Well, I am back on Weight Watchers. We have a real love hate relationship going on here.
I love doing the program because it gives me a sense of control. I like the awareness of what I am eating that it creates. I like that it breaks my endless of cycle of not eating enough while simultaneously eating without thinking about it. Somehow, even though I rarely consume enough calories in a day to keep my body alive thanks to my "coffee for breakfast, diet coke and a few bites of kids leftover lunch, and whatever I can cram in my face between tantrums dinner" plan, I am taking on weight at an alarming pace. Now, since I have to track it all and struggle to gag down all the required points, I have to treat myself better. That's right. Treat. Myself. Better. So awesome.
I hate it because, well, it is diet. A diet I am doing to lose weight. I am losing weight to look better. I am that vain. I can't even pretend for a second that I am doing this to be healthier. I actually can't get any healthier. My only marker of poor health is my BMI which, without any co-morbid conditions, is actually not even a marker of bad health*. I am doing this purely because my ego requires me to look thinner. The sense of empowerment is quickly overwhelmed by my sense of shame that I care enough about how I look in bathing suit to do this. "Even though your are totally healthy, you should still force yourself into an eating regime designed purely to make you look the way society says you should." Nice feminist message right?
I am going to do it because I do want to look better. I am going to keep doing it because it does force me to take care of myself, a situation that needs addressing all the weight issues aside. I will frame it as "look at mommy making healthy choices" and not as "look at mommy getting thinner" in the hopes that my lifelong battle with weight vs. health won't warp my kids. I will do this with the awareness that if I want to look a certain way, I will never be able to just enjoy food ever again. I will do this because it is what you, as woman in America, do.
Perhaps the healthiest thing to do is just acknowledge that my self worth may be defined by my jeans size and run with it. Replacing my "fat shame" with "you should know better than to care shame" is probably not a great exchange. My name is Alexis, and I am trying to look hot. That is all.
*I technically qualify for bariatric surgery at my current weight. I am so "morbidly obese" (could drop at any second!) that my insurance would cover the surgery except for one little detail. In order to get the coverage, I need to have one obesity correlated condition. Here is a little irony for you: I don't have any. I am too healthy to qualify for the fat reducing surgery that I "need" purely because I am fat. One case does not define a trend, but this bears thinking about right?