Obesity ----- One Fat Lady !!
May 4, 2010 11:30am CST
I have finally picked up enough courage to write my review on my fight with the dreaded weight. Apologies, it may be a long one!! I AM OBESE!!! Now you can cover that with as many euphemisms as you like - 'chubby', 'curvy', 'big boned','pleasantly plump', 'plus sized'- I am just very much overweight. AND I HATE IT!! What is it like being fat? It is feeling that you are being held back in your job because of your weight. It is learning to put up with cruel comments and trying not to look upset. It is scared of having a bath in case you can't get out. It is not being able to sit at chairs that are attached to tables. It is worrying that the lap belt on the plane aer not going to fit you. It is worrying that if it does fit you, you won't be able to pull the trayb down over your bulk. It is being scared to go to the doctor because you know that, whatever the symtoms, your weight will be blamed. It is when, as an older mum to be, you read on the scan notes 'difficult to see because of maternal obesity'. It is not been able to get decent clothes, and the ones you do get are overpriced. It is being obsessed with eating in public as you think everyone is asying'no wonder she's so fat'. It is struggling to fasten safety rails on fairground rides. It is struggling to get into the back of small cars. It is all these things and more besides. What do people think about fat people? That we are lazy, greedy, dirty, smelly, ugly, weak willed,jolly and the butt of many fat jokes. They don't think that we are suitable for promotion or employment. They think that fat people have only themselves to blame and should get of their fat @rses and stop stuffing their fat faces. Well isn't it their fault? If I was bulimic, anorexic, addicted to alcohol or drugs I would be given help and support. I would not be ridiculed for my size, refused treatment on the National Health, paying extra for air travel or having to read how people 'hate fat people'. Oh I know only too well that I have to consume less calories than I use, but it isn't always that simple. People don't know the facts about me, or my struggles, but they are very quick to judge what they see. If you made racial or homophobic comments about me, if you ridiculed my faith, if you made comments about my disabilities, I could take legal action - call me a big fat slob and society sees that as acceptable. It is ironic, but very true, I actually help other people to lose weight. I still get messages daily from people asking me advise, I havea website on healthy eating, I know all the rules, all the tips, all the ideas. I'm a gold member of Weight Watchers - in fact twice over - but I'm still fat. So fatty, what's your story? At Christmas I will be 60 - for over 40 of those years I have been overweight. At infant and junior school I was normal size, although my body shape was always dumpy, I never seemed to have a waist. I was born just post war in an era were healthy eating was the norm. We ate good, healthy foods, granted I loved the little treats like my mum's home made potato cakes, but generally I had a good diet. I have never had a particularly sweet tooth so I didn't eat lots of chocolate, sweets or cakes. I was never sporty, but loved swimming and swam 2-3 times week. I was not of the generation with daytime TV and computer games, so my activities were out door ones, running and playing. T have though, always loved food,- cooking it, reading about it, researching it and eating it! I loved concocting family meals from around the age of 10, it was obvious then that food was going to be a big part of my life - unfortunately it was also going to make me very big. By the time I was ready to go to grammar school at 11 my boobs had began to sprout and I wore a bra. As I grew older I also grew bigger and wider. I had always been tall but now my girth began to grow as well. Looking back now it was my size which dictated which group of girls I hung around with at school - there were the ultra-clever swotty ones, I wasn't clever enough to be in their group; there were the slinky, good looking girls who made a 1960's grammar school uniform look sexy - I didn't fit in with them; there were the jolly hockey stick ones who loved any type of sport - again not for me; then there was 'our' group - the girl's who just didn't ft in, the one's who weren't overly clever, model material, sports loving or rich - we were the outcasts - the ugly, spotty and the fat. We found solace in each other, I found solace in daydreaming- dreaming about being thin,beautiful and popular! The stupid thing was that I wasn't really fat! I did have a an awful body shape - a thick, high waste and large boobs. But I was in a UK size 14 and was 5'9" tall (what I'd give to be in a size 14 now!!) However celebrity and peer pressure is not something new to modern girls - back then in the 60's