This Bird Does It

Librarian ramblings


Let’s call it what it is. Fat.

A friend posted this on Facebook about “Fat Talk.” You need to watch it to know what I’m talking about. It’s only about two minutes. I’ll wait.

I seem to be seeing a lot of this lately. We’re not supposed to call ourselves “fat” because we’re degrading ourselves and it’s damaging, or some such. Yeah, I get it. I’m supposed to be happy in the skin I’m in. I’m supposed to love myself for who I am. I’m supposed to get past the body image crap that we girls grow up with thanks to society and the media. Well, guess what! I am. I did. I used this body to produce three of the most beautiful children the world has ever seen (yeah, I said it!). I am forty-two years old and looking like I did in high school is not a priority for me, and I’m okay with that. I do not loath my body. I do not hate myself for the extra 60-75 lbs (depending on the month) that I am carrying around.

Let's face it. This is not the chin of a healthy person.

Let’s face it. This is not the chin of a healthy person.

But I am fat. I do need to lose that weight. I don’t need to lose it because I don’t love myself when I’m fat. I need to lose it because I love myself and want to be healthy. I don’t need to lose it because I want to like myself when I look in the mirror. I have to lose it because I DO like myself when I look in the mirror and I want to see that face get old! I don’t need to lose it so I can strut in a bikini, that ain’t ever happening again at any weight. I need to lose it so I can breathe better at night, so my knees feel better, so I don’t get so winded running around after my kids. I’m so out of shape, it’s almost as bad as when I was smoking. Almost. I don’t hate myself for being fat. I do get upset with myself for letting it get this bad.

I have a daughter about to turn ten years old. She is already well aware of the whole body image thing. She knows that her mom is overweight. We can say fat. I am fat. We can just call it overweight if that feels more like a medical term and makes everyone comfortable, but it’s semantics. My daughter knows that I am struggling with my own issues that cause me to gain weight and to shirk my responsibility for my health. But let me be clear, any negative body image crap she’s picking up on is not coming from me. She has NEVER heard me say that I hate any part of my body. She has heard me say that I am disappointed in myself for not getting healthy. She has never heard me “wish” to be thin. She has never known a time when her Mommy wasn’t willing to dress up with her and feel pretty. To walk tall and confident. I’m far more proud of that confidence that I’m trying to pass on to her than I am ashamed of my short falls in the fitness area.

And even more importantly, she has never seen her father wane is his attraction to me. She has never, EVER heard him make any disparaging remark about my body, my weight, my size, or my clothes. She has never heard him say anything to me or about me except that I am beautiful. I know this because that’s all I have ever heard from him. Yes, I am a lucky woman. If I could wish anything for my daughter, it’s not that she always stay in shape. So many things can affect how fit a person is at any given stage in life. I wish her health, but fitness is not as important as confidence. My one wish for her would be that she always be confident enough to wait for that man who will love her like her daddy loves me. And for that matter like my father loves my mother. Some extra weight has never been a reason for even the most mild of negative thought or remark.

The media is pounding on my girl every minute about body image. I know. And for lots of girls it’s too much. I pray every day that she will be stronger than that. I think I’m doing the best I can for her on this one, though. Not by going on about how beautiful she is no matter her size, and not by telling her that fat is beautiful. Instead I’m showing her that fat is just another thing. I’m also really bad at keeping up with the laundry. None of us is good at everything. I’m not so good at staying healthy, but I’m working on it. It’s a constant struggle. I think I’m pretty emotionally healthy, if not physically.

All that said, I’ll be jumping back on the wagon after the holidays. We had family pictures taken for the church directory yesterday. That was a bit painful. I swear I don’t look that fat in the mirror. I did not see a healthy woman in that picture. I did see a happy one, though.




I know what you recycle…

Okay, maybe not YOU, but if you live in my neighborhood, or more specifically, on my three-mile-walk route, I might.  Today is trash day and I finally got myself up in time to go for that longer walk.  It nearly killed me, but I feel like I could take on the world now.  And even though I came home to find that my husband was already up doing some kind of work on his computer and generally just BEING here for my quite alone time, it was still a lovely morning.  Especially the part where I get to suck down some water, pour my coffee, and relish the feeling of knowing I’ve already done my workout for the day, that no matter what else I blow off today, I got THAT done.

20130607_072155Anyway, back to the trash.  I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in our neighborhood, you get bins for recycling issued to you by the company that collects it.  When we moved into our house, we found two lids that fit the bins, and if there’s a lot of paper and it’s very rainy or snowy, my husband will use the lids, but mostly the bins are left open.  Open for the whole world to see what’s in them.  It surprises me a bit that my dear, privacy obsessed husband doesn’t use the lids more often, but maybe the fact that we’ve never, ever seen anyone else use them, if they even have them, stops him.  Sometimes his need to not stand out triumphs.  Sometimes I wonder how we ever got together.  So, trash, or recycling anyway, is out there for all to see what you are discarding.  More importantly, it’s out there for the world to see what’s being recycled.  And as I walked this Friday morning, I noticed the bins, their contents, and honestly, I was judging.

