward 10 years and Morgan has gained back all the weight. And she’s decided to live with it – this is who she is, and she’s not going to put off living just because she’s fat. For years, her life has been about trying to lose weight. She hasn’t lost weight, and she’s done fighting.

I respect that decision - She feels, though, that she has to mourn some things she may never know again – breathing easily up and down the stairs, male attention, easy, attractive, comfortable clothes, comfortable seating on busses and airplanes………..and so many other aspects of life which are simply more difficult to navigate with extra weight.

I also respect plus-size super model, Tess Holliday, who is 5’5 and weighs 280 pounds.  In fact, she probably weighs more now, as she’s pregnant. Holliday is everywhere, even gracing the cover of People magazine,  and is extraordinarily popular. If you follow her social media postings, she seems truly happy and comfortable and confident.

This is what she posted on social media today, “I would have only been so lucky being a teenage girl seeing women embrace their bodies of all shapes, of all sizes, and realizing I didn’t have to be ashamed of mine. It’s this message of saying, ‘This is our body and we’re not ashamed and it’s okay for you to love your body.’”

I agree a million percent and I love her message, yet I still wonder if she can truly be that comfortable and thrilled at her current weight.  I hope it doesn’t sound judgmental. I just know that when I, at 5’6, weighed 180 pounds, I was physically miserable. My stomach rolls hurt when I sat. My thighs chafed together and left deep red marks on my legs. Perhaps the worst were bras – I have big and very pendulous breasts even when thin. At 180, my huge saggy boobs dragged down every bra, which left deep deep deep and painful marks on my shoulders. Every time I start to gain weight these days my first thought, “nooooo, I can go back to excruciating bras”.

My period cramps, bad to begin with, were worse.  I couldn’t find comfortable clothes and basically wore mummus. I got purple stretch marks all over.

Being overweight just hurt physically. If I had weighed 100 pounds more than I did, as Tess Holiday does, I think it would be truly uncomfortable. God bless her for loving her body where it is.

I know this post wanders through different idea, but they were both on my mind and have been for a while.

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