24 May 2011

I Am So Healthy My Doctor Could Just Puke

This week I am aiming to point out some of the good stuff I have been reading lately.  While I have not been writing much, I have been reading books, blogs, news etc.  Just be warned these are definite "down the internet rabbit hole" things so I will provide a brief synopsis so you can skip the clicking if you need to.

I will start with this great FAQ page Don't You Realize Fat is Unhealthy? at  Shapely Prose the very clever work of Kate Harding.  Basically this page, and all the linked pages which are really worth a read too, she does a great, and often hilarious, job of debunking the whole myth that weight and good health are directly causative.  (They may be correlated, slightly, at best, if you remove the confounders, but not really even then.) She covers all the high points of what is wrong with dieting culture and how you are what you eat and do, not the number on the scale.  You can eat well, get lots of great exercise and be healthy as an ox while still being medically overweight/obese/morbidly obese. 

This article found me (via comments on a Regretsy post, see above re: the rabbit hole) at a perfect time.  Despite working the program and working out I have not been able to break past the 20-22 pounds of loss that I have achieved to date.  While I feel great, look pretty darn good and certainly have made some really healthy lifestyle changes, I am not sure I can ever be "thin."  While I have come to grips with the idea that this may be it and that I will keep working the program because it keeps me conscious of my eating and helps me make better choices, I may never lose another ounce.   I was feeling pretty depressed about that until I started doing research.  Real research. With actual studies. Taken as a whole body of literature.  (That is called meta-analysis, learn it, live it, love it.) 

Without getting into the numbers because lets face it, I am the only person here who would do statistics for fun, what I found was exactly what Harding is saying.  My lifestyle now will keep me running until I am 100, my weight will only make me more acceptable to the eyes of strangers.  

I love Weight Watchers and what it has done for me and I will continue to do it, but I will now be measuring my success in miles run, pants that fit and months spent with those 20 pounds gone forever.  Somewhere between my vanity and my actual health lies my number on the scale.  I have accepted that and now I feel so motivated to keep eating well and working out it is amazing even to me. 

Of course, now I want ice cream and I am fresh out of points.  Oh well, tomorrow then.  I will soothe my soul with the fact that I ran (no walking breaks) two miles today and did not feel like dying at any point.  That is way cooler than being a size 0. 


Alicen said...

You and Brian are very similar in many ways health/weight wise. Not specific weight obviously but generically speaking.

He visited a nutritionist soon after we got here to get some help/suggestions on what to do to lose weight. They did a full blood work-up and when she went over the results with him she was surprised. Her exact words were something like "well there isn't much for me to talk about here, healthwise you quite good". I guess seeing him she assumed he'd have high blood pressure and cholesterol but, like you, he does not. Add in the fact that he can out run me anyday even if he hasn't run in 2 months and yeah, it's hard to state that ALL heavy people are unhealthy.

I know it must feel great to finally accept your weight/weight loss, however you want to look at it. With acceptance comes so much freedom! Only then do we stop beating ourselves up and focus on being happy and positive about what we have achieved instead of what we haven't.

PS - Great job on the 2 miles! That's truly awesome.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome. Isn't it so freeing to just BE?!?

I ran a 5K 6 months after giving birth--when I was technically "obese". Whatever! I'm strong and healthy, not sweating bacon grease and clutching my heart while climbing the stairs.

I think the BMI/weight charts are just OFF. I'm 5'8 and wear an XL/16 and I'm obese? What?