My Big Fat Manifesto

I’ve been on this weight-loss journey a while, and I figured I should let you know my results.  You know, as in how much weight I have lost.  Here goes:



Unless you count the random five pound loss, or the fact that, I swear to you, I can step on scales, then wait a second, step on them again, and get different answers.  I’m not just talking about one scale either.  I think scales are powered by tiny evil fairies.  And what the hell with the pants sizes?  I wear a size 14.  When I try on pants in this size, a few fit, some are loose, and most are tight.  The same size. Sometimes even the same size in the same brand.  The clothing industry: also powered by evil.

Have I exercised more?  I think so.  I go up and down on that.  When my asthma acts up, I don’t do as much.  Asthma makes it even easier to do my favorite activity since becoming a parent: sleep.  Sometimes I don’t do as much because I’m just tired and lazy.  But other times I manage to at least get myself on the exercise bike I bought.  I’m determined not to let that thing become a coat rack.  I love the calorie counter on the  machine.  It tells me I burn 100 calories with about ten minutes of relatively light pedaling.  Some people in the reviews said they thought this calorie counter was slightly off.  Pooey to you people, mine is just right.

Woot!  I lost ten calories just touching the pedals!

Woot! I lost ten calories just touching the pedals!

What about nutrition?  I do try to eat more fiber. On the other hand, I’ve also eaten out more than I should.  I read an article, though, that says this is not my fault.  McDonalds has subliminal advertising that tells you to eat their fries and kill your parents.  You just play their commercials backwards and you can hear Ronald saying this, plain as day.  The fast food industry: clowns = evil.

In all seriousness, there is one thing I do not like about this journey.  And that would be the feelings of shame.  Shame that you are not as skinny as you should be.  Shame that you ate a milkshake.  And cookies.  And . . . good Lord stop eating already!  Shame that you didn’t exercise enough.  Shame that your clothes don’t fit.  Shame that you, single-handedly, have caused the medical industry to implode because they have to treat your sorry overweight behind.  Because, you know, skinny people are never ill.

According to the BMI, which is totes accurate, I am overweight.  My GP told me I could stand to lose 30 pounds.  My OBGYN told me she thought that was too much.  15 pounds would do, but she wasn’t seriously worried.  Even the medical establishment can’t agree on this crap.  One day I was lying around feeling blue.  Thing One asked me why I was Sad Pony.  I told her it was because I hadn’t lost weight.  She said, “Aw, Mommy, you’re perfect.”  I knew I liked that kid for a reason.

Thing One and Thing Two: Best Trainers Ever

Thing One and Thing Two: Best Trainers Ever

My blood pressure is low.  I have perfect cholesterol readings.  But according to some, I’m going to drop dead of a heart attack any second because eek – overweight!  But while I do not have a perfectly slender figure, I’m not obese.  These people are the ones who are looked at with absolute disdain.  They are judged by both sides of the political divide as inadequate.  Lazy, weak-willed, hideous creatures who should be shuttled off to live under rocks.  If they could fit under them.

Does this mean I’m advocating for “fat pride” and think people should just eat twinkies all day long?  No.  But I don’t understand the shame put on overweight people by our society.  Heck, even what is considered overweight has changed drastically over the years.  Now the ideal weight for a woman requires that said woman have no behind, no breasts, no curves.  A stick figure.  Just what every man wants, right?

That’s why I like Sir Mix-a-Lot.  Sure, you could say the guy degrades women, but hey, he likes big butts and he cannot lie.  I like a man who likes big butts.  I happen to have one of those, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and I salute you for your stance.  My husband seems happy enough with my behind as well.  I am the one that is unhappy.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to lose weight.  Determination has helped me get through three degrees, two pregnancies, and several depressive episodes.  But here I am slumping.  I add work, kids, house, chronic allergies, depression, and reality shows, and man, I feel like I’m carrying a huge weight all the time, and I’m not talking about the weight centered in said behind.  I’m talking about the weight on my shoulders.  And I’m incredibly fortunate. I have a great support system and I have a job with benefits.  I don’t want to think about women who don’t have that, yet hate themselves because of what a number on a scale, or a BMI reading tells them.

