Friday, November 6, 2009

Those skinny girls who eat anything they want....

I wrote this post a while ago but didn't publish it as I was tired of bragging about my success. But I think it's kind of funny and also, it gets to a point that Carrie and Indya brought up about innate personality traits. As in some people innately make sensible diet and exercise choices and some people struggle every day. Somehow, I changed my personality from the latter to the former (I guess 'innate' is the wrong word if I was able to change it). Good habits are not usually such a huge inward battle anymore (sometimes, yes, of course). In the story below, someone mistook me for "one of those skinny girls who can eat anything she wants." Now obviously this is not true - but I would wager that most of those girls, at least at our age, don't really eat that much - they probably just look like they do in social situations, but in their day to day lives are much more careful. And if you are careful and restrained long enough it becomes second nature and what you actually want. If I ate a huge greasy plate of a hamburger and french fries I'd feel sick to my stomach. I may want a few bites of each, but I would naturally control myself.

Anyway, story below....from September
Recently my family went to a party in Baltimore. At this party I knew NO ONE, except my husband and kids and ended up talking for a long time to the wife of the person who invited us. We really hit it off and enjoyed getting to know each other. At some point along the way, I was listing all the reasons why I didn't want to have another baby (of which there are many), and among them was, "I just lost 45 lbs." I let this drop at the buffet bar with other women (moms) around. I thought about it for a second before saying it and almost didn't mention it as I didn't want to appear to brag and at this point I knew full well that it would completely derail the conversation, based on past experiences. Of course I love this - and love talking about all my successes, and diet and exercise techniques in general, but opening up this topic with strangers is a bit ungracious I think.  So I was having this debate in my head as I listed my many reasons for not wanting a 3rd child and felt I would be lying to not add in the weight loss one. So either the honest or showy part of my personality got the best of me and I did mention it, along with, 'it's too expensive, we like being able to do things now, I worry about having a baby at 39, the kids would be too far apart.' As I suspected our conversation completely stopped and the two other women nearby joined in.
Guest 1 "What?!! How much?"
Me "45 lbs or so. I'm not totally sure."
Guest 2 "You did? I need to do that."
Guest 3 "How??"
Me "Diet and exercise really."
Guest 2 "I thought so."
Me "And kind of Weight Watchers principals."
Guest 3 "Do you mind if I ask how much you weigh now?"
Me "I think I'm about 140 now. I haven't weighed myself in a while."
Guest 3 "See that's where I need to be."
Guest 1 "That's amazing. I'm so proud of you."
Guest 2 "Do you not eat any foods? Do you eat bread?"
Me "I eat whatever I want but in really small portions. Well I don't really eat sweets or drink alcohol," I paused for an instant, thinking about the craziness of this next phrase before saying it, "except on Saturdays."
Guest 2. "'Except on Saturdays', well that's one way." Her tone wasn't catty, more, resigned, like, 'well I guess that's what thin people do.'
I looked down at my fingers, greasy with brownie remnants and said, "I know you see me stuffing brownies in my face but I rarely do that."
Oh God, now I'm the loony anorexic girl afraid of a brownie. There is a weensy bit of truth to that accusation. I mean I am pretty regimented but I do eat. Just carefully. And very few brownies.
This went on for a bit longer and then my new friend (guest 1) and I started talking about exercise and her training for a relay marathon. I guess that's where it gets split up amongst a few people so you only (only!) run 6 miles or so. We discussed how hard it is to find time to exercise etc. She was in good shape already but had a two year old clinging to her the entire evening so even though we just met I'm sure she's not her complete pre-child-bearing-years self yet.
In fact, she said, "I thought you were one of those skinny girls who can eat anything she wants." Ha! I thought that was hysterical for obvious reasons. We went over my weight over time etc. and I assured her that that was not true. The more I said the more fascinated she became. What exactly was so fascinating about my story?  
That was written in September when I had just really changed physically - those last 10 lbs are really (sadly)  the most impactful in terms of appearance, and I bought some new clothes. But the point about how I could be perceived as a totally different person than I am kind of made me think - maybe I had just become kind of a different person, (at least in terms of how I eat and exercise) and didn't realize it. I certainly can't eat anything I want, but my wants and indulgences are more in line with each other than they every have been. By eating less I want less and by wanting less the things I do eat are more satisfying. I never could quite find the words to sum up what I was getting at. Maybe I needed a little distance from reaching my goal weight to see that the point of the story is that people can change and I had changed more than I even realized at the time.

OK - way too much thinking on this topic...must eat lunch. Cabbage soup. Again. Maybe a soup pot can be too big.

No comments:

Post a Comment