Why does “fit” sound like “fat” to me?

For awhile I kept hearing that I was too thin.  It both disturbed and delighted me.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a healthy eater and borderline obsessive exerciser, yet I don’t deny my body either food or rest.  But there’s something about being thin that feels powerful, in charge, in control.

I grew up with good foods and bad foods.  I knew that coffee flavored yogurt was a doubly good food because it was low in fat and had caffeine – winner!  And if you followed your yogurt with a cigarette, well, you were practically in a negative calorie situation.  I remember Dexatrim pills and some sort of chewy chocolate flavored squares (neither of which I’ve ever taken) that were to be consumed in place of real food.  Dieting was a way of life for my mother, lest she resemble her own mother, a woman who bore 15 children and whose body retained the cumulative evidence of each one of those individual pregnancies.

I’ve been lovingly accused of having a distorted perspective of my size and shape.  I clearly can see the soft parts of my body, as they contrast with the more muscular areas, and I struggle with accepting them.  I prefer to not have a scale in the house because I fear getting obsessed with a magic number, attainable or not.  My weight has the ability to fill me with giddiness or a mild case of self-loathing, two extreme emotions which I prefer to avoid as I try to live a more even sort of life.

In the last few months, I have gained 4 or 5 lbs and I vacillate between acceptance and discomfort.  I’ve been told, unsolicited, that I look “healthy” and “fit” and I don’t know why I feel challenged  to accept these positive words in relation to my physical size.  Isn’t healthy the goal?  Isn’t fit the reason I exercise?  Why must I work so hard mentally to respect my body and all the wonderful qualities it possesses?

A few weeks ago I was shopping at the Gap, a place I haven’t bought pants in quite some time.  I started with a pair of khaki slacks in a size 6.  Too big.  I grabbed the 4s with the same result.  I finally worked my way down to a size 0, which fit nicely, but I ultimately walked out with a size 2 in my bag because I refused to “buy in” to the vanity sizing so prevalent in current retail stores.  I mean, who the hell wants to be a zero?!?  What does that even mean?

Someday I hope to truly embrace my body, regardless of whatever number the scale or the size reveals.

1 Comment

Filed under Exercise, musings, Random, running

One response to “Why does “fit” sound like “fat” to me?

  1. I think you are a remarkable individual, and agree vanity sizing is a very real thing in clothing now. I try to stay away from the scale as much as possible and just be happy.

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