After judging Jillian, Devil Trainer from Hell, I decided to be fair and watch an entire episode of Biggest Loser.  Is it inspiring that these people lost tons of weight?  Sure it is.  But is it worth it to do it that way, that drastically?  I don’t think so.  The hell these people are put through at Camp Snoopy Fat-Butt is not reality (Thank God.)  I watched the people stepping on the scale after one week on this ranch.  One week.  And the expressions of sadness when they only lost eight or nine pounds.  WTF?  Any reputable medical doctor would say one to two pounds a week is optimal.  But these people are dropping over 20 pounds a week.  Healthy?  I don’t think so.

Jillian: I hate you.

Jillian: I hate you.

Yet America cheers them on.  Way to go, Fatty!  As long as you lose weight, who cares how you do it?  Who cares what it does to your metabolism, your heart, your mind?  Skinny is king.  Even anorexics are looked on with less vitriol than those with a few extra pounds, yet who is the healthiest?  Remember the Amazon I talked about at the gym?  That lady had probably forty pounds on me easy.  Yet she could move like nobody’s business, and left me panting in the dust.

Yoda has a saying, one I love so well.  “Size matters not.  Look at me.  Judge me by my size, do you?”  Here’s this freaky little green guy about two feet tall, yet he can lift star ships out of a swamp.  Likely no one would ever look at that little runt and think he could do something like that.  But the media, and popular culture are like whiney, short-sighted Luke.  It’s too big!  Luke was tall, handsome, and in great shape.  But compared to Yoda, especially, he was a total nit wit.  I’m surprised Yoda didn’t dunk him head first in the swamp.

Bad I am, yes.

Bad I am, yes.

That’s what I’d like to do with popular culture that says those I know who are categorized as obese are not worthy of respect.  Who says that they don’t deserve medical care because don’t fit into a certain size.  Who makes women my age feel like failures because after making and cooking the bacon and taking care of the kids, we don’t look like the models on T.V.  Who makes girls as young as my twelve year old daughter not want to step on the scale.

Is this just an excuse not to lose weight?  No.  It’s just a frustration. I’m still trying to get healthier, because that is better for me.  If pounds come off with it, that would be great.  But I’m not beating my head against the wall any longer.  It hurts too much, and I have enough on my plate of life to put too much stock in what’s on my dinner plate at the moment.  I’m a mom, and I’m tired, and I just want to feel good about myself for who and what I am.  And until I feel that way, it doesn’t matter what my size is.

66 responses

  1. SMILE ….. it makes a ton of fat disappear, I swear! I’ve been using this trick my entire life. That’s why I’ve become known as Polly Freakin’ Anna, I’m always smiling. Granted, I’m still fat even though I’m smiling, but I have huge boobs and an ass and that makes Husband happy. Yes, I should lose weight. Yes, I should take control of my health. Yes, I should make better food choices. Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. Listen to Thing One, you are perfect. =)

    1. In spite of my sarcasm, I actually do smile. It’s a defense mechanism when I’m nervous and / or don’t know what I’m doing. So I smile a lot in public.

      My husband likes my curves too. I think most men do – it’s biological. And I love the blah blah blah – that’s what it starts to sound like after a while, isn’t it? Especially when one day something is good for you, and the next it’s not! And thank you – “Lord it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way!” (old country song)

      1. My fiance thinks I’m already perfect this way, too, and can’t understand why I want to be thinner. Bless our men! ;p

  2. Fuck BMI. Seriously. We’re not all ‘spose to look the same. If your health is good that’s what’s important. I enjoyed it when I was told I was overweight three months after giving birth…yeah, no duh. It’s all a racket.

    1. Stupid doctors. I actually lost all the baby weight – and gained it right back by lying around the house fruitlessly trying to regain lost sleep while taking care of an infant. Pfft.

