Being fat is hard.
It's hard on your body, your mind, your emotions, and your health. Your self esteem can hit rock bottom, your emotions can take a dive into a never ending whirlpool. There will always be someone judging you because of your weight. Someone, somewhere, will always be ready with a rude or snarky comment about your weight and your appearance. Some of those people will do it under the guise of "just trying to help" when, in fact, they are doing more harm than good.
Being fat is hard.
Losing weight is hard.
It is also hard on your body, your mind and your emotions. Just stepping into a gym can be a real challenge to your pride and your courage. As an overweight person, it can be very disconcerting and overwhelming to see all those machines being used by a bunch of fit and trim gym bunnies when you have NO bloody idea what you're meant to be doing. New habits have to be learned, old habits scrapped. Exercise upped, food consumption lowered.
Losing weight is hard.
Losing weight is not nearly as hard when you have a good support system.
I've had a hard time losing weight anyway, but it was infinitely harder when I was trying to do it in secret. I frequently run into people who have said they don't want their friends, family, partners, children etc etc knowing that they attend Weight Watchers meetings. When I was doing the same thing, I totally understood. Now? It baffles me.
I'll tell you.
Weight management programs no longer have the same stigma attached. Celebrities the world over are promoting these programs in the hopes that you and I will sign up and use them. If Fergie, Kirstie Alley and Valerie Bertinelli can lose weight like that, in the VERY public eye, why can't we?
Personally I'm at the point where I would rather have every single person I know be aware of the fact that I am trying to lose weight, than wonder if I'm ever going to bother.
I'll tell you.
I can't do this without support. I tried. I failed. Miserably.
Secret Squirrel Slimming Scenario: Go out for dinner with friends, tell waitress you're going to order a salad. Friends look at you as if you've just grown a third head out of your nose and wonder aloud why you're not ordering the normal 6 course meal that you would have previously. You can't bring yourself to tell them that you're going to Weight Watchers and trying to be healthy and lose weight, so you backtrack on the salad and end up ordering garlic bread, steak and chips, mushrooms, dessert, and beer. At weigh in the next week, you've gained 2 kilos.
Satisfactorily Slimming with Support: Go to a BBQ at a friend's house and show up holding a beautiful garden salad and a fruit platter. Instead of wondering what demonic creature has taken over your body to prevent you bringing 5 kilos of sausages and a cheesecake, the friend thanks you, congratulates you on your efforts thus far, and brings you a cold glass of water.
I have invited just about every single person on my friend list to "Like" my Facebook Page. (you should too! plug plug!)
I have shared the link to this blog with all the people close to me and some not so close.
Both of those locations detail my efforts AND list my weight.
Am I embarrassed by my weight? HELL YES! Am I doing something about it? DAMN STRAIGHT!
But I have had nothing but support from the people in my life. And for that I'm grateful because it makes this soooo much easier.
I blog partly because someone out there might be inspired by me to do something about their weight and their health. I blog because it's nice to be accountable to more than just friends, family and Facebook. I blog because I need the support, and I like to provide it where I can.
Your support system is every bit as ESSENTIAL as your exercise routine and the food you eat. Let the people in your life know what is going on with you. Swallow your stupid pride and tell your partner that you have 20 / 50 / 70 kilos to lose. Suck it up and tell the people who love you that you NEED their support because you want to be healthy.
As for you all out there reading this?? Spanx have got nothing on you.
Thanks for all your support!!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Recently a picture has been circulating on Facebook that has provoked some very intense feelings in many people. It is a comparison of two very different body types, in two very different times. Some look at it and agree wholeheartedly with the attached caption, some partially agree but have other thoughts to add to it, and others are vehemently against the implied message.
I fall somewhere in there; perhaps a mix of all three.
I fall somewhere in there; perhaps a mix of all three.
I suppose that it would largely depend on who you are as to which camp you would fall into. Perhaps you are a person that really does prefer a woman on the very thin side. Maybe you're one who craves a little more meat on a woman.
What I'd like to address mostly is a comment which I've seen people post when they see this picture:
REAL women have curves!
Do they? Is there a rule book somewhere that dictates that the only way you can be considered a "real" woman is to have curves? I've not seen one, and I challenge anyone to show me such a thing. And if there is, what constitutes curves? Again, you have to rely pretty heavily on public opinion as to what curves are considered "proper" curves to make up the aforementioned "real" woman.
I used to be one of those people saying "Real women have curves". Every time someone skinny looked my way and commented, rudely or otherwise, I would bring out the old catchphrase as if it were a shield that could protect me against the world.
I used to be quite comfortable in saying "Men don't want stick insects that are going to break, they want something with a bit of meat on their bones".
I used to be......ignorant.
Plain and simple ignorance.
