Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In defense of getting fat

I am considering making the conscious decision to let myself get fat.

Just hear me out for a second.

I understand the health implications. Being overweight puts you at risk for, well, many things. But I also have to ask - why do I know smokers that are likely to live til their 90's or beyond? I bet anyone reading this knows people with bad habits - smoke too much, eat too much, drink too much - that have lived longer than others who've done everything right.

Furthermore, I'm not interested in becoming morbidly obese. I'm thinking a comfortable 190 lbs or so (I'm tall for a woman, a bit over 5'9", so that's not too terribly fat). Yes, I'll look a bit heavy, but not to the point where people will make beeping noises when I back up.

Aside from the health implications, though, I'm having a tough time thinking of any reason not to completely embrace being on the heavy side.

First of all, it's not like I'm limiting my clothing options. The main thing that pisses me off about gaining weight is that my clothes feel tight. But if I were prepared for it, I think I could probably find a way to dress that would still look attractive. Fashion has come a long way. Am I going to be able to wear the same styles as the supermodels? No. But curvy women aren't limited like they used to be. Hell, I can think of three stylish places to shop right off the top of my head. Plus-sized these days doesn't need to equal frumpy.

Secondly, it would save me lots of angst. I spend a lot of time worrying about what I should or shouldn't eat, and whether I've exercised enough recently, and if my butt looks big, or if my thighs look too jiggly. If I just let myself go, I wouldn't really have to worry about any of that crap. Does my butt look big? Why, yes, it does, thank you for asking! Have I exercised enough recently? Who the hell cares, we can go for a walk while we search out some cake!

Third, and this is a really big one: I. Love. Food. Going back to the angst for a second, you don't understand what kind of thought process goes through the typical woman's head when going out to eat at a restaurant. "What can I eat? Well I don't want another salad. But everything else is deep fried. And really, the salads aren't much better with all the crap they're loaded with. So I may as well indulge and get the burger. But I've been eating so much crap lately, it's all going straight to my thighs. Why don't they have some plain broiled chicken or something? Wait, we're getting appetizers? Deep fried mozzarella? Aw, hell. Well maybe just one." And on. And on. And on.

Followed by the ensuing guilt. And don't get me started on the internal monologues associated with whether or not to get dessert. Really, it'd be great if I could just look at food without arguing with it.

Food is an experience. I love it. And while I've had some success, it's pretty tough to find food that's satisfying without also packing on some pretty hefty pounds. I just ate a dinner roll covered with garlic butter. Don't tell me I can replace that with romaine slathered in a low-cal balsamic. I'm sick of having to settle for cardboard just because I'm on some frivolous, pointless, never-ending quest to have a six-pack. Particularly when other things in life are going wrong, it's nice to know that at the end of the day, you can go home, settle in with the libation of your choice, and devour an entire plate of pasta smothered in Alfredo sauce, and it will be delicious. Food is always There for you.

Plus, I don't have to stop trying to have good nutrition. I like veggies. I prefer them covered in ranch. Or drizzled in olive oil. Maybe it's better to eat them like that and enjoy them, rather than to agonize over whether I've shoved enough raw carrot sticks in my mouth for the day.

Fourth, I can still exercise. There's no ban on exercising just because you've decided to stop worrying about your weight. There's yoga. There's gentle resistance training with elastic bands. We're getting an elliptical soon. I like going for walks with my husband around the neighborhood. Really, I think I'd enjoy exercising more if I wasn't always concerned about whether it's narrowing my waistline. I mean, it's not like I'm consciously trying to get fat. I'm just going to stop trying to prevent it from happening. But exercise makes me feel good and have more energy, and it's fun, so why not?

So, really, what's the big deal about being overweight?

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