Those of you who know me likely know that my weight has always been a struggle for me. When I was in high school it wasn't such a big deal, because I was active, especially during softball season. But college came around, and it's been downhill (and up-scale, if you get my drift) since then.

Being from the South, I was raised on fried foods; my daily veggie servings have always come breaded and dripping in oil. My mom, who has a similar body composure to mine, had flings with several different diets. The most memorable was the Atkins -- admittedly, mostly I remember lots of pork rinds and cheese.

My dad is pretty much on the opposite end of the spectrum. He's pretty skinny. Always has been. When I was in middle school, he told me I was too overweight to play basketball and had me run sprints in our yard in an effort to slim down. It really wasn't as cruel as it sounds, but for a 13- or 14-year-old girl, it was pretty hard-hitting.

Needless to say, my perceptions of food, fitness and body are all kinds of screwed up.

The big weight gain that led to where I am now (for anyone who doesn't know me well, I'm certainly not gargantuan, but I am overweight) was a gradual thing. It's like I woke up one day, realized that none of my jeans fit any more and knew I needed to do something about it. That was sometime around 2005. I joined Weight Watchers then and had really good success with it. But I fell off the wagon at some point, and sadly I've gained back what I lost.

These days it's pretty easy to make excuses. After college, I started a job at a newspaper. The hours were tough, and I was living 30 minutes away from my work, so it was really simple to justify eating McDonald's or Chinese food every night. I needed something fast and cheap, right?

The tough thing is that this became habit, and it's carried over to my eating now. I don't eat McDonald's nearly as often, but I do crave fast food or Mexican or Chinese several times a week, and this even carries into the foods I cook at home. Combine all this with stress from changing jobs, moving, getting married and buying a house, and it adds up to even worse eating habits.

I want to change, but I am a pretty lazy person. I think that changing is more important to my health than anything, though I am unhappy with the way I look many days. I consider myself a pretty girl -- but a pretty overweight girl. I'd like to be able to buy clothes wherever I want. I'd like to be able to run a 5K if I want.

Something I've been thinking about in all this is that I need to learn to be happy with myself, no matter what. I was reading Kate Harding's Web site (found via online friend ernie bufflo), and the writers there focus a lot on learning to love yourself as a "fat woman." I have a hard time calling myself a fat woman. I cling to the title of "overweight" because it doesn't seem as ... harsh. But their point is that it's nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, some women's body types are just always going to be fat. They do, however, emphasize that there's a different between having a fat body type and having a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle.

So I'm trying to look at the decisions I make as ones that can make me healthier. As a result I likely will lose weight, because I don't think my body is designed to be this size. At the same time, I'm trying not to focus on a number. What will my goals be? I will certainly have some, but I don't know exactly what they'll be yet.

For the timebeing, I'm trying to be happy with who I am, and I know that I'll be happier by displaying discipline and becoming a healthier person. Maybe I'll even be a healthy fat woman.
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On 8:01 AM, August 07, 2009 , Sarah (erniebufflo) said...

Glad you're enjoying Kate Harding's blog! It's really been a great read for me, encouraging me to think about the way I think about bodies and beauty and self-worth.

On 7:18 PM, August 08, 2009 , Kristy said...

D, I'm proud of you. I, also, struggle with the Mom body type and just the tiniest little obsession with fried foods. Let me know if I can help.