Thursday, July 23, 2009

Accepting obesity

I read Caitlin’s post about the new reality show More To Love and laughed because I have been talking about this with Dennis and some of my co-workers since I first saw the preview for it a few weeks ago.  I think it’s total bullshit.

The preview for the show started out with something along the lines of “The average American woman is a size 14….” but the average size of a woman on reality TV shows are a size 2.
Basically saying it’s not “reality” to have women that are all skinny on reality TV shows as an accurate representation of all American women. 
OK I agree with that.
But the part where the average women in the US is a size 14…I have a problem with.

Are we accepting obesity in this country as a way of life?

About 7 years ago I gave a presentation in college about how the media effects how women perceive themselves (and men too) in a negative way thanks (or no thanks) to the media. It’s a well known fact that sex sells and tall, thin models can make anything look good. Remember Kate Moss? Gross right? Well she was the fantasy of so many men and it made people like myself feel like garbage.
That was when I was young and naive, of course.  Now I know better.
Anyway, back then, 7 years ago in 2002, the average dress size for a women was a size 12.

That’s right…one size smaller than it is today.

And we’re OK with this? Why do we keep growing and accepting it as the norm?

Now I do know that every body is different. Size doesn’t always mean squat. I weigh about 15-20 pounds more than my “suggested” weight and but I know I’m strong and healthy and in pretty damn good shape. My pants size ranges from a 28 to a 30 (6 to 10) depending on the make and the cut. Ironically enough, I even have a few 4’s in my closet that fit me very nicely. I have shirts that range from smalls to large as well. I’m mostly right in the middle of both—mostly 8’s, mostly mediums, but I won’t hesitate to buy a larger size if it fits better for fear of wearing a larger size. I don’t let a number define me because there is no set size number that does! However---when I noticed the number on my clothes started to increase, I knew I needed to do something about it.

That’s the difference here. I didn’t accept that I was getting larger. I didn’t accept that I was wearing the average size for an American women. Why? Because I didn’t FEEL well. I couldn’t run as well as I wanted, I wasn’t sleeping well, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin…do I need to continue??

The moral of the story is, don’t settle with what is said to be average. Don’t settle what is said to be normal either. As I said before, I didn’t want to be the “average” size 12 (I was up to a 14 in some outfits, and don’t even get me STARTED about the dress I wore in my cousin’s wedding…I ordered a size 14 thinking I’d have to take it in but instead had to get it let OUT) but I know I don’t fit the mold of the “average” or “normal” weight for a person of my height. I feel good, I feel like I look good, and I don’t care what the scale says. What matters is how I feel, and honestly, I feel great.
Would I mind losing a few more pounds? Of course not. Am I feeling badly that I haven’t? No.

All in all we need to take care of ourselves. And allowing the average size of a women in the country to continue to climb is unacceptable. Not because we can’t be happy at a size 14, but because we don’t HAVE to be happy with ANYTHING average. Period.

Here are some before and after photos for you to justify my rant.

These are from 2002 at 170 pounds: (5 foot 3)

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In 2006 at around 155:


I have more but I can’t find them all….you get the picture.

Me now:





Just so you know where I came from….

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