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big old skin-bag

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My 9 year old son makes me laugh each and every day (thank God) and this morning he was commenting that he is happy with how he looks, and with his body type. He is a big kid (I am 5'3" and he now looks me in the eyes - I think he has one inch to catch me). He is a solid kid but definitely tends toward the chubby in his cheeks and his belly. He is built just like his birthdad who is a very big, muscular guy who also had chubby cheeks and a chubby belly when he was 9 years old. My point is, my boy is not meant to be skinny, not likely to be skinny, and, fortunately, does not desire to be skinny. He said "If I was skinny, Momma, I would look like a big old skin-bag!) Ewwww, such a yucky but accurate description. There are bodies that look wonderful when they are slender (I would argue that actual SKINNY is never a good look, but that is just my opinion). There are bodies that tend towards the heavier, naturally. I am definitely not a big old skinbag. I am uncomfortably heavy at this point in my life, but can honestly tell you that I choose this over skinny (not to be confused with slender). Fat and strong and healthy is preferable to me over skinny and frail and weak. I think of skinny as frail and weak because my mother, who is quite elderly, becomes more fragile looking with each day. She is like a photograph, fading with time. To her credit, she does not let her frailty stop her. She keeps moving - tidying up, cooking, baking, generally bustling around her cute little house. It is just hard for me, and all of her kids, to see her so tiny and frail - she is basically skin over bone at this point. Of course, there is a nice, comfy spot between heavy and skinny and this is my destination. I am a slow traveler, Sparkly people. I know there are those who claim heavy can never be healthy. I agree it is not ideal but I quote my primary care physician on this point "You are perfectly healthy except for your weight. You are very strong and all your important numbers are spot-on." So, do I justify being heavy? Perhaps a bit, but mostly I accept it because acceptance is a big part of making changes. I did not struggle with weight the first 20 years of my life. Perhaps I will not struggle the last 20 years (wishful thinking, and who the heck knows when the last 20 years begin?) But, right now, I struggle on, sort of big, kind of old, but definitely not a skin-bag. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    No skin bag for me either. I agree! Strong IS the new sexy.
    I am amazed at how much you do. You ARE a traveller, a free spirit of sorts. Full of energy often and ALWAYS overflowing with compassion. I would think that if you were a skin bag that you would have no energy for anyone but yourself (if that!). No traveling due to lack of nourishment and patience. Lets faced it, skin bags are MOOOOODY!

    Great blog!
    1783 days ago
  • JENNA54
    I have a "skinny" friend, and although she is generally healthy, when she does pick up a bug, or cold, she really struggles to throw it off. It's like she has nothing extra to tide her over when she isn't 100%. So I may be not skinny, but I'm never sick! That said she eats like a horse and never gains an ounce! Enough said.... loved the blog Carole, with you all the way!
    1784 days ago
    I was a healthy fat person for many years - the overweight could "Only" have been a cosmetic dilemma if it wasn´t for me, thinking it awful...Yes, fat can be healthy - but then you have to ask HOW fat? There is a limit to how much overweight you can carry and still be healthy. I passed that limit many years ago, I´m afraid...
    1787 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    I think that self acceptance (read respectful love) is crucial to getting back to our best size. Any efforts to change our shape based on self loathing are destined for failure. We need to love and respect ourselves enough to be "true" to ourselves -- being true meaning eating the healthy food we require in reasonable quantities and keeping our bodies moving. I think accepting ourselves as the wonderful, flawed human beings we are is the BIGGEST part of this complicated equation.
    Anyway, Carole, it is always nice to hear from you -- hope all is well:) After a very, very busy winter/spring, my husband, dog and I are off to our cottage for a busy week -- but the best part is that I will be p/t for the rest of the summer. This is much needed time to set our household to right. I've been slumming since going back to work. I wasn't that far from you at the end of May -- I spent 6 days at our annual conference and courses in Vancouver, and two more days with my sisters who flew in to hang out with me ... such a lovely break:)
    Here's to getting seriously sparky over the course of the summer, for all the right reasons:) (So that it lasts:))
    Carole -- I'm going to wish you a very Happy Birthday now because I'll be out of touch when your big day actually strikes -- Have tons of fun:)
    1787 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/27/2013 11:31:09 PM
    You've obviously done a great job in raising your son in that he is comfortable in his own body. Good for him and even better for you.

    I'm struck with your comments about your Mom. I'm in Brookings, Oregon now and have been for the last two weeks staying with and trying to help Mom downsize. Mom is very healthy, heart, lung and body wise, but everyday she loses a little more memory. I've always been very close to her and it's devastating to me to see this bright, intelligent woman decline. And it's very, very sad that she knows exactly what's happening. Yesterday, her comment was "everyday I lose a little more; I'm very aware that I'm going down."

