'just' a half crazy homeschooling crunchy mama raising a gaggle of awesome kids in the beautiful Blaeberry Valley ...

Sunday, 18 August 2013

F*&k You Weight Watchers

A person's body weight is a combination of calories in/calories out. That is what we are told constantly. If a person is overweight then they must be a 'pig' or 'lazy'. Right? I mean that is exactly what our society implies any time somebody is 'FAT'.

I have heard people say to me things like "well she didn't get THAT way eating salads" or "It's not like she is at the gym every morning working that ass off". These statements carry the implication that one should be eating salads all the time and it is their fault they are overweight: that if they would just work harder and spend 10% of their life everyday working out they could be thin like they 'should' be. For the most part I have agreed with these types of sentiments and nodded in agreement whenever this topic of weight would rise. I mean really...is it not just a calories in/calories out equation???

Except it is not that way at all. I am fucking furious right now at society and the shallow fucking people who live this lie and perpetuate body hate and ridiculous standards of perfection that are unhealthy.

I am really 'overweight' right now. I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life (aside from when I was pregnant with my first and second). I have actually GAINED 20 lbs since I had Georgette 10 months ago. It is the most frustrating thing. People who have not had this experience will never understand how depressing this is for me.

I don't eat crap. I don't sit on my couch at night eating chips and donuts. I very rarely drink soda or juice. I am very conscious of the things I put in my body and eat relatively clean 95% of the time. I am not a carbaholic and would never choose white bread/pasta. I choose fruit or a handful of nuts for a snack most often. I am not perfect and sometimes when the family goes out for ice cream I indulge in a small scoop of my favourite. Once in a moon I do eat 'fast food' or pizza. It is about once a month.  I certainly know that the way I eat is NOT reflective of my size according to the normal ideas.

I am also breastfeeding not one, but two children (if you don't think a 2 year old should be nursing you should go do some research and come argue that point with me...I know I have science and nature on my side). Whenever someone says "Oh breastfeeding is a great way to loose weight!" I want to punch them in the face. Seriously. FUCK OFF.

So three weeks ago I joined Weight Watchers. In my head I really thought it must be my fault, that I was eating too much. I don't exercise a lot. I do try and do yoga a couple times a week and am moderately active with my kids on a daily basis. Surely if I just dieted and exercised more the weight would pour off....right?

So I did. I biked, I did ab routines, I did Pilates. I followed my weight watchers exactly. In fact, I only used half of my weekly 'points plus' the second week and came under on daily points by a couple almost every single day. I even invested in a nice digital food scale and in my second week. I started weighting all my food down to the gram. Because I had guests for a great deal of this time, it meant I definitely missed out on a LOT of treats others were having. I made this new recipe up for Butter Pecan Crunch bars and everyone raved about how good they were. I never even tasted them. We went out for Ice Cream once and I got nothing other than a lick of Jaxen's cone. I limited myself on alcohol intake and was conscious of my pours (5 oz of wine in a glass).

Guess how much weight I lost?????

None. In fact, I actually gained a pound. No, it is not muscle. My pants don't fit better and I don't feel any different. I fucking gained a pound. This is so ridiculous.

Weight Watchers Online is time consuming (about 25 minutes a day tracking and figuring out exactly how many points). It also doesn't have a lot of food I eat even in the system (Spirulina powder for instance is not on there and when you input the values it doesn't at all make sense). Still, I did it. I am still doing it. I feel like if I give up then people will just further blame me for my weight. So for the next 6 months as long as I am enrolled in this program I will record every single thing I put in my mouth.

After all, shouldn't I just be able to eat a fucking salad every day and go to the gym and then I could be skinny like all the people who are full of all this great advice???

 "You should get a personal trainer"

- Yeah...because I have time and money for that...I have four kids and we are on one income..

"You cannot possible fail with Weight Watchers. If you follow the program, you will loose the weight"

- Um....wrong. I did follow the program for three weeks and I gained a lb.

