Friday, December 23, 2005

been (near) there, still doin' that?

Alicia Parnette talks about the unique problems that female cancer patients have regarding body image, weight, and all that jazz:
I had felt fat — or at least, not thin enough — since my sophomore year in college, and it was nice to finally get compliments for my weight. It was almost as if it were a treat for going through cancer. Yes, Alicia, you have cancer, but you get to be skinny! Yay!
It's scary how messed up this thinking is, but it's so familiar to me. I think about how skinny I was last year at this time and it really does freak me out. I tried to put on those jeans a few months ago, and couldn't get them past my thighs, since I finally gained back a few pounds. I remember a time when those jeans were baggy. I'm probably somewhere around 130 to 135 pounds now, and still look a little scrawny. I don't even know what I weighed back then -- 120, 115 pounds?

I know that I look better (and mostly feel better) now, but there's a part of me that still thinks I'd look better if I dropped 5 pounds or so. It's stupid.

Mostly, I try to eat well, take my supplements, and limit sweets -- 2 squares of bittersweet chocolate a day gives me a good dose of anti-oxidants along with a good mood booster, and it isn't going to screw up my blood sugar. On the other hand, those shortbread cookies I ate with for lunch probably weren't the best choice. Let me be brutally honest here: I do eat good food, but I indulge in sweets a lot more often than I should. But so far my weight is stable so I'm not going to complain.

It's funny but even before my diagnosis last year I expected something bad, precisely because I was effortlessly skinny. I had maintained, relatively easily, a good weight (like the one I'm at now) for years on my lower-carb diet, but then over a few months, pounds just seemingly evaporated off of me with no effort on my part to make them disappear. That's not normal, and I knew it.

And like Alicia, I liked it, and some stupid part of my brain would like to get me back to that skinny/ideal weight. Fortunately, I don't see it happening because I'm just not that disciplined or into depriving myself that much. Besides, I get really cranky when I haven't eaten, and that impairs my ability to be around my kids and retain what little shreds of sanity I have remaining. So I'm not worried I'll end up back in sizes fit only for skeletons. But it does annoy me that I can't get through to the part of my brain that still thinks such a thing would be just great.

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