we had Twiggy, Julie Christie,Marianne Faithful etc - all ultra thin and ultra sexy. Don't get me wrong, I had a great childhood, but always there was the longing to be a little bit thinner, prettier and blonder. By the time I was 15 my hair was long and fairly blond, I wore the fashionable clothes and was a real girl of the 60's, but I just kept getting a little bigger. When I went off to college i was aged 18 and size 16. I was living in a hostel with a bevy of other 18 year old girls and my life was a constant whirl of dieting and walking down to the pub!! To make matters worse I was training as a Home Economist, dieting was frowned upon; we had to look like we ate what we cooked. The social life at college was great. I loved it, but I also had my boyfriend(now hubby of almost 40 years) at home, so I didn't bother too much with the boys, but even if I hadn't had my boyfriend I don't think that I could have fit into the circle that did the dating thing - I didn't feel good about my body and appearance. I managed to get through college with my dress size fluctuating between 16 and 18 and walked straight into a management post with the police catering.I was due to be married the next year and my wedding was all I could think about. I as determined to be a thin bride, I kept dieting, my mum kept 'feeding me up' ! I was a size 18 on my wedding day, but I didn't look too much of an ogre on my wedding photos. Now I was a married woman, married to a human dustbin who could eat for England and who at 6'1", weighed less than 11 stone, slightly less than me. Life was a constant cook in, making delicious meals and desserts for my husband and , of course, me.By the time my weight had increased to 13 stones, I fell pregnant with my first daughter. I was so poorly throughout my pregnancy that instead of gaining weight I lost it, I lost so much weight people didn't realise I was pregnant.#When I cam out of hospital after having a 7lb baby I weighed just 10 stone. At last -I had found the magic answer to weight loss - pregnancy!! In the next two and a half years I gained all the weight and more, so that I was around 14 stone when I became pregnant with my second daughter. Once again the magic happened - after having her I weighed 11 stone!! I like to be predictable and followed the same cycle, two and a half years inbetween the next pregnancy, this time my weight was 15 stone prior to pregnancy and 12 stone after giving birth. That, I thought, was my family complete my three daughters were quite enough for me, but the weight kept piling on. When my youngest daughter as two and a half I saw a family photo of us all, I had a huge tent of a yellow dress on - I looked dreadful. I was DETERMINED to do something about it. I plucked up the courage and went along, on my own, to join Weight Watchers, I weighed a whopping 17 stone. I can say in all honesty that from the day I started the programme I never cheated once - I was the star pupil. I was lucky, I knew all the nutritional information I needed and I was able to create interesting but 'legal' meals, and the weight dropped off me - in eight months I was down to 10 stones - I felt incredible. I was a gold member of Weight Watchers, I had my photo in the local newspaper, I started going to the beauty saloon for waxing etc, I was wearing lovely modern clothes, I felt healthy - but I still had a thick waist and huge boobs!! I stayed on the maintenance diet going to meetings for weigh in about once a month, I just kept losing weight, I was soon down to 9 stone, and to be honest really too thin. Picture if you can a tall skinny woman with skinny legs and massive boobs! There is one old video of me when I was a Brownie leader and was skipping with them on pack holiday - suffice it to say it's a wonder I didn't have black eyes!! When my youngest daughter was five I decided to go back to work teaching catering. I had only had the job two weeks when Weight Watchers approached me about becoming a leader - if only they'd been a month earlier!! It was then that things started to go wrong. Weight Watchers was on a Monday night - the same time as my Brownie meetings, so I couldn't attend. My weight began to slowly creep up - despite the fact that I was on my feet all day, running up and down stairs, running a full time job, a family and a brownie leader and I wasn't really over eating. I decided that I would go to Slimming World, it was on a Tuesday! The first week there was no way that I could follow their diet so I followed the Weight Watcher plan, I lost 11lb in a week, I was Slimmer of the Week. I won a basket of fruit. I never went back!! I felt too much of a fraud, what if I did it again and lost all my weight and the press interviewed me and I had been following a weight Watcher diet for the weigh in at Slimming World? I didn't gain al the weight back on, but at 38, weighing around 13stone I found out I was