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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Is Fat a Four-Letter Word?

Today Big Daddy and I made our "Facebook turns ten" videos and a couple of my posts were about losing weight. I was a little embarrassed for a second and then I got honest with myself and the truth is that a lot of my life is and has been devoted to making peace with my body. The bad news is that this is a life-long journey. The good news is that I'm making progress.

I read an article today encouraging folks to boycott the sponsors of "The Biggest Loser" in an effort to get the show off the air. The writer asserted that the show is a game show based on fat shaming and unhealthy tactics to lose massive amounts of weight at a break-neck pace. While I don't know that I'm on board with the crusade, I will say that I don't watch the show because I look like the women on that show and I really don't need Jillian Michaels shouting at me. Thanks but no thanks. If there's one thing a I can get to all by myself, it's self loathing and I work pretty hard not to let anyone be unkind to me--even me.

I recently had a discussion with some friends about the word fat. It seems that among many of my friends, fat is a mean-spirited word that elicits gasps when uttered. I just don't feel that way. I feel like it's an adjective just like short or blonde or left-handed. Maybe the difference is that one doesn't get to choose how tall or short they are or what hand they favor. I don't know. I don't get it but one of the interesting things that came out of that discussion was that I said, "I am well aware that when there is some confusion about which Jennifer people are talking about, I am described as the fat one. I'm okay with that. It makes sense to me." Both friends were quick to say that no one they knew ever described me as "the fat one." Apparently I am the funny one. Oh. Hmmm. I guess I identify myself by size more quickly than others do. Hmmmmm.

So in an effort to feed what is good and healthy and happy about having this glorious container, I'm going to take a risk and post ten things I like about my relationship with my body:

1. I'm strong. When I work, I really work. I lift and haul stuff and I don't need Big Daddy to do it for me. I do it myself.

2. My weight does not keep me from feeling pretty when feeling pretty is important to me.

3. I don't have to feel pretty to feel good about myself. My body is one aspect of who I am but there are certainly other parts of me that I treasure and value and I REALLY REALLY REALLY believe that if you miss out on who I am because of how I look it's your loss. I'm not just saying that. I 100% believe that (now that I'm not dating anyone but Big Daddy).

4. I am learning how to fuel my machine the right way. I had a friend suggest Paleo eating to me several years ago and I immediately shot it down as something too extreme for me to be able to do. Big Daddy and I eat a high protein low-carb diet six days a week with limited dairy and no sugar and no starches (except for legumes) and it's just not a big deal most of the time.

5. I have incorporated some form of exercise into my routine three to four times a week (and that will go up when I can ride my bike again)!

6. I have stopped relying on my scale to tell me how well or how badly I am doing. I know if I'm eating like I'm supposed to. I know if I'm exercising. That's all I really need to know isn't it? I don't think I have weighed myself in over ten days. Only the people who have been on the scale more than once a day (for weeks or months) will understand this one.

7. Along those lines, I have stopped comparing myself to all my gorgeous friends and to my younger self. I wish that I had known that a size nine was not HUGE when I was sixteen but I didn't because I was busy comparing myself to girls with better genes and better habits than I had. I wore a size five the summer I ate only tuna fish and cans of green beans and that's as long as that lasted. I was miserable.

8. My body works the way it is supposed to. I am strong and (believe it or not) healthy. I sleep well. I don't have stomach or heart problems. I am taking action in and effort to keep type 2 at bay. I don't smoke anymore. I don't drink alcohol. I have cut way back on soft drinks. I have fought most of my demons and the others are getting rather nervous.

9. I am honest with myself and others when I am doing well or when I am struggling with taking care of myself. I think the hardest part about getting better is getting and staying honest.

10. I am persistent and I am making progress!

Peace, love and protein! 

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