The Ultimate Goal/Uncertainty
Thursday, May 23, 2013
I am strongly opinionated. If my waist size decreased at the rate my mouth ran, I would not be uncomfortable in my size 16 petite jeans.
Yea, I'm feeling bad today about my body. Well, some of it. I feel good about my legs - they're looking pretty good, I think. But I'm feeling bad about the size of my mid-section. That's bothering me. I'm tired of my pants being tight, but I don't want to go up to another size. Because my self worth will decrease if I do that. Isn't that a shame?
In any case - I'm still doing what I was setting out to do, and we'll see how it goes. It's only a few weeks. I have a feeling it's not going to go well, but we'll see. I'm eating at a calorie range that is high for Sparkpeople, but not according to other recommendations. Sparkpeople's calorie range is too low for me - I don't stick with it long term. Never have.
So, part of what brought on this blog was this article from Rachel Cosgrove. She's a trainer who recently wrote a book "Drop Two Sizes." Alwyn Cosgrove, who was the trainer who has come up with all of the New Rules of Lifting programs, is married to Rachel. On the NROL4W FB page, initially people knocked the book, because it has a pretty dumb name, and a ditzy, hopping, skinny looking model on the cover. Alwyn said that this book is what NROL4W would be if he wrote it today.
Here is the link to the article:
I don't know about you, but... methinks she protesteth too much. Here she picked another model, but Women's Health (a large media outlet set to make money by having women feel badly about themselves to they'll buy their product) said "No, she doesn't connect to our target audience." Target audience? You mean to say that we need a model who is skinny and airbrushed so women feel bad about themselves and buy this book instead?
Here is my comment on the FB page. Everyone was like "Yea, great article, great article" and I'm like "Not so fast!" Of course.
"You are all gonna hate me for saying this... but...
That image is what the patriarchal bullsh*t media - including Women's Health - says connects with women. It connects with women because it is that exact advertising that TELLS women that is what they MUST WANT. Oh you gained a couple pounds? YOU MUST WANT TO LOSE THEM RIGHT NOW OR YOU WILL BE FAT AND UGLY! It connects with women because they are bombarded with "YOU MUST BE SKINNY" and "YOUR THIGHS MUST NOT TOUCH" and "DON'T GET BULKY" and end up hating themselves! Showing images of skinny, happy women, makes everyone else (average weight of 160) feel bad about themselves so they'll buy the book. They desperately want to be skinny because they have been taught to loathe their bodies.
Sorry, I'm sure that's a fantastic book, and I may read it and follow along when I'm done with NROL4W, but it sounds to me like Women's Health is saying "Sorry, we need a skinny bi*ch (because ... sh... skinny bi*ches sell books by making women hate their own bodies)" and Rachel had no choice in the matter. Sounds like PR to me.
Rachel's target audience is a group of women who are told by Women's Health and the rest of the media that skinny is hot, and fat is not. If they wanted to show someone who connected with their target audience, she would be a size 12-16, and definitely not airbrushed.
Also - and this is a shout-out for the model - she may not *look* strong, but neither do a lot of us. We look... typical! She may be stronger than she looks. I know some women who may not look strong, but can kick my a*s!"
And then, same day, GoKaleo (thanks A*L*P) posted this amazing blog:
Today I went shopping for some new summer bottoms, since I don't really have much. I got a pair of shorts, a pair of capri pants, and a pair of RUNNING SHORTS. I don't know how much running I'll do in them (fear of legs chafing) but I do intend to wear them to work out. The weight room at the Y is NOT air conditioned. Only the cardio room, with its sexy, flashy, expensive equipment, is air conditioned.
In theory... in theory, yes... if I eat well and strength train, I will have more muscle, which will increase my metabolism, and I will lose fat. How long will it take? I don't know. I am always torn between feeling bad about myself for being fat, and feeling bad about myself for caring about something so stupid.
