My Problem with Weight

I have a problem: I do not know my body type. When I look in the mirror, this is what I see: I see my face and that my hair is in a ponytail, but I gloss over the rest of me. I don’t want to look at it. I’m no supermodel, that’s for sure.

I know roughly the size of clothes I wear. It depends what store I walk in. If it’s a shirt, I’m usually an M. If it’s a dress, I’m typically an L and sometimes an XL.

Some days it’s hard to go shopping. All the 0s and 2s are placed in the front. I have to push everything forward to get to the back. It’s depressing to see all of those smaller sizes get passed by.

I once went into a United Colors of Benetton. I didn’t see any Ls hiding behind the cute XSs and Ms there. When I asked the associate, she told me bluntly, “We do not carry your size.” Wow. At least, I made it out of the store before I cried. (This was when I was ten pounds lighter, too!)

I probably could lose a few pounds*, but I shouldn’t have to. I’m not fit, but I think I qualify as active. I’m a tall woman. I’m also a healthy weight. I’m starting to come to terms with what I am, a real woman, but I’m not fully there yet.

So when the flyer came in the mail to sign up for the Cecil Jarvis 10K in Clarksbrug, West Virginia, imagine my surprise when they listed the starting weight for “overweight” women at 140 pounds. I can’t remember the last time I stepped on the scale and saw that number – early high school perhaps. It was another depressing reminder that I don’t meet our society’s expectations of beauty.

According to the BMI index, you’d have to be under 5’3″ and weighing 140 pounds in order to be classified as overweight. But that’s flawed too since it doesn’t take into account muscle and body fat.

I texted my friend who is fit, about what she thought about that flyer: Sad.

The men’s overweight category starts at 225 pounds – a startling 85 pound difference.

No wonder so many women in this country have body issues and self-esteem problems. No wonder I’m one of them.


*What I’m actually needing to do now is gain, ha!


5 thoughts on “My Problem with Weight

  1. It is just crazy. I have been tall all my life. I did stop growing in the 7th grade and ended up at 5’7″, I remember only too well having to get weighed and measured in elementary school, and being embarrassed at how much more I weighed than my friends.

    At Mea’s last physical as the doctor was walking in to see her, she started to say something about her weight. Then stopped and actually looked at her. She is solid. She is muscle. Not a bit of fat on her. She is technically heavier than the growth charts say should be. Watching the doctor backtrack, was a bit amusing.

  2. When i was in middle school I remember remarking to my mom that there were a lot of fat men in movies and in music compared to the number of fat women. We realized that fat men can be funny, well dressed, cool, and easy to relate to. Fat women, on the other hand, are invisible. She told me that it’s the sad reality of our culture.
    I recognize that my healthiest weight would be a few pounds lighter but I wish it was easier to think of it as my healthiest weight, not my prettiest weight. As a side note, I am thankful that my husband even loves me chubby. When I first squeezed back into some of my (larger) non-pregnant clothes, he said “Honey, I think we’ve found your ideal weight!” I smiled and said “I’m so glad you think so.”

  3. Thanks for sharing your stories. One of the reasons I like blogging is to realize “Hey, I’m not alone in this!”

    And Sarah — you’ve got a keeper. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Another Health Update | Polly's Blog

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