Sunday, April 22, 2012

Coming Out (At the Seams)

My name is Mary and I'm  overweight. For some reason, that's like coming out of the closet to write (and publish) but it's obvious. I mean, you see me and, while it might not be the first thing you notice, it is a thing you notice. It's a distinguishing characteristic, even, but to talk about to it people makes them feel awkward. Here was a conversation I had with my friend, Size 4:

Me: I want to try Crossfit this summer, but I'm worried that as a heavier person--
4: You're not a heavier person.
Me: Well, as a larger person--
4: No, you're not larger. You're just fine.
Me: No, [Size 4] I am, and I know that, and it's okay.

For some reason if you say aloud what everyone can already see, then they're worried that you have self-esteem issues or loving your body issues or something. I don't. I'm just overweight. I am above the government determined range of healthy weights for my height (which is a pretty generous range anyway) and I am statistically more at risk for everything from heart disease to breast cancer to infertility. It's a problem. I could probably talk more openly about high blood pressure resulting from being overweight than actually being overweight.

Isn't that bizarre? I mean, every magazine is screaming about this or that weight loss scheme, but among young people, among young larger people, it's taboo.

Guys, I like my body. A lot. See that picture up there? I may be flaunting a totally awesome farmer's tan, but I ran a 5k  at around an 8 minute mile (24:41, if you're curious.) just a few minutes before that photo. I can kayak and dance (meh--kind of) and climb mountains and take the groceries up to my 2nd floor apartment. I think my body's pretty great. But that doesn't mean that I have to satisfied with where I am. I need to change. I've started changing the past 2-3 years, but I probably should have started earlier. Maybe you and I should have had this conversation earlier.

No blame--I probably didn't want to have it either. But now that I'm here, I need you here. Remember my herd mentality? Can you all be my sugar angels on my shoulder telling me to put the Bismark doughnut down? Can you all plan activities that don't revolve entirely around cookies and movies? Maybe we could go for a walk or something. Can I bring carrots to the ward potluck instead of competing with the dozen desserts that take a table the size of the main course's table?  Again, no blame here or anything. Many of you guys are super supportive and many of you are trying to be healthy yourself. (Sometimes I get the impression that everyone's trying to pawn sweets off on their visiting teachees.) Let's just be cool about this and help each other out. Let's just get this out in the open.


Jamie said...

Good for you, Mary! Your title was terribly clever. Here's to a healthy, honest lifestyle!

Sara said...

Walking together sounds lovely. Let's do it!!!

Anna and Dell said...

I'll be your accountability angel if you want. I need one myself. (I don't even have conversations with size 4, just size 6. I'm doing baby steps.) :) Love you.

mlh said...

You miss understand, Anna, Size 4 is a real person whose identity, if not size, is protected. :)