can’t win for losing


i admit it.  i was in a total funk the other day.  it was the first day i hadn’t gone into my office in a week and with appointments picking up and the tug tug tug of a bazillion emails and phone calls as is the norm in real estate sales, i had a mini-collapse at home.  so i admit it.  things were emotionally piling up.  at some point in the afternoon, i decided to finally read the big pamphlet that a friend gave me from sloan kettering cancer center.   what to do to take care of yourself – lots and lots of general and specific information about healthy eating and supplements.  it had been sitting on my desk for a few months and i was finally ready to tackle it. 

imagine my positive surprise when i realized that i already knew most of it and was doing lots of it:  cutting out processed foods; eating well; keeping my weight in line (i think losing 33 pounds counts as that!); and carefully considering some supplements and avoiding others.  tada!!!  suddenly the day was looking up.  i was the epitome of a forward-thinking positive cancer survivor – and so why not do something i had never ever done before.  there it was.  the ‘what’s your bmi’ page.  hey.  i used to be a 1x (truly teetering on a 2x for the very last bit of it) and although recently i hadn’t gotten to walk on bertha, my elliptical, as much as i should, i recognized that and was being careful with food and just trying to do a lot of city walking to make up for it a little.  and my size 14 j. jill knit pants (my holy-shit-these-are-regular-size-14-ok-cut-for-real-women-size-14-pants) were actually getting a little big on me.  and my tush…i may still have a belly but no bum left from all that elliptical walking.  wowsers.  so yes, why not finally know my bmi?  what did i care from body mass index?  and then i realized i was incapable of performing the math skills necessary so i went on some handy-dandy web site (bless google) and plugged in the numbers:  5’3″ and 171 pounds.  (well, that day i was).  and then it comes back.  the number.  the number.  the number was 30.  and in the 2 seconds it took me to realize that that number – 33 pounds lighter and well-exercised and moving forward in a positive direction – qualified me for OBESE. 

not good.  not good for me.  not good for my head.  not good for my (emotional)  heart.  not good for my bad habits. and i did something i hadn’t done in 1.5 years.  i stormed out, bought a big meatball sub (which, sadly, was not well made at all) and stuffed it down my obese-bmi-throat.  feh. 

my funny and uber-smart uber-insightful brother-in-law wrote to me the next day after i vented to him that i had topped over the edge.  i hope he won’t mind me quoting him here…but he always says the right thing to me (at least in email form): 

“Same dialectical twist for the pig-out.  The whole point is that it has become a rare event.  Everyone breaks down from time to time.  The important fact is the together person you are to break down in the first place.  Your eating habits have been excellent for an impressive duration.  Tomorrow they will be again.
Stay away from technical assessments of how you should feel though, indicators such as BMI.  That is science for Olympic athletes unethically applied to the general public in order to foster self-loathing that can be administered to by commercial interests.  In this, medical professionals are either corrupt participants or hapless dupes.”
ben made me feel better. 

4 Responses to can’t win for losing

  1. great advice from your brother-in-law! everyone breaks down at times…you sound like you’re very strong & will be able to pick yourself back up!

  2. Kathryn J says:

    You should still be commending yourself for the progress that you have made! That is fantastic and due to a lot of hard work.

    I have heard that it is very important to give yourself a day off every now and again. My father has had heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and even the dietitians told them that they should take all federal holidays off from dieting. They can move that to a different day that month if they would rather use it for a big event.

    My friend you are amazing and I’m proud of and inspired by the way you have bounced back from cancer. You are a heroine!

  3. kate says:

    this post helped too. i don’t know if you went thru”chemopause” like i did but suddenly it got really easy to gain weight on less food and i’m not the sylph i was even 5 years ago.
    ran across a lyric today about being a winner without having to be thinner.corny, but it roots for self acceptance, being good to ourselves.
    sometimes the web shows us something “authoritative” that’s just a fear-stoking pile of poop.
    Like you I’m eating very well and that’s all I can do.My modeling career didn’t exist anyway!so f*** that noise.

  4. Olen Alviar says:

    Thank you for this great post! It is very insightful. I hope that you’ll proceed posting your knowledge with us.

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