Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Judging a Book by its Cover. Literally.

I was out of books to read, so I headed over to the library last week.  I always come prepared with a list of books I'm wanting to read, but all of them were checked out, dang it.  So, for the first time....ever, I was forced to kind of just look around and pick one that might be fun.

My last book was a book on the Leo Frank trial and lynching in the early 1900s in Atlanta (I'm a non-fiction junkie), so I wanted something a bit lighter.  And then this little baby caught my eye:

And I thought, Mmmm.  Cupcakes.  So I read the inside flap and decided to give it a go.

It's called 150 Pounds, and it's by Kate Rockland.  And it's fiction.  I really liked the premise of this book - there are two famous bloggers.  One is 215 pounds and writes a blog called Fat and Fabulous.  The other weighs 100 pounds and writes a blog called Skinny Chick.  The first chapter is about the Fat and Fabulous girl, the second chapter is about the Skinny Chick girl, and then it goes every other chapter like that, which I liked.

Through a series of events in each girl's life, the Fat and Fabulous blogger ends up losing 65 pounds, with a final weight of 150.  The Skinny Chick blogger ends up gaining 50 pounds, with her final weight at 150.

It's no secret that I've struggled with my weight for years.  I was thinking about this the other day.  When I was younger and really skinny, I obsessively thought about boys.  When will a boy like me?  Who will I marry?  Am I not likeable?  Not loveable?  For years and years and years.  Now that I have a boy who loves me, I've realized that now, all I obsessively think about is my weight. All day long.  What is wrong with me?  Why can't I control myself around food?  I look so gross.  Look at that pooch on my belly.  I look pregnant.

I've tried lots of different diets, but I really hated them.  Food is so emotional for me.  And when I'm dieting, I hate the WORLD.

After years and years of this, in just the past couple of years or so, I've been really trying to get over it.  What I've decided to do is this -

1.  Work out as often as I can.  Not to be skinny, but for heart health.  And because I like to work out.  I really do.  When I was young, I was in dance, because I liked it, and that was my workout.  As a married woman, I've continued to work out, but always because of fear:  If I don't jog today, I'm going to get even FATTER.  I have to get my jog in, I have to get my jog in, I have to get my jog in.  It's been hard to get past that mindset.  Like, yesterday, I wasn't able to work out.  The kids' schedules were crazy and I didn't have anyone to watch them.  My first instinct is to think, "Great.  I didn't work out.  I'm such a failure.  I can feel the fat piling on." But what I'm trying to train myself to think is, "It wasn't safe for you to leave your kids alone.  If you had been able to jog, you would have. And it would have been fun.  But you couldn't.  And it's okay."

2.  Eat healthy, but indulge every now and then in foods that I love.  I made strawberry rhubarb pie this week.  And I've been enjoying one slice per day.  Is it helping my waistline?  Nope. But the taste of that tart rhubarb, sweet strawberry, flaky crust, and creamy vanilla ice cream in my mouth is sheer HEAVEN.  Not to experience a piece of food heaven every day is just so sad.  Depriving yourself of something that gives you a lot of joy is no way to live.  But I try to keep it in check.  Not an ENTIRE pie every day.  Just one slice.

It's hard to have a healthy mindset about our bodies in this day and age. We are bombarded non-stop by the media on how we are supposed to look.  It's oppressive.  It's palpable.  But I am trying to accept myself.  Eat well.  Exercise.  And let the chips fall where they may.  Preferably, pita chips. With hummus dip. Yummmmmmmm.

So what happened with the Fat and Fabulous blogger is that she lost the weight because she happened to inherit an apple orchard, and it took her a whole lot of physical grunt work to get it cleaned up and running.  The apple orchard was in a rural area, and the farmer's market was closer than any fast food places, so she would just get a lot of food there.  And then she was out in the sun every day, cutting, picking, fixing, etc.

This was inspiring to me.  Because I love spending a lot of time out in my garden.  Maybe my love of gardening, and my need to take care of it, will help me to shed some poundage this summer, eh?  And if I don't shed one pound, oh well.  I will have been gardening.  Which makes me happy.  And that's the point.

I wanted to give you a few tidbits from the book that I just loved and found myself re-reading:

*  I eat what I want, which is sometimes asparagus and sometimes a frickin' cheeseburger.

*  "I'm so sick of this skinny crap.  It's crazy!"  He picked up her phone, which had fallen out of the pocket of her pants.  "And this stupid button you press every time you eat something.  It has to stop!"  Before Alexis could stop him, he lifted the window behind him with a loud squeak, pushed up the screen, wound back his arm, and chucked her phone as far as he could.

*  My life is full of drama and I won't have time to worry about something as petty as what I look like. - Adele

*  In the end, the result was always the same:  Emily put the weight back on, then hit a downward spiral of depression as a result of the shame and guilt.

*  Pam felt her own fat reflected poorly on who she was as a person - that she was weak somehow.

*  Not all of us are fat because we stuff our faces with junk food every night.

*  Everyone has one really skinny friend who eats like a linebacker and yet magically remains thin.  Why is it that people believe it is possible to eat this much and stay skinny, but somehow they think it impossible to eat healthy foot and yet still be fat?  FBAs [Fat Bigot A-holes] think we eat candy bars for breakfast, ice-cream sundaes for lunch, and donuts for dinner.

I don't know.  The book made me feel better about myself, bottom line.  And I needed that.

Oh, hey, and before you read it, be aware that there are a few f-bombs, dang it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to have a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie and start into my next book.


Emily Empey said...

haha! How funny! I will have to read that- I need that. Oh and I have been enjoying your pie! MMMM I love it!

megan said...

Sounds like an interesting book!!:) It's hard being a woman, but the world is really harsh on us so it makes it worse! I really think that we should eat healthy, but also enjoy things we like, like strawberry rhubarb pie!! BTW THANKYOU for mine!! LOVE it! I always look forward to getting your special pie:)

Nat said...

How fun that the cover of the book led to an amazing read! You are such a fast reader.

BTW, Pete was saying something the other day about you can, like, steamroll your lawn, to help get the bumps out. Which we should do to our lawn. It's like an ankle twist waiting to happen.

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