Sunday, August 14, 2005

Body Image and Me

We watched her holding onto the broken hand rail, her body paralyzed with fear that she would fall. "If I fall, I will not be able to get up." The thought made her tilt; she clung to the rail. It wobbled. The sweat of the heat, fear, and embarrassment poured from every crevice in her obese frame. Her body humped over, frozen, she prayed to regain her balance and be able to stand up. Seconds felt like minutes. If a minute had passed, it surely was an hour.

Her son noticed what was happening from the car. He ran to her aid, grabbing her arm so she might let go of the rusted, hollow railing that had detached itself from its spiked
piece of wood, which served as a not-so-good 'anchor'. She scooted, with her son's assistance, to the car. Face red, out of breath, she looked behind her to see who else might have seen this catastrophe. Falling down into the driver's seat, she tried to lift her left foot into the car. She couldn't. She couldn't get out now either. She stopped and felt the pain shooting down her back. "If I wasn't so heavy," she told her self, "this would never have happened."

This is a true story, and the first thing I want to say - which I have already said to the woman in this story - is that her weight had nothing to do with the hand rail coming apart. Honey had come home a couple weeks before from this office, and told me of the overgrown entrance, rusty pipe railing, and how unstable it was on both sides of the walk. The railing could have fallen apart on a child, or an elderly person who could've broken a hip. The sadder part is that, thus far, this office has taken no responsibility. The woman's husband went to the office that afternoon and there were people there replacing the railing. The office refused to let him take the broken pieces of the railing. They have not contacted her, their client, one time since the incident. They want her to feel it was her fault, I think.

I have not had overweight issues to this degree, but I can relate to how paranoid one can feel about one's shape, weight, and overall "look". I have gone up and down throughout my 20's and early 30's, between 125 and 160. I've never really done anything particular about my weight, it's fluctuated naturally with the exception of a 3-month pill diet I went on prior to moving to the area I live now. My metabolism seemed to change dramatically with the move, as did my routine. I went from a 40+ hours work week to helping renovate my rental home and go back to college for an undergrad degree (I was 26 then). I dropped to 125 during the 3.5 years I was in college. Now, three years since my graduation, back into the 40-hour work week, and I'm tippin' the scales once again.

I have issues with the whole weight thing. Celebrity-like standards, impossible for most- unhealthy for all, and yet I still hate the way I look in just about everything. I guess I'm "healthy". Which is a nice way of saying I eat too much.

i WANT to exercise. But? Don't feel like it. I'd rather sit, smoke, eat, watch the very crap I say I despise-the very images that are poisoning the children and teenagers of today, and smoke some more. Cigarettes: Just Don't. I eat so the cigarette tastes better sometimes. Just cuz I want another cigarette. How stupid is that? Like I need one more. And, what's it really doing for me anyway? Not keeping me from eating, that's for sure.

I digress...

I'd really like to just be happy with my body AND know that it's happy because I treat it well. I don't treat my body very well. Smoking alone is bad enough, but then all the empty calories I consume is just ridiculous: kool-aid, sherbet, yogurt, ice-cream, cookies, cake, Coke, cream/sugar, geez...this list goes on and on.

I could probably be happy with my body if I treated it a little bit better. Otherwise, the guilt just won't allow it.

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