Saturday, 29 August 2009

Being Fat

I wanted to write a little about being fat. I want to articulate and put out there all the reasons why I don't want to be fat any more and maybe it will help with me changing that... F and I are going to join a slimming group. Not next week because he will be working but hopefully the week after that....

My Nan, my Mum's Mum, is a fit lady who has never been particularly overweight. An avid gardener, she has an amazing veg patch. Her diet has always been pretty good but despite this, in her twilight years she has developed diabetes. It doesn't cause much difficulty for her, she has to avoid doughnuts a little but she hasn't had to alter too much.

My Mum turned 60 and seemed to suddenly develop a list of health complications. She has been overweight ever since she had us kiddies. Now she has high blood pressure, underactive thyroid and diabetes. She hasn't, despite her best efforts, been able to control her diabetes without medication. Given the changes she has made to her life, I find this pretty sad. She is a nurse and she knows exactly where her diabetes could take her.

My sister has never been as big as me but she had a little excess. My Mum's health has spurred her into losing weight and she looks really good. My Mum had had a conversation with her and pointed out that she was at risk if she didn't do something, and so she did.... My family no longer have the conversations with me about my weight, they know I know and they know it is just too hard....

So how fat am I? Very fat. I am tall and broad so I get away with it a little in some ways. I can carry a little extra and people wouldn't really notice.

So what affects does it have on me? The one I hate most is that my ankles swell up. Most days by the time I get home and take my boots off my ankles are the size of balloons with ring indentations made by the tops of my socks. They hurt. It is a sign that my heart is having problems pumping and fluid is collecting in my extremities because my heart can't shift it.

My heart isn't working so well really either. I know my resting heart rate is phenomenal. It wouldn't take much exercise to push my heart rate through the roof. Sometimes i feel like it misses a beat, sometimes I have other strange sensations.

Breathing is obviously affected. If I exert myself I breath very, very heavily. Walking at a normal pace up one flight of stairs or a shallow incline is enough to do it.

I feel tired a lot of the time. I have no stamina.

My hormones are all over the place and sometimes they get very mucked up and my moontimes go all funny. I want children once we marry but would probably struggle to get pregnant as I am now.

I have a skin condition called Hydradenitus Surritiva (roughly - I know I can't spell it!) which cause my skin to break out in certain areas. I have had it thin or fat since I was seven. I know it improves when I am thinner, although it never actually goes. I am sort of used to the pain and discomfort but it would be nic enot to have it...

Getting comfortable can be tricky. Turning over at night requires a lot fo effort. I don't always fit in chairs very well. In the cinema I need my chair and both arm rests. My bum is huge so in straight back chairs I feel like I am reclining.

Then there is the issue of clothes. I hate clothes shopping. Most shops don't sell big enough sizes and the ones that do tend to have a bit of an old woman feel sometimes. I find it hard to get boots and things that fit. Buying pretty things that are comfortable as well is not always easy. Looking nice takes a real effort.

Reaching my feet to put on my shoes is tricky and requires a lot of effort....

Being fat restricts my life. I don't do a lot of things because I am fat.

So even though I have yet to develop any serious complications it still affects my life, a lot. And I will develop complications and I will develop them younger than my Mum because I am much, much fatter than her.

Why am I fat? I comfort eat. I like the sensation of a full stomach. I use sugary foods to boost my energy levels. I also think being fat is in itself a protective thing. I don't want men to fancy me. I don't want the hassle that comes with it. I don't get sexual innuendo or inapropriate behaviour or men behaving oddly because they want to go out with me. Other women i work with do. I see it. I don't want men touching me uninvited. I am precious about my personal space.

But I can't let my fear ruin my health and my life. It has to be time....


  1. My goodness Rose. This post if very brave. Very brave. But, calling it as it really is is one of the things I really admire about you.

    I suppose the first step to getting what we want is becoming completely aware of where we are.

    You sure have done that here. So, taking the first step away from that place should be a bit more probable.

    I am doing the very same thing. A few of us in my blog circle are doing it, too. Not planned; just a few of us all becoming dis-satisfied with our complacency about our own discomfort.

    I'm more than happy to support you in this worthwhile effort of becoming the truth of who you are. I hope I can count on you for the very same.

    Blessings & Fortitude In Abundance.

