Fighting the Fatosphere: Some Thoughts on the Struggle

[This posting is brought to you in part by Getting Your Head Inside The Game. I’ve been having trouble doing that for the last couple weeks, and saw a feature in the NYT a couple days back that made me think about my motivations with weight loss again. Christmas was a huge fucking hiccup, and getting back into swing has been far harder than I expected, but this week has been instrumental, and I’m now finally in the headspace to get the game back on. Here’s some thoughts on that.]

I’ve been really torn of late. On the one hand, I’m trying to get myself back into the mindset where I’m ready to take on a broad spectrum of healthy new foods and activity. On the other, I’m trying to remind myself that I have to love myself for who I am along my whole path — before the changes occur, while they’re happening, and after it’s achieved.

Much easier than said, on both counts. Then there’s another area, where feeling “torn” starts to come in, and it’s complicating things. I feel like I’m letting da fat girls down by becoming one of those “must lose weight, feel better” parrots they often feel are taking over the world, who seem to have it in for ’em.

I was always one of those who glared at the skinny types who eat so perfectly, or the sexy beast of a man who orders an egg white omelette. I always sort of felt they were taking it over the top. I always thought they had to be joking with the portion sizes listed on boxes. It’s only been in this reeducation of Steff process that I’m realizing, uh, no, skinny people really do have to eat that well to stay in shape, and, yeah, I’m going to need to match it if I’m going to be in that kind of shape, too.

This learning about how my bike runs, too, the mechanics? That’s been somewhat helpful in the eating-right mindset making, too. Know why? I’m starting to realize that I never think of my body as a machine, and it might be an obvious thought to healthy-skinny people, but it’s illuminating to me. Cause-and-effect has never been so prevalent in my thinking as it’s becoming now. Cool.

As a ‘fat girl’ myself, when I read articles like this in The Times, I start to remember how I used to always think I was eating healthy and exercising. I told myself I was trying really hard, so why wasn’t it working? Well, I was doing it wrong, and I wasn’t doing near enough. And I no longer believe that some people are just “made” heavy. I now understand that weight loss is just science, and if you stick to the science, you will have success. I haven’t successfully stuck to the science a lot yet, but the little I have, the results have wowed me.

The more I learn about nutrition values and portions the more I’m amazed at how little I really knew. These people saying what I was always saying, “I want to lose weight but I hate counting calories”, need to realize that the ONLY way to lose weight is by counting calories. It’s math, man. That’s weightloss summed up in one simple word: Math. Don’t want to count calories? Enjoy your weight, then, because I’ve discovered it’s the only way it works. You don’t need no fads, no trends. You just need to count. Add. That’s it.

Here’s the thing. I don’t want anyone feeling horrible about their body image when they’re reading about my struggles to change my own. Do whatever it takes to make you feel happy, all right? But don’t kid yourself, is all I’m saying. Don’t be too hard on yourself, either. Just be honest and accept YOUR truth, don’t fight it, and let it lead you on a new journey.

There are women who are truly happy with their heavy bodies, who feel like sexy kittens, and I hope to god they stay feeling that way always. For the rest of us, though, who have health issues, or who don’t feel 100% about who we are the way we look, the status quo needs to change.

I don’t want to stay fat and tell myself I’m happy with myself this size anymore. I want to be that chick who’d do wild road trips, who lived in the Yukon, who took chances (who did ’em all while being fat). And then I want to ramp her up into the chick I always thought I had inside: adventure girl who stares death in the face and snickers at it. That girl needs to be fit. Does she need to be 127 pounds? No. But she needs to be able to kick some ass on a mountain bike, she needs to eat healthy to have the energy to live a fuller life day by day.

I wanna be that chick that beats guys in races on my mountain bike. I want to snicker with derision as I leave them choking on my dust, because that’s fun, because I’m competitive, because it’s about fucking time.

This isn’t about fitting anyone else’s perceptions of where I need to be, it’s about actualizing something inside of myself and making it my new priority, I guess.

I guess my point is this: I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about themselves. I want to empower them. I want people to ask themselves if they’re happy with who they are because they’re doing their best, or if it’s just an easier path of less resistance.

Because change is hard. I’m still wavering and having to talk myself into the game some days. I’m scared. I’m scared of failing at my attempts to become a better me. I’m scared of achieving it and becoming that person, and then having to live up to it every single day. I’m scared of not having excuses anymore. All of this scares the hell out of me. BECAUSE it scares me so much, I know it’s what I have to do. Does that make any sense? Did I mention I’m fucking terrified? Right, yeah. That.

So, I gotta do it. If I’ve made it tougher for some overweight woman out there to tell herself she’s happy just the way she is, I’m sorry. But if I’ve made her wonder if she, too, can have more in life, then I hope I’ll have her answering a hearty “yes” to that before long.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled granola. Have a fucking awesome weekend, people. Drink something for me.

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