Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A View Of Baby Got Back

"So, how much do you weigh?"

I was asked this question the other day in the course of a relatively pleasant conversation. I gave my standard answer:

"More than I should."

This answer seemed to satisfy the inquisitor, and the conversation continued on as I stifled the urge to eat a scoop or ten of some Jamoca Almond Fudge to comfort myself from the mild sting. The answer is true, by the way. Just like most Americans, I do weigh more than I should - I don't know the exact number. My eating habits are okay, but could be better - I don't eat as many vegetables as I should, I tend to eat late, I've never met a starch I didn't like, and I'm not as active as I should be. On the other hand, I rock my Lane Bryant gear proudly, I'm active, and I'm in good health. My cholesterol is fine, my blood pressure is normal, have no heart problems or chronic conditions outside of screwed up sinuses.

It would be nice if I could look like this:

How does she do it? Even her website is adorable.

Who wouldn't? Short of having a self portrait hiding in my attic, however, I never will. There are also days when I feel like I look like this:

How does she do it? Even her website is adorable.

Like whenever I catch a glimpse of myself in a dressing room mirror. (Funhouse mirrors aren't as distorted.) Or the day an ex-boyfriend put his hands around my waist, jiggled my midsection the way one would give a cute puppy a tummy rub, and noted that I "didn't look as big as usual." He grinned as though he'd just given me the highest compliment one could give another. I suggested he go home, then came this close to scarfing some Oreos. We weren't together long after that remark.

All things considered, I think I look okay for a thirtysomething woman who will never be rail thin, but will never have to have a wall torn out of my house to airlift me to a hospital. Don't you agree?

How does she do it? Even her website is adorable.
Google "View From The TEM" to find out.

Now, I should note that the man who asked this question happily volunteered his weight with the eagerness of a first grader trying to impress his favorite teacher. He also meant no harm in asking the question. The same goes for the ex who made the unfortunately worded remark. (He said it after I'd come home from the gym one day.) Still, both remarks bothered me for two reasons:

1) Women catch a ton of flack about their weight and have tons of body issues. It shouldn't be that way, but unfortunately it is in this country. Think of all those issues of Star, US Weekly, and People you see in the grocery store - usually next to the candy at the checkout counter. Or those weight loss plan ads. (Have you ever noticed that those weight loss places are always next door or a couple of doors away from a fast food place? Take a look next time if you don't believe me.) I even saw a commercial once for weight maintenance cat food and the cat in the commercial was a girl. For reasons that escape me, overweight women in this country are unacceptable and we shouldn't take the unnecessary body image issues lying down. Beauty is in many sizes, shapes and forms.

2) I realized that I've bought into the hype. I could stand to lose a little weight, but overall I think I look quite good, thank you very much. At the same time, the thought crossed my mind after those remarks were put out there that maybe I'd be a bit more attractive if I were a size 8 instead of an 18. I'd be happier if my waist were smaller. If I looked "good," then I'd feel better. It was quite the wake up call to realize I was open to the idea of letting the society defined ideal define who I am and how I look.

So rock your curves, Halle. You look great, but I'm right there with you. A wise woman once said, "...my lips, my eyes, my feet, my thighs, I'm loving what I see."

More to come, as soon as I finish my lunch.

Oh, I forgot to tell you this little tidbit. The gentleman, a very interesting guy with potential, who asked how much I weighed will be coming to visit me next weekend. If he asks again, I'm going to sit on him and eat cookies as he struggles under my girth. Stay tuned.


Anonymous mom aka. 2 ton tootie said...

i would tell you how much i weigh but everytime i get on a scale it says, if you stand on me one more time i'm calling 911. so lets have lunch with something sweet before and afterwards ok?

2:41 AM  
Blogger TEM said...

When I'm in the doctor's office and they weigh me, I usually stand there and look with my fingers in my ears chanting, "La,la,la,la, I'm not listening to you...."

10:15 AM  

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