Friday, April 26, 2013

The Relativity and Subjectivity of Size

I've been sleeping a lot better lately, but for some reason last night I had a hard time falling asleep.  Then I woke up about an hour ago to use the bathroom, and I was thirsty so I poured a half glass of Blue Goodness, which had some kind of awakening effect on me.  So here I am.

I stepped on the scale this morning and was almost shocked by the number it spit back at me.  It's lower than I ever expected it to be at this point, and I'm almost a little disconcerted at how quickly I am losing weight.  I shouldn't be, given how little I consume lately (especially the last few days, thanks to some gastric unrest), but still I was like, "really?"  I mean...yeah.  Even with my pajamas on, the scale is telling me I've lost another 8 pounds since last week.  Is that even possible?

That's not really what's on my mind, though.  What I've been meaning to address for a while has been a comment I get from a lot of people when I tell them about my surgery.  I heard it before and I'm hearing it now.

"You're not that big."

This makes me laugh, because bigness really is in the eye of the beholder, it seems.  I mean, yeah, sure, I'm not your "typical" 400+ pound bariatric patient.  I never got the point where I had to use a scooter to get around because my knees had given out, and I hadn't developed Type 2 Diabetes yet, but at my current size I am still a Large Marge.

I was only slightly larger than this size when I was told, "I don't normally go for obese women..." by a man on a dating site.

I was a size or two smaller than I am currently when my now-ex told me, "my mother is really taken aback by how fat you are and is surprised I would be with you."  This from a self-professed chubby-chaser, no less.  What can I say - the guy was the misogynous, deranged love child of Oedipus and Napoleon. Good riddance.

I was 25 or 30 pounds less than I am right now when another dickwad on a dating site said, "you seem really cool, but big chicks aren't really my thing."

In the meantime, my friends tell me I look great, that my outfit is cute, that I'm an attractive woman, blah blah blah.  And, they tell me "by today's standards," I'm "not even that big."  Even Cynthia at Synergy told me I'm what they refer to as a "lightweight."  And judging by the people I've met in my support groups and nutrition classes and workshops, I can see where I might earn that title.  I've met people two or three times my size. 

But that doesn't matter.  Yes, compared to some of my cohorts I'm on the "smaller" side, but I'm still morbidly obese.  I still suffer the ill effects of my excess weight, and I still suffer the emotional consequences of living in a body I view as the enemy most days.  I don't hate myself - I hate the vessel within which I feel imprisoned.

You want hard stats, I'll give 'em to you.  At my heaviest, in January of 2010, I was 271 pounds.  Between then and last July, I lost 75 of those pounds and then put more than 50 of them back on. When I started this thing in July of 2012, I was close to 250.  By the time I started the pre-op diet, I'd lost a few, gained a few, and then gained even more to make my starting weight 259.6, which, whatever...we'll call it 260.  I'm not quite 5'5" tall.  Come on, people - that's fucking BIG.  It's okay to weigh that much if you're a 6'4" dude, or a linebacker or something, but a 40-something, 5'5" woman?  Not to mention the rapid succession of lose-gain-lose-gain-lose.

I have been told my whole life (the majority of which I've spent as a "plus sized" woman) that I carry my weight well.  And I suppose I do.  But I'd rather be carrying less.  A lot less.  Because regardless of how I carry it, I'm still carrying it, and it still sucks. 

So maybe I am "not that big" and maybe you're surprised that I even qualified for the surgery, and maybe I carry my weight well, and maybe - just maybe - you think all I really needed to do was put forth more of an effort on the diet and exercise front.  We've been over this before, and I'm not going to launch into a big thing about the whole grotesque and pathological history of my weight issues.  And maybe "not that big" is a compliment, but when I look in the mirror and I see my face obscured by giant cheeks, my neck swallowed by a triple chin, when I feel my pants (which I had to fight to button) becoming threadbare in the thighs from constant chafing, when I huff and puff and struggle to catch my breath after one flight of stairs, it doesn't matter if I'm "not that big" - I'm still bigger than I want to be, and bigger than is healthy for someone my age and height.  And that's what matters, and why I went through with this in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. DeeDee,

    You know me; you've seen me. I used to be the super little sickly skinny girl that so many people were jealous of. Now, not so much. Still "little" but no longer skinny, thin, or even healthy.

    There is no doubt in my mind, I am over weight. I am fat. I can tell you that anyone looking at me, would say oh you are just chubby.

    My BMI? 30. Just puts me at obese. Not overweight, but OBESE. And that accounts for standard bone structure and not the super mini bone structure like mine.

    So I get what you are saying. It is about being healthy, not about fitting into some random sized jeans that are uncomfortable anyway!

    I may not be "that" fat, but I am still fat. Unhealthy fat is still too fat, because it is unhealthy.