Teresa left this comment on my recent blog about the triathlon.
“Kim–I LOVE this post! I love that you accomplished your goal and that you verbalized the freedom that we feel as we overcome the physical barriers that obesity puts in our life. You ROCK!”
It is a lovely comment. Very encouraging. Very supportive. So how come when I read it, something in me kind of cringes? I kept going back and re-reading it trying to figure out what was causing this feeling because I can no longer deny the feelings, right? 🙂
Here is what I discovered. Whenever I read the word “obesity”, my heart would sink. I would feel very unsettled and uncomfortable. Hmm. What is it about THAT word that seems to set me off.
I have become quite comfortable with owning the fact that I am fat.
I am overweight.
I am large.
I am 291 lbs.
But obese? Really? Am I that too? I don’t want to be THAT!
Fat by definition is
- having an (over)abundance of flesh
- having a relatively large diameter
- a soft greasy substance occurring in organic tissue and consisting of a mixture of lipids
Large by definition is
- above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent
Overweight by definition is
- corpulence: the property of excessive fatness
- fleshy: usually describes a large person who is fat but has a large frame to carry it
- An excess of weight; To place excessive weight or emphasis on; heavier than what is generally considered healthy for a given body type and height en.wiktionary.org/wiki/overweight
- An above-normal body weight. A body mass index of 25 to 29.9.
Yes. Yes. I am these things. And I know I will not always be these things. This is one area of my life that is changing. But does that mean I am obese as well?
Obese by definition is:
- corpulent: excessively fat; (interesting, this shows up under “fat”as well
- Extremely overweight, especially: weighing more than 20% (for men) or 25% (for women) over their ideal weight determined by height and build; or …
- obesity – fleshiness: more than average fatness
- obesity – An excess of body fat. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 kg/m 2 or greater, or about 30 pounds or move over ideal body weight. Extreme obesity is defined as a BMI of 40.0 kg/m 2 or more. .
- being overweight.
- obesity – A condition describing excess body weight in the form of fat. Morbid obesity is defined as being about 100 lbs. overweight or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of around 40 or above. Obesity is associated with many illnesses and is directly related to increased mortality and lower life expectancy.www.free-diet-plans.biz/Glossary-of-Diet-Terms.html
Hmmm…technically, I fit the definition of obese. 100+ lbs to lose. BMI 30%+. In fact, technically I qualify as morbidly obese! I have become quite comfortable defining myself as fat. So comfortable in fact that I can say it freely. Once a friend was trying to describe something as PHAT, in front of me and he got all weirded out by saying the word PHAT and was quick to explain his reason and that it wasn’t FAT that he was saying but PHAT. He then apologized for using such a word as THAT! Soooo not a problem. I AM Fat and I am pretty PHAT too! AND he wasn’t talking about me or anyone else but some other thing altogether. I don’t get uncomfortable around the word unless someone is talking derogatorily about someone who is.
Obese though is another story. Something about this word seems so far beyond hope, I want nothing to do with it. I hear this word or read this word anywhere and I cringe at the hopelessness that just wreaks from it. Obese feels unchangeable. Hopeless. Hard. In my mind obese is someone who is all of the above definitions(the medical ones) and not doing anything about it and doesn’t see the possibility for change. So perhaps at one point I might have been obese, but not now, at least not based on my definition of it. I am doing something about it. I have hope of long term change. I have hope of wearing that little yellow dress. I see the possibilities available to me and am certain there are plenty of more I don’t see. I am not obese.
This is fantasy land though. It is not reality. Reality and medical experts say, YES Kim, You are obese. Perhaps I need to come to a point of embracing this as a truth and that MY definition is the one that may be faulty. Perhaps Obese does not equal hopeless. After all, it is just another word that describes my current physical state, right?
Yeah, not working so well. I am not convinced yet. I am fat, but not obese. Let me live in denial a bit. It isn’t like it is hurting me to deny this little truth…right?