Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Lack Of Self-Confidence Is Not My Problem

This time of year makes me just a little crazy. TV shows tell you how to set your resolutions for weight loss, commercials are non-stop for gyms, Weight Watchers, and Jenny Craig, and the new season for Biggest Loser has begun. I am sick of hearing about calculations for BMI (body mass index) and all the reasons Americans are fat. I am sick of hearing doctors and researchers and nutritionists tell everyone that they, and they alone, have the magic bullet, the way to make weight loss easy.

1971_sundayI do not fit the stereotype of the “fat girl”. I was not always fat. I was never thin growing up but I was not fat either. I had no problems fitting in. We moved a lot so I had to do a lot of fitting in. I was an athlete – basketball was my passion. I ate healthy. My mom was a great cook and she was very conscientious about nutrition and the need to try new foods.

When I left for college, I was not careful about what I ate but rather ate things that were quick and easy. I also enjoyed an alcoholic beverage on occasion . . . ok, lots of occasions. I no longer had basketball year round for exercise and did little to compensate by finding other exercise. Then I went to work in a restaurant serving home style cooking and, being a poor college student, ate all my meals there to save money. Then came marriage and kids and convenience eating - restaurants, drive thru’s, and microwave meals.

But I never lost my confidence in myself. I have always had some level of vanity – I have always worn make–up and fixed my hair, at least when I leave home to go somewhere. I try to dress fashionably and have my nails done. I have 12 pairs of Chuck Taylor Converse and love to create my own offbeat “style”, ignoring the fact that fat girls should never wear horizontal stripes. And on occasion . . . I look HOT! I have always felt relatively good about myself, no matter what my size was. I am smart and I never doubted I could do any job I wanted to do. People never shunned me, in fact I have lots of friends.

I have always thought of myself as just me, not a fat girl. Never did it enter my mind that someone would criticize me because of my weight because no one ever did. I had a husband that loved me and a great family and a wonderful job and beautiful kids. I would have loved to be thin but I was happy with myself. Until I wasn’t anymore.

As I see the commercials and watch the newest season of The Biggest Loser, I resent the stereotypes that are perpetuated. Sad, fat people who have no control, who must be saved by others. I hate it in the same way I hate movies that have the fat character who carries around a bowl of chips and dip the whole time, the boy who splashes all the water out of the pool when he jumps in, the girl who the boys make fun of behind her back when she has a crush on one of them.

I love The Biggest Loser and believe it can truly motivate people to get help when they can’t figure out how to help themselves but the contestants get bigger and their stories sadder each season. All fat people are not sad. Some of us have dated and been loved and really like ourselves but want to live healthy, active lives so we change our bad habits and work hard to get rid of the weight we so blindly allowed to take over. But people need to realize that being skinny is a lot like winning the lottery. It’s great and some things are easier but all your emotional issues are still there until you DO something about them.

Maybe self-confidence really WAS my problem. I was ok, my life was ok. I was happy. So I never did anything about the weight that kept creeping on. I have done something about it several times over the last few years but really only half-heartedly, because I felt like I SHOULD. But I am doing it this time and I am very serious about it.

And very confident.

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Wanda said...

Tere, you really are a treasure. I loved this post, and I love the pictures you have posted in the past with your "cool" and "hot" fashions.

I have strugged with 30 -40 pounds all my adult life. Down 30, up 30,down 30, and here I am again up 30. My hubby has decided to take off some pounds, and he makes me so mad, cause he never "cheats". So, I too must get serious, or I will end of weighing more than him, and I don't think that would settle well!

Good luck to you and me... and all those in the same boat.

Dexter's Girl said...

(this is your long lost very-far-removed cousin...)
What an awesome blog post! I love it! I think also, that some people would say the same about money. Money doesn't make you happy. What is inside of you? How is your spirit? THAT is what determines your happiness. I LOVE THIS POST! You are awesome :). Good luck on your journey.

Tere said...

Hi Christi! . Welcome and I'm so glad you are here. Thanks for all the nice comments!

Tere said...

Wanda - I feel your pain. But I know you can do it - you've done it recently but you had a really tough year. When you have time to focus on yourself, it's easier to eat healthy and stay on track. And we can do this together.

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Ruth D~ said...

It's frustrating... this gain, lose, business. And through it all we are ourselves... the real us isn't contingent upon weight. But sometimes it feels like it.