Friday, February 22, 2008

Weighty Matters

First some honest statistics. I am 5'8 3/4. This morning I weighed 198. This is considered at the high end of "overweight" by generic BMI ranges, and at the moment I'm just barely fitting into size 16's. (This is after a stomach flu that took a pound or two off!) Last fall, after finishing my first 10k race, I weighed 191 and was feeling awesome, then Injury /Halloween/ Thanksgiving/ Holidays/winter sluggishness happened. Two years before that I weighed 222 and couldn't run a quarter mile without having an asthma attack. Five years ago, after I took off the baby weight from my second child, I was down to around 170 and change, and hope maybe, some day, to get back there again. My goal for this year is more modest: get under 190 again, and run a half-marathon. Emphasis on the second not the first. OK, now the boring part is over.

Yes, it's boring to talk about weight. Boring to read about it. But it seems my fellow female bloggers are all focused on it these days, maybe because it's winter and everyone's gained a few, or is depressed, or has more time on her hands. All these amazing women, true athletes, (and mothers and professionals) who grieve deeply because their bodies weren't made to look like (fill in the blank here with the genetically blessed/eating disordered public figure of your choice). I see the pictures on their blogs of them looking radiant in their bike shorts and singlets, having finished a race that 95% of the population could never even consider, and all they can see is that the shape of their thigh doesn't conform to some impossible ideal.


How can we get this to stop?

How can we keep our daughters from falling prey to this mental illness?

What a waste of time and energy! Lisa, Misty, LBTEPA, I would be SO thrilled to look like you, and more importantly to be able to do what you can do. We are women, we are SUPPOSED to have flesh! Breasts, bottoms, bellies. We have been trained that we have to deny our hunger, to see only our flaws, to measure ourselves against others. We are all mothers of girls - we MUST not let this carry on to the next generation.

OK end of rant. Sorry if I've insulted or misunderstood anyone who I mentioned by name.


LBTEPA said...

Hey! I blogged on that very topic - stopping the stupid wasteful comparisons - yesterday! Must be something in the air....
It's been so helpful to me to have my daughter around - I NEVER criticise my own or anyone else's appearance in front of her, so I'm getting out of the habit.
A half-mara is such a good goal - I know you can do it!

Lisa said...

Hey there, this was helpful to me. I struggle with this all the time. And the older I get, the harder it is. I'm REALLY trying to focus on my internal beauty and not the external (or what's left of it!) Thanks for the well-written reminder!

Iron "GeekGirl" Misty said...

Hey, no offence felt. I suppose we struggle with this so much because it's been subtly and not-so-subtly socialized into us from a very young age.