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Editorial Comment

Fat Chance!

(SNN) - In our society the only thing worse than a middle-aged woman is a fat middle-aged woman. No one cares how she got that way, what medical issues (or medicines) played a part, or the fact that everyone's metabolism is different--making some too thin, some too fat, and some just right (thinking of porridge now?).

Fat has become the new social sin, as bad as, if not worse than smoking. And men in particular feel entitled to comment publicly on women who suffer from this sin (and even on women who don't).

Having gradually become over-weight in just the past four-to-five years, I had little to prepare me for the onslaught of hate I would receive over my weight--as much from myself as from others. Nor was I prepared for the dieting yo-yo experience. I had always been able to eat whatever I wanted and still remain thin. Fat chance of that now!

I must interject that after being able to exercise, I quickly lost fifteen pounds--just in time to gain it back during the holidays. (Who can resist a favorite cookie or a glass of celebratory wine?) Fortunately, I only gained two pounds (let's call it muscle, shall we?).

I, like the rest of American society, have become obsessed with weight and by extension with food. Nothing makes you want something more than trying to avoid it. (And now we're into noir relationships and all the drama that attends them.)

I joined a local women-only circuit exercise club and added their diet program to my bill. Now I am tracking every little thing that goes into my mouth. (Did you know chewing gum has calories?) But I digress.

Since beginning to focus (okay, obsess) on my weight-loss I've learned some things I want to share with you:

  1. Asian food and vegetables will cause you to have hunger pangs within an hour of eating.
  2. Exercise won't kill you, but if you have fibromyalgia and/or arthritis and/or old injuries it WILL cause you a world of hurt. Do it anyway.
  3. Fruit is delicious, which is why you can't eat as much of it as you'd like.
  4. Some of the people who talk about your weight more than anyone else, will try to sabotage your diet by bringing over your favorite higher calorie snacks and pressuring you to "just taste" them. (When anyone comes to your house carrying packages you know you didn't order, pretend you aren't home.)
  5. If it is good for you, it probably tastes like...well, you know. (Use lots of pepper, seasonings, and some salt.)
  6. Drinking lots of water will not, despite common wisdom, make you feel less hungry. (And anyway, did you know you could die from drinking too much water?)
  7. Nothing tastes better than a bite of dry toast after a week or more without bread.
  8. Vegetables often taste better fresh than cooked (without sauces). Which doesn't mean they taste GOOD fresh, but you still have to gag them down. (See number 5 above.)
  9. Everything you ever thought or said about fat people will come back to haunt you.
  10. What anyone says (judgmental-wise) about other people tells more about themselves than about the others they are judging.
  11. If you want to change anything about yourself, you must first love yourself the way you are and ignore the haters (including your own self-talk).
  12. Fat chance of losing weight and keeping it off if you're losing it because of what others think of you. You must do it for yourself and your reason needs to be compelling enough to make you commit to getting healthier. Period.
  13. Do you want to spend all your energy constantly dieting? Or do you want to make the world a better place? No one should be wasting their life energy obsessing about their weight and how they look. Be healthy, and let the rest take care of itself. Hardly anyone is a healthy size four, especially as they mature.
  14. And lastly, we need to stand together against public scrutinizing and belittling of women and girls' bodies. No one is ever going to fit that "perfect" image we're being sold. Not even celebrities who have the time and money to regularly use expensive diets, and spend five hours a day working out, and two hours a day absorbing beauty products, and another two hours a day wrapping themselves in expensive body draperies, and having plastic surgery, and still often requiring photo shopping of their images in order to fit the unrealistic image of ourselves that marketing is foisting on us.

I hope you find these things helpful in your own battles with weight loss, or change of any kind. If you have some helpful pointers, please share them in the comments section.

ABOUT THE WRITER:  Maye Ralston is an opinion columnist for The Sage and contributor to Writing Heartland blog. She is also a blog contributor and member of the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee.

More from Maye Ralston
DISCLAIMER: The above article is provided for entertainment purposes only and the article, image or photograph held out as news is a parody or satirical and therefore faux in nature and does not reflect the actions, statements or events of real persons. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Satire and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.



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