"well, you were really thin before so I am sure you can loose the weight again"

- Oh, do you mean when I lived on coffee and cigarettes and purged my guts out anytime I ate something 'bad' for me because my ex husband had told me I was fat and disgusting and I believed him???? because you are sooooo right! That was much healthier for me *eye roll*. Perhaps I can pick up a coke habit or start smoking again because I bet that would work for sure!

Then there is the impact this is having on my daughter. I hate it. Body hate is passed down and I can already see the impact my diet is having on her own self image. It makes me cry to type this because I know I am furthering the cycle of body hate I have that was instilled in me by watching my own mother constantly diet and 'watch' her weight. When my daughter saw the weight watchers page on the computer one day (I had forgotten to close out the window) her faced dropped. She was not happy or encouraging at all. She felt this was a betrayal of everything I had taught her about just loving yourself for who you are. She is right. What a fraud.

If you think this blog sounds angry, you are right. I am angry. I am angry I live in a society that makes me feel like a piece of shit everyday because I am curvy. I am fucking annoyed as hell that some idiots actually think giving up breastfeeding my children so I can starve myself and get my 'body' back is the best thing to do. I am angry that I am made to feel like I am a lazy pig and that is why I am heavy, as opposed to perhaps I am just naturally a more voluptuous person (The new trend in this new body hate movement is to tell us bigger ladies that being 'big boned, or 'curvy' isn't a natural thing: it is just an excuse for us to not be 'better').

You think I should try harder???? You think I should eat less and exercise more???

 I think you are a shallow idiot....F*&k You.


  1. You don't know me, but I read your posts with interest - you crack me up & get me thinking at the same time! Anyways, this post resonates with me too, as i am on a mission to be healthy & fit on my own terms. Have you considered seeing a naturopathic doctor? I recently went to one, and I am feeling great, and am 9 months post-partum, breast feeding, and though my body is not as firm as it once used to be, I have started to lose weight & keep it off in a healthy way. It's worth the time and investment, in my opinion. Let me know if you have any questions...and in the meantime, be gentle with & kind to yourself.

    1. You know, I take my kids to the naturopath and yet have not been myself in YEARS. I will make an appointment tomorrow. Hopefully she can help me in some way to figure out why my body is so eager to store fat reserves right now. IT is just weird because I really do eat well and though I am no marathoner (seriously...if I tried to run one of my breasts would bounce up and knock me out I am sure: there is no bra in the world that could contain these puppies!), I am not an inactive person either...

  2. Hi Kelly. I hear your frustration. I, too , have had times in my life where I didn't feel good about how I was feeling in my body. I totally get not being able to lose weight at times and the frustration that goes with that. It's not the number on the scale that's important but rather how one feels about oneself. I think the best thing to do is keep eating healthy and being active. One other thing I would strongly recommend is getting your thyroid checked out. Your difficulty losing weight may not have anything to do with calories in/calories burned. Try not to be so hard on yourself, girl!

    1. I actually do have a thyroid problem. I just recently went back on the meds because my levels were OK while I was pregnant and I had no symptoms. Now though, my skin has been dry and the weight is packing on like a bear before winter! I went back on a month ago and although I feel the difference in my energy, my weight has been holding on.

      I get frustrated because the way my body looks does not reflect my lifestyle choices (according to common held beliefs about healthy eating, etc). I still love myself but am having a hard time loving my body:(

  3. Could your daughters see you trying to be the healthiest you can be rather than trying to be slim? As you know the risk of many diseases increases with added weight. (And it does sound like you are doing a good job of eating and there is more going on as D-Bar and S in SK suggest). I know you want to be in your kids life for as long as possible and maybe losing the weight can be more about doing that than fitting into some standard. As well, I think you could let Emme know that you aren't losing weight to fit into some media mold of how you should look. You are trying to lose weight to fit in to a "Kelly" mold that will allow you to feel really good about yourself. We always want our kids to do things that will allow them to feel good about themselves (whether it be trying a new activity, working hard at a goal and reaching it, or showing kindness to others, etc.) . I don't think there is anything wrong with doing healthy things that will allow you to feel better about your body. I know you are working to become the best "Kelly" you can be - the new blog is proof. I don't see why the best "Kelly" can't include trying to have the healthiest body. You can model to Emme that working on being our best possible selves is hard work - Just because you gain weight doesn't mean that is who you are.

