Thursday, June 28, 2012

Would you find the cure for cancer?

Weight loss and dieting are mind-f*cks. By that I mean – my thoughts on it sway constantly and the mere fact that I have constant weight thoughts in itself – pisses me off.

If I’m blessed enough to live to be 80 – I already know I’m going to be pissed off that I spent so much time and effort worrying about my weight.

Now yes – if I worry about my weight in the context of high blood pressure, migraines or bad cholesterol…then fine – those worries are valid and necessary.

When it’s about how I look in clothes, how I compare to the women I’m with, how I feel bad about that one certain fat roll, how I agonize over how much to eat, and how much I beat myself up for my lack of will power – well then – that’s the stuff I’ll regret.

Last night I went on a bike ride with our Harley club. On the back of a bike for miles there is a lot of time for reflection and thinking about what really matters. I thought about the woman in front of me on the bike with her husband. She’s a heavier woman – yet to me – she seems happy and content and proud to ride with her husband. And why the hell shouldn’t she be? A beautiful night. Her husband.
Everything right with the world.

But I can tell you without a doubt – that as we drove by people on the street – she got looks and I know there were thoughts like “she’s too big to be on a tiny bike” or “I wonder how her husband can control that bike with her on it” or whatever. I felt the stares she got from other women. Judging.

It’s what we do. And then we think “oh my gosh, I’m even bigger than she is” or “oh my gosh, thank goodness I haven’t reached that weight yet.”

And then I want to scream – WHO THE F*CK CARES? I mean seriously. Sometimes dieting and weight piss me off so much. For instance, I have a party to go to this weekend with people I barely know or ever see and I will preach until I’m blue in the face that I could give a crap less what any of those people do in their lives or think of me – because we aren’t even friends. But yet??
I give a damn about how I’ll look at the party in front of them.

How ridiculous is that? I don’t even speak to these people on a daily basis. They are not a regular part of my life. They are not family. Yet I care HOW I LOOK for them.

WHAT???

I thought to myself that every one of us should be more like the woman I rode with last night.

Get on the bike.
Go out with friends.
Laugh, smile, eat at a restaurant.
Be happy.
Live daily life.

Regardless of your weight.

That’s what she was doing. And she seemed happy. I found myself praying on the back of that bike last night that after she went home – she stayed happy. I hope beyond hope that at night alone – she doesn’t hate her body and how she looks. I hope she’s as happy as she seems. I hope she knows I admire her and consider her a friend – and that has nothing to do with how she looks. I hope she never gives a damn about what I or anyone else thinks of her. I hope she knows it doesn’t even matter.

It’s just always an internal struggle.

How bad do I want this last 20 pounds to go? Does it seriously even matter? When I go to bed at night – the only other person on this Earth who I give a damn about what they think of me is Rambo.

Is agonizing and worrying about how I look worth it? What would I do with my time if that wasn’t constantly occupying 100% of my thoughts? Who could I have helped? What could I have dreamed of instead?

I guess even now I can admit that I already regret the time wasted in my life worrying about weight and dieting or exercising. Was it worth it? Did it help? Where would I be today had I just simply been at peace with my physical body?

Would my mental body be in a completely different place?

I don’t know. I just know that on the back of that bike last night I looked around at the other women with me….and the realization was striking.

We were all different ages. All with different kinds of men. We were all different shapes and sizes. All in different careers. All with different families – some united, some torn apart. All with different money situations. All at different places in our lives.

But all those differences made us the same. Last night we were a group of people united by bikes and beautiful weather….and nobody gave a damn how much I weighed.

I could have weighed 100 pounds more or 30 pounds less and the night would have gone exactly the same. Think about that. Heavier or thinner – nothing in the night would have been different.

No one gave a damn. As I looked around at the women – I thought that I would never know if they had been heavier or thinner at one time. I didn’t know if any of them were actively dieting. I didn’t know if any of them hated their bodies. I didn’t know if they felt self-conscious or at peace with themselves. I didn’t know if they labored over what they were wearing tonight.

And they in turn – didn’t know the same of me.

Which drives home the point that I spend way too much time giving a shit. It just doesn’t matter. Health-wise it matters – but beyond that – it’s bullshit.

30 seconds after I leave the party that I’m going to this weekend – most people won’t even remember what I wore. A few hours into drinks and most people won’t even remember I was there. Like last night – I was with a man who’d been to Vietnam, flew choppers, indicted child molestors, worked for the FBI and CIA, and has 3 black belts in martial arts. Do you think if I asked him what he weighed back in those days that he would even know? Do you think anyone remembers anything but what he did for this country? I think not.

And for me last night or at this upcoming party, what matters is that I go and have fun and catch up with people I haven’t seen in a year. What matters is that Rambo and I get to spend time together with our girls. What matters is being grateful we have a car to get us there and jobs that give us time off to attend. What matters is loving the sunshine and good company.

My weight doesn’t matter in the end.

It sure seems like it does when I’m getting ready and things don’t fit like I want them to or I don’t feel great when I look in the mirror – but those feelings need to be fleeting. I need to give them less power over my moods and my experiences. Feeling not at peace with my physical body needs to be a blip in my evening…because that feeling doesn’t deserve more time or power than that.

