Note: This post contains weight loss talk and references to disordered eating patterns.
I was talking recently to someone close to me, someone with whom I have a little trouble enforcing boundaries. In the course of our conversation, I mentioned needing to shop for a few items of clothing soon because mine no longer fit me.
Interestingly, I was referring to my need to get new bras because my new birth control has decided it would be fun to go up a couple of cup sizes. (Note: While I appreciate that this may in fact be fun for some people, I am at the stage when the sizes have run out and the novelty has worn off.) She, however, instantly became concerned about the fact that I “can’t seem to lose weight.”
“How’s your diet?”
A dangerous question, considering I have problems with restriction. I guiltily recalled the cream cheese on my bagel this morning, the chocolate I asked my partner to bring home earlier this week. Then I told myself, Fuck it. Reasonable diets get to include the occasional slice of cake and smear of cream cheese.
“Have you tried doing low-fat or cutting out carbs?”
Yes and yes, if you want to know the truth. Suffice it to say: I cannot think with insufficient dietary fat, and I cannot poop with insufficient dietary fiber, which I get — surprise! — from carbs. But I didn’t want to turn this into a conversation about the evils of food.
“I told you; my diet is fine.”
“Are you sure you’re exercising?”
No. I just now realized that what I had mistaken for yoga practices and runs might actually be massive hallucinations — hallucinations I sometimes even share with other people.
Because, realistically, while I am right now not exercising as much as I would like, I am still probably exercising more than the average USian. When I can and when it feels like I’ll like it, I exercise even more.
“At least a little, almost every day.”
“Do you want to try this DVD I have?”
Not really, if it’s the one you rant and rave about regularly, the one that focuses every second breath on how many calories you’re burning, how much fat you’re losing, how you can feel the pounds just melt off. I do not want to feel like I’m melting when I’m working out, thank you. You can keep that one.
“Really, I’m good with what I have.”
“But if it’s not working for you — ”
Who decided it’s not working? Not me.
“– when was the last time you had your thyroid checked?”
“Last month. It was normal.”
For people who are informed about these things, it was truly normal by any sense of the term. My TSH was 1.19, and I have no symptoms (e.g., heavy menstrual periods) that aren’t pretty clearly explained by other diagnoses.
“But if your diet is good and you’re exercising but still not losing weight, then there must be something wrong with —”
“No. Really. There’s not. There’s nothing wrong with me. This is just me. At the size I’m supposed to be.”
“But have you tried — ”
“I’m not saying you have to approve of this size, not for me or anyone else. But that’s not going to change reality, and I’m a little bit past the point where I’m looking for your approval.”