Friday, April 8, 2011

Don't Call Me Skinny

I am a US American woman – therefore, I have issues with my weight.
I believe there are 6 or 7 women in the US who don’t have issues with their weight or body image.  If you’re one of them, I’d love to talk to you.  I probably won’t believe you, but I’m open to persuasion.
My weight issues are two-fold:  The first issue surrounds keeping my weight where I want it.  The second issue involves the way other people react to my weight.
I hear it all the time:  “You’re soooo skinny.”  “You can’t understand how hard it is to struggle with weight.”  “It must be nice to be able to eat whatever you want and not gain a pound.”
You know what?  Screw you.
Assuming that I don’t have to work to stay in shape is just as bad as assuming someone is overweight because they’re lazy.
Get me?
Because, let me tell you, it doesn’t take much at all for me to balloon up.  If I don’t exercise and watch what I eat all the time I can pack on 20 pounds in 2 months without blinking.  I can think of two times in the past 10 years or so when, for various reasons (not pregnancy), I wasn’t really able to exercise and the way I ate was far from ideal.  And both those times?  I plumped up like a factory farmed turkey with a tube down its throat.  Bang.  And 20 pounds on my frame shows.
Because I do have a small frame.  I’m not denying that genetics plays a role.  Of course it does.  I am certain it is easier for me than for others to stay thin.  Both of my parents are very thin.  But you know what?  They both work their asses off every single day.
But genetics isn’t everything, and it’s not the only reason that I’m thin.  Did you notice that when I was pregnant I didn’t post my weight a single time?  I’ll give you once guess as to why that was.
Because I gained a LOT of weight, and I gained it fast.  I was straight up, uncontrollably hungry.  Like, so desperately hungry that I had to eat RIGHT THEN, as much and as fast as I could to such a degree that I think I actually bit my own finger a couple times.  It was crazy.  And MacGyver was so terrified I was going to damage the fetus working out that for months he wouldn’t let me get my heart rate up above 160 (though I did cheat a few times – I NEEDED the exercise).  Sooooo I gained.  Remember this:
6 Weeks

