Sunday, January 9, 2011

Let me tell you how to lose weight....

So, on this quest to a smaller waste line, I have had many people give me their unsolicited  advice. Sometimes I welcome it with open arms, other times I would like to throw my supersized fries and diet soda at them--I've learned that there are some people, no matter how sincere they may be, who should  NEVER give advice on how to lose weight, keep weight off, or the best way to become healthy. Some are obvious, while others, not so much-

Ballet Dancers: When your diet consists of coffee, cigarettes, bottled water and the occasional carrot stick, and your workout regimen is more extensive than a professional athlete, you have no clue what a weight problem is. When going from a size 0 to a size 0.5 makes you a "total fat ass," I seriously don't want to hear how it's super hard to just take those 7 oz off. When I was attending college, the ballet dancers were in the same building as the music majors...don't get me wrong, I loved some of the dancers, especially the very flamboyant males, some of my favorite people. Yet, it was a known rule to avoid the second floor bathroom after lunch--this was the time many of the dancers would "get rid of" that coffee and carrot stick that was messing with their slim physique. Desperate times sometimes called for desperate measures and I would have no choice but to use this particular facility...I would waddle my chubby butt in there in time to see fresh, flush faced prima ballerinas freshening up. I always felt a little guilty knowing that the bagel sandwich I had just inhaled was worth more calories than they allowed themselves each month. 

Skinny People: In general, when the only weight problem you have ever had was the freshman 15 or the time you were pregnant, you have no clue what it is to be overweight. When one is afraid to check one's BMI for fear that they are mostly made up of cake and french fries, they can not relate to the person who needs to drop 10 pounds to get back into their high school jeans. I have these friends, who bounce right back after a baby, a wedding, a holiday, a Golden Corral. Whereas, I struggle to take off the 4 pounds I put on over the weekend. I have friends who tell me they know how I feel because they are so fat now...they can totally relate because they have put on 20 pounds since high school. Sorry, until you have put on enough weight to constitute a separate, full size 10 year old, you have no idea what I'm going through. I don't have a tummy pooch, I have a mass of blubber that could house a small Philippine family.

My Grandmother: It was all fun and games when I was in college and put on a few pounds. She promised if I took off the weight, she would buy me a brand new outfit. Seemed like enough motivation for a young, poor, college student--except, that steakburger trumps outfit. After I had my first son, I was able to bounce back, not "outfit worthy," in my grandmother's eyes, but, enough for people to say "wow, you took the baby weight off pretty quickly"...Once baby boy two, three, and four hit, I was no longer able to just consume cheerios and cry all day as I had with my first son. The weight was a bit more complicated to take off, and in all honesty, I never lost it after I had Zach (kid #3). For the last 14 years I was told how fat I was and how much I needed to take it off...then of course, there were her pointers on weight loss..."Just eat half the portions, eat only salad, don't put dressing, order only soup, skip desert, in fact, just skip food all together...have you seen what the ballerinas do to lose weight? They are just beautiful." Never mind the fact that as she was giving me her weight loss advice, she was also shoving Mexican food down my throat--I swear, she wanted me to lose weight, would tell me how fat I was every time she saw me, but, would feed me non stop when I would visit. Needless to say, I still haven't gotten that coveted outfit. 

Anyone from the Biggest Loser: I've watched the show, yes, they are "inspirational." Let's face it, if I was shipped off to a ranch for 6 months, given a personal trainer, full access to a loaded gym, a fridge stocked with health foods, no McDonald's, husband, children, or work stresses--you better believe my fat ass would make a complete turn around! Is it amazing how these 400lb people push themselves to the extreme to lose the weight, have 6 pack abs at the show finale, and look and feel amazing...I guess, but, let's face it, if they hadn't been selected on the show, they would be just like me...inhaling a box of Oreos while thinking "man, I need to get on that ranch. Tomorrow, life is going to change, you go Sunshine, I want to be just like you!" The last few seasons they have had contestants return to the show who put ALL the weight back on...well, ya, once Jillian Michaels and the gay guy, whose name is not as important, is no longer yelling at you, life goes back to normal. Life aint a big weightloss ranch--

Fat People: I wish I was kidding with this one. As a fluff fighter, I never give advice on how to lose weight to other fluffies--I've told people how I am trying to lose it, the steps I'm taking, but, I never tell them HOW they need to do it. I have had people who out weight me by a good 100 pounds tell me how I should lose the weight, give me diet advice...give me their "tips." Many of these people also believe that the Subway guy seriously lost 300 pounds by eating hoagies, I'm calling BS on 'ol Jared. Besides, was I the only one who thought he was less creepy looking when he was fat? Seriously, if you weigh more than me, I'm gonna go ahead and say I'm doing something better than you...

