I was greeted with an unsolicited and probably well-intentioned magazine subscription today: Weight Watchers. I have nothing but praise for this magazine that promotes a “Brand”, a “Lifestyle”, a “FOCUS” if you will, for those who are seeking more information on products, fashions and ideas for weight loss. Magazines in general ensure that people inform themselves with cutting-edge recycled tips to maintain a certain baseline neurotic self-consciousness about the human form. I do not prefer the “BIG BOX” pop-culture offerings over a focus on my unique dietary and exercise needs and preferences.
Unsolicited advice (or magazine subscriptions) that focus on one’s weight and dieting infers so many assumptions about a person and their daily routine or reality that it becomes hard to know how to react. Wow. To the person who purchased this subscription: simply fuck off, please…but since you asked….
I’d have preferred to select my own magazine subscription. Choice matters. Actually asking a person what they might prefer to motivate or inspire them toward a positive goal is truly appreciated, charming and compassionate.
If you’re a woman in the US, you probably have felt “overweight” regardless of your actual size or shape. It seems that no matter what you have done, are doing, or will do, your actual weight is measured right alongside the weight of your character or any challenge you may face. I’ve always been on the higher end of the spectrum by any standard measurement of averages such as weight, IQ, creative outputs, etc. Oddly but not uncommonly, for most of my life it seemed that I was always on some “diet” or another, instituted by my parents or other family members, or because of some personal notion that I needed to be slimmer for my health and comfort. It has been a recurring theme throughout my life.
Ironically, a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome a few years back confirmed what I had already observed: I have a glandular metabolic disorder that ensures that every calorie consumed is hoarded for the potential famine to come. You skinny fuckers will die, and mutants like me will thrive and carry on in the post-apocalyptic times of scarcity.
Sometimes that’s just the way it goes, so one learns to adapt. I’ve always known I need to eat very little to survive; the rest is just what’s for dinner, so I consciously eat less. There is a medication that I could take that would speed up my metabolism, but it has less than pleasant side effects that involve never emerging from the bathroom. Of course exercise is important to healthy, vigorous living, and I’m mindful of that as well. We all know what we know, after all! Or we should probably remember something about exercise if we are (indeed) an adult. Low impact, stretchy dancing, yoga-ish workouts are my favorites, along with walking, hiking and anything that tends to get my heart rate up.
I stopped “dieting” and focused instead on the quality of my food. I’ve steadily lost weight gradually living by a few maxims:
Quality versus quantity.
The less “refined foods” the better.
Moderation in all things.
Margarine = Death.
Letting go of things, ideas, and connections that don’t actually support my worldview or well-being has been a gradual transformation.
For those who struggle against lurching disapproval, ignorant judgements, unsolicited drivel or harmful assumptions: it helps to distance oneself from well-intentioned people whose perspectives of us as human beings are so limited that they lack the capacity to view us as more than an Icon, character, or archetype from a remote distance. People only KNOW you if they do.
When we “idealize” a person’s life condition, we make assumptions based on our own perspective and ideas and proceed accordingly.
When we “realize” a person’s life condition, we ask questions, acknowledge the person’s difference from ourselves and tune in to their perspectives and viewpoints with empathy.
Thank you for reading this rather personal glimpse into weighty topics. I love real people, and of course everyone and anyone is free to comment. Fair warning: prodding the opossum at this point might prove snarly.