Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Getting ‘over’ weight
Special to The Union
I want to be over weight. I am not saying I want to be overweight. I denounce the number my scale reveals loud and clear. No, I want to be ‘over’ weight.
I have been, in some form, trying to lose weight in earnest since 1989. More than a quarter of a century ago, I first put money down in the hopes of gaining control over my weight.
I signed up for one of those prepackaged food programs with counseling groups and successfully dropped about 25 pounds.
I then got pregnant and gained 55. The baby was under 9 pounds, that left me with a lot of work to do!
Over the years I have tried just about everything there is — points, shakes, pills, plans, hypnosis, therapy, bets, clubs, books and meetings — and met varying degrees of short-lived success. I often tell people I have lost about 300 pounds over the last 25 years, but I have gained about 350.
Today my goal weight is the number the scale read back in 1989 that prompted me to seek professional help!
Could I please be as fat as I was the first time I thought I was fat? The self-talk and self-loathing has to come to a stop, which makes me think about body image.
Obviously, media has a high hand in shaping (excuse the pun) my view. The concept of what the ideal woman looks like in Hollywood is just not based in reality. At a certain point, intellectually, I know this. We all do.
However, from our earliest memories of Barbie to every fashion magazine and every form of Hollywood, thin is in and anything else is less than. Of course, thin is in, until you are too thin. Hollywood is skewed.
Examine country singer Wyonna Judd. For years I have seen Wynonna next to her mom on stage, seen her Oprah interviews, including a series on Own, and I have always thought she must be a behemoth.
The woman towers over her mother and is at least twice her size. I thought she must be big boned. So imagine my surprise when through the good work of Julie Baker at the Center for the Arts, I had the opportunity to meet Miss Judd.
Turns out she is only about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and our bones are about the same. I was shocked to see how average she is! Her mother and her sister must be teeny tiny.
How can we possibly compare ourselves to the size 0 stars we see on television? But compare I do.
I am concerned about the example I have been to my children, especially my daughter. For as long as she can remember, I have been trying to lose weight.
All she has ever known is my never-ending quest for a thinner me and my failure in achieving it. She may not even bother to try. And for that I worry.
My husband is a distance runner. He runs six days a week without fail — rain or shine, healthy and not so healthy, he runs. I watched him lose some 40 pounds after we first got married and he made it look so easy.
For him, it’s a lifestyle. I outweigh him by about 50 pounds and I hold it against him! Luckily he doesn’t hold it against me. He loves me regardless. He just wants me to be healthy.
So I bit the bullet and made fitness part of my lifestyle too. I work out regularly. I have not lost weight. I have had to come to terms with the fact that being fit and being fat are not mutually exclusive.
What I realize is the number on the scale is not what is important. Being fit and healthy is what matters and a good diet and regular exercise are necessary to insure that.
I have learned you cannot out-exercise a poor diet and you cannot “bank” fitness. My struggle to get to a certain number continues.
Diets have proven to be temporary and the aftermath more damaging, so I have resisted trying yet another food plan. My body image is without a doubt the biggest frustration of my life.
I will continue on my journey to be “over” weight, which includes accepting myself and living my life. It means accepting the packaging and focusing on its contents.
I will continue to work out faithfully, accept new challenges and pay attention to what I am eating and in the process I hope to find myself happy with who I am no matter what size that happens to be.
The weight is over.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is the business development manager at The Union. Contact her at email@example.com.
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