Last, but not least...MEN: Dudes, you have no idea what it's like to be a hormonal, menstruating, baby carrying, water retaining, salty, sweet, salty, sweet craving, cry over cotton commercials, boob holstering, girdle wearing, poor body imaged, female. When fat men can still get hot chicks according to every sitcom, movie, or commercial, where the fat chicks are the funny friends, home alone on a Friday night, eating chocolate bon bons, reading a new cosmo and weeping. When the average man thinks that a woman's ideal weight should be 110-115, you have a screw lose and have lost any privilege of telling me what is best. When men try to give me advice, not realizing, their bodies don't quite work like ours, I try to take it with a grain of salt. We were meant to carry and birth children, we are constructed to build up fat in our stomachs to house a fetus and protect it for 9 months...once said infant is born, we also have 9 months worth of fat building to now lose--and when you have an addiction to peanut m&ms and snow cones through those 9 months, that battle isn't going to be easy. My current and wonderful husband has always encouraged, supported, and loved me regardless of how much I gain or lose, I'm fortunate. Of course, I was once married to a creatine guzzling, powershake mixing, random vitamin counting, meat head who would tell me that if I just did what he did, the weight would come off--uhm, sure, I'll try it, but only if I can have the same backne, butt, and shoulder hair he was sporting!

The fact is, we don't have the same body chemistry as men. I know when my husband wants to lose ten pounds, he eats turkey sandwiches for lunch and gives up soda for a week--next thing he knows, he has lost too much weight...makes me want to punch him right in the throat. Thankfully, he has also learned to not tell me how to lose the pounds, or suggest things that work for him. He knows better than to try to advise the woman who went through 9 months of pregnancy HELL for our adorable little boy. I just wish more men had this same knowledge, understood that we just can't wave our magic wand, jump on an elliptical, and have a perfect beach body. I know Heidi Klum did it after her 1,000th child, but, she is a German engineered freak of nature. I'm sorry, but, I refuse to lock myself into a room with Elton John for 8 months, eat nothing but sushi, and workout 8 hours a day with a personal trainer like Elizabeth Hurley (that's how she did, I couldn't make this stuff up). Men, if you really think fat, dorky, guys end up with thin, hot, chicks--you are crazy. Just like I know Bridget Jones could hardly be classified as "fat" and Hugh Grant isn't going to be knocking down my door and getting into a fight with Colin Firth for my affection, although, a girl can always dream. 

So, next time you are about to hand out the weight loss advice, put yourself in the other person's shoes. Unless you went through the same struggles, don't try to pretend that the 6 months you tried to lose 10 pounds is similar. Many of you have written to me about your own struggles, and I'm glad that I have inspired you to go on a weight loss mission of your own--there are so many of us fighting the battle of the fluff and it's nice to know we're not alone in this. We should encourage each other, tell each other things that worked for us, and share recipes that are healthy and don't taste like ground ass. I know I'm not alone in this, I also know that the vast majority of us out there are trying to win the fluffy fight, and rock those jeans we once wore in high school....ok, college.....ok, from five summers ago.

Until next time,


  1. Your mother was correct!!! You are hysterical and losing weight is the ultimate Olympics for me. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  2. You know, I am now at my heaviest weight ever and thinking back to a couple of times in my life when I've lost weight (more than just a few pounds)it was when I DIDN'T think so much about it. I think that I am so focused on it that it overwhelms me and then I start thinking of everything that I could possibly eat, everything that sounds yummy and could fill me with comfort. I think the secret is (and it's something no one can give anyone else) is to kinda forget about it. To just get SO busy doing whatever it is in your life that could make you forget about eating. And there it is. Something that is different for each person...once in my life I was so busy riding my bike because I loved it, then walking everywhere and then meeting friends...I just somehow eat when I was hungry and not because it was mealtime. I'd feel a little grumble in my tummy and have a spoonful of peanut butter or a handful of cherries....OK, I'm rambling but I think that now my life is SO centered on food. Buying it , making it and eating it because it is the proper "time" to eat it. If I could get away from the whole "meal" idea like I had done years ago...I think I would be able to focus my happiness on something other that the taste of chocolate on my tongue.
    I'm NOT telling you what to do, I'm just reminding myself what worked in the past for me. And I would think that would be a very hard thing to do with a family...
    :) - Cindi