263.8

I weigh 263.8 pounds.

When I went to the goddamned doctor the other day, I was forced to face this number. I had a clue my weight would be somewhere up there, pushing 300, or closer to 300 than I’d like.

For two days I have been on a roller coaster about this number. I am still the same fat person I was before I went to the doctor. I am still a Size 20-22-24, depending on the store and the cut. I am still 5’9″. I am still well-proportioned. I am still funny and smart and well-loved by a nice person. I am still not speaking to my family. I am still crazy. I am still a student. I am still an animal lover. I am still The Same.

And truthfully, I weigh the same as I did in the summer of 2006, when I was working out religiously, muscled and able to lift myself into a kayak from deep water. I weigh what I did when I started taking a medication that caused me to lose weight, and all sorts of people started commenting on how good I looked, and what had I been doing, anyway? Of course I couldn’t tell them: “Going crazy, and that’s why I got fatter, too,” nor could I rant at them about what right they had to be commenting on my body in the first place, so I internalized the praise and thought: “Why yes. I do look good.”

But every time I see 263.8 pounds, I feel shame.

That shame was reflected on the face of the nurse who weighed me at the doctor’s office the other day. It was the same look the nurse in 2006 gave me. The look says this:

“Such a pretty girl. If only she would lose some weight.

“I can’t believe she weighs that much. I never would have guessed!

“How can she live like that? What is she doing to herself?

“She is going to die of diabetes, or heart disease.

“She could have a nice husband and a nice life if only she’d lose some weight.”

The look says other things, too. It speaks to the hatred not of me, but of the fatness of people everywhere. It says:

“How can you be so lazy?

“If only you had self-control, you wouldn’t be that way.

“You probably smell bad.

“I’d better not stand too close. I don’t want to catch it.

“I’m glad I’m not fat.

“What a lonely person.

“What a bad person.

“I’d rather die than be fat.”

I’ve gotten good at blocking out looks like this from the world. Maybe mostly because I’m blonde and have a nice smile. Maybe because I have a relatively big personality and a quick wit. Maybe because I work hard and have overdeveloped my intellect to compensate for my large deficit in the area of socially aceeptable body size.

At the doctor’s office, where they can graph out what they think is medically appropriate, and wag their fingers at you, and tell you the SCIENCE says you are going to DIE because you are BAD and LAZY and SMELL BAD and if you’d JUST PUT DOWN THAT BON BON perhaps YOU’D STAND A CHANCE and the SCIENCE would FORGIVE YOU. PERHAPS, you’d be REDEEMED.

Thing of it is, my numbers are OK. My blood pressure, my cholesterol, my blood sugar … it’s all OK. And I’m 30. Aging is as much a factor in disease as anything else … as is sitting on my ass, or stress, or smoking, or living in a city, or staring at a wall too long. But no doctor is lecturing me, telling me SCIENCE has mandated I STOP GETTING OLD OR I WILL DIE.

I am 263.8 pounds, and I am relatively healthy, save for the craziness, migraines and lifelong problems with athsma. I will die of my mood disorder long before I die of my fatness.

I’d like to know what the SCIENCE has to say about the effects of living with the stress of prejudice faced at the doctors office? I am sure it cannot be healthy for my blood pressure.

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1 Comment

  1. January 21, 2008 at 10:39 am

    […] is because I needed to get off of my ass and accept myself already. I’ve posted about that here and here. So I don’t really need to go all into that again, because I’m already enough […]


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