Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Size might matter?

I've been feeling mildly uncomfortable about something in the blogosphere lately. And I'm not sure if I'm handling it the right way. So let me know if you have any advice/assvice etc.

Basically, my thyroid problems mean I'm starving, STARVING hungry all the time. And my method of dealing with it is to eat, and eat, and eat some more. So I'm splitting out of my clothes.

And to read this you'd think I need to go on a diet, now. Maybe you'd think I weigh a lot, especially after all my pregnancies.

But I don't. I weighed 112 pounds six months ago, and now I weigh 130ish pounds. (I don't own a scale so I don't know exactly.) The only reason I'm talking about it, is because the weight is disease related, and therefore unusual, at least to me. My DH has said he thinks I look good, and finally have some curves. I know there were times 2-3 years ago where I looked way too skinny, and gulp, had to try to keep my weight UP.

Then, when I read various blogs, many of the women seem to describe themselves as overweight. I was taking this with a grain of salt because society seems to impose "perfect weight standards" on women. I didn't know if they really were overweight or if they see themselves that way in the mirror, and would look normal to me. In fact, sometimes they post the number of pounds they need to lose, and it seems like a lot sometimes.

So I try to be supportive, but I also feel like maybe I'm not part of some secret club. Because I can't really know what it's like to need to lose 100 pounds. I gained 60 pounds when I was pregnant each time, and lost it by breastfeeding and just doing the same things I'd always done. No exercise, no feel the burn, zip.

I've done yoga and Tai Chi to keep my flexibility and tried a little weight-lifting to stay off the osteoporosis I deal with from my premature ovarian failure. But really, I am inherently lazy, and it's damn hard to motivate yourself when even the Doctor admits you are doing well.

So how do I relate? Is it enough to just say I feel for them? Should I say nothing ever? Or should I hide my skinny ass? In real life, I've actually had a number of people assume that because I'm skinny my life must be perfect. I never know what to say to this...there are good things about my life, but it's not perfect.

Like.....I have two healthy living children, BUT they both have learning disabilities, and challenges. No, I didn't have to use IVF, but I needed fertility treatment to have one, and lost 3 other children along the way. I have a wonderful husband, but he has personal challenges too, and our marriage has been a rollercoaster from the start. My childhood started out very badly, but my adulthood is generally good now, after a lot of struggling.

Every life has ups and downs and it's not about ranking whose life is better or worse, in my mind. I do believe people have to take some responsibility for their own health, which is why I'm trying to do it for myself. And I wonder about some people who are depressed and overweight and who seem to not want to even try to feel better. I know the weight is related to their mood, and that a therapist or nutritionist could help them a lot, but am I even allowed to say that? I, the skinny person, as opposed to any other overweight or depressed person?

I've never been fat, but I've been depressed, and at times my nutrition has been a disaster and my sleep wake cycle has gotten messed up. And it's all connected. I want to be a helpful supportive friend, but how the hell do I do that?


  1. I think you're doing the right thing just by putting this out there. The media pressure/societal pressure etc mean that many of us do feel our lives wuold be better if we were thinner, and certainly when I WAS thinner I was happier - mostly because I had a broader selection of clothes to wear, and felt really good in all of them. But that doesn't mean that we don't also understand that being too thin can be bad, too, and that there are plenty of self-image problems whatever size you are. Just be yourself and be honest, I think that's all you can do.

  2. I come across situations or aspects of someone's life all the time that I've never encountered myself--I think the only thing you can do is listen (and let the writer know you are reading and listening even if you can't offer commiseration or advice).

    I'm not a huge fan of the "pain olympics" or any type of comparative look at the suckiness or good parts of one's life. I think we also process our lot differently. I may be able to cope with something quite easily that sends someone else into a deep depression. And someone else may take something in stride that affects me tremendously.

    And it becomes a spiral because someone can always top you. Someone out there always has it worse or thinks they have it worse.

  3. This is a tough one. I think we all have our challenges. The things that are hard for me may be easy for others, and vice versa. You know I have seen people I love doing things I know hurt them -- like my mom still smoking even after everyone else has quit. I am very hard on her about it. But I've been where she is too, and you don't necessarily want to get out when you are there, and when you finally decide to try it seems impossible.