Someday, I will be dying. It is bound to happen eventually. And I doubt that I will look back on my life and say "I wish I weighed less." I'm sure I will wish for more time to have fun, spend time with my family, go on adventures, and be comfortable with myself. I may even wish that I'd just worn whatever the f*ck I wanted, without caring what other people think. I don't understand why I am 32 years old, but just as worried about what I look like in my clothes as I did when I was 12. Haven't I grown up yet?
I don't know anymore.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Thanks for introducing me to Go Kaleo blog! Read the one you posted, clicked her links in that article, and kept clicking/reading/having mind blown. Sometimes I dislike my body, sometime I love it, sometimes I dislike how much time I spend thinking about it, sometimes I dislike that I don't pay enough attention, I dislike that I'm a sucker for fads/quick fixes, I dislike that there isn't a quick fix, blah, blah, blah. Essentially I don't have all the answers and it doesn't seem like anyone does. All I can hope is I'm making myself healthier and not passing any body image issues onto my daughter.
1520 days ago
Well, all I can do is tell you you're not alone and hang tough.
1521 days ago
I so know what you mean. You want to be thinner but then you want to live life. Weight loss and life that follows after is pure madness.
1521 days ago
One of the weird side-effects of losing weight for me (for a while) was feeling bad about how I look. When I was really overweight, that was the only looks-related thing that mattered to me: I, a former very good athlete, was 40 pounds over the weight I should probably be and so out of shape I couldn't run five minutes without needing a lie-down for thirty. It was all of a piece, all one failure.
Then I lost about 25 pounds and all of a sudden I was 18 again (I'm 43), obsessing about lack of waist, no ass, flabby arms, and so on. I don't even consider myself a person who is overly influenced by societal pressure about looks, never have, and it still go to me. (As I said, it passed, one of many phases I've gone through over the past six months.)
I don't know what the answer is. I do know that at least for me it is really and truly about health first and foremost, and that helps a lot (both with weight loss and otherwise), keeping that firmly in mind at all times. When I am eating well and active, I feel good. I know I'm doing right by myself, being good to myself. That makes up for a lot of BS. Being a little bit older probably helps a bit too.
Anyway, good luck to you in figuring it all out.
1521 days ago
I saw that thread on the NROL4W FB page. I think it looks like a stellar program. Anymore, I just try to look past the images.
Here is an interesting read you might want to look into it is called The Religion of Thinness. I have read and need to go back and re-read. It is an intersting book on our societies obsession with thinness and being skinny. Another STELLAR read is Health at Every Size. I have read that one and highly recommend.
I am like you, though. I am struggling currently. Sometimes I think really the ONLY way I will be able to get away from it is if I completely shut down my Sparkpage, unjoin a lot of Facebook groups and quit looking at the magazines that grace the grocery lines. But really where it comes from is within and how the outside world is interpreted from within. I KNOW I can feel better about myself and the fact that I am size 12 and no longer an 8. I KNOW that I can tell my internal dialogue to STFU. I KNOW that I can do these things, but in all reality, there is a vanity side to us all. My weight loss is purely vanity. I will admit it. I am at a healthy range -- on the high end of 'normal' but still healthy.
Sometimes I feel like I should be gracing some quack doctor's couch somewhere talking about my alcoholic mother and obsessive father and that is the reason why I am such an obsessive person, but damn. I just dont' know anymore either. It sucks. We'll get this figured out some way some how. I am convinced of this.
I admire Go Kaleo so much. HOWever eating 3100 calories would sent me flying into obesity for sure. I just think we all need to find what works for us personally and it takes a lot of tweaking and experimenting. Hell, I have been doign that for the last 2 years and am STILL the same -- so I keep thinking somehow, some way I will get it.
Hang tough girl. The Empire, it is all around us...
1521 days ago
Love your comment about women who can kick a$$ looking very typical. That is so true. It is a shame that mass media has not figured that out or they might be a bit fearful, LOL!
Everyone has those feelings and fears. I know that sometimes it doesn't help to hear that you aren't alone...but you aren't. We are all hardest on ourselves but I am learning (ever SO slowly) to not let my self issues get in the way of my life experience.
Hope that helps?
P.S. Nobody really knows either or places like Spark and Women's Health would not be maknig money hand over fist.
1521 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.