? ??????????????????? ????Easy Install Instructions:???1. Copy the Code??2. Log in to your Blogger account
and go to "Manage Layout" from the Blogger Dashboard??3. Click on the "Edit HTML" tab.??4. Delete the code already in the "Edit Template" box and paste the new code in.??5. Click BLOGGER TEMPLATES - TWITTER BACKGROUNDS ?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Losing the battles, losing the war

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more discouraging than being at a dinner table with people 1/2 or 1/3 your size who insist on turning down every piece of bread or chocolate offered to them. People who order salad and "couldn't possibly" finish it all. People who refuse dessert in the name of that chocolate chip they accidentally ate thinking that it was a poppy seed three weeks ago.

People who are better at being thin than I will EVER be, even in my wildest eating disordered dreams.

For much of my life, I was blissfully unaware that what I was eating was wildly bad for me. I was a fat kid, but generally, I was a happy kid. I was a fat teenager, and all fat teenagers are miserable. It's a universal truth. But, I was unhappy mostly because 99% of my peers were assholes who didn't have a drop of the milk of human kindness in their veins - as most fat teens' peers are.

I knew a little bit about diets and weight loss. I knew that when I went on the "Three Day Diet" with my parents when I was in high school, I lost weight. People lose weight when they only eat 500-900 calories a day 50% of the time (or more if you cheated and made it a Six Day Diet because you were that desperate). I also knew that I started passing out at the drop of a hat on that eating plan (I've passed out three times in my life - all three when I was eating an apple and some cheese for breakfast or a hot dog and some broccoli for dinner and not much else).

I knew that my friend who was born with diabetes was thin as a rail and always had been, and I envied her the disease. If I knew that M&Ms or Skittles or mini Snickers bars by the handful would probably kill me, I'd probably be thin, too. Can you imagine? I spent days as early as elementary school wishing that I had a genetic disease to help keep me thin, whether it could kill me or not. And I scoff at the reports of surveys of people saying that they'd rather lose a limb than be 20-pounds overweight. They'd rather be dead than full-on obese. "How ridiculously shallow can people be?!" I cry! I was one of them. When I was 10.

I knew that almost every boy I'd ever had a crush on had laughed at me. To my face. The ones who hadn't chose simply to ignore my existence, whether we'd been great friends before or not.

In college, I drank Slim Fast. I drank it religiously, until one morning my "breakfast" came gushing out into the sink when I brushed my teeth a little too vigorously. You never want to re-visit cappuccino-flavored protein shake from a can. Never ever.

In college, I gained confidence. I had a large circle of friends, most of whom were very trustworthy and awesome people. I had a boyfriend for a while (the first and only). I cut off my disgustingly long hair, which had been in a perpetual ponytail since elementary school. I started wearing t-shirts that let a little of my arm flab show. Hell, I started to wear tank tops.

In college, I went on Atkins. I was militant about keeping my life virtually carb-free. Until I stalled out on weight loss and then I wasn't. The idea of bacon and eggs everyday loses its luster when the scale mocks your efforts. Where's my damn Cap'n Crunch? Give me a @#$*ing BAGEL. And the weight came pouring back.

But the confidence never really left. I worked in an office for a year, brazenly confident in my work clothes (some of which I look at now and wonder what the hell I was thinking).

I went to Japan and was assaulted, daily, by swizzle sticks with nervous systems. Pixie sticks with false eyelashes. Twigs with strappy shoes and matchstick calves. Once I could understand enough of the language, I realized what many of them were saying about me and my confidence was shattered. No one could withstand six years of emotional and verbal abuse, could they? That kind of direct, unceasing onslaught would be enough for a wave to wear down a cliff to a mere rocky outcropping. I spent summers sweating to death in 3/4-sleeve black shirts that I could pretend hid the sweat and the fat and minimized the visual damage done by rolls in places no person in Japan is supposed to have rolls outside of a sumo ring.

I went to Japan and missed the United States' foodie movement in progress. I tried to keep up with it via books - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, The Ominvore's Dilemma, Food Matters, Harvest for Hope, Good Calories, Bad Calories... I devoured them as if they were the literary equivalent of the neverending pasta bowl at Olive Garden. OM NOM NOM KNOWLEDGE.

I watched PETA's infamous slaughterhouse hidden camera videos. I watched Supersize Me, Food, Inc., King Corn.

Basically, I found out that pretty much everything I'd ever eaten was bad for me. I had dreams of being the wife of a farmer like the Polyface Farms dude.

I seriously flirted with vegetarianism in Japan, but never committed because it's simply too much of a chore there. People don't understand it (and they don't want to), and they are not accommodating of alternative lifestyles.

I had high hopes of returning to the states, being able to read ingredient and nutrition labels with ease (in English!), having access to gyms and yoga classes and aerobics instructors because I had a car, totally rearranging (and improving!) my parents' lives through the auspices of perfect nutrition, the complete absence of HFCS and artificial sweeteners, and organic produce...

And then I actually got here and realized that my pipe dream rusted away the moment I set foot in this house again. I am dealing with two very stubborn and unadventurous eaters, one of whom mocks my food (and therefore my [praised by everyone else I know] cooking abilities) every chance he gets. In public. To our friends and relatives. Ain't that a confidence booster?

However, when I leave this house, I can do so fairly secure in the fact that a) I will not be the fattest person someone encounters over the course of their day (which was a given when I was in Japan) and b) I carry my weight well and look better than most who are my size (one small genetic blessing). It gives me a false sense of comfort. Complacency. It gives me permission to have a Tastycake (or a whole box) when I feel like shit about myself or my life, because, hey, it ain't as bad as that chick who has to ride the Hoveround at Wal-Mart because she's wider than she is tall. And then I feel a little better.

But then, a handful of times, I have gone out to eat with a group and there's that one person - that one skinny person - who is completely capable of making me feel like shit again.

It's irrational to hate that person. Just like it's irrational to hate the person that the usurping company placed at my former job in Japan. It isn't her fault, it's her company's fault. But I still hate her. Maybe it isn't the skinny person's fault that they're skinny.

Maybe it's genetics or maybe she really did have to work very hard at being thin for a long time. Maybe she actually deserves to be skinny. Maybe she threw in the towel a year ago, had half of her intestine removed and her innards sewn up into a tablespoon-sized pouch formerly called stomach and can't eat more than the molecules she can manage inhale while boiling salt water (in which case I DO hate her; cheater). Regardless of how she got thin, it seems as though she is shoving the issue in my fat face when she can't even stoop to putting one hand into the bread basket in the name of dinnertime fellowship and camaraderie.

Was I the only person who felt that way at dinner? (There were six of us, and five of us were fat.) Probably. I find that I am acutely aware of other people's stares, whispered words, muffled laughs, and the flick of disapproving eyes glancing at what's on my plate. Much more than most. But there it is.

This post meanders... but it covers a lot of things that have been floating around in my brain for a while. So far as the title goes... well, it's how things are going right now. I had a pretty good day today... until it wasn't. And that's how most of my days have been going. A new development (a full time job, YAY!!) should help to get things back on track for me, though.

I've realized that I've been wasting a lot of my time caring about people who don't care about themselves, and I simply don't have enough of myself to give to them AND still have some for me (which is why I know I will never have children. EVER.), and this has been screwing me over. So, I need to be done with that. I need to stop trying to satisfy other people and live to satisfy myself. That is how I succeeded before, and that's the only way it will happen again.

It's a hard lesson to learn, but harder on them than on me, I think.