Wednesday, May 1, 2013

You have the right to remain indignant...

Date: May 1, 2013
Time: 2:21 pm
Current state: Ruminatin'
Location: The Office
Weather: Unfairly beautiful

Today's menu (started late today):
White Americano from Starbucks (Grande Americano w/2 pumps white mocha and a splash of half & half)
Starbucks ham breakfast sandwich
1/4 cup almonds
serving of banana chips
Trader Joe's Fusilli Pesto Pasta
Trader Joe's Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks
(Meeting friends at Ma Kai in Alki)
1 square of chocolate

Two things: 1) For everyone who asked, the move went GREAT! The movers were fast and friendly (which is the name of their business, Fast and Friendly Movers), and I'm so excited about my new place and roomie. 2) I am LOVING reading everyone's comments and I will do my super best to go back and reply to all of them. 3) (okay three things, I lied) Please share my blog. I really want to not only gain a readership, but to meet different people through this medium with different experiences.

I've been using my crutches on and off since my knee problems have escalated. I tend to use them when I'm out and about and have to walk long distances. When I'm at work a lot of people ask what's wrong and I decided awhile ago that I wanted to answer honestly: I'm having knee problems. Their follow up question is, "How long do you need the crutches?", and my answer is "When I get better." They ask, "How long will it take?" and I say, "However long it takes for me to lose weight." This always leads to a longer conversation about health, fitness, diets, and advice about what works for them or their friend/family member/coworker/dog/etc. There was a time when these conversations made me want to punch a daisy in the face, because even though the other party is always extremely well-intention-ed, a non-obese person trying to relate to my obesity problem has always made me uncomfortable.

Cut to lunch today. A coworker walked up to me in the kitchen and asked me the usual line of questioning about my knees, and it went as expected. She then brought up how a friend of hers uses Weight Watchers and how beneficial it is to them -

I'm going to cut from this conversation to explain my own personal experiences with WW (Weight Watchers). WW and I go WAY back. At the encouragement of an old coworker back in Colorado, I started going to meetings when I was 23. It started out great; I lost a lot of weight very quickly at first, and I was more conscious of what I was putting in my body. Then the cost of the monthly dues started catching up with me. To an hourly employee making $13 an hour, $40 a month is a lot of money. I stopped using it and inevitably gained all of it and more back.

Flash forward 5 years when my ex-wife and I decided to join again. It went extremely well this time and I ended up losing 90 pounds. When we broke up I stopped going because I no longer had a shared income, and again: to an hourly employee, $40 a month is a lot of money.

Flash forward 3 years: I gained back all of the weight I lost and a whole bunch more, which prompted me to join WW again. I went to one meeting. I was the last person to arrive at check-in, so I was there to hear the women loudly checking in all of the other meeting members ahead of me, most of which were new members. I was the only obese person. Two of the women in line, who were new, were tall and very thin; the counselor who checked them in told them according to their BMI they don't need to lose weight, but they can still attend the meeting. Another new member said she just wanted to lose 15 pounds. I went into the meeting and I was shocked by the judgmental stares I was receiving. I always thought of WW as a sort of AA, where people who are struggling with their weight could go to a non-judgmental environment to discuss coping/managing their weight problems. I had never before felt more uncomfortable in a WW meeting than I did that night. After that, I quit again. I decided that WW's focus has shifted not just to those who are genuinly struggling with weight loss, but for those who want to casually lose 15 or so pounds.

Flash forward  1 year to today's conversation, where I am still ferociously clinging to my indignation...

I told my coworker how I stopped going to WW, because I felt it was no longer for people who weren't struggling weight, but for people who casually wanted to lose a little bit of weight, how I felt judged, blah-blah-blah. Then she said, "Well it's a shame you felt judged, but it's not good to assume with other people's experiences are. They're going through their own experience." What?! Did she just tell me that I shouldn't feel offended by other peoples own personal struggles with their weight? How dare she take away my right to be offended!

The lesson I took away from that conversation is this: stop f*cking judging people Summer. Oh, and stop making what they're going through about you. In addition to that, I realized that I have used my indignation as a sort of shield or crutch. In a way I want to give myself a bit of a break, because I have been viciously bullied because of my weight, but in that vein there comes a point when I need to stop being a victim.

All of that being said, I've rejoined WW.

So your turn: what's your crutch? Share in the comments!


Kathryn said...

LOVE this post! OK so I already emailed you my menu for today... Went as expected but why do I keep getting salad for lunch??!! You know I hate that.

Anyway, question: Since you're so honest about your crutches to your co-workers & other curious people, do you find that they are more kind toward you bc of your honesty? I just wondered if people are less judgemental if they feel clued-in to your situation... Wondered if you've noticed a difference...

LOVE the WW development. OXOX

Kathryn said...

The point system is cool and all just don't let points count trump nutrition. :)

Kathryn said...

To answer your question (sorry I'm just so pumped for you). Let's see ... My crutch is that I'm a mom who works full time married to a husband who over commits me. God bless him. :)

Nancy Sciba said...

Your WW example is like what so many people feel about going to the gym. You want to be at a certain physical place before you go get sweaty with strangers while exposing your body in exercise wear. It's ridiculous to think of having to be self conscious of your weight at a WW meeting.

I'm sure you know that within your life are women that are thinner than you but are really unhappy with their bodies, women that are heavier than you that think they look great. We all have our own journey. Balancing self-acceptance and health is what I strive for.

My own personal mantra (since age 16) is "living well is the best revenge."

As for my crutch: it's humor. Whether I'm good at it or not. It's my go-to.