  3. I know the road you’re on – I’ve been on that road my entire life. One of my first shameful memories of my weight was when I was about 7 and my grandmother gave me a twinkie – then turned to my mom and asked her why she was letting me get so fat. I was never really huge – just stocky and muscular…and breasty.. I know that weight and food are a never ending issue for me…the only thing I know keeps me sane is doing something manageable in my daily life. Biking, walking, yoga etc…as long as it’s incorporated into my daily life I can cope with it. But I’m frustrated that I don’t eat fast food, drink soda, eat crap, I take the stairs, I bike when I can, I park at the back of the lot etc..and I still don’t lose weight. It’s like going up the hill backwards… and it doesn’t matter that my husband thinks I’m great the way I am – I don’t and it’s a mental mind f*ck that I put myself thru…AHHH – So I hear ya – but we are beautiful the way we are – we just have to realize it.

    1. Realizing it is the hard part … We have to learn to turn off the LYING tape in our heads! (If you guys find the off switch, will you let me know where it is?)

      1. The best thing I did for myself – 3 years ago I vowed to stop calling myself fat and talking about how fat or stuffed or bloated I was… I made a HUGE difference in how I saw myself – so for me, stopping the negative self talk was a great step – it hasn’t solved everything – I still struggle with food and body image – but I don’t beat myself up like I used to. I’m still frustrated but I don’t hate myself.

        1. I recently heard about a study they did regarding what we tell ourselves. They took women who were all in the normal weight range (average BMI – not high, not low). Half the group looked in the mirror daily and said, “I am a normal weight.” The other half looked in the mirror and said, “I am overweight.” EVERYONE in the second group GAINED weight! No one in the first group gained any. The mind is a powerful thing.

          1. that is a fascinating study – thanks for sharing it.

        2. Superbetter is good for encouraging you not to beat yourself up for mistakes. I may have reached a plateau with it, though. Plus it requires a facebook connection – another thing I’m trying to shed.

          1. Ah FB – a double edged sword. What peeves me are the people that use it – then stop and let us all know how we are wasting our lives on it b/c now they don’t use it…

          2. Lol, wait till you see my Friday post on Facebook.

          3. hee hee…

            Sidenote: I can’t not listen to Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and not think of you (b/c the video is Alice)

      2. My husband has an off switch. He just switches it off whenever he wants, like before bed or when I’m talking to him.

        1. hehehe, no, that’s the HEARING button. I’m talkin’ about the off-switch to what I’m saying to myself. But you knew that. 🙂

          P.S. My hubby has the same ability. Maybe it’s a girl thang.

    2. Ugh! Isn’t it amazing what people will say to kids? Yikes. I try really hard to not send messages like that. When I realize I’ve screwed up, I apologize. My MIL is like that with her daughters. They both take after their dad, who is short and squat, not willowly like her (guess who got the willowy – my dh, of course). She gripes at my kids about not eating enough and finishing their plates, yet she also gripes at her daughters for being overweight. Um, seriously?

      I have very sturdy bones. When I was skin and bones in junior high, I weighed 100 pounds. That’s a big difference from someone who has those teeny bird bones. Also, I was at my full height by twelve – 5’7”. It sucks that you gave up so much and don’t lose weight, but clearly you are very healthy. I know I have to cut back on the fast food and sodas but it’s so difficult in this fast paced world. Also, healthy food is often more expensive, harder to find (would a fruit vending machine be that difficult?), and takes longer to prepare. Tough in a time crunch.

      But yes, you ARE beautiful as you are. I can tell that and I can’t see you. 😀

      1. 🙂
        That said about my not eating ff, soda etc… I could sit down and eat a half dozen bagels in one sitting… so for me it’s over eating (and fast eating) and I’m sure a lot of MENTAL/EMOTIONAL… I try not to nag my son – and I have to stop myself from saying the same things my family said to me. He’s built like me – we’re both short (but I was 5’4″ by the age of 12 – full on bust and hips) and we have dense bones. I once had my bones and muscle ‘weighed’ (using a caliper dealie) and those weighed 137 lbs – so what do I do with that??

        Luckily in Tucson, we have a lot of whole food options – and since i work 6A-2P, I have time to make dinner and whatnot. If I worked until 5PM, things would be different. One thing I won’t do is allow a microwave in the house b/c it makes it too easy. But I’m not a food nazi in any sense of the word –

        it is difficult to cope in this world of instant gratification and photo-shopped perfection. I never had and never will have a flat stomach and at age 43, I’ve finally accepted it –

    1. Bruthahs and sistahs, unite!

  4. The media loves giving us mixed messages about weight. One day they’ll be reporting on the “obesity crisis” while the next day talking about how “unrealistic body images are causing eating disorders.”

