[a weight loss story]
*kathrynoh at nemesis dot com dot au*
My BMI has me very confused. At the moment, I have a BMI of 30 (according to most charts, even this isn't consistent). Now I thought a BMI of 30+ = obese, 25-29 = overweight and 20-24 = normal, but apparently this isn't always true.
Because I obsess over these things, I use a veritable rainbow of methods for calculating and assessing my BMI and they all differ. It's enough to make a girl's head spin. I think I just need to pick one method and stick to it.
Since I've been losing weight, I pop into the Jam Factory every so often. They have a scale that gives you a print out of your weight, height and BMI. And believe me, it's a major breakthrough for me to get weighed in public (another thing for my anti-WW list) but I like getting the print out. I stick them in my weight loss book so I can compare them.
The last time I did it, I still got the "You are very much above your your recommended weight. Look after your weight. See you soon. THANK YOU" message. I fumed at the machine.
"Can't you remember me and give me some credit for the work I've done," I screamed, shaking my fist angrily, as my sister dragged me off.
Next time I go there, my BMI will be under 30. I'll get a new message.
The other day, I thought about this, wondering what it would be like to be NOT obese for the first time in living memory. Would my life be any different? Then I realised, I haven't been obese all my life. Maybe physically I have but there have been many, many moments when in my head, I've not been obese.
Regardless of size, I don't think anyone walks around thinking they are obese all the time, just like no one walks around thinking they are thin all the time. Most of the time, I don't even think about what size I am. I'm just me. Sometimes I'm the luckiest, happiest, most beautiful girl in the world, other times I'm wretched and full of self loathing. But I don't think that's related to weight (although being overweight doesn't help), I think that's just life. We all have good days and bad days.
I guess the weight issue comes into it because being overweight, limits what being me is all about. It boxes me into a corner. Say if I were out with friends, and we doing something like having a picnic in the sun with good food and a nice bottle of wine or two then the weight issue means nothing - it doesn't interfere with my enjoyment of the food or the wine or the company. I'm relaxed and happy. I can be me.
But say after lunch, someone suggests doing something else - maybe it's hot and everyone is going to strip off and have a swim or maybe everyone wants to hike up to the top of a big hill. That's when obese me takes over. Suddenly it's not about whether I'm having a good time, it's become about my body - my feelings about my body, my feelings about it's limitations.
As I lose weight, these limitations fall away. But I think it's not so much about being a certain weight or certain BMI or any other number. It's the mental process. My life isn't going to change overnight because my BMI changes from 30 to 29. It is going to change when I let go of the limitations I put on myself and, I think, the first step in the process is to actually recognising when I do this.
I sometimes think it is much easier for people who put on weight after they've grown up. Growing up being different because you are overweight, you learn to adjust, to compensate, to bow out to save embarassment. The excuses are out of your mouth before you even stop to consider what you want.
In some ways, that can seem rather sad but I prefer to look at another way. See most people as they get older, they limit themselves more and more. They begin to say "no" to things they would have once said "yes" too. But I'm doing the opposite. As I get older, my world is growing. My possiblities are becoming boundless.
Whoa! That's much deeper than I intended posting today and I hope it makes sense. I'll leave you with a far less serious thought for the day: Mascarpone stuffed apricots* might not be the healthiest treat possible, but they are surely worth every calorie!
*from Food Plus in Queens Parade if you live in Melbs.
What an amazing post. I have never thought about the obese mentality like that before. But it is so true. I am happy to say that I am much less limited now and obese M doesn't get as much of a look in anymore. Sometimes, on a bad day, it is harder to shake the memory but on a good day, it doesn't even come into it anymore.
I so can relate to what you've said, I've actually caught myself saying no or putting things off that I once would never... and that really saddens me.
What a great post!
I never ever had the obese mentality so it came as a bit of a shock to the system two years ago when my weight firmly planted me in the obese BMI category! It was only then, upon learning that I was "obese" that I began to think of myself as obese. Sure, I thought of myself as fat, but the word obese was a word that only applied to other people, not me. As it stands, I was only in obesity land for a couple of months before heading back into the land of the overweight.
First, those apricots sound delish... yum! They need to get those over here in NYC!
this is a great post. It really gets you thinking. While Ive never been obese, and was overweight for only the last year, I definitely agree with some of the mental aspects.
Kath, thank you for a wonderful day today!
Don't know if it's of any help, but I only know of one way to calculate BMI: height in metres squared and then divide your weight in kg by that number. Eg. 1.7m * 1.7m = 2.89, (goal weight) 62kg/2.89 = 21.45.
marscapone stuffed figs from the deli cafe in Sassafras...mmmmm...i so know what you mean about the apricots - they are sooo worth it!!!
boobs: 100 cm
waist: 81 cm
hips: 109 cm
thighs: 50 cm
Weekly Goal Lifestyle Changing Challenge-A-Rama
Week 1 - Drink more water
Week 2 - Cut out sugary treats