My dad is an anti-fatite (to steal Jerry’s anti-dentite phrasing). Growing up he would frequently make comments about my mother’s weight.

My mother, who at 5’8″ typically weighed and still weighs around 130 lbs.

He would also make comments about the weight of women we would see in public or on TV. Being overweight was clearly unacceptable.

In high school I was 5’7″ and 107 lbs. I didn’t diet, ate junk food for lunch, but was active enough to stay thin.

Then, in college, my beloved boyfriend D. broke up with me (LDR’s typically don’t work out when you are 18!); I wrecked my car, dropped out of school. And started not eating, taking laxatives, occasionally vomitting, and avidly weighing myself. I was really proud when I got down to 97 lbs.

In hindsight, it was more about control than about weight, and I’m sure I looked awful.

About a year later I met my husband, got pregnant, got married, got pregnant again. As a stay-at-home mom and burgeoning baker I gained weight, topping out at 182 lbs, wearing a size 14.

It’s hard for me to even admit that.

Last fall I began watching what I ate. Not cutting any particular food group or counting calories, but eating smaller portions and focusing on eating more fruits and vegetables.

I also started exercising regularly, which has, thankfully, become a habit. I attend a spin torture classes with my friends SS and AAM. I walk on the treadmill my dear friend Katrina gave me when she upgraded. When the weather is nice my husband and I walk in the morning, before work, giving us a chance to chat and start out our day in a healthy way, much better than continuously pushing the snooze button.

I’ve lost 23 lbs in the last four months, but, even better than that, I feel healthier and more energetic.

I’m feeling pretty content at 159 lbs. I can comfortably fit into M/L clothes. I can exercise without feeling winded. The diet changes I have made are do-able long-term and I don’t feel deprived.

But it’s amazing how much of this battle is mental.

Friday night I went to visit my preemie nephew D. at the hospital. My dad was there visiting, too, and said “I remember when you were born and you weren’t much bigger, but (gesturing towards me) look at you now.”

I just stood there, shocked. So did my husband. It was pretty clear he meant “but look how large you are now.”

It made me want to gain weight in a rebellious effort to prove that whatever I weigh I’m still the same person, that my weight doesn’t define me.

But I know I can’t think like that. I am no longer a rebellious teenager.
Thank goodness!

Instead I have two rebellious teenagers of my own to deal with, so I figure I need all the stress relieving exercise that I can get.
Most of all, I wish to be a good example for them, both of healthy living and of acceptance of others.

Except for dentists. I still hate those bastards.


6 Responses to “Anti-fatite”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Its amazing how much of an impact our fathers have on us as women good or bad. Thats why I am always telling the sperm donor how important his relationship is with his daughters. Good for you on finally being content with who you are! : )

  2. Secret Server Says:

    Jennifer, that is great that you have lost 23 lbs. I admire your healthy lifestyle for many reasons, especially that you cook home made , well balanced meals for your family and think it is great that you exercise and you and A&M inspire me a lot. Also, you are a way better parent in regards to dental health. You know that.

  3. idonotknowme Says:

    What’s the term for hating lawyers? anti-lawyerite? anti-attorneyite? Whatever it is, I am it.

  4. Kimberly Says:

    Why does your dad think its ok to say things like that?? I was so very blessed to grow up with absolutely no pressure weight-wise, only encouragement to eat healthily. I did read “Am I Thin Enough Yet?: The Cult of Thinness and Commercialization of Identity” by Sharlene Hesse-Biber for a class in college and it totally changed my way of thinking about weight. I definitely recommend it.

    Congrats on being content with yourself!

  5. jadedgirl Says:

    Ok…this might be rather long, and I apologize in advance for that, but I have a kinship with you here, and there is a need for explanation.

    When I was 15 I had an eating disorder.

    I should have been dead…no doubt.

    It began when I was 9 and all I heard from my mom…who was herself overweight and my brother…who was also overweight make comments on a daily basis about my weight and how “You will never find a boyfriend looking like that, Teresa…”

    Needless to say, my self esteem suffered…majorly.

    I find it ironic that my own mother criticized me on weight when all we ever ate in my household growing up was fried food. I mean…fried pork more specifically. Fried pork chops, friend pork steak, fried pork loin, all smothered in homemade pork gravy with creamed corn and homemade mashed potatoes (whole milk, real butter mashed potatoes). Then for dessert chocolate pudding and for snacks, buttered popcorn, BBQ potato chips and pepsi by the gallon.

    These were my household staples.

    Sophmore year I ballooned to at 5’7…almost 200 lbs.
    I was obese…no doubt…size 18.
    So…I got tired of being made fun of by the people at school and at home, and did something about it. I starved myself. And when I DID eat…it was an entire BOX of saltine crackers washed down with diet pepsi…which I drank roughly a 12 pack a day of.

    What I ate…I vomited up.

    And when my mom caught on to being in the bathroom too long, I puked in mason jars as quietly as I could in my room and stored them-tightly sealed, on the top shelf of my closet. When my mom found them once, I told her they were a science experiment for school. She shrugged it off.

    She was always at work-always…so the weight coming off rapidly was a slight concern, but I think she figured I was just growing out of my “baby fat”

    I lost 88 pounds in 5 months.

    I became emaciated…I stopped having periods…I was severely dehydrated all the time, enemic, and generally miserable-feeling.

    I finally succumbed to it and tumbled down the stairs in school one day.

    Again, I should have been dead.

    I survived after having to repeat my entire Sophmore year, and an extended stay in the looney bin full of counseling and dietitian advice.
    I gained a lot of weight back…but have never reached that 200 mark again…and I am now 5’9 and a half.

    I have that issue to thank for my ulcers and my IBS to this day.

    I know how to eat properly and I praise my son and his “husky” body at every turn. We also eat a balanced meal every night (with the occasional exception of a takeout pizza now and then, or a trip to McNuggetville now and again)

    I will never put my child through that kind of stress and bring about those self esteem issues.

    He is perfect and beautiful in my eyes…no matter what.

    It sounds like you and I both had the same kind of reinforcement growing up…and I feel for you.
    Good thing we BOTH learned from it.

    BTW…I think you look fabulous at any weight. :o)


    PS…sorry about the book long comment.

  6. jenjw4 Says:

    Kimberly, that book sounds really interesting. Thanks for the recommendation! As far as my dad, I just think he must not know better. And he doesn’t seem to be trying to be mean, per se, he’s just very judgmental, I guess….

    Jaded, how awful! I think it’s amazing that you were able to overcome that and it sounds like you are doing much better with your own child.

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