Friday, May 16, 2008

How fat am I???

A colleague and friend once chastised me for using what was to her a pejorative, e.g., calling someone "fat". I told her that my experience being fat (she is not) and knowing other fat people is that they don't mind. I mean, don't shout out, "Hey, fatty, come here!". No, that's harsh and different from describing someone as "fat".
You see, I am fat. I believe we should stop referring to "obesity" as a weight issue. It's not about weight. It's about fat. My body weight is reflective of tissues other than just fat. I weigh a lot and I am fat but not as fat as my body weight would indicate. Bone and muscle. I've got lots of that under all the fat hence the number on the scale is not an accurate indicator of body fat for me or for anyone for that matter.
Back to fat and me. Now that I've lost some "weight", I realize just how fat I am. I've probably lost about 8 pounds by now. Honestly, there's no difference. I don't see it. I don't really "feel" it. Oh, maybe a little. The elastic on my pants isn't leaving the same gross mark around my waist that it used to leave. No one has noticed the eight pounds. My life has not been made any easier by it.
I am happy with my accomplishment so far, though. Not with the pounds necessarily but with some of the insights I've had over the last few weeks. And I'm impressed that I've been able to stick to it. Without wanting to kill anyone, I should add. Why, I even have kind thoughts for Jean Neiditch, the originator of Weight Watchers. I wonder, is she still alive? Did she gain the weight back?
So, how fat am I? I don't know because I haven't had a fat measurement. BMI? I wish researchers would dump that one. BMI would only be a good indicator of fatness IF a person had the % of other tissues that would be expected. Since I have particularly dense bones and lots of muscle, I do not. Thanks to Haagen Dasz (my favorite source of Calcium) and resistance training, my muscle and bone weigh more than would be expected for a person of my age and size.
I like waist measurement as an indicator of risk, though. Waist measurement over 35 inches for a woman is considered a risk factor. Hello. My waist measured 36 inches a few weeks ago-and that was with cheating! Don't know about today because I think I stretched out the tape last time. Will buy a new one to start checking measurements. Just not yet.
For a long time I've not allowed people to hug me. I think I hide my fatness because I don't ever wear revealing clothes. Baggy shirts are my friends. But if you hug me, you'll feel the rolls around my waist. You'll know just how far your arms can go around me. That's not cool. So no hugging. But last night I got caught. A kumbaya moment when people put their arms around each other in song. Ugh. The woman next to me put her arm around my waist. My waist, for goodness sakes. I felt her hand around the roll at the back of my waist. I'm surprised I didn't vomit. Mercifully, it was a short song and I broke free as soon as it was over. A nightmarish few minutes.

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