20 Weeks

30 Weeks

39 Weeks and 6 days - and In Labor!

40 Weeks

Yeah.  So it annoys me when people imply that maintaining my weight doesn’t take effort.  Why don’t you just call me lazy and spoiled?  It would be more to the point.
I’m thin because I run (and I mean full out, lung burning, painful RUN) a minimum of 9 miles a week.  Often times much more.  And I do all manner of strength work, mostly abs and arms.
I’m thin because I am VERY careful about what I eat.  The Ethical Eating journey has been amazing for this, but even before I was extremely focused on eating mainly veggies and only high-fiber whole grains.  And that doesn’t just mean I get tomato on my burger and eat iceburg lettuce salads.  No.  First of all, I try to eat veggies at every meal, including breakfast.  Sure, there are a lot of mornings when I just eat steel cut oatmeal instead, but I eat veggies at breakfast at least a couple times a week.  And I eat real veggies.  Spinach, Kale, broccoli.  And a variety.  Did you know that 70% of all US American calories come from four foods?  Four.  That is effing ridiculous.  And, from an anthropological (and medical, but I’m not really qualified to comment on the medical standpoint) standpoint very unhealthy.  So I eat a variety of veggies and other foods.  Eating seasonally really helps with that.  Yes, I still eat a lot of wheat, but I also eat a whole heck of a lot of non-wheat whole grains (quinoa, black, red, and brown rice . . .). 
And I READ about nutrition and food.  Our culture has gone so far from eating a rational, healthy, veggie focused, varied diet that you have to research it yourself.
My mother in law has been staying with us for 2 weeks, and has lost 15lbs thanks to the way we eat.  And she’s been cheating at night – and doesn’t think I know about it.
Long and short: I work out and I eat VERY well.  And if I don’t, I gain weight.  So forgive me if I look like I’m trying to refrain from smacking you when you say I can eat whatever I want and stay thin.  Because, trust me, I have been wanting a big, cheesy, greasy pizza for weeks now, but I’m not eating it.
So sometimes, I get offended by the things people say about my weight.  Then there are other times when I know the person commenting has good intentions.  Usually, they’re trying to compliment me by saying how thin I am.  And, sure, I’m flattered.  I mean, I really like my figure.  But these compliments are a little uncomfortable to deal with.  I’m not 100% sure why.  I mean, if you tell me you like my hair or I performed well in court, I will graciously and happily thank you.  But for some reason it feels really wrong to thank someone for calling me thin.  It’s like admitting that I’m thin makes me conceited.  I dunno. 
So, I’ve talked about how I have had to work in the past to avoid gaining weight.  Well, now I’m facing a different problem I never thought I would.
At 5’5” (or 6”) I consider 118lbs to be my ideal weight.  It’s rather arbitrary.  It’s just the weight I stayed at rather consistently when I was in high school (I once read a study that said people who maintain their high school weight throughout life live longer, and stay healthier).  A couple years ago I was being required to PT too hard and too often (I was the only female in my unit), and I dropped to 115lbs.  MacGyver said that I was much too thin, and I started to get sick more often.  So, I decided that 115 was too thin for me.  I eventually worked up the courage to tell the higher ups that I couldn’t PT like that anymore, and things got much better.  Except I didn’t gain the weight back. 
I stayed at 115 for a couple years (luckily, my body shape did go back to normal, and MacGyver confirmed that I was no longer too skinny).  Then I went to TBS which was very physically demanding, but also required horrible eating habits.  So I went up to 119 – at which point I got pregnant. 
Well, it didn’t take me too long to get back down to 118 after Flintstone was born.  Breastfeeding and vegetarianism (because Ethical Eating makes me a vegetarian the vast majority of the time) made it super easy.  Training for my next PFT didn’t hurt, either.
Lately, though, I’ve felt like I was eating all the time.  Still my regular diet (though I may have snuck a few Girl Scout cookies here and there), just more of it.  So, this weekend I hopped on the scale to see just how much damage my uncontrollable eating has done.
I stared at the scale, confused.  I hopped off and hopped back on. 
Same thing.
I called MacGyver over.  “Is the scale broken?”
He weighed himself. “Nope, not broken.”
I weigh 112lbs.
“Do I look sickeningly thin to you?”  I asked him.
“No, you look even better than you did at 115.”
Ok, so I suppose I’m okay with this.  I’m extremely healthy.  I’m eating like a pig.  I’m not bony or sickly or shapeless (actually I love my butt-waist-boobs shape more now than I ever have).  So I guess 112 is ok.
Except it’s not.
Because I have my annual weigh in (a Marine requirement) in a week or so.  And I am below the minimum weight for my height.  If you’re above weight, they put you on BCP, Body Composition Program, and make you work out and stuff.  I have no idea what they do if you fall below.  I’ve weighed in below standards before, but they just remeasured my height and I was magically an inch taller . . .
I also have a somewhat distorted body image.  Apparently I am not just thin.  Apparently I am very thin.  But I don’t see it.  Honestly.  I absolutely do not see myself as any thinner than most of my friends.  The other day, I good friend of mine let me borrow an outfit because we were going out to lunch and I didn’t have civilian clothes in my office.  I was so sure she was the same size as me, easily.  I was so wrong.  She is thin and fit and healthy.  And her clothes were falling off of me.
So, I have issues.  All sorts of issues with my weight.  With gaining, with loosing, with perception.  Everything.  Because I am a US American woman.  And that’s just the way it is.
So don’t call me skinny.
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Apr 8, 2011 9:10 AM

