Monday, 21 September 2009

What's wrong with wanting to be thin?

I've just deactivated my Facebook account because I've had enough of people chiming in to tell me I should stop 'worrying' so much about my weight and that 'being thin does not equal being happy.' Why do people do this?

When you're losing weight, no one says anything until about 20lbs in. Then they notice. 'Oh, you are looking great!' They say. 'What are you doing?'

If you continue to lose, they say, 'Don't go overboard now. You'll waste away to nothing.'

Once you enter your actual healthy weight range, a lot of the comments stop. You start to hear people making excuses for why they themselves don't have time to exercise, or why life is too short to deprive yourself of pleasures. People eyeball your lunch. If you're a vegan, like me, they make comments about rabbit food, offer you a rare steak, or say, 'I could never give up cheese!' As if you'd just asked them to! If you're still an omnivore, they talk about your tremendous discipline, in a disapproving tone. As if you would ever consider looking at their ham and mayo on white bread and saying to them, 'Man, that's got a lot of fat. Careful you don't get too FAT eating that!'

If you start to put on a bit of weight and mention that you want to lose it (which is where I am now--I have regained 7 lbs over the course of about 10 months), people pipe up to tell you that you look great, very healthy, not to worry, stop being so obsessed. Because 'thin does not equal happy.'

Whose business is it if I want to weigh 133 lbs for the rest of my life? Today I weighed 140. I haven't been out of the 130s since 2006. I don't like it. I like being in the 130s. I like my size 8 skirts to be loose around the waist. I like not having a muffin top. I like not having fat rolls. I like looking at myself in the mirror and seeing no bulges. And guess what. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I have put on weight for 3 reasons: 1) I've been under stress with my driving lessons and test and I've been eating a lot of chocolate and junk, 2) convenience foods have slipped back into my diet, because there's some magical connection between the junk food calories going up directly leading to the fresh fruit and veg intake going down--chips look so much more appealing if you had a chocolate bar at break than if you had an apple. Don't ask me why, I don't know why, but it's true! and 3) my timetable has changed and I have 2 more late finishes per week, and when I get home late I am tired and sometimes opt not to work out or switch to a shorter, easier workout than I would normally have done. --Come to think of it, there's 4)Facebook. I've spent time on there in the afternoons sometimes instead of working out--and often while snacking on crap!

133 lbs is NOT too thin for my frame. Eating to keep me there is NOT unhealthy. Exercising 5 times a week is NOT obsessive. And I'm tired of defending my lifestyle. I'm sick of rising above stupid comments.

I am NOT going to slip back into horrible habits and get fat again, just so those who won't put forth the effort can feel better about being sedentary and eating terrible food. I can't help it if my choices seem to them like some sort of indictment.

But I'm just sick of defending myself, so I deactivated my Facebook. So stupid that I felt I had to do that. I've NEVER attacked anyone on Facebook for eating meat or being fat or never exercising. How dare they presume that it's okay to do the reverse. So sad.

(Of course I have supportive friends who don't do this to me. But there are so many people out there who never think before they engage their mouth. And words hurt.)

10 comments:

stickbooth said...

I really am upset that you were hurt, and that you disabled your facebook account. I think you look great and have nothing but respect for you. Please come back, I will miss you SO MUCH if you don't. :(

Big Al said...

Carla, I apologize for offending you. I got your response on email & then tried to respond on facebook and found out that you were no longer there. I can't remember exactly what I wrote but I do remember my intention which was to encourage you. I certainly didn't mean to offend you although that's what I ended up doing, so I regret having commented. I don't get a lot of adult interaction these days and don't have many friends here in NJ, so I guess I go too far with commenting on facebook to fill that void. I've learned a valuable lesson though. I hope you can accept my apology & come back to facebook because I think you enjoy it. Best, Allison

Big Al said...

I'm glad that I follow your blog or I wouldn't have had an opportunity to apologize to you. That would have really upset me thinking that I had hurt someone and not apologized for it.

Big Al said...

One more thing and I will quit stalking you. If you wanted to stay on facebook, just defriend me and/or whoever else has offended you. Just a thought...

Carla said...

Hi Big Al, you have not offended me and it wasn't you who made me decide to leave Facebook. You're not stalking me! I welcome your comments on my blog, please stay around. :)

Anonymous said...

It is funny how people caution one about "not gettingtoo thin." I saw a woman friend (who is quite plump) recently after not having seen her in more than 18 months(during which I'd lost around 45 lbs). She briefly said I looked "great," and then embarked on a lengthy story of how she saw her golf pro and didn't recognize b/c the pro had lost weight and looked "like a little old lady." The suggestion seemed to be that I am heading toward a place (at age 46). In any case, after reflecting on this a bit, I think it's more about what's going on with these other people -- having someone live a healthier lifestyle can be very threatening to them, and I think there can be some happiness (or schadenfreude) when the person "comes back to the fold" by putting on weight. Best, Becky

Mrs. Frugal Folkes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cookingveganwithsoul said...

sending support, support, support. i so "get" you on this issue, and i'm thankful you put down in words a lot of the things i have been thinking. the hypocrisy and self-referential responses people have to others who have made a change in themselves, or who simply eat differently than they do, can be a more than just a little annoying. arrrrgh.

Anna Down Under said...

Just remove those blasted 'friends' Carla, you don't have to leave Facebook. On the other hand, if you feel you need time away from Facebook to get back to the things that really matter to YOU then that's just fine, lots of people are not on Facebook. Friends still manage to keep in touch -- and so will we. :)

I find even people's supportive comments bother me -- when I first lost the 50 pounds a couple of years ago, people actually said to me "You look so great now, your ass was HUGE!" So when the weight came back, as it usually does, now I know that they think my ass is huge. Thanks for that. I would rather people NOT comment about my weight, good or bad. I don't offer unsolicited advise about theirs, so I wish they wouldn't either.

Tess said...

Awww I'll miss you on facebook. I did notice comments on your posts that were a bit annoying and pointless. I'll make sure I check this blog more often to see what you're up to.

Just feel glad that you know what healthy is and you feel great, and these people probably feel like crap lol.

My brother is anti vegan and comes up with questions every time I see him. Unfortunately I can't delete him! Gah.