Sorry for the tardiness, I've got a few things going on, so if I overlap on the Open Thread, I apologize in advance.
WHEE (Weight, Health, Eating and Exercise) is a community support diary for Kossacks who are currently or planning to start losing, gaining or maintaining their weight through diet and exercise or fitness. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are working on your weight or fitness, please -- join us! You can also click the WHEE tag to view all diary posts.
If you are like me, you don't go into the "small"section of the clothing aisle when you shop. IF you shop, that is. For a long time, I never shopped until my clothes were in tatters and hanging off me, which is another era, fortunately long past. But there comes a time, and a place, to accept myself for being bigger than other people. And since I'm five sizes smaller than I was only 8 months ago, that's easier for me than for other women who have an X in front of their size! At least for me, now it's only ONE X instead of four.
Which brings up a topic that many of us wrestle with: self-acceptance. Last week I wrote about the stigma of condemnation - by doctors, by other medical professionals, by the public... one of the most painful moments of my life was an ordinary one when I was on my way to the bank at the Army base in Mannheim. A little boy accompanied by his parents walked up to me and said in stentorian tones: 'WHY ARE YOU SO FAT?' his mother, horrified, nearly slapped him backhanded and they slunk away murmuring apologies to me.
But the question was dropped. And at the time, I had no answer for him; because I truly did not know why I was thin from 1959 to the winter of 1975 and one day I got fat. I know that answer now, and if that little boy were to show up again, 10 years later, and asked the same question I could answer him: because I have an adrenal disorder that is going to take a little more than a few months to straighten out, because I have had it for 50 years, and have only been getting treatment for it for less than two months. For others, whether you are currently on a fitness and eating program that is working better to support your health and lifestyle, you may not have as clear an answer for the little boy; but one thing is key to long-term success in regaining, or achieving, your own health: self-acceptance.
And that means, for me, not buying into the myths that those bone-bags on a catwalk are healthy: they are clothes-horses and little more. Showing bone and tendon and sinew are not automatic indicators of health, either. Being able to move - to the extent of whatever limitations you have (and I have several), being able to do the tasks you set out to do, and eating in a way that supports both your nutritional needs, and whatever medical ones you require - THAT - is an indication of health.
For many of you, I am preaching to the choir. I must repeat, however, that just because you eat a piece of chocolate when you have decided they aren't good for you, DOES NOT MAKE YOU BAD. And condemning yourself for doing it, is probably not going to help you in the long run. It is the trend of positive and health-supporting choices that will matter in the long run, and will prolong your life and preserve your function. The same is true of me with my bizarre medical condition, as it is for those of you with the more "normal"conditions of high cholesterol, high-fat intake and craving for sweets. I stay away from sugar because I have no resistance to tooth decay and sugar promotes bacteria growth on enamel, not because sugar is "bad." I guzzle coffee because caffeine is one of the most harmless drugs imaginable, and it stimulates cortisol production, which I am deficient in. And those busybodies who cluck over my "overindulgence"in caffeine can save it for someone who cares; I know what is good for me.
I spent a good hour at the grocery store today, with my Zipcar running out vital minutes of billable time, scrutinizing sodium content, because even with steroid therapy, the amount of sodium I consume has a direct, measurable, and massive impact upon my body and upon my pain level and leg swelling, and I am trying to live without narcotic pain medication now. I HAVE to do that, because I have to accept that I am built a certain way. And I am also sized a certain way. And that's just the way it is. Nobody can tell you, reliably, what is best for you - only you can do that, and that is just as true of the more common issues with food, weight, health and fitness as it is of the rarer kinds. I am a living example of how the best intentioned common wisdom can be dangerous and even deadly - so I ask everyone on WHEE to look to yourself, follow your own instinct and your own wisdom, and above all, be gentle with yourself.
Here's a couple of pictures for those who haven't seen me lately:
July 2008: size 28-30
License photo: Jan 2009:
Feb 2010: same person?
Scheduled WHEE diaries
Sun AM - louisev
Sun PM - WHEE Open
Mon AM - NC Dem
Mon PM - WHEE Open
Tue AM - WHEE Open
Tue PM - WHEE Open
Weds AM - WHEE Open
Weds PM - Edward Spurlock (Kolata, Ch. 4)
Thurs AM - WHEE Open
Thurs PM - juliewolf
Fri AM - WHEE Open
Fri PM - Wee Mama (weekly diary)
Sat AM - bloomin (weekly diary)
Sat PM - Edward Spurlock
Sun AM - louisev (weekly diary)
Sat PM - WHEE Open