Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Caring (like a bear)

God, I tried to write an insightful post but it just comes out as whining. I care too much about my body - and why? If Girl A sees me on the street and is glad she's thinner than me, so what? If cute smoker-boy from yesterday thought, eh, too porky, does that matter? No, it doesn't. The only person my body matters to is me (well Jim, too, but let's leave that for now).

But my body matters to me, that's the problem. Others' bodies don't mean a thing. My body, on the other hand, reflects my worth. I might be smart, I might be friendly and kind, but I'm just not good enough. Being thin makes me just a little bit better - and why should you ever stop trying to improve?

This recent weight gain has been profoundly mindfucking. I had just started to really loosen up - and by really loosen up, I mean have a teeny brownie when my roommates made them, or have ciders and fruity drinks when I went out with my friends. My meals still hadn't changed much - lots of veggies, nothing fried or buttery, no pasta and hardly any bread. And yet I still gained. I had a general sense of how many calories I was taking in, and it was less than those online calculators said I needed. And I still gained. Does that mean that the calculators are wrong, the nutritionists are wrong, everybody is wrong?

And why, why, why do I care so much? There's nothing inherently wrong with gaining weight. There's nothing wrong with having a brownie or cider. I could change the way I feel about this. I could pull myself up by my bootstraps and just say, stoppit, get over it, no one gives a damn but you. If only it were that easy. I feel shitty for gaining weight and I feel shitty for feeling shitty about it. I can't win. Shit.


brie said...

Hey. Glad you wrote this. I don't really know you or, like, your body, haha, but I do know that when you're in restriction mode, your metabolism will slow way the hell down. I suspect that's why you've gained weight even though you're not eating as much as you should. It's pretty ironic. All three times that I've gone into inpatient treatment, I lose weight the first couple weeks I'm there, even though I'm eating triple (or more) that what I used to. It's because my metabolism was speeding up with more food. It's pretty wild.

I'm sorry you're freaking out about it though. Body image sucks balls.


Anonymous said...

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you work out, your body builds muscle faster than you burn stored energy leading to weight gain at first. Of course, if you aren't exercising regularly or anything it could also be too much stress without release of the tension. Stress releases cortisol into your system; originally so that you'd be ready to run the fuck away from a dangerous situation or fight back. However, since a lot of stress nowadays is long lasting that cortisol stays in the system messing with blood sugar levels and thyroid function.

I was told by a stress researcher not long ago to go take a walk, work out, or generally do something active when you start to feel stressed out so that your body can resume normal function. Getting some exercise even helps out your immune system in these situations. Ever wonder why so many people get sick right before or after exams? There are probably better articles out there but here's one I found: http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/cortisol.htm

Everyone's different but I hope some of this helps you out somehow and that you'll forgive a random person's overly clinical advice on a very emotional topic! It's hard to learn to love yourself but remember to try not to kick yourself too hard, ok? It makes it harder to get up afterwords.

Good Luck!