Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Escape From Stepford: A Weighty History (pt. 2 of 3)

everything changed.

the first day at the gym i was mortified. the picture taken for my ID card was horrifying. i couldn't believe i looked like that. and when i discovered i could only do five minutes on the stairmaster, i was shaken to my core.

"i'm only 19," i thought, "i have no excuse for being out of shape. i should be HOT..."

and that was it. fueled by 19 years of feeling like i had no control over my body or body image, i became obsessed. i spent the next year of my life determined to prove to anyone and everyone who had ever thought less of me for being overweight that i was better than stepford material.

better because i was also smart. and aware. and funny. and i'd known the other side of thin. and i finally realized that being curvy might actually be an advantage. maybe, it occurred to me, i had no reason to feel ashamed for being sexy.

i'm not sure how much weight i lost, but i went from a size 16 to a size 6.

the world was a totally different place, then. everyone treated me differently. i stopped hiding under my clothes. i stopped being ashamed of my curves. i relished everything about having a body that both women and men wanted.

well, except.

except that once i knew what it was like to be thin, i wanted to be thinner. i wanted to get a breast reduction. i started thinking about different kinds of surgeries i could get, like lipo, or having my stomach stapled so that i would never want to eat much of anything again. i started working towards becoming a size 2.

i started thinking that the thinner i got, the more rewarded i'd be. and you know, it was almost true.

but it wasn't sustainable.

don't get me wrong. being thin was (and is) sustainable -- but what i didn't understand then was that keeping the weight off has to be fueled by something other than resentment.

because when i met my husband -- a guy i ran into in college who validated all of me -- i started to feel less angry. and when we got engaged, and it seemed like the pressure to prove myself worthy of a guy (and life) like the one i was getting was off, i let that resentment go.

and gained almost all of the weight back.


then came the numbness. after i graduated college and was engaged and started my career, i returned to my old pattern of not liking my body. except this time, i didn't feel there was nothing i could do about it. this time, i felt like it didn't matter.

even if i'd be treated more professionally,
even if i'd be considered more attractive,
even if i'd be healthier and happier in better shape,
i couldn't find enough motivation to do it.

on the surface, i thought that my weight really didn't matter because who was i trying to impress?

on a deeper level, though, i had found a new resentment. i hated the idea that i was living in a place where no matter what i'd accomplished, my size would always been seen first. where my weight made me feel like a second-class citizen. where shopping was an embarrassment, and where people would question my husband's level of attraction to me, given...well...you know.

so try as i might, i was never going to lose weight so long as i felt like i had to.

(anyone who knows me knows i do NOT deal well with being "forced" to do ANYTHING.)

and so when my marriage fell apart (for many reasons), i decided maybe i should see if it would be possible to break free from the stifling stepford standards.

and thought if it'd be possible anywhere, it'd be possible in san francisco.

7 comments:

  1. I want to (and will) comment on the rest of this soon, but for now, I just want to address:

    "and thought if it'd be possible anywhere, it'd be possible in san francisco."

    it took me a while to appreciate San Francisco, and what it has meant to me in terms of self-acceptance and breaking out of patterns that started so long ago.

    I'm glad you realized before you got here this might be the case for you.

    And also feel very lucky that you made that choice -- I can't imagine not having you in my life, and I don't want to try!

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  2. K,

    You can be poignant, as this story clearly is.

    Growing up and even now I have this great fear of weight gain as I have lost in some way or another many people I love because of their size. And I mean overweight to the extent of it becoming a detrement to their lives. In some instances it made me feel as though I was watching them slowly commit sucide.
    It's difficult to be on either side of the issue. From your posts it sounds as though you are growing personally into a better sense of self. Kudos to you for that!!

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  3. (anyone who knows me knows i do NOT deal well with being "forced" to do ANYTHING.)

    I am so not commenting on this...

    Ribbing aside, though, great posts.

    ReplyDelete
  4. you may get negative feedback from this post from the lurkers who have been waiting to post the HA that will somehow justify their sorry-ass lifestyles.

    but reallY?

    damn, girl.

    that took fucking balls.

    bravo, kristy.

    as only one girl --- who not only got her "aunt flo" in 6th grade/11th year (and not only KNOWS what the hell you're writin'bout) but has since then um, blossomed into 34H and has had to learn by living in various countries around the globe that *stepford beauty* isn't only in the eye but also in the culture -- knows (to another)... you go kristy.


    PS. I don't mean to diminish the *girl power* feeling, but if you're writing this knowing the comic or ISH is reading this - that's worth a 100 bonus points. Kudos to a man who makes you feel like you can express yourself in such a raw, honest way to the entire world. You rock, girl.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "i'm not sure how much weight i lost, but i went from a size 16 to a size 6.

    the world was a totally different place, then. everyone treated me differently. i stopped hiding under my clothes. i stopped being ashamed of my curves. i relished everything about having a body that both women and men wanted."


    I've always been curious about what would happen if I ever became anything like a size 6. I think it would be something like this. Alas, mere curiosity hasn't been enough motivation to actually do it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've tried various low-carb, low-calorie, and low-fat diets for the past couple of years. Although the Atkins diet is very popular, it made me feel somewhat unhealthy.
    The diet plan I'm on right now is the Medifast Diet. The caloric intake is roughly 800-1000 calories. However, it doesn't make my body feel weak. It is a bit of a pricey diet, but there are plenty of coupons available on the internet (i.e. http://www.swoopup.com/stores/deals/Medifast-Diet). You should never pay full price.
    My advice is just choose a diet plan which your body reacts positively to. No one knows your body better than you do!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have tried another way to lose
    weight. I tried adipex and it is
    really effective. i have lost lots
    of weight. I ordered it online from
    www.medsheaven.com I highly
    recommend this, and this didn't
    require a prescription!

    ReplyDelete