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Musings on fitness, fatness & fandom... and self-perception...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I went a sci-fi/fantasy/gaming convention this past weekend. It was a wonderful time, so much so, that we plan to drive in Indianapolis next year for 4th of July weekend. The people were great, the event was great... but I still come away rather troubled.

Conventions, such as the one we attended are a slice of what is known as "fandom"... fans of books, movies, games, tv series, etc. We all gather and share our oddments and for a short time feel like we are "with our own people." We are mostly comprised of the geeks and nerds and misfits you might remember from high school, the ones who knew way more about computers, programming, dungeons & dragons, etc... and read those weird books about elves and dwarves or singing spaceships... a highly head-bound bunch... I reflect and I am troubled.

I love "my people," I feel more at home with them than in most places I go in daily life. Even with my birth family, I have always been a little different, still loved but different... not really the black sheep, perhaps the purple paisley sheep with black accents. From when I entered school, I was always different and never being one to conform, I had some very rocky years until I found my niche... and even still, it's not always easy.

At the con, I was truly one of the smallest women there. Downright skinny if you look at it honestly. My hubby was also small in comparison. Mind you, con-goers tend to the extremes, and mostly to the overweight.... really overweight. There are many obvious health problems amongst con-goers of this demographic. Most of the foods being consumed are unhealthy: fast food, sugared sodas, candy, etc. It makes me sad to see people who are generally so smart act so dumb.

I am not sure I get the reason as to why those in fandom are prone to be fat... I am trying to understand that. But then again, I was fat in fandom too, not realizing (or not wanting to realize) how fat I really was.

Then we get to the other thing that has been rolling around in my head... my self-perception of late. Though I wear a size 6 from Old Navy... I still am 204.6 lbs in my head. I think that is starting to change though. What really brought out the stark contrast was on Sunday at the convention, I was wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans like most everyone there... I would see myself reflected in the mirrors by the doors of the panels as I passed by them, I saw a very thin woman looking back at me. And even though she has been me for 22 months now... I am still not sure who she is.

The journey never really ends... it's always going on somewhere in your mind, soul and body.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASMPD2 7/8/2010 6:48PM

    I echo your other friends' comments, that you should keep up your positive attitude, and I hope that someday your mind's eye will see a thin, fit person when you picture yourself. That's the best way to stay fit and keep the pounds off, by the way... if you picture yourself thin and you look in the mirror and see something different, you're REALLY motivated to get back on track!

I don't know if I have much else to add to the discussion here about why "fans" are disproportionately heavier and less fit than a cross section of society. All of you posed some plausible theories. When I see people who have allowed their physical health to deteriorate, as many "fans" of this or that have, I am sad for them and I worry about what's gone on in their lives that led them to that point... insecurities, self-esteem busters, stress, lack of personal support, illness? They also have the added suffering of people being able to "see" that there's "something wrong" with them; a gambling addict or a serial criminal doesn't have a tattoo across his or her forehead that says, "I have issues", but a morbidly obese person does. I pray for them often.

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UUCEEJAY 7/7/2010 3:44PM

    I too am one of the geek crowd. I was on the chess team and in the debate club in high school and found my niche in the computer world after the explosion of the Internet. I work with a high school class of computer geeks and very few of them are overweight at this age, but most are not very active or health conscious either. I think they live on pizza and pop most of the time while they game on their computers. But I don't think it is just the geek crowd that suffers with this problem. At my last class reunion, my husband and I were among the thinest and fittest people there and that was 10 years ago. Even most of the high school athletes and cheerleaders were way overweight and out of condition.
If about a third of the adult population in the US is obese and a third is overweight, it would put you in the minority in any gathering if you were at a normal weight. Sad, but I think true.

Keep looking at your great size six figure in the mirror until that image replaces the old one, and spread the Spark! emoticon

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TEMPUSFUGITT 7/6/2010 5:41PM

    I was at a lot of those kind of cons in my youth, and I think Annie nailed it; it's all about the escapism and the socializing. We can avoid a lot of painful reality with gaming...

You end up living in your head to escape the problems of real life. And sharing a few snacks while you're there helps you feel better too...

Congrats on being the thin one at the con; and even more grats on your real life success :-)

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ANNIEONLI 7/6/2010 11:57AM

    Hey skinny lady! emoticon

I don't need to psycho-analyze the first part of why fandoms are on the larger size...the cerebral world in which we live in is an escapists dreamland/nightmare all rolled into one. No need to leave one's head, basically, ever, so it's always there to hide in. I use the word "hide" carefully here. I might get slammed for even writing that, but I can speak from experience, so go ahead if you must. I can say the same thing about those UBER involved in ANYTHING really....churches are another one that comes to mind...here, let's pray ourselves thin. (Oh boy, yes, I said that out loud for the first time on Spark....must be something that needs to finally be said.) I have no qualms in stating either, because, I've both hid in my fantasy world and prayed that I would magically be thin. Unfortunately that is not how this works at all....and we finally know that.

Basically, the involvement of anything that involves community and gathering also will revolve around food...and more food...and more food. Food is community, and I don't care if you are in a basement gaming all day, or at a convention, or sitting in a church...movement is lacking!

