Side Effects May Vary

I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about how my recent weight loss has been making me crazy in the head (moreso than usual at least.) I even wrote one recently and never published it, because it was very long and convoluted and had references to Greek mythology and I totally wasn’t joking. And once you’re making references to Greek mythology with your serious pants on, it’s time to give up the ghost.
So, don’t know if this is ever going to see the light of day, seeing as it’s proved to be a difficult task for me to articulate the myriad of rainbow feelings I’m having in regards to this issue, but here goes.
I’m starting to loose weight, just as a side effect of me being in a better job, where I make enough to eat good food and where I’m happy, so I want to take care of myself and be active. I’ve been in the job a year now, so this is about the point where other people have started to notice the effects of my healthy activeness, but the crazy started way before that.
This blog is so hard to write because I want to write everything, from my anorexic-bulimic early teen years, to my feminism, to the non-stop business of college that took priority over maintaining my physical health. I want to understand and I want to be understood. I want this craziness out of my head, trapped inside words where it can’t fuck with me anymore. I’m positively schizophrenic about this issue, and I have been since I had hardly begin to loose weight.
When I first started to change my habits, I knew this storm was coming and I’ve tried to baton down the hatches as best I could, but a year after starting regular exercise I’m quite insane, despite my efforts to avoid it. Which mostly means that I try to deny my weight loss… while simultaneously being desperate for someone to notice it and praise me… and then when I do get praise for it, I feel filthy and sad… except for that 13 year old anorexic me in my head which yells “yay!” and thinks that this means that we’re finally worth something… and then the logic tends to kick in and I thank them for the compliment which is nice but has nothing to do with my inherent value as a human being…. and then feels deeply disappointed that loosing weight is what passes for an accomplishment in our society… and then feels like I should be praised to choosing to be healthier, and I’m just being grumpy… and then feels like putting value judgments like that on what’s basically a side effect of taking care of my physical self is just ridiculous… and then wonders why I didn’t have this sort of experience when I graduated from college, a much much harder and (I think) more valuable accomplishment in my life. There’s at least 10 more things that go on, but those are the main ones.
There’s also the issue that I worked really hard to live in my whole body, to love my whole body and appreciate my whole body. I know that eating well and exercising is just an extension of loving my body and taking care of it, but I’m sad to see the fat go. Maybe it’s living and growing up in LA, maybe it’s being a woman or growing up with violence, but I feel so encouraged to hate my physical self, and I think that other people feel this too. They have absolutely no concept that I might be sad to be missing a part of myself, of my body that I made myself love completely. I know that I’m healthier like this, that I feel better, but I’m still loosing something in the process.
There’s also the issue of safety. It’s not so present in my mind now that I live closer to work and drive there, but when I was taking the train in from Anaheim, the more weight I lost the less safe I felt on the bus and the subway. In my experience there is a direct correlation between how thin I am and how sexually available strange men perceive me to be. There’s also a direct correlation between how fat I am and how I am able to command the attention of those around me. It could just me my confidence, but I feel less and less able to make demands when I need to, to ask store clerks about things, to call attention to myself.
And of course, I feel the need to point out that I’m no supermodel here. Despite the weight loss, I am still shopping in the fat end of the store, designers still don’t make clothes in my size and no one would consider me petite. I hope and pray that this remains the case because I just don’t need the drama of being considered attractive by the rest of the world. (Don’t get all stupid on me for saying that, you know what I mean.) The logical, grown-up part of me just wants to be healthy, to not have knee pain, to be able to run and play without stopping if I don’t want to. Yes, there is an angry little girl in my head who can’t believe that we’ve even been alive this long, and worse–that we’re fat. But she’s not in charge. I keep telling myself that I know my worth, at any weight; that I should focus on how I feel physically better and better every day, that I’m caring for myself, and that I even feel more sane aside from all this weight bullshit. But sometimes when people congratulate me on loosing weight, or when they don’t, when my old clothes are falling off me, or when they’re not falling off enough; the crazies come creeping into my head, making me consider weight loss to be a goal and a value rather than a side effect, and I get kinda strange. Because despite being years behind me, my head is still filled with great new ways to make my weight and weight loss the one deciding factor on weather or not my life is worthwhile. And when I play by those rules, it never is.

2 Replies to “Side Effects May Vary

  1. Damn you California people just think way to fucking much!
    Kick ass on taking control of something that was affecting you in a bad way.
    I need to get off my ass and abort this damn gut I have dragin me quicker to my grave.
    I did it once and need to do it again.
    Oh and maybe those cigs need to go?
    Living a healthy lifestyle is never bad.

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