Now, don’t start with the lecture.  I try really hard not to be a judgmental person, not to pass judgments on folks when I don’t have all the information, and it isn’t my place to judge anyway, but let’s be honest here.  Everyone is judging a little bit all the time.  I’m not going to name names or give addresses, and the picture is of one of OUR bins, but I had thoughts when I peeked into my neighbors bins.  Thoughts that came unbidden.  Thoughts about the people who filled, or sometimes didn’t fill, those bins.

First, let me say that most of the bins looked a lot like my own.  There were some cereal boxes, sometimes broken down, sometimes not, some convenience food boxes, a few beer cans and maybe a wine bottle, pop cans, newspapers, a couple milk jugs, maybe a couple other juice containers.  Nothing exciting or even noteworthy.  Then there were a few bins with almost nothing in them.  A few newspapers and that’s it.  Really?  In a week nobody in your house used a single pop or beer can?  No cardboard pasta box was finished off?  Not even a toilet paper roll tube got revealed?  Seems unlikely, right?  You just couldn’t be bothered, or you don’t think it’s worth the time and effort.  Then there are the ones that are overflowing with every container of every kind, all rinsed and perfect, ready to go.  Shampoo bottles, pasta sauce jars, aluminum cans, frozen food bags, crumpled up balls of aluminum foil.  These are all recyclable if you didn’t know, and probably should be recycled, so here I fall short.  But those bins are also almost always containing nothing but organic and “natural” products.  Good for you, I say!  I wish I was more committed to the organic thing (though, I’m not convinced on all fronts), but it’s so expensive.  Finding balance in the grocery budget requires that I don’t always buy only the organic.  And sadly, I think the owners of those bins are a little over the top.  I wonder to myself where the sacrifices in their lives are so that they can do that, or are they so well set that they need not sacrifice to pay $7 a gallon for milk when the regular hormone-free stuff is $2.50 at WalMart.  And there were bins filled to overflowing with beer cans.  We sometimes have that, if we have company for the weekend, or a party.  Did they have a party or do they have this every week.  I didn’t necessarily note the address of these people, but if I see that a lot, I’ll notice, right?  I’ll wonder.

Yeah, I have no business thinking any of this stuff, right?  Well, three miles, even at my speedy clip, takes over 40 minutes to walk.  I have time to think.  If it weren’t for this here blog, you’d never know I was thinking it, right?  But I have to tell you about something.  I’m not going to believe you if you tell me you never have such thoughts.  Maybe it isn’t about the trash your neighbor puts out, but what about the kind of car he drives, or the shoes his children wear.  Or maybe it’s how well his front flower beds are weeded.  Everything we do says something about ourselves, and it isn’t always as obvious as what we put on Facebook.



20130605_071407I love my bed.  Who doesn’t, right?  That alarm goes off and suddenly that warm comfy spot is the most wonderful spot in the world, right?  Well, if I get up right then, if I never consider the snooze, I am always glad.  If I hit the snooze, even once, I’m done for if there’s no appointment pressing.  No matter how much is on the day’s agenda, I can justify another hour or more in nine minute increments.  But here’s the best thing.  When I get up to walk, or otherwise exercise in some way, it’s the best.  I get to be quiet.  Yes, those of you who know me, I do enjoy that once in a while.  I get to walk the neighborhood and focus my eyes on things that are further away than the other side of the room, or my computer monitor.  I get to listen to the birds.  Then when I get home, if I’m really lucky, nobody is awake yet and I get to have some quiet time at home.  Drinking my coffee in peace is a privilege, indeed.  Sitting down with the computer for some uninterrupted writing, with my banana and my coffee, that is a rare treat, for sure.

Too bad I have nothing to say today.


The Fat Chick says…

Someday I’ll figure out my own head.  Not so much today, though.  I thought I would try to update “The Fat Chick” weekly, but tomorrow will be two weeks since I laid it all out there, and you haven’t heard anything from me, have you?  Well, don’t think I’ve just walked off and forgotten about all that.  No, I’m just having trouble figuring out exactly what I want to share.  I mean this to be a personal journal, yeah, but I don’t want to forget I’m leaving it on the table for everyone to read, either.  Forever, possibly.  I mean, you really can’t erase the internet, can you?

So, first thing is the basic update.  I’m under 200, again.  Just barely, but there you go.  199.8 at 7am this morning.  Let’s keep that trend up.

Here’s the big thing I wasn’t sure I was ready to share, but my brain isn’t accepting that.  I guess I want to talk about it more than I thought I did, but I kinda don’t.  See?  Can’t figure out my own head.  So, if I just put it out there, there won’t be anymore angst on deciding to talk about it, right?