It is not what matters.

Memories and moments matter. And if and when I get to be 80…that’s all I’m going to have left.

Memories and moments. And probably a few of my favorite fat rolls….that I need to learn to notice less and love more.

How do you feel about your feelings about your physical body? Do they have too much power? Do you regret the time you’ve spent agonizing over your weight and dieting? Or do you think it should be more relevant than you allow it to be?

How do you find a balance between loving and loathing your body? What would you do with yourself and your time if those thoughts about weight, body image and dieting weren’t ever present in your mind?

Would you find the cure for cancer?

Or would you simply live and enjoy life more?

13 comments:

jennxaz said...

I think the drug companies found the cure for cancer but they make too much money on all the other drugs to release it....yes I have conspiracy theories..too

Fit Mom said...

A GREAT blog today with lots of observations and truth that really hits home for me too!

Michelle said...

Hmmm I liked the post and so very true. My grandmother was heavy her whole life and just turned 83 and weighs 114 lbs. I dont want to be old and 114, I was like Grandma your smokin' hott! Then, she said well yes, but i'm all alone, your grandpa is gone, all my brothers and sisters are gone, all my friends and long-time co-workers all DEAD~

So, you know I bet she would take her size 18 pants back in a hearbeat for 1 more day with these people she spent her life with.

Joanna said...

I'm really on the fence about this. I know that deep down nobody is or does really care about how I look - but I do. I know that when I was lighter, I had more fun because I felt better about myself. Now that I'm back to being 250lbs, I'm sad. I don't want to go out and have fun. I feel awkward and depressed when I find that my clothes don't fit or feel right anymore.

I truly believe that if I buckle down and lose the weight - and KEEP IT OFF, then I'll look back at this time when I'm 80 and share the memories of the struggles, and the pay-off. It will be worth it to me. I want to show my grand-children and great grandchildren who I was and then who I became.

But, then, if it did matter so much - like I claim all the time - I would be losing the weight, fighting hard, and not stressing about the weight constantly rising.

becca said...

i love food and i'm trying to learn to eat healthy without focusing on weight completely I want to learn to love me no matter the size but that is proving diffcult

Barbara said...

Draz, I think we all have this bit of obession about the weight, or we wouldn't be on these WL blogs. But your spot on. who gives a hoot.
As far as the cancer questions.. whooo. let me take a deep breath. Cancer is a very generic banner. there are hundreds of types of cancer and in fact they have cured many types of cancers. think of cancer as snow flakes. even the same type of cancer has many different variants.. so you will never cure all cancers.. sorry but that's the truth. I work in the drug development field so I get to see the oncology drug therapies in research.. believe me, if clinical trials show progress on a compound they expedite that drug.. and by progress I mean extending survival rates till death not to cure. The generic drugs have stiffiled drug research, remember it can take almost a billion dollars to develop and have a drug approved. Many drugs start out but very few finish to approval.. sorry for the rant.. I probably should leave this for my blog.. hugs

Beth Ann said...

I've never lived a day without thinking about it, so I don't know. Great post, Draz.

Amy @ Findingfitme said...

So much of this stuggle (weight) and for that matter life itself is all about BALANCE. It I totally ignore my weight and what I put in my mouth, then it gets out of control. If I obsess about my food and weight, I am not enjoying life. Gotta find the middle ground. I am fat but I don't let it get in my way. I swim, go to the beach, see-doo, jump off rocks, dance, etc. Do I always feel great, happy, comfortable - NO.

Ice Queen said...

Spotlight flooding into my crazy brain?

Check.

You have given me a lot to think about. Obviously for me, health has to be my priority and I need to get back on track and get this done so that I don't die but as far as looks are concerned... Yeah. You have made excellent points that I need to chew over. And over. It is interesting that I feel as if people who encounter me on a daily basis, remember me because I am a behemoth. Maybe I'm wrong?

Imagine that. :P

LuckyEight16 said...

I WISH it didn't matter. I would love more than anything to be able to shut off that part of my brain. I just can't. Believe me, I've tried. My weight and how I look takes up much more of my time than I am willing to admit. And as for people I don't know or never see? I care MORE about what they think of what I look like than what my friends think. Because my friends love me no matter what, but not these people. Why do I care? Couldn't tell you.

angel shrout said...

Seriously get out of my head woman. I think a lot of women's heads in reality. I know when I was down to a 14 I still felt huge so I have to wonder if losing the weight would help or if mentally I cannot picture myself as anything but big.. I hate it though just hate it

MandaPanda said...

Yes, yes and yes! I agonize over my weight and where I'm going and how I'm looking. Hell...I've got a whole blog devoted to it. And you're right. At 80, who gives a hoot? But I havent' figured out how to let it go.

Cat said...

This post (like many of yours) brought tears to my eyes. I sit here obsession over these last 35'ish lbs I want off and then I read your beautiful post about will the actual moments be any different 35 lbs lighter than they are today? Nope, I think you're right. I think loving who I am today and continueing to strive for health and freedom from weight related issues is important, but I think I need to love myself and not beat myself up for not weighing in and seeing an arbitrary number on the scale that I admitedly picked for myself. My Dr. has never commented one way or another on the number. Thank you once again for a thought provoking post.