Are you ready for my true confession?? Okay, here it is: I am fat and happy.
Ha ha, you were hoping for something a bit more salacious, weren’t you? It’s an oversimplification on both counts, but it’s true.
This is the heaviest I’ve ever been (that’s me up there in the blog masthead, second one from the left). Yes, I’ve given birth to two kids but my youngest is now over two years old, so I can’t really use them as an excuse. My weight doesn’t really fluctuate, but depending on how straight I stand when they are measuring me at the doctor’s office, my BMI teeters on the edge between Overweight and Obese. Damn that bad posture! I constantly experience a low-grade guilt, that voice telling me that I should exercise, I should lose weight, I should be a size
10 . . . 8 . . . 6 . . .
When I look in the mirror, I see belly fat, stretch marks and gray hair. I also see good skin, nice legs (albeit with some battle scars), natural curls and a contented smile. At this point in my life, despite those rough days that all of us experience, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been about the person that I am. I look in the mirror and I’m okay with what I see. Others may see something different, they may see only the fat and the gray, but that doesn’t truly matter to me (if it did, I might be more inclined to diet or color my hair). I realized recently that’s the reason I don’t stick to a diet or an exercise regimen — it feels like a chore and I’m just not willing to fill my already-busy schedule with stuff that I’m not committed to or don’t really care about. (Side note: articles like this one make my day, too: Being overweight linked to lower risk of mortality)
This week, I discovered #iwalkwithmike. Now, I will freely admit that Michael Moore’s calls to action could probably get me to do most anything, but this one really struck a chord with me:
” . . . But the truth is, exercise does not work, diets do not work, feeling crummy does not work. Nothing works. My advice: Quit trying to be something you’re not, be happy with the life you’ve been given, and just go for a pleasant walk outside. With me. Wherever you are. Get off the treadmill, stop drinking diet Coke, throw out all the rules. It’s all a scam and it conspires to keep you miserable. If it says “low-fat” or “sugar-free” or “just 100 calories!” throw it out. Remember, one of the main tenets of capitalism is to have the consumer filled with fear, insecurity, envy and unhappiness so that we can spend, spend, spend our way out of it and, dammit, just feel better for a little while. But we don’t, do we? The path to happiness – and deep down, we all know this — is created by love, and being kind to oneself, sharing a sense of community with others, becoming a participant instead of a spectator, and being in motion. Moving. Moving around all day. Lifting things, even if it’s yourself. Going for a walk every day will change your thinking and have a ripple effect. You’ll find yourself only eating when you’re truly hungry. And if you’re not hungry, go clean your room, or have sex, or call a friend on the phone. Without knowing it, you’ll starting eating like the French (there is no French word for “fast-food”) — and you will feel better. You do not feel better admonishing yourself or beating yourself up or setting up a bunch of unrealistic rules and goals with all the do’s and dont’s that are just begging to be broken. You wanna know something? I eat ice cream every friggin’ day. I drink a regular Coke every single day. I put butter on things. But I also walk every day . . . I don’t care about [how much weight I’ve lost] or diets or home gym equipment or rules about what I can or cannot eat or anything other than making sure I go on my walk today. That’s it. That’s the big secret. It costs nothing. I feel great. I can see my feet! There they are! Hello, feet! Wanna go for a walk? The feet say YES! Ask yours right now. And if you want, join me. But do NOT go on that walk with me if you are doing so to “get fit”, “be healthy”, or “lose weight”. You are fine just the way you are. Only walk outside with me right now because you know it might just feel good, because it’s a beautiful day, or someone is joining in with you, the fresh air is invigorating, you have to drive down to the drug store but you realize you can walk there, or simply because it’s just nice to be alive for one more day. Walk to walk and nothing else — and the other stuff will take care of itself.
I’m heading outside in an hour. Join me. And let me know how it went!” — Michael Moore on Facebook, December 31st, 2012
I love to walk and I love to be outside. Plus I’m on a mission to create a Playborhood (which I wrote about here), so what better way to meet the neighbors than by walking in my neighborhood every day? This just feels right. I can walk outside regularly because I want to. Sometimes I’ll take my kids, sometimes I’ll take the dog, maybe my husband will tag along, but mostly I’ll walk by myself. With Mike.
So I’m fat and happy. That’s my big secret. Maybe next time we do a “True Confessions” blog series, I’ll come up with something a little more titillating to share.
Photo credit: Michael Moore’s Twitter page, https://twitter.com/MMFlint