    If you’re happy with how you look and feel, then don’t worry.

    Personally, I lost about 20 pounds before my wedding, and for the most part, I’ve kept the weight off. Do I feel any better? Not really, but looking at some of the pictures from back then, I definitely look better.

    1. I would like to get into a smaller size, but more than that, I’d like to not go up any more sizes. At least so far I haven’t, though the millions of size 14s is a mystery.

      What really gets me are the women’s magazines. On the cover: “How to lose 10 pounds in a week!” right above “50 recipes for mouthwatering chocolate!” WTF.

  5. So I finished 30 days of eliminating the evil 7 (sugar, soy, corn, peanuts, dairy, eggs, and gluten – almost), and guess what?! Didn’t lose a single pound. I guess I’m exactly where my body needs to be! The BMI thingy says I’m overweight, but man can I play some mean tennis! And I’m kickin’ it on the treadmill 5 days a week. There is probably nothing unhealthy about me, so I’m done with the charts too. Let’s have a big bonfire and burn those babies to kingdom come (I KNOW they don’t belong in Wonderland)!! 🙂

    Sounds like you’re being the best YOU you can be. What more is there? I love this post. I love your attitude. Keep loving life and YOURSELF and everything will be just fine.

    1. What on earth did you eat? I’m impressed. I have to search the shelves to find the applesauce without added sugar or sugar substitute. HELLO it’s freaking fruit and already sweet! Arghh. Treadmill five days a week is impressive too. I have a gym membership I can’t seem to get out of, so I guess I should get my butt to the gym more. Can’t . . . move . . . too . . .tired . . .

      I like the bonfire idea!

  6. P.S. Only in America:

    Checkout line at the commissary. They use bulk items to form the aisles. No joke, I’m walking down the aisle and see a huge stack of Giardelli coffee (like the Starbucks cold coffies in bottles), right beside it was a huge stack of Slim Fast. *roll eyes*

    1. I tried Slim Fast. Once. I like FOOD.

      1. Whereas Slim Fast is bark. Seriously. Check the ingredients.

  7. You can only please you. One day, you’re overweight. Then you lose 30lbs, and next thing you know, you’re underweight. Then you gain 15lls, and you’re overweight again. There is no winning. Ever. Never ever. It sucks elephant penis. Even being skinny sucks. People still stare and tell me my body is all wrong. It doesn’t matter. We are women, so no matter what our bodies look like, they look wrong. Fuck’em. Fuck’em all.

    1. I think that should be our mantra. Fuck’em all.

      1. I concur…like a doctor.
        But seriously, I’m glad I didn’t step over a line this morning. I’m over-caffeinated today and still in a bad mood from my yesterday. If I ever do go bat-bananas, feel free to delete my offense.

        1. Hard to step over a line here – not sure there are any. And I was in a bad mood when I wrote the post! 😀

  8. Oh Alice. Don’t worry about it. Losing weight to fit into what one doctor (not ALL doctors) would call ‘normal’ is simply not worth it. The best you can do is make sure that you stay healthy.
    To hell with popular culture. They’re never going to be happy. Today too-skinny is ‘in’, in a few years it’ll be soooo 2013.

    1. I hope so. I want to get back to when those chunky ladies in the Renaissance paintings were hot.

  9. There is such a double standard in this society. The message is loud and clear–we should be thin, fit, and beautiful. At the same time, we’re bombarded by food that’s been tested and retested (‘product optimization’ it’s called) to make sure it has just the right combination of fat, sugar, and salt to trick our brains into eating more and more of it. Talk about mixed messages.

    Great post. Your frustration is palpable.

    1. Yes! I’ve read about that. I joked about McD’s but it is creepy how they market stuff to you. They can get mice so addicted to it they will go through electric shock to get the food. Eek.

  10. I think we are all brainwashed as females from a very young age to think we need to look a certain way and be a certain size. Hollywood certainly doesn’t help! As for BMI, they changed what the “overweight” number was back in the 1970’s. They made it lower! If you google BMI for Women, it will be a different number than the one they use for both. I think BMI, scales, etc are all a load of crap! How you feel about yourself is all that matters.

