Friday, August 28

I give up

No, not really   ;-)  Read on. 
First, apologies for not getting to "Calling Bullshit" pt. two. That will come out in a day or two, but I've had something needling around my brain for a while--but this has been a very rough summer for me with the heat and the mosquitoes, so I haven't quite felt like writing, much less blogging, for a while. (For those who don't know, this year, I developed the most obnoxious sensitivity to mosquito bites. I've always been a little sensitive, and of course the little blood suckers LOVE me, but this year has been really bad. Not life-threatening bad, but still pretty dang bad, especially since they seem to keep finding their way inside the house. Finally, armed with military-grade bug spray, nettle tea--a natural anti-histamine that doesn't leave me feeling like a zombie--and the most amazing stuff in the world for post-bite treatment, I feel like a human again.)
Okay, so what is it I'm giving up on?
My weight.
Well, sort of.
What I'm really doing, after a month of serious "hard dieting" (no cheese, no butter, an average of 1500 calories a day), the scale *still* wouldn't budge off of 170. I didn't exercise as much as I would have liked (mostly owing to being doped up on drug store anti-histamines), but even if I did nothing but sleep all day (which is all I did do for a couple of really bad days), my body should still burn about 1700 calories just going about the business of living. Add in trips up and down the stairs to the privy...and well, that's at least a hundred calories burned as exercise! When I finally felt better, I spent some time in the garden, went walking, and generally tried to enjoy the outside as much as the heat would allow.
But nope. Not a pound came off.
But you know what? I went shopping for clothes this week for a job interview (I didn't get the job) and I bought, for the first time in 20+ years, jeans. Okay, they're super stretchy and honestly fit more like leggings, but there is denim in there. I bought a denim-looking pair that I love and a black pair that I'm luke warm on, but here's the thing. Size 16. And maybe if they weren't so stretchy, they'd be 18, but still. When I went up to the rack (a different rack, I started out looking at trousers), I reached for my usual 22 wide and short. A quick look at them against my body confirmed that no, these were going to be too big. Okay 20's. Well, maybe better look at the 18.
In the fitting room, I discovered two things. The 18's were still a little roomy and the pants made me look frumpy and dumpy. Even though I was getting these for a job (that I didn't have, so I didn't want to spend *too* much), I still wanted to like them. So I bit the bullet and tried on the jeans. And I gotta say, I think I look good in them! (I actually like the denimy pair better than the black pair and may go back for a couple more).
Of course in a perfect world, I'd still love to be 130lbs (although at least one friend looked at me askance when I said that and said "I think that's still too heavy" in a hushed and horrified sort of tone). But in the real world, I am 170lbs. I'm eating  lots of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, 100 or so grams of good protein daily, 25+ grams of fiber  appropriate portions of whole grains. I try to keep my sugar to 100 grams or less (yes, that's high, no will not give up sugar in my coffee or honey in my tea.) Fat makes up 25% to 30% of my daily intake--and I'm still only eating an average of 1900 calories a day, even on days when I splurge a little.
But I'm no longer avoiding things I love. Like cheese. Moderation is important, but avoidance just leads to a grumpy me.
So I give up.
I give up on buying into this notion that a woman can't be curvy and beautiful.
I give up the guilt over my weight, guilt that has built up over the years starting with family members who would whisper behind one another's back, "have you seen _____? She's sure gained some weight, hasn't she?" (And funny that it was always she and never he.)
I give up the notion that "fat girls" can't wear this or that. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was told by my hair stylist (not the wonderful young man I've been seeing for the last year and a half) that "heavier girls really don't look good in short hair, here, let me do something like this for you instead...."  And "this" was perfectly cute, but it wasn't what I went in wanting. (And when I told that story to my current stylist, he was suitably gobsmacked that a stylist would say that to a client. There are certainly some things my hair *won't* do--that's just genetics, but I could have hair down to my ankles and I still wouldn't look like a Victoria Secrets model!)
I didn't get my bikini this year, but that was mostly due to not getting out to the stores in time to go shopping for one. The ones I found online were either ugly as sin or didn't look like they would make *anyone* feel good about themselves--or had so many straps they hardly looked practical. So maybe next year.
In the meantime, I'm going to keep eating well and getting in more exercise because I enjoy it. I'm going to be me and I'm going to be happy, which I think are far healthier goals than "skinny" any day of the week.
It really gets across the idea that "flattering" is almost painfully subjective--and I will never, EVER let anyone else dress me. Nearly all the personal shoppers made this beautiful young woman look frumpy and dumpy and at least 15 years older. 
Find your style. Be yourself.
Love yourself.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

It's funny how ModCloth, an online retailer, actually ended up picking the most flattering outfits. My mom was 5'2" and 170 lbs. She always shopped in the petite section of Macy's, which does have a wide variety of sizes and are reasonably priced, especially if you get in on the sales.

Be happy and stay well. Finding the right clothes and looking great in them will be second nature, regardless of your body type.

Thanks for the great post!