January 04, 2009

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out...

...but I can usually shut her up with cookies.


I don't know when I first heard that quip but it has stuck with me, just like every cookie I've eaten in the past ten years. And every brownie. And every potato chip. And every second helping. And every alcoholic beverage.


I used to be thin. See?



Now I am plump. Chubby. Tubby. Fat, even. I know this from looking at recent photos and, ugh, at my reflection in those damnable inventions called mirrors. At the same time, my body image hasn't fully caught up to reality. On the one hand, I am conscious of all of my parts that jiggle inappropriately. On the other hand, as much as I kid about it, I haven't managed to internalize the fact that I have become a Large Woman. It's similar to having a phantom limb, only I have an entire phantom body, a thin one, enveloped by fat. I sense the presence of my formerly thin body as strongly as if it were still here.


I haven't altered my eating habits to make up for my slowing metabolism. I have allowed the odd ache, pain, strain or sprain to keep me from exercising regularly. I hate perspiring, which is apparently a necessary element of most forms of exercise. Swimming is relatively sweat-free, but I can't bring myself to go to a pool; even my formerly thin self didn't look so hot in a bathing suit. I recall vowing to start exercising in earnest after being shocked by the cross-section of an obese man's body at Body Worlds. Just seeing that the fat in a human body looks exactly like the fat in a cut of beef or pork disgusted me. Of course, while the image stayed with me, the inclination to exercise faded. What can I do to convince myself to get active? Either of the following scenarios might motivate me:




A few days ago I asked Scott to help me move my stationary bike from our abandoned basement to the main floor of our house. While the bike isn't linked to the speed of my internet connection, I am hopeful that its new location will be effective. After all, it is positioned where I often am: directly in front of the television. Of course, it also happens to be near the refrigerator. Who knows if I'll actually have the willpower to use the bike and resist the temptation of the fridge. All I do know is that I'm not going to make any New Year's resolutions regarding my weight or my diet; resolutions appear to be the surest way to kill good intentions.



26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beating yourself up doesn't help.

Calamity Jen said...

I suppose you're right; a verbal lashing isn't much exercise. I imagine that literally beating myself up would actually burn quite a number of calories, though.

Anonymous said...

LOL you're bloody awful. Now..this is interesting timing that we've both decided to get off our ample duffs and try do something.

I still stand by my needing your help..ok not with the cooking bit, but if you give me a large kick in the above mentioned duff, I'll return the favour.

Btw...not that I'm "just saying this" but you look as beautiful today as you did in those pictures. Ask your new husband :)

Che

Calamity Jen said...

One swift kick, coming right up.

Hmm, this kicking could be good for our glutes.

Rob K said...

Chubby. Tubby. Fat, even.

Arrgh! Stop with the negatives!

Jen, you DO have the willpower to lose this weight. Getting that bike out of the basement was the first step.

Clearly, you want to do this, now instead of abusing yourself, make this a positive experience.

Good point about resolutions. I saw a hypnotist named Wendi Freissen on TV who advised to forget the resolutions and instead, visualize the person you want to be six months from now.

Every night, create a little mental movie starring a thinner, healthier Jen. The image will create the action that will lead to reality.

And remember you've got a tremendous fan base in your corner cheering you on every step of the way.

Anonymous said...

Your niece and I both love to swim....

blushone said...

nothing wrong with having a few sexy curves here and there... and those curves aren't as big as you think. stop misleading your readers. =P

Calamity Jen said...

Rob, thank you for your encouragement. I can hear the whirr of the projector as I play my mental "Thin Jenni" movie...

Laura, I just might join you two some time, providing I can wear my boy-shorts in the pool.

Rosie, sexy curves are great. I call those "boobs." And you're right, my curves aren't all that big. What can I say? It's genetics.

Gina said...

Aloha! The best part of your post was that you really do know who you are. Let the mind catch up to the body and you will take action when you are ready. Letting health have a voice might speed up the process and get you to where you no longer have to see your self as two different fabulous women.:)
Be well!

Calamity Jen said...

Mahalo, Gina.

ryssee said...

I'm in the same boat as you sistah. But, I am happy that I have the same type of body dysmorphia as you...a thin chick in a not-as-thin-as-it-used-to-be body. Many people suffer the opposite.
We'll get in better shape if we put our minds and bodies to it. If not, who cares, we're lovely just the way we are!