    Oh, and either hide that scale or throw it away. I always feel better about myself when I am not constantly thinking of stepping on it – you should try that too. Don’t go for an ideal weight or weight loss, go with how comfortable you are in your own body.

    My mother is obese. Because of that, I always fear I will be too. I’m not, but the mind is a powerful thing!

    1. I KNEW it! I was thinking they’d changed the number, and was looking for something on that, but I couldn’t find it. So it was the 1970s when they changed it. Huh. They keep changing what qualifies you as Type II Diabetic. My aunt suddenly is and she wasn’t even pre-Diabetic not that long ago – with the same blood sugar levels.

      1. I just looked it up again and it says 1998 – oops! Not so long ago, but just long enough ago to shape all of the 30 something’s perceptions of weight.

  11. Women listen to other women too much. Listen to men. We pretty much favor the Christina Hendricks type over the Kiera Knightly type. Don’t let a bunch of douchy magazine pic selectors ruin your day.

    1. Thank you, Edward. It is good to hear it from a guy’s perspective. I think both men and women tend to preen more in competition with each other than to look good for the opposite sex. For instance, most women do not care how large a man’s package is, but I hear some guys talk about it constantly.

      1. Yes, either in competition with each other or in response to comments – mostly women, in my experience. Women are much harder on women than men are. To men, if a woman is pretty she’s pretty in sweats, a little black dress, a librarian costume, or whatever. To women, she has to have certain this, certain that….

  12. Alice,
    If you want to lose weight, then do it. If you don’t then don’t. Don’t pay attention to what society says is acceptable. You need to find what makes YOU happy and strive for that. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with losing a few pounds if you’re doing it for the right reasons. Don’t it because you feel pressured by society is not one of the right reasons.

    I will continue to encourage you on your journey but only because it’s something YOU want. Not because I think you should be some toothpick with no body definition.

    Also, Sir Mix A Lot is right. Curves are sexy. So do what makes YOU happy. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

    1. I agree with Twindaddy, ignore the others who think that you have to be thin to be beautiful. If you cannot ignore then listen to the countless songs that pay tribute to ladies who are not curvy as a toothpick. Heck i come from Wisconsin and we have our own definition of skinny, “she is Wisconsin skinny”, and I will tell you it is not in line with LA, NYC or Hollywood.

      1. Some of those models truly do scare me. They had a Victoria’s Secret commercial with supposedly sexy women modeling underwear and . . . you could see their bones. WTF. No boobs, no butt, what’s the point?

    2. I still love that song, no matter how many weird looks I get when I admit it. And you have to admire the clever butt imagery in that video. It’s so subtle.

      Thanks. I’m working on what makes me happy. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s what you really want, or just what society has programmed into your brain for you to want.

      1. Well, there are perfectly acceptable health-related reasons to lose weight. As long as you’re doing it for YOU that’s all that matters.

        1. Oh, yes, I think so too. I just hate that some people try to lump all overweight people in one category – like by being overweight they are automatically unhealthy. Not necessarily true.

  13. “My anaconda…..” ROTFLMFAO!!!!!! And believe me, I got plenty….

  14. I agree, Alice, society places too much importance on appearances and I think that Biggest Loser show is a farce. I don’t watch it. I wonder if the participants keep it off. I don’t think it’s a matter of a fad, but just healthy eating. So, sure that means treating yourself, too with a chocolate shake and not feeling bad about it. I’ve been doing this Superwoman Bootcamp, and I love it because it’s hard and shows results!! Like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. For me, the focus is on getting in shape and eating better. I do feel better, too! The diet is all about eating whole foods, like cottage cheese, eggs, more protein. Anyway, I wonder if maybe you should join something that motivates you. It’s done wonders for me. It’s hard to do this stuff alone.

    1. There was one show on, shockingly, TLC that covered some people who were over like 400 pounds. They had to lose a certain amount of weight to even qualify for the gastric bypass. They would also do a tuck so they didn’t have all the extra skin. But it was a SLOW process – the episodes were filmed over a period of several months. They had to learn to eat and exercise tiny bits at a time. And so many had such challenges at home – people shoving food in their faces. Poor guys. But several did lose the weight. Now that was actually somewhat inspiring.

