Don’t comment on my weight, please!

For this year's birthday we went to the Cailler chocolate factory (This has been brought on by bumping into an old school friend who barely recognized me because “it’s the hat – and you’ve grown wider, haven’t you?” Really? I didn’t know until you pointed it out to me! /sarcasm) So seriously, what is it with people feeling the need to comment on the fact that I’ve gained some weight over the last few years? I have depression, my dad died – honestly, a few kilos gained by comfort eating (chocoholic for life, baby!) are the least of my worries. Especially since my health hasn’t suffered and I’ve got the blood results and RunKeeper account to prove it (not that this is anyone’s business but my own).

Honestly, the most annoying thing is that old clothes (especially trousers but also blouses etc, most of which I’ve owned for 10+ years) no longer fit. Even that has an up-side, though: NEW CLOTHES! *g* Still, it’s a good thing I’ve always disliked going into high-street shops because if it was difficult to shop for my “big” bottom (big only in comparison to my teeny tiny teenaged waist), finding clothes that fit my not-thin-but-not-quite-fat shape is next to impossible.
In this article on XO Jane, Emily quotes Tim Gunn and calls women like me (and her) “on the cusp”. I mean, most high-street shops seem to stop at 42, possibly 44 (US sizes 14-16), size-wise, and in plus-size stores 44 is pretty much the smallest they have and often not really flattering on my body.

I’ve had some really good experiences ordering dresses on Etsy, maybe because it’s US-based and clothes are possibly a bit bigger there, or maybe just because cute dresses fit both my body and my brain. (I like looking cute, don’t judge! *g*) And for trousers I’ve discovered (on the opposite end of the moral spectrum in my mind, since it’s mostly big brands) that Zalando has free returns, so I can try out as many pieces as I want in the comfort of my own home.

And even if I was “truly” fat rather than “on the cusp” – isn’t it MY body, on which I, as a mostly competent adult, am the expert? The whole body weight concern trolling is so annoying (by which I mean all those well-meaning people going “but but but I’m just concerned for your health!”), especially because a) health is every person’s own concern, b) you can, as a matter of fact, be fat and still be fit, and c) if it’s just about health, how come women are SO much more policed about their weight than men? All of which boils down to this: Fat acceptance, baby!

In my skin

I’ve talked quite a bit about my depression/SAD here, but until a few years ago, if someone had asked me about my health, I probably would have instantly thought of my skin.

My relationship with my skin has been fraught. I was born with dermatitis and broke out in nasty itchy eczema in reaction to all sorts of foods. The food allergies were annoying, but the skin thing was worse. The allergies became better (or rather, the food stuff decreased, and my hayfever increased), but my skin still broke out in reaction to other things. Mostly stress but also environmental factors. And there is not much that’s more awful than feeling as if you’re stuck in the prison of your own skin.

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Becoming sporty…

For a while I was doing aerobics of DVDs quite regularly, but last year was tough, health-wise, and then I moved into my shoebox where I can’t even practice my tai chi.

But as I mentioned before, a few weeks ago I started getting more active again, more so than possibly ever before, and I’ve kept at it – no small thanks to the existence of shiny apps and gadgets… So really, people that say the internet results in lazy people that never get off their butts, all I can say: HA! *g*

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Nutrition vs. exercise

Over my quick breakfast in the morning (and on the loo *g*) I tend to read magazines that I get sent home – Amnesty International, WWF (World Wildlife Fund), Sanitas (my health insurance). And in the latter I read a rather interesting article today, which surprised me by being pretty well-balanced and non-judgmental.

It was titled (in German, of course) ‘Exercise beats nutrition’ and contained a long interview with a nutritionist and a sports scientist. Basically, the said that, that being active/exercising regularly is much more important for good health and long life than dieting/weight. It was so refreshing to see scientists, in a publication from an insurance company at that, denounce the BMI (Body Mass Index) as out-moded and even dangerous and saying that someone ‘overweight’ could easily be healthier than someone skinny as long as they were active. They also said that food should be fun, not calory counting.

Obviously the article is still somewhat problematic because it addresses only the able-bodied who have a choice whether to be sedentary or active. But still, it makes me hope that maybe our society will move away from the obsession that low weight automatically equals a healthy body.