Wednesday, May 13, 2015
DBlog Week Day 3- Clean It Out
I am participating in Diabetes Blog Week (my THIRD one, whaaaat.) You can learn more about the week here and check out the prompts here. Make sure to give some love to the participants here. Today's prompt is CLEANING IT OUT.
I have been thinking about this topic for awhile. Wondering, thinking and musing if I was truly brave enough to ever actually post it. Sometimes I love airing out my deep, dark secrets and then hoping nobody will ever bring it up to me in person.
A silent acknowledgement that they have read what is plastered on the back of brain, and a swift move along. Understanding that our deepest inner thoughts are what shape us to be the people we are.
So here we are. I stare blankly at the screen. Am I ready for this? Is this how I want to verbalize some of my thoughts on this topic?
If you have ever met me in person, you know that I am fat. I have spent my entire teen and adult life battling weight gain. I have been through specialists, therapists and tests. Because, well...and this is where this may sound weird...it doesn't make sense that I am fat (and I think that this comes off wrong, I don't think it HAS to make sense that you're fat or not to be able to accept that being fat is OK and acceptable and perfectly fine.) It's not in my immediate family. I exercise...often. Usually intensely. I run, I lift weights, I am active, very active. I eat extremely well (except for when I don't I guess.) I manage my blood sugar tightly. I do what I am told by doctors.
I have tried prescription weight loss pills. The "sure fire" way that 99.9% of my endocrinologists patients lose weight! I followed the directions very specifically and was followed by a nutritionist intensely. I didn't lost a pound or an inch. I went through years of psycho therapy with the top therapist in the country who specializes in diabetes, chronic illness and behaviour management. He released me as a patient because I wasn't lying. I was trying.
One day, my doctor did a test for Cushings syndrome. If you're not familiar with cushings you can see the info here. My doctor sent me for many tests, including an MRI and they weren't conclusive OR inconclusive. My blood tests showed moderately high levels of ACTH and my pituitary had a non-cancerous fleck smaller than is possible to diagnose. It eventually went away after close monitoring, my cortisol levels remain high no matter what so the endocrinologist calls it borderline. She also explains that my body releases cortisol which helps the body hold on to fat cells (in layman terms.)
So I am in a rock and a hard place I guess? My exercise is vital to my blood sugar stabilization, mental health and overall well being and it causes cortisol production. See the problem?
So in the past year I have decided to give up the ghost of weight loss. I don't think I will ever lose weight. I am not and have not given up the idea that I will continue to be the best and healthiest I can be. This does not give me free reign on junk food and lack of exercise. This is simply me taking pressure off myself to fit a certain mold of what a healthy, beautiful body looks like.
I'm going to let you in on a secret: it can be absolutely torturous being fat in today's society. There are days that I wish I was given any other body. Dealt any other hand of cards. I will see women at the gym who can run without ankle pain and contort their bodies in Yoga poses that I could only dream of doing due to the size of my body. I often go in to clothing stores and thumb through some of the beautiful fabrics, cuts and styles knowing that I am getting side eyed because the clothes in those stores will never fit me. It's not self-deprecation, it's a cathartic release in ways for me. It's like letting go of what won't be.
A lot of people say that my feeling of being judged based on the look of my body, rather than what it can do, is in my head. I often hear that. Maybe it's partially true. But have you ever read any article about Tess Holliday? She is a size 22 model (same size as me, though our bodies are composed slightly differently), and the words that are thrown at her are flames licking a candle. Sometimes they make her thick outer wax melt down and break her down. I have seen her respond sometimes and I feel for her. She is an absolutely beautiful woman, the first woman who is plus sized (and by that I mean not size 14) who is a professional model with an international agency and people write comments-THOUSANDS of comments about how they feel physically sick looking at her.
These are real people making these comments. I am not a model, nor do I pose like one. Are these people ringing me through at the grocery store? Do they see me fill up my car and need to feel pity and disgust at my body?
When I am out with my fiancé are people wondering what the hell is going on there? He is 6'5", masculine and lean...and incredibly good looking.
These are things that sometimes flutter in my brain. I try really hard not to read the comments, or articles on the Internet about weight because now that I feel mentally healthy enough to accept that my large body can be extremely healthy if I put the effort in, I don't want to waive on that.
But when every second post on my Facebook feed is about weight loss, Beachbody, shakes, low fat, high fat, low carb, high carb. Every single person talks about food and weight and bodies and fitness like it's some sort of life achievement to be strict and in control of all of these things. If being in control of your body is something that gives you actual, genuine joy: congratulations-keep it to yourself.
Tell me about the joy you get from cooking a meal and eating it-no matter what it is. I want to hear it.
Tell me about the joy you get from hiking in the woods, or running a marathon. I want to hear it.
Tell me about the joy you get from reading about different trends in the fitness industry. I want to hear it.
Do not tell me how to do any of that. I have my body acceptance dangling by a string and when you share these things with me thinking they may help me lose weight no matter WHAT your intentions, you are effectively cutting my string (and being a dick.)
I don't need to be told I am beautiful. I truly don't. At least not by you. If my fiance is reading this: you don't get a pass you still need to tell me I am beautiful everyday for the rest of our lives ;)
There. I cleaned it out. My body image is surprisingly well for someone who the media, and assholes on the internet says should hate everything about themselves.
I decided I am not done.
When you live as a fat person with a chronic illness like diabetes, you are often seen as a pity. What a shame. Poor girl was dealt a hard life.
My life is wonderful. I am thankful that I have you, reading and commenting.
This community has built me up to believe in the good in people, so keep doing your thing.
Unless your thing is constantly talking about weight loss. Because then all I hear is "I never want to look like Alanna."