So just out of curiosity, I looked up my weight/height thingie on WeightWatchers.com and surprise, surprise, for my height (a measly 62 inches), apparently the “Minimum Weight for all adults” should be 109 pounds and the “Maximum Weight for all adults” should be…wait for it….137 lbs. Reeeeeeeeeeeeally?
When I was pregnant with Kidlet, I had a hard time putting on and keeping weight. It was strange. I was all stomach. From my check up at 3 months to a month before delivery, I put on 13 lbs, which brought my total up to 149.5 lbs. I mean, wowza! Weight Watchers would be traumatized!
Apparently, I’ve conquered that weight gain problem since I’m well over that 149.5 lbs now…and I’m not pregnant. It’s hard to believe that I’m considered “overweight” since being a ‘target weight’ is not something I’ve ever aspired to be.
Here’s the thing: I like to eat! Plain and simple.
I think there was just a gasp heard all over the world.
Before everybody freaks out, I am a vegetarian, who doesn’t drink alcohol. I hear people say alcohol contributes to weight gain. I don’t drink a drop – not the occasional glass of wine or sip of beer or ponche de creme at Christmas. Nothing! Foodwise, I do eat egg and cheese and use milk, but all animal flesh – it pains me to have to clarify this, but that includes chicken and all seafood – is off limits. That includes bacon, steak, hot dogs, pork chops, fried chicken, McBurgers, none of that stuff.
I also don’t really indulge in sweets. I’m that person that can break one square of chocolate off of a bar and put the rest away. I don’t overindulge. I often have to throw out Halloween chocolates to make way for Easter chocolates. I don’t like ice cream either.
The way I see it is I already don’t eat so many things, what’s left to leave out?
There are some cultures where food is a sign of wealth and prosperity. The Trinidadian culture is one of those. Food is always something that’s welcome. No one checks calories and there are many, many places where food is sold and there are no health checks, let alone health information available! (Scary, but true.) I enjoy eating and I don’t let caloric content deter me from having something magically delicious! Trinis eat until we’re full and out of greediness, we sometimes eat past that point too!
Also, in the culture I was raised, bigger is better. I remember trying to ‘fatten’ up before my visits home lest I get asked if I’m “suffering out there in Canada”. Chubby cheeks and a little roll here and there is a sign of good living. Bigger has never been a bad thing for me and so far, I’ve been able to withstand all the media images that are CONSTANTLY trying to tell me that I’m fat AND that it’s a bad thing.
That being said, I’ve always been curvy. Always. I have a great ‘bumper’, full hips and a fairly decent ‘rack’, which took a hit in the pregnancy, but is still reasonable. I have never had a flat stomach. (I’ve joked about having a one-pack, but I think my friends just humour me.) I always had big thighs – that’s genetic. Thanks Mom! It is what it is and I kinda like it!
There’s a line I heard on TV that pops into my head any time I find myself comparing my body to super skinny women on the magazine covers, who are supposed to be what we’re all clamouring to be. Allegedly.
You’re a woman. You should look like a woman.
How friggin’ awesome is that line? That’s how I galvanize my acceptance when I look in the mirror. I see a woman. I see a content woman. I see a woman who likes to eat and enjoy food (and life). I don’t apologize for it. I can’t eat a salad only and be full. I don’t like going to the gym 3 times a week. I don’t hate carbs. I don’t drink protein shakes. Facts.
In my moments of insecurity, I look at my body and think, “Vikera, you’re a bit wobbly here and there. All you have to do is some fricking crunches and planks and you can sort that out and firm up!” My reflection looks back at me and says, “Hello! Have we just met? You don’t like to exercise, remember? Must we go through this again?”
I also take comfort in the fact that I’m healthy. I can tell you that I don’t get sick but a couple times a year. My one lonely bottle of cold medicine often expires before I use it all. I can keep up with my Kidlet at the park without collapsing, breathlessly. I’m a healthy person, so what’s the harm, Weight Watchers? What’s the harm?
I guess this whole thing is a roundabout way of saying that I accept that I like food and I also accept that I don’t like to exercise ergo I accept that I’ll always be ‘overweight’ according to these cockamamie tables and statistics and I’m okay with it all.
Hmmmm…I just reread this and it comes off like a rant, but it was not meant to be. Maybe I just have a ranty voice, I don’t know. I was just trying to say that acceptance of self is important and if you’re happy with your body, be happy with your body. Don’t apologize for it. Don’t let anyone convince you that you’re not beautiful if you feel beautiful.
You’re a woman. You should look like a woman, dammit!