Friday, April 1, 2011

Home Improvement

Remember that show?  Man, I loved that show when it was on.  And I was soooo in love with Jonathan Taylor Thomas*.  My friends and I used to go buy any TeenBeat/TigerBeat/whatever that had him on the cover, then buy some other magazine to hide it in because we were completely ashamed.  Hilarious.
This post is not about that.  But there are certainly some similarities.
Yet another less than entertaining post.  Bite me.  This is MY blog, and I will ramble inanely about the banalities of our life if I so choose.  And all my followers will leave me and I will cry.  Maybe I’ll have time to write a “real” post later today.  If the Earth’s rotation suddenly slows down and a few extra hours spring out of nowhere.
Remember when we bought our house? (Pictures).  And then when we spent all the time decorating it just perfect?  We painted the bedroom a beautiful, deep red, the master bath a dark slate gray with stone detailing on the countertops and trim – I WISH I had pictures of it, and MacGyver did the kitchen in an unbelievable Tuscan theme – warm textured yellow/gold walls and tile countertops.  And then remember when the Marines moved us 9 hours away from that house?
Well, we’ve been renting it out since then, which hasn’t been all that bad.  At the very least because of its location we haven’t had any trouble at all renting it out.  Actually, we have people competing (offering more rent, free repair services, etc) for it.  But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been any headaches.
MacGyver has had to drive up periodically to make repairs.  The last time he went up, he called me really pissed off.  The tenants apparently didn’t understand the difference between renting and owning nor did they seem to understand our very clear stipulations about which rooms they were and were not allowed to modify.  The wife painted our beautiful dark stone master bathroom light pastel blue.  Choke me.  She even painted the countertops!!!!  WTF?  Who paints countertops?  Who paints textured countertops?  They also took out our compost area.  Seriously?  We told them to put the bathroom back the way it was, or it would come out of the security deposit.
Then, in Nov, a pipe burst.  This kind of damage is covered by our homeowners insurance, so we didn’t think it would be much of an issue.  Wow, were we wrong.  To start, we had to fire the first contractor company because MacGyver caught them lying to us.  The next contractor had a psychiatric break and barricaded himself in his house holding his family hostage.  Yeah.  And those were just the beginning of the problems.  It was one thing after another after another after another.  It was unbelievable.  I won’t even try to give a timeline or cover all the effing craziness with this thing, but some of the highlights:
- An incompetent liaison at the insurance company who was SO hard to get a hold of and waited weeks before returning calls
-  The original contractor we had to fire did the water mitigation improperly which ruined the counters in the kitchen and caused a mold issue.
-  Due to mold and the heat going out (related to the water damage), we allowed the tenants to terminate the lease early and had to fight with the insurance  company to cover the rent even though it was clearly covered in our policy.
-  At least 10 different adjusters and other kinds of “experts” have had to be called in by us and the insurance company while we battled all the details out for getting all the water damage repaired as well as the damage the insurance company’s contractor caused.
And that’s just a sampling of it.  MacGyver has had to go up a couple times to deal with this crap, and it is getting old fast.  MacGyver has been AMAZING in dealing with it, though.  Seriously, all the phone time and paperwork required has been nuts and he has been spending SO MUCH TIME taking care of it.  I owe him something HUGE after all this (any suggestions?).
So, more than a week ago, MacGyver went up again to make a couple repairs unrelated to the damage before our new tenants move in.  And the final repair work from the burst pipe was just starting.  The pipe burst IN NOVEMBER!!!  The work was finished in APRIL.   FIVE MONTHS!  Frig.  But it’s done.  And we got to pick out beautiful new floors, countertops, carpet, etc.
So, MacGyver went to VA.  He was supposed to be there for 3 or 4 days.  He was supposed to come with me to Atlanta.  But things in my life so rarely go the way they’re supposed to, and those effects also spread to affect MacGyver.  So he got busy.  He did a billion things.  Seriously, he is the most productive person I know.  But he pushes himself too hard.  And he ended up in the emergency room because he passed out in a store.
Remember last April Fool’s Day?  You know, last time MacGyver was in the ER?  I am going to start chaining him to the bed at the end of March from now on.
Even better?  The butt didn’t even TELL me he was in the ER until two days later!  Needless to say, I can’t get him home soon enough and am going out of my mind with worry.  He was on his way home last night.  He texted me at 4 am to say that he had stopped to take a nap. 
I didn’t get the text because my phone was on silent, but, incidentally, Flintstone thought that would be a great time to wake up.  I was roused by little baby noises and something bumping insistently against my side.  I open my eyes to see a happy little chubby face smiling away, and up in crawling position – ready to party and move.  He’s been scooting and semi-crawling for a while now, but he’s just started really mastering it, and apparently 4am is a good time to practice.  And while I am a sleep whore, I can’t miss an opportunity to play with the little guy, so I was up and playing until he fell back asleep – 20 minutes before my alarm.  Cute.
Anyway, MacGyver should be home by now, but I haven’t heard from him.  I’m sure he fell right into bed.  I also can’t get a hold of my mother in law, who is still with us and has extended her stay by another week so she can lecture me on the evils of contraceptives and seatbelts and bitch about my cooking some more.  So that’s nice.
Anyway, I just wanted to get the house nonsense down now that it seems to be coming to a close.  Trust me, this is much better than if I had given you all a running commentary on this ridiculousness.
* I will now waste half my afternoon trying to determine where he is now and if he’s still hot . . . . . . Aaaaaannnd – apparently he is gay?  I can’t tell for sure.  Could just be internet rumors.  But I guess I wouldn’t be surprised.  After all, Lance Bass was by far my favorite member of *NSync, so it would fit with a trend for me ;-)  (Also, there are a bunch of idiots on the IMDB message board saying he couldn’t be gay because he’s a really solid guy, really smart, etc.  What the hell does any of that have to do with sexual orientation?  Jackasses.)


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