Calamity Jen said...

I like the way you think!

HAR said...

Loved it! Made me smile. When you figure this out, please let me know.
Tub #1

Heather said...

I resolved to buy better 'suck me in - lock and load' undergarments! hehe

Heather said...

Oh! And to walk home a few times a week.

amelia said...

I have the same problem.
I look in the mirror and wonder how did this happen!!
Horror of horrors, I saw myself naked from the back in a full lengh mirror and I still haven't recovered!!!

libby said...

I think you were about 16 in that photo on the left...none of us look like we did when we were 16 - and we should be glad! Awkward, uncoordinated, freaky (okay maybe just speaking for myself there) - we are beautiful adult women now!
I was actually thinking how great you look these days, since the wedding. Happiness does that.
;)

ryssee said...

Re: Amelia's comment.
Know why Nordstrom hasn't sold me a single article of clothing? Was there the other day, trying on clothes. To my joy, my expected size fit. To my horror, every single dimple from my neck to my feet were dramatically highlighted by the florescent tubes placed in the perfect place to highlight the worst. I left.

Calamity Jen said...

Har, I think that Heather has figured it out for all of us.

Amelia and Ryssee, oh lord, there's nothing worse than the full-length mirror with fluorescent lights above. The mirror I have at home is a bit of a fun-house mirror in that it actually makes me look thinner than I am (no joke), so what a shock it was when I saw myself in a change-room mirror. Ack! My butt looked like a moonscape.

Libby, 16 I can live with. It's the photos of me from ages 13-15 that must be burned.

Katyola said...

One thing that is helping me is to sign up for classes/promise to be somewhere to run, so money and pride are involved. That forces me to get off the couch. And not to promote Oprah-related things, but I got Dr. Oz's book "You: The Owner's Manual" for Christmas, and his diet is very realistic and followable.

Jenny Harvey said...

Inside me thee are at least 3 skinny women!!

Leigh-Ann said...

I have to put in a plug for Weight Watchers... not necessarily the meetings, but the whole "point system" teaches you a new way to think about what you're eating, and it doesn't require you to be deprived. You can still eat normal food, but the program helped me to better assess the impact a particular food would have on my thighs :) The cookbooks are pretty good, too.

I was once a triathlete. I then developed a chronic illness, and had difficulty walking, let alone exercising, and I gained a lot of weight (about 60 lbs. over the span of a decade). Over the past year and a half I finally managed to lose about 30 lbs., and I think I might be able to keep it off because I lost it so slowly. Like you, I'm trying to motivate myself to do a bit of exercise, like using the treadmill or the exercise bike, but it's tough. Sometimes my head is motivated but my body won't cooperate. All I can say is that success is a great incentive, so if you can get yourself started and stick with it, I think you'll find that the results are enough to keep you going.

After all that I need to add that I do think you are lovely just the way you are... you could marry me any day ;-)

Calamity Jen said...

Katy, your points are well taken. Without accountability, I'm useless. Now that I've got four girlfriends on board, I have far more motivation.

Jenny, like I wrote on your blog, you couldn't possibly have more than one and a half skinny women in there.

Leigh-Ann, thank you. I am inspired by your ability to lose 30 lbs in spite of your health issues.

alan said...

The beautiful girl I see in that photo to the right can't possibly have as much "going on" as she thinks she does...that Madison Avenue has yet again caused someone so much anguish aggravates me beyond fury!

Dating myself, may I say that no one remembers Twiggy, but everyone remembers Marilyn?

Our bodies like to save a bit for winter, no differently than the days when we stocked the larder to get through the cold months. Add to this that as we age we start losing muscle mass (at 30 we start losing a half pound per year). If you don't do something to either maintain or increase it, then your calorie intake not only has to be reduced but balanced differently as well!

Good move with the bicycle!

And though I don't think you really have a problem yet, anything you do now will stave one off later!

alan

Calamity Jen said...

Alan, you are always so kind!

userbub26 said...

Exercise is no fun, but they say the best results result from having a devoted exercise partner. Find yourself that and you'll have a fee free personal trainer for your partner & yourself.

Pick a day to fast. Fasting is good for the gastrointestinal track. It will help weight control and clean you out at the same time. Just drink lots of fluids to control pangs.

Suggested Reading: 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu