Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Health at any size?

Oh Natalie Dee, you make anything funny- even this serious-ass post.

I'm thinking of buying a scale.   Hear me out. 

I am still a supporter the idea of "Health at any Size."  I am still proud of who I am and what I look like.

But 3 weeks ago this happened:
My mom had a heart attack, at 55 years old.  She had already been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, as had my dad.  My maternal grandfather had died of a heart attack.  My paternal grandmother has heart disease, had a triple bypass 10 years ago, and was in the hospital because of her heart 5 weeks ago.  My paternal grandfather was diabetic before he passed away in October.

Heath-wise, this has not been a great year for the Bass clan.

Health-wise I have been okay, other than some skin conditions and joint pain.  The joint pain is annoying, but something I could live with.

But, here's the thing:  I don't want to live with it.  Here's the other thing:  I don't want to have a heart attack too.

For a long time, my doctors have been telling me that I would be in less pain if I lost some weight.  For a long time, I have been telling them, that if I was healthy in other ways, could they be sure that it was my weight that was the problem?  I'm active, and I eat healthily, how was my weight an issue?

In terms of my pain, I have tried everything else.  

So I have changed a few things, yes with the end goal of losing weight.

But I refuse to pay into the billion-dollar industry that tells me I'm less than human because I'm fat.  
(But I have paid into it a little.  I bought a pedometer and started tracking my food intake.)

Its going ok.  I haven't weighed myself, but my clothes are bigger.  I haven't noticed any change, but others have.  Which is good I guess.  Right?  If I had a scale, I would have some concrete data to track my progress.

But I have some concerns.

1.  I am afraid that this is going to turn into an unhealthy fixation with food and calories.  I track everything I eat.  I worry about calories in excess.  I dream about the amount of calories I have for the day.  I plan my day around what I can eat.  Eating has turned from something I enjoy and look forward to, to a chore that is full of measurements and dissatisfaction.  And in some way, I get a sick feeling of pride from this.  "Look at my suffering!  I am doing what a fat person should do.  I am at war with food.  I am a noble, and good fat person from being miserable with food."  What am I doing to my self-esteem with this concentration on caloric input/output?

2. It's all for nothing.  I will do this, and be largely unhappy doing it, and nothing will change.  I will still be unhealthy and fat and have nothing to show for all this work.  I will still have a heart attack anyways.

3.  My fat friends/ blog buddies will shun me.  Will this be a weight loss blog?  Not likely.  But I will share things that work for me from time-to-time; and products I like etc.  Because this is a blog about me, and this is part of me now.

4.  That I will send the wrong message about weight-loss and fatness.  Because, sometimes, I get the message confused too. I feel good when someone compliments me on my "self-control" which is messed-up because they are really commenting on how my unhappiness is justified because I'm fat and enjoying food would be obscene. That I somehow agree with the idea that obesity is an "epidemic" and that thinness is the only way to be healthy.

5. Can I say that I'm a health at any size supporter, if I am "dieting?"

I know that I have some contradictory worries there, but, for me, this process is full of contradictions. I look forward to when exercise won't hurt.  I'm happy when my clothing is too big-- which again is messed up because I am happy that I am literally starving myself.  I want to be healthy, but I find myself wondering what my face will look like if I get thinner.  I rail against the diet industry, but search their website for ideas and recipes.  I say I'm against diets-- but aren't I on one technically?

Let's talk about this.  I need help figuring some of this stuff out.  Thanks for listening.