I have joined Weight Watchers.  Yup.  I have paid money to get help to lose this weight.  And it ain’t cheap.  I am not convinced it is actually value priced, but I got in on that deal where they waive your Sign-Up Fee, so that’s not so bad.   I won’t be going to any meetings, or weighing myself in public (not sure why that’s so much scarier than posting a scale picture on the internet), online only for me.  It has only been a few days, but it is a pretty neat tool.  It’s well set up, with a slick website, and no other program gets reviewed as well for actually working.  But I just can’t get my head around the fact that I paid money for this.  It seems like an admission of failure.  Maybe that’s why I didn’t want to talk about it here?  It feels like I’m saying, “I couldn’t do what should be easy, so help me.”  And I guess I am, except the part about it being easy.  I know it’s hard, I’ve been doing this for a couple years now, and nothing else has worked.  There is the part of my brain that says, “Yeah, but you didn’t try THAT hard, did you?”

So, now you’re privy to the internal dialogue I’ve had over the last week or so.  The upshot is that I’ve accepted that I need more help than just a good food tracker.  WW is essentially just that, but they make it much easier.  And as a lifestyle change, it makes much more sense.  I’m not going to be able to sustain a long term lifestyle requiring me to count calories.  The PointsPlus thing is so much easier.  So far, anyway.

And then there’s the whole thing about getting off my butt and moving more.  I’m feeling the urge to get outside, and that’s good.  I’m sure it’s just the same thing everyone is feeling this time of year, especially when the calendar says it’s the first week of April, but it feels much more like the first week of March.  I WANT to get outside and move.  I think I’m going to bundle Baby Bird up and walk to pick up the big kids after school today, even though it’s only supposed to be about 45 or so at pick up time.  It will be good for all of us.

I want this.  And I’ve started to visualize the end result.  I can see it, it’s real.  Just have to not get distracted.  I hope to have a lot of habits changed before my classes start up again the first week of June.

If you’re still reading, thanks!  I know I was gone for a few days, but my buddy in Germany checked in everyday.  Thanks, to you, whoever you are!


The Fat Chick

Two whole days I went without writing.  Did you miss me?

Today’s topic?  The Fat Chick.  It’s me, now.  I’ve been overweight for a while now, I’ve even recognized it enough to lose 30 lbs that I didn’t keep off, but I’m only just now beginning to realize that I self identify as The Fat Chick.  I want to be a model of good body image for my daughter.  I want to be strong and healthy.  I want to keep up.  But, I also want to look good in clothes, if not swimsuits.  I want to feel good, too.

So, it’s a bit painful to admit that I’m overweight, but that’s not new.  What does hurt a little is realizing I’d sort of accepted it.  If I just go with it, I’m consciously choosing to accept not being healthy, or strong, or even looking good.  That can’t be good.  I’ve journaled about all this before somewhere else, and those friends were very supportive.  But somehow, it still didn’t stick.  I didn’t STAY with the changes I made.  I’m going to choose to believe that particular failure  is not indicative of some personal failing or character flaw.  I’m just going to start again.  I’m going to move forward with this project.  I’m going to visualize success, and along the way, I’ll try to keep you, Dear Diary, updated, too.  How much fun will it be to have the whole record when I finally drop the 60 lbs I want to ditch.

That's right.  Just a touch past the 200 pound mark.  That can't stand.

That’s right. Just past the 200 pound mark.

I have deleted my old myfitnesspal account.  I had some friends, from real life, and those I’d met on that site, who were supportive and I appreciate that.  I don’t want to blow them off, but it was part of trying to clean up my online presence and stay in control.  I have a new account, but I don’t really want to connect with it.  I mostly use it for the food diary features, and I’ll keep it low key.  That’s not to say that I don’t want support.  I’d love to hear some “Atta Girl” and “Lookin’ Good” comments from the gallery here.  Please, if you read, feel free to chime in.  You can also tell me to get off my butt and move, or stop eating the damn chocolate if I’m doing that, too.  I’m pretty thick skinned.  It takes both to be supportive, I believe.

So, I weighed in at about 202 this morning.  Yup.  That’s a tough number to put on a public blog.  So is this one, I just got a pair of pants for Easter in size 16.  It ain’t exactly a “before” picture, but I won’t be doing that without the “after” shots to go along.  I do have SOME limits to my humility.  🙂  I’m doing well today, and lots of times I just really need to get a few good days under my belt to feel like I’m on a roll.  And if I can get the food thing on a roll, maybe I can find the motivation to get up and move.  If you pray, I’d appreciate your prayers.  This is hard, even if I want to pretend it isn’t.  And if prayer isn’t your thing, just some good thoughts are appreciated.