  15. I am totally with you on that. Anorexia is almost hailed as if it were proof of your ability to resist worldly temptation in an attempt to achieve purity. Do you know what I read on a supposedly satyrical blog a couple of months ago?

    “I shed 15 kg (30 pounds) and I never felt any better. Being skinny is extremely cool because you can strike poses in front of the mirror with more self confidence, you can insult your chubby friends more convincingly and all your exes call you back”

    “those who tell you that you look emaciated are just jealous because you wear a zero and they don’t”

    This was not ironic nor sarcastic and I felt disgusted but ashamed of my few extra kgs. See how THEY manipulate people’s minds.

    1. Yikes. That person has some issues. So if you’re skinny you can insult people and they’re just jealous if you are emaciated? Good grief. Take some of the runway models that make millions and put them beside starving people in Africa. Not much difference except that the poor Africans have no choice but to starve.

      Also, did you realize there are sites on the internet called pro Ana and Mia that show girls how to be anorexic? Sick! It just so happens that James has two characters named Ana and Mia and Ana never wants to eat. Hmm.

      1. Ana epitomizes all ills of contemporary society ( I am referring to christy’s wife)

        By the way, did you notice that they cast Cara delevingne in the victoria’s secret show?she is below size zero with hardly a curve. Is this a sick joke or is the lingerie industry leaning towards those standards as well?

  16. Great post Alice. Sometimes the emotional baggage is harder to lose than extra weight, but to me it sounds like you are busting through. GO girl.

    1. Thanks. Ploddin’ along. 😀

  17. I’d say burn the scale, but it would probably emit toxic fumes, so never mind.

    A couple years ago I started getting serious about eating healthfully and exercising. I lost a lot of weight, but not as much as I wanted to, and while I’ve kept most of the weight off, I’ve had some ups and downs. What I’ve noticed is this: my energy level and general feeling of well-being are much more closely correlated to my habits (what I’m eating and how much I’m exercising) than to my my actual weight. I still weigh myself, but my strategy now is to continue to eat healthfully and exercise regularly and not worry about what the scale says unless I actually start gaining again.

  18. I have NEVER dieted, I do watch what I eat, I use to sit down and eat a small pizza on my own (6 slices) now I have one. There are days when I let go, there are days when I pull the reins in ..for letting go. Mix it up a bit, you starve yourself of foods you like, you will end up binging on them down the track. Moderation, exercise 30 mins per day (even a walk) You don’t need the miracle DVD’s from the Super Buffs…think how their life is..a complete bloody misery! Hop on the scales once or twice a week – just to keep in check. If your clothes are fitting you better you are losing. The scales sometimes lie 😉 Good luck Ms Alice…you will do juz fine xx

  19. As I mentioned to you before, it’s good that I don’t gain weight much. However, I lose just as little as well. I’m just some point-something overweight, according to my BMI and for the life of me, I can count the times (less than five) I actually reached “normal” weight. I’m grateful I’m not so overweight than I first imagined. But I still do want to be healthier. Just restarted Muay Thai so I hope that helps. I don’t want to be skinny either because I am already small. I don’t think that would be healthy for me as well.

    Good luck to us!!!

  20. Being happy in your own skin is much more important than the size of said skin. Often the people who get to be huge have gotten that big because they’ve eaten instead of facing their problems – and then they face their problems and their weight by being publically bullied by Jillian. It’s much healthier to be a little over what is “normal” than to be under what is “normal” too – if you get ill and can’t eat, if you’ve no reserves in your body, you’ll take longer to get better and your body will start to consume itself in a not good way.

    So please be curvy and happy, Alice.

  21. Alice: love and hugs to you. I love this entry!!

    1. Thanks, Jill! Good to see you around.

      1. Thank you!! I’m slowly, Slowly but surely catching up in my reading. Soon, there might be comments on your entries within a day of you writing them! I know, don’t have a heart attack from surprise!

  22. […] I sort of came up with some new probably good habits.  But no weight loss.  So then I wrote my Big Fat Manifesto, in which I griped about how people hate fat people and it’s really not fair when there are so […]

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