Posts Tagged ‘weight’

In which I resolve nothing

April 30, 2010 4 comments

After visiting some family friends a while ago, my father commented that they are all “porking up” and that their teenage girl looked “like a sausage.”

He must be so disappointed in me.

I know that nature doesn’t care if you’re ripped. I know that thin doesn’t necessarily equate being healthy. I know that my father doesn’t approve of me fasting, intermittently or otherwise, or of my occasional flirtations with self-induced vomiting. But having a low body fat percentage is the holy grail of the body project. It is the only, the all-encompassing project, and it shrinks the world to a pinpoint of obsession. If I really want to be honest here, on an emotional level, I would prefer to be thin than to be strong. This is problematic at best and wrong and damaging at worst. I would love to have some visible abs, but in a pinch I would take a few visible rib bones.

But diet (low carb paleo), exercise (strength, occasional sprinting), sleep (magnesium and l-tryptophan induced), and supplements (fish oil, borage oil, amino acids, vitamin D3, iodine, over-the-internet-counter desiccated porcine thyroid, maca powder) have not helped me reach a low body fat percentage. Apparently, my body would prefer to shut down its reproductive and metabolic functions before it releasing extraneous  fat stores.

I have tried carb cycling with sweet potatoes and cycling hypo- with hyper- caloric days. I have tried all meat, all the time. I have tried meditation, but my thoughts always circle back to my failure to be a thin person. I have tried cognitive therapy, but I think you really have to believe the thoughts you are trying to think. If your actual inner self is convinced that the positive thoughts are absolute lies, cognitive therapy is a wash, and an exhausting one to boot.

Meanwhile, on an intellectual level, I know that thinness, as well as not equating health, does not equate happiness. Any time I ever lost any weight (those were the days!), I would immediately adjust my goal weight down a few pounds. And yet, the things that are positively correlated with (though not necessarily causal of) happiness: marriage, religion, a sense of community, a sense of meaning, gun ownership, etc. seem very hard to come by.

I rarely remember dreams, and I seem devoid of any deep feeling or empathy. I feel like the psychological version of Helen Keller. If I believed in reincarnation, I might think that in a previous life I had been hurt so grievously that I was reborn without the ability to love. How’s that for maudlin?

Now, what am I going to do about it?