Saturday, January 19, 2013

TdJ: Weight

This may or may not be an emotional post for me.  I'm glad it fell on a weekend so I wouldn't have to get up at 4AM to have time to write it before dashing off to work.  As it is, I have gotten up and enjoyed a cup of tea while giggling through an episode of The Green Hornet and another episode of The Invisible Man.  Good stuff.

Okay, weight.  As a woman I have been conditioned to hate my body.  No surprises there.  The surprising thing is how seduced I, the chick who always wants to subvert the dominant paradigm, have become with the idea of being wafer thin (for Monty Python Meaning of Life fans, an allusion).

I was not overweight as a child.  I was not the most active child, always preferring a book to whatever else was going on.  I liked being outside, but if it was especially hot or cold, I liked being in air conditioning or heat with a good book more.

Sometime in my high school years I started thinking I was fat.  The first culprit was looking at fellow female classmates.  Some were thinner, some were the same, and some were heavier than I was.  But I couldn't get past the idea that some were thinner.  This became secondary only to grades where I felt the competitive edge..... Don't panic, it passed.  Not the desire to be thinner, but the desire to compete with others.

To put this in perspective, I submit the following photo from the evening of my high school graduation:
Funny, isn't it?  The dress was a vintage, one that had belonged to my aunt in the 1940s, I believe.  It was a size 8.  I felt 300 pounds.  But I was happy to be finished with the social experiment others called high school.  

Fast forward through almost 26 years, and my inner image of myself then is much closer to the outer reality.  No, I am nowhere near 300 pounds, thankfully.  But most days I feel like there is nothing I am doing or not doing that would prevent me from weighing 300 pounds.  Weight in general seems to be a mystery to me.  I don't feel fat, I don't feel thin.  All the same, I avoid photographs like the plague.  Case in point, I tried to take a "vacation" for the first time in 7 years this past summer.  It consisted of walking around the town I live in, as I had no money and still had to carry the emergency on call phone so ended up working at least 5 hours a day anyway.  Tim snapped a photo with Tara and me in the capital, which is less than a half mile from our house.  
I was horrified!!!! Who was that fat woman holding my child?  And the hair, oh lord, save me from that hair.

So I managed another six months away from the camera.  However, in the interim the scale says I weigh about 10 pounds less than when this photo was taken.  I feel thinner, as I try to stretch and be as physically active as the fibromyalgia will allow.  But who knows.  I still feel mushy.
The bottom line for me is that I am not about what is on the outside.  But at this stage in my life, I have to live with what is on the outside.  So I either make peace with it, or I go screaming into this good night.  And every time I try that, the phone rings or someone needs something.  So damn.  Here I am, deal with it.  Maybe this is MY grumpy cat photo?  

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