I Am That Girl Now

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Life's not fair. Well, maybe.

A friend who's just a few months into the weight-loss journey reports that her husband has lost exactly as much weight as she has, just by eating the same things (and twice as much of them) that she's been cooking and eating. She finds this insanely frustrating, and I'm right with her on that one. Men get off easy on losing weight-- it's easier for them because of the blessings of genetics, the vagarities of societal expectations, and hormones geared more toward burning calories than toward packing 'em away to fuel baby-making. The fact that men can lose weight without even thinking about it while women have to knock themselves silly is a fact that, if you happen to be a woman and have a male on hand to compare the process with, will drive you mad.

I'm not comfortable with the fact that life is unfair. I occasionally fall prey to fits of class rage, in which the fact that 90% of my friends make twice as much money as I do starts to pull my brain into little pieces. Likewise, it used to make me go mental when I would bust my ass for a good grade and someone who finished his paper five minutes before class would get the same mark-- or a better one. There's a lot of my personality, I think, that's based on the concept that you only truly deserve something when you earn it with hard work, and so when the same results happen regardless of who worked and who didn't-- particularly when I'm on the "did" part of that equation-- it's more than a question of parity, it's an assult on a precious belief of mine.

My husband eats what I eat, about two-thirds of the time-- he just tends to eat more of it. The rest of the time, particuarly when it comes to breakfast and restaurants, he eats whatever he wants-- the greasier, the better. He does not exercise, whereas I do every day. For my efforts, I manage to stay around the same weight-- and if I have several bad days in one week, I gain. For his complete lack of effort, he gets... the same result. This can occasionally get extremely frustrating-- I start to wonder what sort of cruel fate forces me to work like mad just to stay in one place.

It finally occurred to me, in the middle of fuming about this today, that we're not actually getting the same results. I'm healthier than he is, now, I'm more flexible, I have better stamina, my heart's stronger, my digestion is better, I get sick less often, and my cholesterol and blood pressure levels are way down. I'm more in tune with my body. I'm more active and that activity is turning into experiences that I never thought I'd have, that I love. The techniques I developed to put together this healthy lifestyle are techniques that I'm also using to take charge of other areas of my life. I'm getting some quality results out of this, and they're all excellent reasons to keep it up. Being thin is just the part on the outside, the part that's easier to quantitate and keep an eye on; the real benefits are less obvious.

That doesn't particularly make it easier to deal with when he gets a giant chocolate ice cream cone while I have my little cup of frozen yogurt. But it's a reason to keep going, at least, which is something I dearly need at those times.


  • Don't let it get you down, It took me two years just to lose the forty pounds I gained from being pregnant with my second daughter, and before that a year to lose the 97 lbs I gained with my first girl. Even our own prior weight loss successes can make us angry with current, small increment successes. Keep working hard and the fruits of your labor will follow. :)

    By Blogger Epiphany, at 10:20 PM  

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