    I recently read something interesting about metabolism. http://www.doctoroz.com/quiz/do-you-need-reboot-your-metabolism

    And p.s. take it easy on yourself.

    1. Although I understand what you are saying, I need to point out that thin doesn't actually necessarily mean healthy. I actually have a good friend here who is the most active and vibrant person I have ever met in my life. The stuff she can accomplish in a day astonishes me and her idea of a bike ride is a 60 km loop full of hills! She has to do at least an hour of cardio a day because of heart issues (unrelated to weight). She is not thin by any stretch. She is however, one of the healthiest people I have ever met. A medical doctor accessing her weight though would probably tell her she is 'at risk' for many things. The thing is that when studies look at those diseases and risk, they don't isolate people who are actually eating healthy and excercising from those who are not. Is being overweight really the risk factor or is it lifestyle choices, like eating fast food and not exercising? I would say it is a little of both, but nowadays if you are not fitting into a healthy BMI, you are considered 'unhealthy' and I know lots of very healthy people who will never fit into that very narrow range.
      I guess that is my issue. A person can be 'overweight' by medical standards and still be healthy. A thin person who is starving themselves to be so is looked at by most as perfectly healthy when in fact they are not.
      I don't feel sick. I am not struggling up stairs and leap two at a time even carrying the extra weight. lol. The thing about it is I know I am not loosing weight to be healthy. I already am healthy. I am loosing weight because I don't like the way I look and my daughter knows this because she doesn't see an unhealthy person when she looks at me. She sees her mom who is sad because she is not thin like all the people on TV and magazines she sees at the checkout. She reads those headlines about who is FAT and who is hot and then she sees her mother struggle. Right away she looks to herself. Am I thin enough? Are my thighs FAT? Should I be watching what I eat too so I don't become overweight also? That crushes me because I don't want her to ever think about those things. EVER.

      This article I saw a couple weeks ago was so pertinent and amazing. It sums up exactly the effect that even talking about eight has on young girls. http://hopeave.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/how-to-talk-to-your-daughter-about-her-body/

    2. It makes me sad that you are sad because you don't look like the people on the headlines. I am sorry you are feeling this way, Kelly. When I read your blog, I thought that you were upset because your daughter was getting the wrong impression of your motivation to lose weight. Clearly, I didn't understand.

      I agree that thin doesn't mean healthy, but I also know that if I carried a significant amount of weight more than my best "Jordan mold" that my heart would be working a lot harder than if I wasn't carrying it. And that can not be as healthy regardless of the fact that I was eating the same and doing the same amount of exercise as I did when I was in my "Jordan mold". I am glad you feel that you are healthy. That being said, I think your body is telling you something by putting all that weight on from a health perspective. I am really glad you are going to see your naturopath.

      I had read that article before, but reread it. Thanks for sharing it.

      I don't think we should have to have a media inspired body to love our body. My body at its best does not have long legs or thick hair. It does not have D cups or even C or B cups for that matter. My body has broad shoulders and muscley legs. I watch what I eat and exercise to be heathy AND to fit into my best "Jordan mold". Maybe that's wrong, but I feel good about myself when my body fits in that mold (and I will note the mold can change - age and pregnancy do have a way of altering things). That article doesn't change the way I feel about that. I want my kids to be comfortable in their own bodies, but if they aren't I don't think there is anything wrong with them doing push-ups to have more toned arms or with them watching what they eat so that they can lose a few pounds to get back into the jeans they wore last winter. I want them to feel good inside and out. That being said, I hope that I can say and do the things to help them learn to love what they have (the stuff they can and can't change) and then if they want to go to the gym and lift weights to improve on something they can change, all the power to them.

      I just think it is almost impossible to entirely separate how you look from how you feel. Our bodies are part of us - a smaller part than what's in our soul, but a part nonetheless. I think it should be okay for a person to want to lose weight to feel better about themselves. I do hope when anyone tries to lose weight they would be doing it to fit into their best "personal mold" rather than a media inspired mold, though.