  2. My heart goes out to you Rose. I am about fifty pounds overweight and struggle with it. I went clothes shopping with my daughter the other day and came home very depressed. I was 110 pounds until I had my girls and have, over the years, gained about 70 pounds. I have lost the same thirty pounds four or five times and then put it back on plus more. My daughter has also struggled with her weight but has it under control now. My Mom struggled with her weight all her life. So I really understand what you are talking about and I wish you luck in your efforts to lose weight and have a healthier life. I just started a low carb diet on Monday that my daughter set up for me. She's a personal trainer and is certified in nutrition, so I hope it helps. I have really noticed a difference in the way I feel. The main thing is that my head is clearer. It's like carbs blurred the edge of my life and I have more energy. It wasn't too drastic a change because I haven't eaten anything with added sugar or bread for years. Anyway, I do wish you all the best, I understand the fears in losing weight and the unwanted attention from men. My daughter went through all that as she was also sexually violated. It's a real psychological struggle as well as an eating challenge. As I said, my heart goes out to you and I wish you luck. *hugs* If I can help in any way please let me know.

  3. (((hugs)))) I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that you want to lose weight BECAUSE OF YOUR HEALTH and not because of some toothpick in a bikini....because that means the motivation is a true one and the outcome will be positive....and I'm extra glad that you are going to love yourself enough to make it happen.

    I've never been overweight (a gift of genes and metabolism) so I don't know how it might feel.....but I know how it feels to be unfit and I don't like it much....because I also know what it's like to be really fit and how great THAT feels...which is enough motivation for me to want to pursue it. I may never be fit enough to ride a racehorse again (in the near future anyway) but it won't hurt to try....;)

    more (((((hugs))))) glad for you...



  4. The very best of luck to you Rose! You can do it!

  5. Wonderful post Rose, well done and I am sending positive thoughts and energy to help you on your journey. I honour you for your truthfulness

  6. I want to second what Holly said in that I admire you tremendously, Rose, for being so brave to put this difficult life challenge out there for us to share with you. There is so much shame and blame in our society about body weight that I can only imagine what you must encounter on a daily basis. I'm excited that you are taking this difficult step into feeling better and having more life in your life. Bravo!

  7. Hi Rose, I just came over to visit your blog via Sara and I have to say it was like reading my life. I would be the right weight for an 8 foot tall woman. and I an only 5 feet 3 inches. I have had a chronic illness for 6 years now and have recently started to change my ways. My father, grandmother, grandfather all have had diabetes. My father passed away in May. I don't care about the weight for anything other than health issues and I am starting to see how diligent I will have to be. I have started a second blog about my weight loss and I have found some support there and it helps me be real...I too have the swelling of the ankles and some nights can't feel my toes...I admire your bravery and if I can help in any way let me know. it is a tough road...I am so glad for you! Take care,

  8. I think in my post I said from Sarahs blog, I meant Mels, lordy , lordy, I must be having a day. Take care, from your new follower.

  9. I will be cheering you on from here in not so sunny Florida, I began to gain weight several years ago and did not give it much thought, though now I am older and gained even more after several surgeries I just didn't feel healthy, clothes were getting too tight, making the bed left me gasping for breath. Recently I joined a weight watcher meeting and have made great strides in losing, 1-2 lbs every week or so, not too fast, and some weeks no loss but no gain either. And some weeks a gain but it doesn't discourage me in the long run my health depends on getting my body into a shape it feels comfortable with, not stick figure like. just healthy. Good luck and just know you can do it, you are already half the way there.

  10. I admire your honesty. I struggle with my weight and at 52..I am now concerned with health becasue of it. I have a decorating blog..and I so admire these blogs with so much heart and honesty ( I found you thru Mel's blog) maybe one day I will be brave too and write about my deeper side. I will be adding you to my list of blogs for inspiration.

  11. I second that: very brave and beautiful. I also love that you are wanting to become healthy... not so much being a certain "size".

    I hear you on the comfort eating though... right now I really really want nachos, thank goodness we don't have any in the apartment.

    You can do it!!

  12. Thank you so much all of you, for your kind words and support... Slightly overwhelmed by the response to this post really.... *blush*

  13. you are one brave lady!
    i was always really thin until i left home and hit 26 then it started piling on and saying about being breathless just bending to put on shoes, yes i know that, and getting low when out clothes shopping. but i avoided thinking about it until i was diagnosed with diabetes when i was 38. my uncle has it, my aunt has it and my great gran lost both legs through it (all in my mums line) my dad had a heart attack aged 55. you would think i would learn! i have lost a lot of weight on what i term my 'dirt and worm' diet but struggle daily to keep to the eating habits i should have had forever.
    i shall be cheering you on!

  14. I am here with you cheering you on!! any help I can give I will ! xoxo well done for taking this first step!!!