    My best to you as you deal with all that comes up for you.
    1787 days ago
    I love this blog! It is so me. I worried about my son at first because when he turned 9 or 10 he filled out and got a little chubby. All his friends were skinny little kids and I thought he would be teased. He has always been comfortable in his skin and it never bothered him. He is now 20 and is still a big boy with broad shoulders (not fat, just filled out) his friends are till skinny as sticks but he's healthy and that's all that matters. I'm with you on the slow trail but we'll get there! emoticon
    1787 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    A 9-year-old is 5' 3"? That sounds tall! And what a joy.

    I'll say it out loud: I think it's perfectly possible to be fat and healthy. It's not just my opinion. Even dire odds supposedly associated with higher weights are just odds. That means there are still a tremendously large number of people who will suffer very little, except self- and societal approbation , from being bigger. Now being inactive is a much bigger problem and doesn't show up the same way fat does. Skinny people can be dangerously inactive and still be admired by strangers.

    But I will also say that reaching age 56 and believing then that I probably had only two good decades left, statistically, helped me get serious about doing something so that I did not spend my last decades bingeing and way overeating. Not something about losing weight, which has happened as a side effect. Just reducing overe emoticon ating. I don't even say ending it, because that sounds like, forgive me, pie in the sky. I can't say I'm carefree about food, but I could live the next twenty years just as I am now and be very happy with the changes that I've developed. Skinny hasn't happened and may never. Thank goodness it's not where the bennies are.
    1787 days ago
    emoticon I bet he looks great! And I'm glad your numbers are good. That is a REAL victory and so much more important. You'll keep trucking and you're on your way to slender! emoticon
    1787 days ago
    I agree with you on skinny, it NEVER looks good, whether it's in somebody's genes or they've tried hard to achieve it. Slender, of course, is another story. And so is fat which can have many variations. That's why I try to focus on strong, healthy and feeling good in my skin. Which requires a certain amount of detachment from the number of the scale and all those indexes like BMI, of course. I'm working on that. Maybe we'll have it all figured out by the time the 20 last years of our lives begin, whenever that is!
    I always enjoy your blogs. And your son is such an intelligent boy!
    emoticon emoticon
    1788 days ago
    This is an interesting perspective. I'm definitely not a "skin bag" either -- and don't think it's a good look. It's great that your son feels comfortable with his body type . . . you're setting a good role model there!

    Really enjoyed your comments on my Am/Can blog and the difficulties of weight control for younger women. Gotta say, I keep waiting for the "easy maintenance" to kick in and (after 10 years or so) . . . hasn't happened. It's still a struggle requiring eternal vigilance for me!!
    1788 days ago
    Having grown up skinny I can say that I was picked on quite a bit for it. My best friend was rather round, we kind of looked like Laurel and Hardy! He got picked on for being fat, sadly he died of a heart attack at age 41. I had overcome being skinny, and based on BMI was skirting the line between obesity and overweight. I hovered there for some time, until my friend's death made me realize that mortality was a reality, I was two months older than him, smoked, and wasn't in great shape.

    We all are who we are because of what has occurred in our lives and how we act upon those forces. I was taught by some wise person, I wish I knew who, to pay attention, that every event and every person in my life had a lesson for me to learn. I noticed my friends and coworkers my age were starting to remind me of old people, talking about the pills they took for cholesterol, high BP, having diabetes, and ceasing to exist! They taught me to act and their stories were warnings to me to shape up!

    I am now "normal weight" although I would like to be smaller in the belly, I can outrun any age former version of me, I am stronger than I have ever been, and feel great at 57, much better and less pain than in my 30's!

    It is kind of like Goldie Locks, the young me was too thin, the 40's me was too fat, the 50's me is just right!

    I guess the lesson I gave to my friends is that you can make a change and to get grey hair early, you will be comfortable with it when everyone else is freaking out!

    1788 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/26/2013 10:19:40 PM
    Skin bag sucks! All..your kid cracks me ya
    1788 days ago
    I quit wanting to be skinny in my early 20's. Now I just want to be healthy and be able to do things without struggling. It's been some time since I could bend to tie shoe laces. Now easy peazy. These little things are all I need, not to do a catwalk. 9 years old and thinking skin bag?
    He's at a good age to where his baby skin would bounce back. After 30, different story as we all know Good blog! MJ
    1788 days ago
    The most important part of this caravan is acceptance of ourselves, no matter what stage of our caravan we're at! THAT'S absolutely vital. You have proven that!

    " I quote my primary care physician on this point "You are perfectly healthy except for your weight. You are very strong and all your important numbers are spot-on." So, do I justify being heavy? Perhaps a bit, but mostly I accept it because acceptance is a big part of making changes." This just says it all. No matter what part of the journey we're on. . . . aim for healthy! THAT is what is important as well.

    Isn't it daunting when we're eyeball-to-eyeball with our kids! Lordy, I have had to parent looking UP @ my kids (let's face it . . . most everyone is taller than my 4 ft. 10.5 stature!) LOL

    As for your son's statement, acceptance and health!

    Your dear son is so wise! He is something very special. Definitely!!

    HUGS and smiles, dear Cannie!
    1788 days ago
    Skin bag definitely is not healthy!
    1788 days ago
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