Every time you say "a REAL woman has curves", you are implying that those women who don't, aren't. Every time you utter that one simple phrase, you are doing exactly the same thing to those women that many have done to you when they comment on your weight.
One of the guys who originally shared that picture, and whose name still shows under it with each share, is a father. When he posted it, he added the comment:
I would hate for my daughter to grow up thinking she is supposed to look like a stick
I can understand that, I don't want my daughter to grow up thinking she HAS to be SKINNY either. Society places a certain pressure on women to be a certain size, that isn't necessarily appropriate for every woman's body type. But that's a post for another time.
When I re-posted that picture, I did so with the disclaimer that I was NOT talking about women who are genetically predisposed to being very thin. I have a couple of friends who fit into that category and yes, they are very thin and next to me look like waifs, but NO they are not anorexic/bulimic, NO they do not need to "go eat a burger", NO they are not starving themselves. Actually a couple of them can out eat me!
When I re-posted that picture with my agreement that "this is more attractive than this", I was referring to those women that you see on many of the fashion runways and magazines nowadays. The women with bones jutting out everywhere and sunken faces.
There is a difference between the two. There is a vast difference between the way your body is meant to be and the way that some women starve and overwork themselves to MAKE their bodies appear.
**Don't get me wrong, I realize that anorexia & bulimia are horrible diseases and CLEARLY I have never suffered from either. I wish that women didn't feel the pressures that they do to look a certain way that pushed them to those points. **
What are they?
Are real women curvy? Are real women straight up and down with boyish figures? Are real women very thin or very muscly?
Real women? They're just women. All body types, all shapes and sizes and colours and ethnicities.
Real women are everywhere.
Change the way your mind works, change the things you say. Telling a thin woman that "real women have curves" or that she needs to "go eat a burger" are just as hurtful as telling an overweight woman that she's "gross" or needs to "staple that stomach".
We'll talk about re-defining sexy another time, but for now...go hug a REAL woman. Find the closest woman and give her a hug because no matter what she looks like, she's real.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The problem with having a bunch of posts started and ready to go in your blogger storage facilities, is that many people (such as myself) never go back and finish them. Or, like me, by the time you make it back to finish them, you can't remember what the heck you were waffling about in the first place.
HI! How are y'all? I've missed you.
I hit another snag in my life where it felt like everything was piling on and re-joining Weight Watchers and keeping up my blog were waaaaaayyy at the bottom of an ever expanding list of priorities. I just barely managed to post on my Facebook page on a semi regular basis.
Then, I went to a women's retreat run my friend's Baptist church. I spent a whole weekend talking, laughing, playing, and having fun. I came home feeling more at peace with myself and my life than I have in a long time.
It really helped.
Then I saw an article in our local paper about an amazing woman here in town who just lost almost 50kgs and she looks AMAZING. Inspiration walking.
THEN!!! (yes, this will end soon, just hold on!)... then I had coffee with Tex, my long lost Weight Watchers leader and friend. We sat and had a good natter til we both realised we were meant to be heading to work. It was that final kick in the backside that I needed, that final push to say YES.
And so here we are. My weight loss, NAY! My HEALTH is back at the forefront, my blog & facebook page along with it. So, at the risk of sounding like a
is BACK on the
I did a scary thing this week. I went and joined a social netball team with a bunch of other ladies on a Tuesday evening. The practice made my body hurt and feel really tired. And yet, invigorated. I haven't felt like that in a long time. I'm looking forward to the games, although I feel like my skill level is FAR below everyone else's. I haven't played netball since I left school....so about 15 years. And I wasn't that great to begin with. So, this will be a adventure, if nothing else.
Yesterday, after my coffee date with Tex, I RE-joined Weight Watchers. That was scarier than the netball. I know that I had my reasons for leaving in the first place, but I still felt like a total failure walking into that room, signing all the papers AGAIN, and then standing on the scale to find I was 10 kgs heavier now than I was back in April or May when I stopped going. All that kept running through my head was "You FAILED". But I shut it all down because I know that while I might have failed in some small way by walking away all those months ago, I am WINNING now (yeah, just like Charlie Sheen)....all because I have started again.
New starting weight: 150.0 kgs (330 lbs)
Small goal: 140.0 kgs (308 lbs) by Christmas)
Ultimate goal: 75 kgs (165 lbs)
So, there you have it. An update. The first of many.
Come by and check out my Facebook page. I just ran a contest on there for the people who have clicked on that adorable little "Like" button at the top...and when we get to 250 fans, I will run a bigger one. I have a great prize in mind. And at some point in the not too distant future, I have business that will be running a contest through here and you WILL want to be in on it!
So how is everyone out there doing??? Update me on your lives...leave your blog links again, so I can come say hi!!