NOW to our crazy brains!!! I get it....I really do. I am 185 this week. I just PUT MYSELF DOWN verbally infront of a rep as not being the pretty sister of the family and he immediately told me to shut up. (Thanks for that Tom!) We have this EVIL thing in our heads that automatically trigger the fat-chick part of our brain, that will forever be there I think, but like fat cells, shrinks back...but when we struggle with our maintenance by gaining a few back, or slack in the fitness and eating....paDOW! here she comes, rearing her ugly thoughts back into our brain!! Damn evil beeeeotch she is too. emoticon

But I digress....you and Mark are like me and Rob...after goodness knows how many years of being together, you are probably the fittest and the happiest you've been in your whole lives together, and THAT is a huge accomplishment and a wonderful example for all to see. It something that should keep you on the 10% path that we are on. We have support that some do not have. It is our reality that keeps us able to really enjoy the non-reality of our fantasy worlds.

Keep looking in the looking glass, Alice...this is YOUR fantasy that YOU made come true!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/6/2010 11:58:43 AM

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Great weekend!! and not too bad a week overall...

Monday, July 05, 2010

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! We went to Indianapolis for a great science fiction/fantasy convention and hung out with fellow geeks, it was great!

I didn't make all of my goals 100%, but I feel I did pretty well on my first week of the new regime... It's a challenging one, so I am happy with it. I will do better this week.

The real overall goal is to get up and get moving more than I have recently and I certainly achieved that. I dropped about a pound and have arrested the upward creep. I am also eating a lot better than I was... with lots more salads and fresh fruits.

So it's a new week and I decided to start off my week with a bang... and I did, burning almost 500 calories in 79 minutes. I walked treadmill for 54 minutes and did a Jillian Michaels dvd.

I feel positive.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 7/6/2010 9:19AM

    Great job! emoticon

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ANNIEONLI 7/6/2010 7:41AM

    That is AWESOME!!! You are my inspiration!! emoticon

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Pretty good week so far...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I'm not 100% on my stated goals, but I'd say I'm about 95%. That is good.

My calorie burn is almost 1100 for the week already. I have been short of 10K steps 2 days and exercise 1 day. Not too bad. Jillian Michaels vids are at 3 so far this week... and running on TM once.

But it's building up and I am feeling my momentum return.

We are heading to Indianapolis tonight for a convention, it should be fun!!

Lots of things to prep. Got healthy snacks ready to go: soyjoy bars, beef jerky, fruit and my water bottle.

The thing that has been really plaguing me the last few days, though, is the mindset that I'm still fat. I'm not, my weight has crept up a little, but I still see myself as 200 lbs even though I can wear size 6 jeans and dresses.

I know at one level that I am slim and healthy, but I look down at my thighs and see them as size 18s... so on another level, I still don't KNOW it.

My family laughs at me, but they don't understand that once you get that fat mindset in your head, it's not easy to lose. My husband gets it at least a little from that perspective.

I am not that fat girl... who just didn't give a crud about herself. But man the mindset is hard to alter.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASMPD2 7/1/2010 2:16PM

    Great news on your progress this week! Have fun in Indy!

I feel for you though, that your body image is still a struggle after all these months. As long as you're self-aware, that's probably the most important thing, because if you weren't, you could run the risk of slipping into an eating/health disorder. I'm also glad to hear that your family and friends are keeping you honest! Great support network!

emoticon

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MOCACHOC 7/1/2010 9:43AM

    I am doing this on a daily basis. I've started the 30 day shred again. Got a setback but will be back in the saddle again soon. Have a wonderful 4th.

Peace and Love

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Today.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I got off my butt (I almost said 'lazy') and exercised @ lunch. One of my 30DS installments for the week. Felt great once I was done.

I have already conquered the fruits and veggies for the day... minestrone soup is veg loaded... and I had fresh carrots and strawberries with it. I have been like a strawberry hound this year... they don't last because I am inhaling them.

And I know my tastebuds have changed. I used to refuse strawberries unless they were sugared, now they are just fine the way nature created them. MMMMM. However I must say that they are delish when dipped in lime yogurt (and prolly any other yogurt too).

Just kind of steeling myself for the busy that is this month (see previous blog post).

Kinda grumpy 'cause my pedo is wanting a new battery... which is at home. So my step counting will have to be approximate today. Work will easily be 3500 since I did the DVD @ lunch. And tonight... hmmm, 10K may be harder to achieve since I have been short sleep 2 nights running.

Hubby got home at 12:45 last night... over an hour earlier than originally planned and I stayed up stupid late trying to get my 10K steps done and sorta keyed up since he'd been gone since Tuesday.

I am married to the most amazing man. He's just wonderful. I could count the ways, but I would be here and bore anyone reading this to tears.

So meanwhile I really need to get the latest round of shigella cases input to the state system... and maybe I can do ANYTHING else today!!

Peace!

emoticon emoticon

  
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COOP9002 6/29/2010 12:34PM

    Congrats on getting some activity into your busy day.

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New goals set!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I was going to reset my goals last night, but I was too wiped out.

I am feeling better this morning, so I have it all set to go. The only one I took out of my list from the other day was the committing to 2 shorter Jillian Michaels vids 2x a week. Not to say that I won't but 30 DS with her longer vids 2x week I think.

Today I take the day off from real accomplishment. I plan to knit, exercise, mow the lawn, eat tasty healthy fuds and relax a bit before another month of non stop fun gets under way.

July is very busy. I work Mon-Thurs this week, then head to Indianapolis for a sci-fi/gaming convention for the weekend. We will return Monday the 5th. Then I work Tues-Friday of that week and go to St. Louis for the weekend with my daughter. The next week is a full one, followed by Reserve Drill. Then another regular week followed by my LARP game. So in about 4 weeks I can have a day off and go nowhere.

Sheesh.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COOP9002 6/27/2010 4:15PM

    Sometimes we just need to chill.

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LALMEIDA 6/27/2010 1:25PM

  emoticon It sounds like you have a great plan for the next month. emoticon

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