I Am That Girl Now

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hopefully this won't have to be reposted once I've had sleep

The thing is, I had a GREAT morning before I left for work. I woke up half an hour before the alarm and didn't feel like snoozing anymore, so I showered, fed the cats, meditated for ten minutes, woke up my Hub, got frisky with my Hub (yay morning!), had breakfast, brushed teeth, dried hair, made snacks, and was still out the door on time.

Similarly to the last time I spontaneously awoke before the alarm (last week, I think), all went well until I got on the El. I didn't fall asleep hard this time, but I did fall asleep, and even after jogging around our (largely empty) office a bit and indulging in caffeine, I still feel like I'm about to tip over.

I caught a goof on my husband's paycheck which means they owe him twenty bucks on his next paycheck (and let's just say that it's a good thing I'm watching now, 'cause he didn't notice at all, and it would have been deducted on every paycheck all year had I not noticed), which is all well and good but it means he's $20 short this pay-period... which is really not helpful. I'm trying to get him to follow a spending plan! WORK WITH ME, UNIVERSE, PLEASE.

My Hub is having a worse day than I am... at least, he was. He was so beat and so depressed that I convinced him to take a half-day and go home. Hopefully this fixes things, because I honestly don't know if I'll be able to help. I'm already pretty groggy and I don't imagine it'll improve after work. What the hell is wrong with this week?

My chief concern for the day is that I've got a good friend who went to a fertility doctor and was told, flat-out, that they don't perform IVF on patients with a BMI over 40, and won't do so without a doctor's note if the patient has a BMI between 35 and 39. Now, because my friend desperately wants a baby, she's gone into full-on diet mode. Which isn't the problem. I worry about her, since she seems to be paying more attention to the outside cues than the inside cues and I hope she actually does eat when she's hungry because that way lies madness, but that's not the problem.

First part of the problem: the fact that the doctor has a policy based on BMI. I had a lot of red flags go up on that one. It doesn't say anything about blood pressure, or diabetes, or, you know, anything that might be a legitimate medical concern: it just flat-out assumes that if one has a high BMI like that, one is too risky a case to impregnate. I understand that it's taken as a kind of shorthand for having medical conditions, but dude. Seriously. There's being fat, and then there's being a health risk: these two things may occur together, but assuming that the one is the cause of the other is like saying that pimples cause emotional disturbances in teenagers, when the real cause of both is an excess of hormones. Excess weight and health problems may have the same cause-- eating crap and not exercising-- but what if a person is eating healthy, getting plenty of excercise, scores perfectly on health issues, and still weighs in heavy? What then?

I put my friend in touch with a fat-friendly fertility specialist, "just as a back-up" in case it turns out that a) her doctor is a real asshole when it comes to fat people or b) she gets healthy but doesn't lose weight, in which case she plans to give the current doctor a very rude gesture and go make an appointment with the other one. Yay for First, Do No Harm and their list of open-minded physicians!

Second part of the problem: all the rest of our friends, who immediately jumped on with "yay, lose some weight! we will support you!" instead of "wow, what a fucker! we will support you!". And all the suggestions. Weight Watchers, calorie counting, exercise routines. I mean, hooray for health and all, but it's long been my experience that having some other person in authority impose ye olde "you need to fix yourself before you're worthy to do X" thing is never a good thing in terms of weight loss or, more to the point, mental health. JEEZ.

The point at which a very dear friend suggested a weight-loss calculation tool which, it turns out, adjusts every few weeks to stop counting the exercise you do because your body has "compensated" for it made me want to weep. Because that's definitely not be a sign that your body is compensating the way that starvation victims' bodies compensate. It just means you need to try HARDER and eat LESS.

[Here I would normally rant about diets in which I was encouraged to eat less and less and that "if you don't add on calories for exercise, you'll lose weight faster" and how that ended up making me feel cold in the middle of the fucking summer when it was 100 degrees out. Oh, wait, this is a rant, just shorter.]

I think the lesson to be learned here is a) I have learned a great deal this year regarding how to deal with doctors, b) I do not like it when people pick on my friends, c) I am still not very good at dealing with it when other people have concepts that do not match up with my experience, and d) I am still really easily triggered when it comes to people talking weight-loss because my first thought was "you know, you're right, I should really get in some extra time on the elliptical machine."

I gotta remember-- and this is really hard-- that I gotta live in a way that keeps me sane and healthy, not in a way that makes me skinny. Which for me right now means meditation, intuitive eating, listening to my body's inner cues (which right now are all saying GO TO BED EARLY TONIGHT, YOU DORK), and a certain amount of emphasis on getting exercise and proper nutrition. I may lose weight this way, I may not, but I can't let that be the point or I will lose my mind again and, really, who wants that?

Slightly hilarious side note: I bought a book called "The Gift Of Fear" used over the internet, and I'm only now noticing that it fits in perfectly with my other preoccupations of late: it's all about checking in with your inner instincts and trusting them. You'd think I'd spent a lifetime doing my best to ignore my inner cues and instincts and intuition. OH WAIT, right, that's exactly what I did. Never mind.

Also purchased:

  • No Fat Chicks: How Big Business Profits Making Women Hate Their Bodies - And How To Fight Back by Terry Poulton

  • The Diet Myth by Paul Campos

  • Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--and the Myths and Realities of Dieting by Gina Kolata

  • Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress by Jon Kabat-Zinn (yeah, I know, I bought this a year ago, but I lent mine to a friend and either she thought I meant to give it to her or she's lost it or something, any way I'm now treating it as a gift and am re-ordering it).


  • AND I'm still reading three books I got for Christmas AND reading DG's book. Just reading on the El isn't going to do, man; I'm going to have to put in some serious hours off-train in order to catch up. It's like being seven all over again and coming home from the library with a stack of books that my mom thought I'd never get read in two weeks. (By the time I was ten, she had ceased to worry about that, and instead worried that I'd finish them too quickly and need to be hauled to the library again at the end of the week. My poor mom.) Ahhhhh, BOOKS.

    2 Comments:

    • I have had fertility treatments in three different states, at clinics and teaching hospitals and OB offices, at weights from 200 to 260 (all overweight for me.) No doctor so much as mentioned my weight as a factor, though since I have PCOS, several of them suggested I try controlling blood sugars with this or that diet and see if it helped. Your friend's doctor is, you should pardon the expression, full of shit.

      By Anonymous JB, at 11:10 AM  

    • I really liked The Gift of Fear, it's a very interesting book. I also noticed the "pay attention to your instincts" part of it, which can be applied to many other things in life. Also I love how he seems to be such a feminist.

      "I gotta live in a way that keeps me sane and healthy, not in a way that makes me skinny." That's where my head is this year. It's been such a cognitive dissonance, I think that's the phrase, that I do all the things that are supposed to work, and they don't work, and the entire oeuvre of advice is: 'Do it more. Do more of the thing that isn't working.' I have a hard time with that - with ANYthing else in life, if it wasn't working after X amount of time or Y amount of effort, I'd throw it out.

      Which is not to say I've thrown out healthy foods or exercise; I've just thrown out the idea that they cause weight loss for me.

      By Blogger M@rla, at 3:50 PM  

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