Living Life On My Terms

Life after 50. In vino veritas!

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The Last Acceptable Discrimination

introvert1I tend to be a hermit on the weekends. Since my working life is filled with so many humans and I am naturally introverted, I usually take the weekends to recharge my batteries. Evenings, too, after work.

What this boils down to is that I’ve become very nearly a hermit after work and on weekends. I have to wonder sometimes if this is because I am relaxing and recharging, or if I’m hiding from the world? Maybe a little of both, perhaps.

I am very overweight, and tall. At my height of nearly 6 feet, I stand out in a crowd. Literally. With all this weight on my bones? I stand out even more. I am very self-conscious and am well over 100 lbs more than the recommended 180 lbs for my frame. Sighs.

couch-potatoEat right and exercise, right? Well without going into a long diatribe about the merits of diet and exercise and the pitfalls of the slothful lifestyle I’ve adopted, suffice it to say that I am a couch potato and I love being a couch potato. I am not one of those people who say ‘Yay! I get to go to the gym today!” or “Yay it’s time to go work out.”

I love sedentary activities. I enjoy kicking back in my recliner, reading, watching TV or doing counted cross stitch. A body in motion stays in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest. And my body tends to be resting most of the time. A sad state of affairs in a world where being overweight is a horror, let alone being obese, and if you’re not low-or no-carbing, you’re so déclassé.

I’m so over it. I’m over fad diets, and counting calories and counting points and carbs and fats and sugars ad nauseum. There has to be a better way. None of these methods result in permanent weight loss. Or if they do, it is rare. Even weight loss surgery isn’t the answer for all. I have had friends with amazing results, and then some kept it off and some didn’t. The key to any of these things is changing your habits. Changing your eating habits. Period. You can’t get a gastric sleeve, lose 120 lbs and then go back to binging on chocolate and ice cream. Darn it. There is no magic bullet. You have to just grit your teeth and stop eating those things.

Ahelp-not-loosingnd therein lies the problem. I feel deprived when I can’t have those things. I love going out to eat, I love ice cream, I love chocolate, I love desserts of most any kind. My favorite veggie is corn and my favorite fruit is grapes, and both of those are on the “no no” list because of their high sugar content. Substituting fruit for dessert doesn’t cut it for me. My craving for these things has much deeper psychological roots than simple “don’t eat them and you’ll stop craving them.” I’ve had moderate success on weight watchers, and after a few weeks, everyone around  me wishes I’d just go back to eating the crap because I am so cranky.  Food is my happy place. I love to eat, and food is more than just a way to nourish my body; it’s a way that I feel good about myself and reward myself.

So get a good therapist, you say. Well, yes that would help. But there must be a way that we as humans can incorporate these foods we love in a balanced way so that we can enjoy the things we eat. Life is too short to be this fat, and life is too short to live without snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven, ice cream, spaghetti, lasagna and other foods we love to eat. What I struggle with is how to keep those foods in my diet and consume them within moderation?

So I realize this sounds like I’m whining, but really I’m just thinking out loud. I need to teach my body to stop eating when I’m full (I’ve completely lost that ability; I just keep cramming it in my face because it tastes good), and allow myself to have my goodies without overdoing it. I seriously need to lose weight; I’m 56 years old and I am tired. Literally tired. And also sick and tired of the stares, the lack of eye contact (people act like obesity is catching or something) and the inability to fit in an airplane seat and in rides at Disneyland. And, sadly, movie theater seats. I can fit, but just barely. I have to place both hands on the armrests and push myself out of it. Sometimes I expect to hear a “pop” when I extricate myself from those seats!

When I’m buying groceries I feel that my food choices are subject to scrutiny. Same goes with restaurants. Forget going to a buffet. People almost scoff openly.

Yes I love to eat. Yes I am seriously overweight. Yes, I am still a human being with much to contribute. Hug a fat person today and let them know they are loved. Because I can tell you from experience; we don’t feel loved very often.