Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Fat Conspiracy

I've been thinking about fat lately. More like thinking about being fat. Pregnancy, small children, lack of energy, and a few running injuries have sidelined my usual healthy lifestyle. Not that I can remember ever being skinny, mind you, but lately I have been much heavier than I usually am and way over my own comfort zone.

I've done things about it. I joined Weight Watchers just before Christmas (and yes, I said before) and have been trying to go to the gym. I'm getting better. For me. It's a bit at a time, but that is perfect. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was my jeans size.

As a little aside, I do love the new Weight Watchers program. It's brought me so soundly back in line with eating habits that I love and do my body good! I feel great. I am not hungry (who can be with all of that food!) and I am losing weight. It's all good.

However, one thing that makes me think is the meetings. I go for the accountability, truth be told, rather than for the tips or the inspiration. I find that a lot of the time, the focus of the meetings (or is it the group itself?) is on how you can find snacks for only a few points.

It's not a focus on healthy eating.

The last few programs made it so that I could eat a load of junk, if I desired, and stay on program. This one rewards healthy living. And still, we are talking about 2 or 3 point snacks. Why? Why? If I eat like that, I can't manage to eat enough points. If I don't eat enough, I don't lose weight.

I've been pondering this a lot lately. And I think it has to do with fat. Or being fat. And our cultural understandings or misunderstandings about being fat. The big assumption is that fat = overeating, eating the wrong stuff, and just being lazy. So, encouraging weight loss means encouraging eating small amounts and being rigourous about diet and exercise in general.

No where in there do we talk about enjoying your life. Enjoying the food you eat and the exercise you do.

Revolutionary idea, isn't it? Enjoying it.

When I think about the times I am not exercising and I am not eating well, by and large, I am not really enjoying myself. I might be going with the flow. I am often overburdened with work and childcare and life in general when it happens. I am definitely not enjoying myself. Often I feel awful from my poorer food choices.

Somehow, I cannot get it out of my mind that we are approaching weight loss all wrong. That our perceptions of what makes us fat and what keeps us fat are all wrong. And that we are collectively doing damage to ourselves and even our culture over this. We've developed a deep-seated conspiracy amongst ourselves over fat: being fat, gaining fat, and losing fat. And it is a mighty slippery slope.


Sonnenblume Madchen said...

Over ten years ago, I lost over 80 lbs. on the Weight Watchers program. It's been a rough ten years and I find myself at the point where I'm past being comfortable in my skin and this shape and weight. So, I guess I understand what you're saying about all that.

I'd do something about it, but I'm waiting for my health situation to balance out. It seems wrong to spend all that time trying to lose weight when I have to go and be put under a general anesthetic one to three times a week.

Keep your chin up and good for you for starting and staying on track. I hope to be able to join you soon.

Lisa said...

Keep up the good work and I really do see your point.