Not long ago, I attended a dinner party that consisted of four men, two skinny women – both older than I, and not-so little me. Over the course of the evening one slim female managed in different contexts to comment on a female politician’s chub and the evil of obesity.
Now, I have checked all the charts (trust me), and I am not obese. I am chubby/overweight and extremely aware of it. I imagined all eyes judging me as unworthy of their skinny coterie and my husband secretly questioning how he as the youngest man at the table had come to have the chubbiest spouse.
My colleagues lecture me on my poor body image. I’ve been told not to say negative things about my weight or appearance, but I await comments like the ones over that gourmet meal. I’m a believer in the preëmptive strike. I would rather fess up than have someone else think me so stupid I don’t realize I’m fat.
I know precisely how many calories I would need to cut and hours I would need to sweat in order to attain the svelte figure that supposedly indicates nutritional ‘smarts.’ When I was an at-home mom, I gave over to making weight maintenance my full-time job. Now I have a full-time job. I’ve gained ten pounds each year I’ve held it. I pains me, but there it is. I’ve grown tremendously in those five years intellectually, emotionally, and alas physically. The problem lays in the obvious physical growth and the unseen psychic development. Thus, I have happened blissfully upon “Drop Dead Diva.”
The skinny diva finds herself living in the body of a woman with a simultaneously big body and brain. She remembers how she treated and what she thought about women who had ‘let themselves go.’ She sees the look we with extra weight have all endured from the self-righteously skinny and knows she gave it. She explains to her best friend from her thin life that now she spends her day in court she can’t summon the energy for an evening run. This fictional full-figured gal has no spouse or children just a new-found need to exercise her brain.
Dr. Oz appeared with his wife on Morning Joe and preached the value of teaching low-income children that they can control their bodies through diet. In his mind, it is the first step towards giving them control over their world. I’ve seen enough randomness in my life to think that lesson a dangerous one.
Yes, children should eat their vegetables. Yes, I’ll head back to Zumba as soon as my cold clears. However, we won’t wake up in a perfect world as a result of a parsnip or a push up. We can only hope to increase our strength and flexibility as we cope in a world we can’t control.
So yes, let yourself go!