Why do women pay attention so much to what other women weigh? I’ve always had a pretty healthy relationship with my weight. I can relate to the Hannah character from “ Girls”, because there is so much more important things to worry about like…Heather Locklear winning an academy award.
I grew up with an older sister who struggled with an eating disorder for most of my teenage years. While she was counting all fifteen calories she consumed, I was counting how many episodes of Geraldo featured neo-nazi skinheads. My sister literally consumed one carrot a day, with a side of mustard and a dozen diet cokes. She turned orange from all the carrots. She looked like she visited a tanning studio on the Jersey Shore. My Father said to me “ I don’t care how big you are, just as long as you’re not skinny”. He understood it. I didn’t care about being skinny. Actually…I didn’t care how I looked. That was pretty obvious judging from my lopsided hair cut complete with a rat-tail, and lack of attention from the opposite sex. I had so many things that occupied my life that I didn’t have time for dieting. I was planning to become the next Carol Burnett. Ever since I saw her portray Mrs. Hannigan in the movie version of Annie, I wanted to be her! She made drinking bathtub water look so glamorous. I’m not going to lie, I did have some extra weight, but I was a teenager and it was all part of being an adolescent , like pimples and having a crush on a guy who wears eyeliner. As I got older, I realized the importance of a good diet and exercise. I had to get a job, and sleeping in everyday until noon, wasn’t going to cut it, especially in the foyer of my friends apartment building. I realized if I kept active, I slept better, ate better therefore felt better. It wasn’t for vanity, it was for sanity. Sure…I did notice the skinny girls got more attention than me, but if I took my top off when I got a flat tire, I’d get attention too. I had no problems meeting men especially thanks to that large sign I held up on the boulevard every second Tuesday. In my twenties the men I dated put no pressure on me to look like a supermodel and eat lint…but… there was some pressure to listen to Soundgarden and wear flannel.
So this “naive” notion of enjoying my life, my friends, and my passions and feeling no pressure to look like anything else but me was serving me well until one day…
I got dumped for having a BIG ASS. May I repeat, I was not BEING a big ass, I HAD a big ass. This was years ago before J-LO hid it big with her rump, and butt padding was sold at Bed Bath and Beyond. Apparently what god had given me, was too much junk in the trunk! I could understand if I got “ too comfortable” and let myself go but… I didn’t! He and I were a very active couple, mountain biking, swimming and walking every single day-for hours. Now all of a sudden…he noticed?? What did he think the men at Reggae Night were staring at? Why did he think Fat Bottomed Girls played when I entered the video store. I thought I made the rocking world go round? I guess not. Boney butts were in, and I didn’t get the memo…I got dumped.
From that day forward I tried everything to go from Baby got Back to Baby got Bones. Why drink a nutrient filled protein shake, when I could have a one calorie diet soda full of cancer causing aspartame? Why have a balanced meal that feeds my body everything it needs when I can have a fat-free/ carb free/ low sugar-free chemical filled bag of cookies for 90 calories? Why have an avocado filled with 20 essential nutrients when I can have 20 skiddles for the same amount of calories?Why give my body anything good for me because nothing good for me, is going to show my bones?
I spent years hating myself and hating any woman out there that could wear low-rise jeans.
Then one day, I was diagnosed with cancer and the chemotherapy made me so sick that I couldn’t keep any food down. My body was dying inside, my cells were dying, I could barely walk…but guess what???!! I finally had a bony butt! The comments from other women started rolling in…
“ You’re so skinny, I’m jealous.
“You look so good. What is your secret?”
” Wish I got cancer. It would be so much easier”
I was malnourished, near death, with vomit on my shirt and was as white as a ghost. and FINALLY I was told I looked good! After all those years of counting calories, eating chemically filled food, it took cancer to get me to be told I was skinny enough.
My body went through complete hell, and when it was all over I wanted to prove to myself and my body, I was healthy. One week after my last treatment, I hopped on my bicycle and rode over 200 kilometres in a two days time for charity. Was I told how healthy I was? How good I looked for surviving cancer and conquering such a big athletic challenge right after treatment? Nope. The only comment I got was that my legs looked big in spandex. Did that get me down? No way. Lets face it, the only person who looks good in spandex is David Lee Roth circa 1985.Yes I was skinny when I was sick, but I was also mistaken as a zombie on The Walking Dead.
I was not going to celebrate mal-nourishment, starvation or sickness.
As a personal trainer, I get asked all the time, what things people can do for weight loss. Well, the first question I ask them is
“ Why do you want to lose weight”.
Are you going to get the guy if you weigh 5 pounds less? Is your job going to treat you better? Is fitting into a size two going to change your life? Chances are you’re going to be sick, sad and depressed. ( Now there are some cases in which yes, weight loss is necessary, but I’m talking about average sized women). Please see photo below because …what is average???
I am now back to the way my body is meant to be- big butt and all. I don’t struggle with it anymore because this is what I was given and I’m using it! Last week I slipped on ice and fell on my butt and literally slid 100 metres. Did it hurt? Hell no!! My big butt saved me. My body works. It keeps me alive. It helps me do all the activities I want to do. My legs keep me moving, My arms keeps me talking, and butt helps my booty shake and lets face it “ I like big butts and I cannot lie”. So everyday I celebrate.
This body kept me alive when I needed it the most, so why would I spend another day hating it…and so I ask you ladies…
Why are you???