    3. I think that most personal best molds are shaped by what the media tells us is attractive. For instance, when I was in Africa I was astonished by how curvy and voluptuous the women were. There were women who ate to live and had extremely physical jobs (hauling water and baskets on their heads for hours a day, washing laundry by hand in rivers, carrying their children everywhere because they had no vehicles). Many of these women would be classified as obese by the North American standards: I kid you not! Still, there was absolutely no talk ever of fitting into any molds or being thin or being happy with their bodies. They were certainly healthy though and seemed full of joy despite how difficult we would consider their lives to be. They were absolutely beautiful in their uniqueness and their joy. Some were thin and some were curvy and some were down right ROUND! They all seemed very OK with the card they had been dealt.
      The problem as I see it is that everyone seeks to be thin because that is what is considered beautiful (as defined as 'healthy' in our society, but arguably not any healthier than being strong, happy, and energetic).

      The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar one: it doesn't seek to create healthy people but seeks to make more money by repeated failures and dependency.

      If you are eating healthy and active and you are still 'overweight' then I think it should be established that you are fine (other health problems aside: obviously if a person has diabetes or congestive heart problems than they are NOT eating healthy). If the only way a person can loose weight is by starving themselves and becoming obsessed with food then that person is not being healthy. they will yoyo their whole life and let food control them.

      Eat clean, Be active. Enjoy life for everything that it has to offer:) That is what people SHOULD do. I would imagine at least 75% of my female friends wish they were thinner....and NOT because they want to be healthier, but because of vanity and our media inspired beauty standards. I also have some extremely healthy friends that are not 'thin'. My friend who is a Aruveydic practitioner and yogi comes to mind as well as the friend I mentioned before. I see them and I see the most healthy people I know. Both are comfortable and happy with their bodies and eat a variety of healthy foods when they feel hungry. That to me seems healthier than any other standard.
      Some people are naturally thin. Some people are not. Although I would agree that my weight gain probably indicates something not align in my body, it is also possible that at 32 with four children my metabolism (which has ALWAYS been slugish) is slowing down more. I cannot expect to whittle myself down to a size two without drastic (and extremely unhealthy) measures, including taking up smoking again and limiting myself to under 1000 calories a day long term.

      I could do that. If I did so many people would come up and say "You look so good! You look so healthy!!!!" I know this because it happened before. When I was positively my sickest, people constantly told me how beautiful I was. That is problematic. It is problematic for me and for all of the world's young girls who are growing up in the same paradigm where people instill the idea that thin = healthy and beautiful.

  4. hmmmm....now that I think about it my Naturopath is not very thin either!!! It will be interesting to see what she says about all this.

    1. and I should clarify....I don't want to look like a movie star. lol. My daughter is the one reading the covers of the mags at the grocery store and watching movies with stars like Selena Gomez in them. I am too busy unpacking groceries and keeping two babes somewhat good humored! I just would like to be 'beautiful' (who doesn't?) and our society's standard of beauty is being thin.

  5. hard on your heart to carry extra weight. that is actually a really dangerous thing to say to someone. It make a person distrust their own heart. your heart is as healthy as you exercise it and as healthy as you eat. full stop. I actually had a health professional tell me that being heavy means that your heart has to work harder and so that is GOOD for your heart because it is a muscle, muscles get conditioned from working hard. people who don't work their hearts have weak hearts. I had people tell me this my whole life and it made me scared to exercise. it made me think that i was on the verge of collapsing all the time. If I told you how much exercise i do now, it would boggle your mind. the health professional who told me that my heart was in good shape because of my weight and how hard it works opened up a world of possibility for me. I got healthier because i saw what my body can do. also, it has been shown not in "common sense" truism, but in peer reviewed articles that overweight and obese people recover way faster from heart attacks than their thin counterparts. fat is not necessarily unhealthy. fat is healthy. the risk factor discussion is so easy to just throw around, but it has not been shown that being fat shortens your life. it has been shown that unhealthy lifestyles shorten your life. unhealthy lifestyles make some people fat and they don't make other people fat. some people are fat and healthy. you don't know from looking at someone.

    1. AGREE! I know just as many unhealthy thin people as I do unhealthy fat people. true story.