Welcome to my number one pet peeve! Having just seen another story about obesity and its dire effects on our population, I am ready to comment, and Terry is tired of listening to me, so I am writing it down. You can read it or skip it if it doesn't strike a chord with you...
I am fat. Not chubby, large, plus-sized, overweight, or even obese, just fat. It seems that I have been that way or fighting it for the last 50 years, so that is most of my life. I was a large baby at birth, but I was anemic and didn't thrive for awhile, so until I was about 8, I was actually skinny. Then, for no apparent reason, I began to put on weight, and I became "chubby," or "pretty plus," as they said in the girls' clothing department. My weight gain was not due to overeating or snacking or eating junk. My mother, who was overweight herself, was very careful to feed all 3 of us children a balanced and healthy diet, even when we didn't want it! We ALWAYS had to have at least a small serving of whatever vegetable was served, and one always was. Some I liked, some not, and eating them didn't help me like them any better, as she hoped it would. (I still can't look peas in the face! ) We didn't have after-school snacks, like many of my friends, and we didn't snack at night. Soft drinks were a once-a-week treat. I got sufficient exercise, although it was not one of my favorite things to do. While I would have rather read a book or played with dolls, my mom was always encouraging me to get out and ride my bike or skate or play something active. There wasn't much t.v. watching, either. However, I continued to gain weight.
As I grew into my teen years, the problem continued, only now I was aware of my appearance and was often on a diet. For all of my high school years, a friend and I carried melba toast, apples and hard boiled eggs to school for our lunch. I watched what I ate at home, but I did go out to drive-in restaurants on occasion. I was one of the first devotees of Diet Rite Cola, and I have continued to drink diet soft drinks until this day, only now Diet Dr. Pepper is the drink of choice. In spite of all my efforts, I remained a size 12-14, when most of my friends were a size 8-10.
For many years, I dieted off and on, the famous yoyo syndrome that we didn't know was bad at the time. I remained, through college and the first 8 years of marriage, a size 12-14. I managed to have two children and return to that weight. Before my second child was born, the doctor said that my thyroid gland was underactive, and he put me on medication, which helped keep the weight constant.
Then I turned 30. We moved to a small farm, and my doctor retired, leaving me off the medication. The next doctor I saw said I didn't need it. Meanwhile, for no apparent reason again, I gained 35 pounds in 6 months. I couldn't understand it. On the farm, I was doing at least twice as much physical activity as I had in the suburbs, and I was eating less. Still the pounds piled on. Then I got pregnant, adding another 30 pounds, only 20 of which I managed to lose. Now I was up 45 pounds and growing!
I was really frustrated, and when my husband had to go on a low fat diet, I went with him, eating 1200 calories a day to his 1500. In three months, he lost over 30 pounds, I lost 5. That's when I decided that was it. No more diets for me. At 35, I gave up dieting forever. I tried to exercise and not pig out, and that was it. I continued to gain weight. I finally came to the conclusion that if I lost weight, it would be because I was sick with some dread disease.
Meanwhile, society kept bombarding us with pictures of waif-thin people and telling us that being fat was unhealthy and costing the health care system millions of dollars. Now we get to that peeve. I do not and have never had high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, diabetes or any other serious obesity-blamed condition. I do have rheumatoid arthritis and some osteoarthritis. The rheumatoid is not weight-related, but the osteo- probably is. Overall, I am in good health and can do most of what I would want to do. I am back on thyroid medication. I do take care of myself, trying to get those 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables and the 3 dairy most days. I eat little restaurant or convenience food anymore. I try to watch the fat intake, and I work out daily, 3 times a week at Curves and the rest at home. Guess what--I'm still fat! That's okay with me--I would rather be healthy than skinny, and if anyone would judge me because of my size, I figure that's their problem. I just wish that the media would quit portraying all fat people as couch-potato junk food aficionados. That is a gross (ha ha) generalization! Life is good!