Lucky

The following piece is something I posted in another social networking site, and I was told it was fairly well-written, with encouragement to publish it here. It may have some TMI if you are squeamish about others’ bodies; consider yourself warned:

Just the other day I was encouraging a friend to better how she saw her body. Not a bad thing to do, but all the while I was thinking about my own flaws and some days how much I dislike my own body.

When I talk about hating my body most people think it is about my weight. Yes, as of yesterday I am 5’7″ and 283 pounds. While I don’t think I’m of average build (big boned and a lot of boob and muscle), I’m fat. But as long as I can remember, I’ve always been overweight, and I think I would look weird skinny. My concern for weight loss is more health-based.

I’m not asking for solutions or sympathy, I’m just getting it “out there”. Here is what I don’t like about my body:

  • My teeth. I was not blessed with straight teeth and I have had appliance after appliance, braces, retainers, surgeries, etc., and my top teeth are still not 100% straight (my bottom still have the permanent retainer keeping them straight). As a child I had more than my fair share of liquid amoxicilin, which apparently stains your teeth pretty badly, a fact my teeth show.
  • Under my arms. I have these little oddly-shaped bunches of skin clustered around there. I don’t know what they are, all I know is that my dad has them and the docs refuse to remove his. This makes me feel a little less, feminine I guess.
  • My hands. They are fat (my high school and college rings are men’s styles), they are often rough despite my attempts, and my nails are uber-fragile. It is not uncommon for me to break a nail simply by accidentally smacking my hand against a door frame. It is a struggle to keep my nails as long as they are, and rarely do they grow beyond the tip of my finger.
  • My scars. From a quick glance, there are 17 on my lower arms, 12 on my chest/stomach, and I don’t even care to know how many are on my legs. With the exception of my c-section scars and one line on my right knee from falling on broken concrete ~12 years ago, the rest of the scars are from bug bites, mainly from mosquitoes and spiders. And yes, I’ve heard the line “Then you must be really sweet”, and that has gotten so old it is ancient. I’m absolutely ashamed of my legs.
  • My feet. I hate this part of my body the most. There is something strange about me allowing a lover to do all sorts of things to my vagina before I will let him/her touch my feet. They have similar scarring as my legs, the same nail problems as my hands, and some pretty serious callous issues. It is pretty embarrassing going to a nail salon, having the gal working on your feet gather the other technicians around, chattering in Korean for everyone else to see for a good 5 minutes while looking at your feet, and then telling you she can’t work on them.

Despite all of this, there are people who have seen all of this and still find me physically attractive. I consider myself pretty lucky.

January 30, 2012 – Meatless Monday!

Pre-breakfast blood sugar: 183

Pre-dinner blood sugar:  227

Breakfast:  1 waffle and scrambled eggs

Lunch:  Leftover cheese pizza and oranges

Dinner:  Black bean burger with cheese, 1/2 cup macaroni and cheese, lots of stir-fry veggies

Someone in my Google+ circles shared a link to a series of photographs featuring Olympic athletes as well as their height/weight.  While the majority of them hold what most people regard as an athletic build, there are several, both men and women, whose build are more like my own.  It really is a refreshing thing to see an artistic study of the athlete to include a larger scope of what health looks like. I know I’m not in the best of health so my credibility may not hold much without a medical degree, but I do disagree with the idea of everyone having to maintain a certain weight/height ratio in order to be considered healthy.  As a child, I played several years of volleyball, basketball, track and field (shot put and discus throw), pushed kids in wheelchairs in a hurry playing baseball; as I got older (and before my back problems) I lifted heavy things/children/dogs.  I have developed some serious muscle over the years, and no healthy, non-surgical weight loss solution is going to get rid of that; I’m fairly confident that once I loose every ounce of fat I still will not meet the ideal weight according to those charts, I will still be considered overweight if not a more severe label.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand many of the implications of being heavy.  No other health complications, the additional weight, additional stress on the bones can weaken what holds everything together.  But take doctors, insurance companies, etc., put so much emphasis on one’s BMI, and pair that with the media and social emphasis on that number, and we’re all shocked that so many people have such bad body images of themselves, whether it is as severe as anorexia, bulimia, etc., or if it is a daily sigh of disgust when someone looks at the mirror.  We still wonder why heart disease and the like are so high – because we’re so stuck on achieving that magical number we forget to choose foods with nutrients, take time to exercise in such a way to develop a healthy habit, to take a few moments each day to love yourself and to make sure you surround yourself with emotionally-healthy social situations, as often emotional and physical health go hand-in-hand.

Health should not be about struggling to achieve numbers you may never make.  It should be about working with the body and situations you have, and feeling good about how you are maintaining yourself.

January 11, 2012 – Weigh In Wednesday!

I predict I’ll be too tired to remember to post, so as to not have a repeat of yesterday, I’m posting early.

Pre-breakfast blood sugar:  198

Pre-dinner blood sugar: 197

Breakfast:  The last little square of leftover lasagna

Lunch: Leftover bow tie pasta

Dinner:  Something at Dave & Buster’s…..I promise I’ll be good.  🙂

Achieving weight loss goals is a common emphasis for many diabetics, I being one of them.  If I recall correctly, less fat means less insulin resistance, and thus better diabetes management.  To give some background to my weight, pre-kids I was 300-ish (I’ve been heavy for as long as I can remember), after having N. I was 290ish, after having G. I was 330ish.  This may sound crazy given yesterday’s/this morning’s post, but I want to have 1, maybe 2 more kids, ONCE I’m in a position to do so (bigger place to live, healthier, in a better financial situation, etc.).  I’m not sure if I want to adopt or go the traditional route.  If I adopted, I would need to loose the weight as to not make the adoption agency question if I’m going to be around long enough to raise the kids any more than they need; if I went the way I’ve done the previous three times, the easier I can manage my diabetic while pregnant status, the better, because being diabetic while pregnant is a bitch.  (How many times did I have to explain to medicine professionals that it’s not gestational, it’s not going to disappear once that kid is out……LOOK AT MY FRIGGIN’ MEDICAL FILE!!!)  I would really like to be 180 pounds at my 5’7″ height; I know it’s not *technically* the ideal weight for me, but I believe I have a great deal of muscle under all this fat from years of playing volleyball and basketball, and I have big breasts to boot, so a skinny lil’ thing I will never be (am I’m okay with that).

So, I stepped on the scale today, before eating/drinking anything, and I weigh *drumroll*……….282.5 pounds!  While I knew the pregnancy weight was gone, I didn’t know I’m starting to shed what I call “my baby weight”, because like I said, I’ve been heavy as long as I can remember, and a lot of it stems from habits I picked up as a young child, so I consider some of my weight to be fat I gained as a baby.  Huzzah!

Now, to go spend a much-needed evening with Jim of dinner and attacking the evil pixels.