Friday, June 13, 2008

What is fat?

I missed writing yesterday because I made a presentation to the state dietetic association. Didn't get home until late. I had a great time seeing friends from around the state-people I only see at this meeting once a year. No one noticed my weight. No one ever notices my weight. "You're not fat"-that's what they say. I met one dietitian, another writer (who is definitely NOT fat) who was speaking at the meeting, whom I had never met in person before. She doesn't live here but we know each other from list serve posts. Her first comment to me, "Why do you think of yourself as fat?", left me wondering. Have we all re-evaluated what we think of as fat because so many of us are fat? By all standards-body weight, BMI, % body fat, waist measurement, clothing size-I am fat. I have too much fat on my body especially around my middle. Have we gotten so used to seeing moderately fat people that we now only think of hugely fat people as fat?? No one could possibly describe me as thin.
I wonder how people do describe me. What do they see when they look at me? Does no one see my neck and chin? My belly. The rolls around my waist? When I stand next to someone who is lean, I feel like a blob. When I shake the hand of a thin person, I feel their thinness in my hand. I wonder if they feel my fatness. When I hug a thin person, I feel the difference in our bodies. If it's so obvious to me, isn't it obvious to them?
For those of you who don't know me, I bet you're wondering if I just don't have a distorted view of body. I can assure you I do not. I am 62 inches tall (or short....) and I weigh (after having lost 10 pounds!) 160 pounds. Hello, America! That's way too much. Oh, sure. I have dense bones and lots of muscle for my age because I work out. But there's that fat around my middle. It's unmistakable. 36 inch waist. That's many inches of fat deposited around my middle. Making belt wearing an impossibility.
Maybe having re-evaluated what we think of as fat is one of the reasons so many of us Americans are now fat. We've accepted moderate fatness as the norm. We had to re-adjust our thinking as the nation gained weight. The clothing manufacturers certainly re-adjusted their sizing-making clothes wider. Tricking us into thinking we aren't gaining weight. But that's another story for another day.
Today I'll take my 10 pounds slimmer body (not so sure you can even think of 10 pounds less as "slimmer") to Nordstrom for the St. Johns knit sale.....Hey, 70% off! It's my birthday tomorrow! And I lost 10 pounds. Doesn't that qualify as reason enough to celebrate???? With a purchase. Of something in a smaller size-even if it's only one size smaller?

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