Friday, November 1, 2013

One of My Biggest Fears

I came across a picture on my Facebook feed today, and I should have saved it, but I didn't. On the left was a flabby, tattooed guy, who looked like he was taking a "selfie." On the right was a chiseled, nearly skinny guy with guns draped all over him. The caption on the left said, "this is sexy." The caption on the right said, "this is not." I frankly thought both pictures were gross-looking and said so. The flabby guy was unappealing, because he was flabby and tattooed, the chiseled guy looked a little too skinny, and the guns didn't help.

So what does this have to do with one of my biggest fears? Well, I'm afraid of becoming morbidly obese. I'm already obese. My BMI is right on the borderline. I've been trying to eat better, and I've definitely been exercising more. I've been eating at least two servings of vegetables/fruits a day since the doctor said I could eat what I wanted after I had my surgery. But I know how I can be, and I'm scared. It seems like the only way I can lose weight is on the Atkins diet. But I don't exactly enjoy eating a bunch of meat. But I notice that I do feel different. Sometimes it's hard to eat a lot of meat, and I end up not eating a whole lot during a day, because the thought of eating protein is tiresome. So I try to have a variety of protein: fish, pork, red meat, poultry. I try and prepare it ahead of time. I've been using the Crock Pot a lot more. I put a roast in it before I go to work, then when I come home, I have a hot piece of meat waiting for me. So I've been having a good chunk of roast with a salad, usually. Or, I'll have chunks of baked chicken breast with a salad. Lots of salad. And the other day I bought some cranberries, because they are low in carbohydrates. They are pretty tart, and I use stevia, which is calorie, carb-free and natural, to sweeten them up a bit. Today, or rather yesterday, I didn't do too well food-wise. But I've realized that when I indulge, it really doesn't make me feel as good. I have to be careful eating greasy foods. Soda has become a laxative. So that incentive is helping me to eat a bit better.

And then there are some people I know.

I've lost two friends to complications from morbid obesity. I lost a third friend last month. The family is not sure if she died of a heart attack, an overdose, or if she had throat cancer. Yes, she was very overweight. The family may never know. I know people who are morbidly obese. I see people all the time who are morbidly obese. And maybe this is not politically correct, but I'm getting tired of seeing really fat people. And that includes me. I don't like my belly. I've always had a bit of one, even when I was skinny. I think it may be something I'll have to live with. I have my mother's torso, and I have my father's skinny calves. I may never get down to 110 pounds again. That's okay. But I know I've damaged my body. I had surgery earlier this spring to remove a good-sized polyp and half of my colon. The surgery was expensive. I recovered well; nearly three months later, I was walking around at Cedar Point. But the surgery scared me. I'm wondering what else is going to go wrong with me. I hope I have better insurance by then.

But the photo I saw on Facebook really kind of bothered me. But I guess I shouldn't let it bother me. Everyone has a different standard of what they find attractive. Some women like guys with lots of tattoos, some like facial hair, some like tall guys, some like short guys, bookish-looking guys, biker guys, athletes, and so forth. But the flabby guy being described as being sexy really did kind of get on my nerves. I'm thinking it was posted probably by some fat guy, fed up with seeing chiseled male models. I guess it might be the way I feel when I see some really skinny chick with large breasts. I know they are implants, because naturally skinny women usually don't have huge breasts.

I know I can change my body. Some people have been saying I've lost weight, even though the scale hasn't been proving it. But maybe the scale is wrong. It frequently says "error" when I get on it, and I have to weigh myself two or three times and see what the number says. When I was going to the gym regularly last spring, someone asked me if I was losing weight. I wasn't, but I had to have been toning up.

I've seen "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" several times, and when I went to Meijer's, they had a copy of it. So I bought it, and I'm in the process of watching it for the second time tonight. The message makes a lot of sense, and I have got to get a juice. I really want a Breville juicer, but I don't think I can afford a $300 appliance right now. I'll probably have to settle for a cheaper model, and just DO IT--that is, start juicing.

It's getting so when I see a person of average weight, or is actually skinny, I almost have to stare. Because it's the exception anymore. Someone I know went on a trip and a relative asked her if she was going to go on disability. This person said no, even though she's unemployed for most of the year. She says she knows she needs to lose weight, and she just needs a couple of months (her words) to get into shape. Trust me--she's going to need more than a couple of months. She needs to go on "The Biggest Loser." And I work three jobs and I exercise way more than she does. What the hell does she do all day while she's collecting unemployment that she can't fit 15 minutes of exercise in every day? Since I've been teaching more, the gym at school is closed by the time I am done with my day. So I drive into my driveway, and I jog around the block just north of my house. Sometimes I go around the other block. If I take the long way, it's seven tenths of a mile. If I take the shorter block, it's a half mile. I try and do this four times a week. If I take the long way, I've added nearly three miles of jogging to my exercise plan. If I take the short way, it's two miles. Either way, I'm increasing my exercising.

But I don't like the way my body looks (well, actually, it's my torso. I'm okay with almost everything else) and I've learned that I'm really sensitive to carbs. Eating protein and veggies definitely made me feel different. The slightest amount of carbs cause my body to shut down, or else just hold on to the carbs for dear life. I bought strips to see if I was burning ketones. I can't eat more than 50 grams of carbs a day. If I eat more, the strips won't change. If I want to see the strips change color, it's about 30-40 grams of carbs I can eat, and no more. I need to get more strips, because I'm out.

So this isn't politically correct, but fat acceptance is starting to piss me off a bit. If we make it okay for people to weigh 400 pounds, and to roll around in those electric shopping carts and scooters, what the hell will we as a nation look like in 20-30 years? Yes, maybe women can't be a size two, but that doesn't mean it's okay to be a size 28 either. People are screaming about Obamacare/ACA, but we really, truly don't give a shit about our health. We don't want to pay for our own, and we don't want to pay for others.

But think about that the next time you look at your paycheck. We are all paying for it. Sure, people pay into disability, but if you allow yourself to get too fat to work, why do you get to watch cable television all damn day while I scramble working three jobs and grade papers on my day off and try to pay my bills, and not have spare cash?

This is a long post, but it's something that's been bothering me for a long time. I don't like the way I look, and I don't like looking at jumbo-sized men. I'm not attracted to jumbo-sized men. And I know the kind of man I I would like to hang out with will not want to hang out with someone like me. Because I'm too big. So I've got to work on myself, both inside and out. Because I'm terrified of being morbidly obese. I'm surrounded by cautionary tales.

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