Friday, May 1, 2009

A surprise

One of the nicest things happened to me yesterday in quite an unconventional way. I was grilled a'la the Spanish Inquisition on WHY I'm choosing to lose weight, by a dear friend who was worried that I was choosing to lose weight purely for aesthetic purposes. He really made sure through his line of questioning that I am doing this purely for health reasons. I know it sounds bizarre but I'm actually really flattered that somebody is really looking out for me like that. Everybody else has just accepted that I need to lose weight and hasn't questioned it at all.

Let me outline my reasons for you and me.

1). I currently weigh 30 kilos more than I should. The figure was 35 kilos to begin with, but as you can see, I've had some success. I'm not going manic trying to reach my goal weight, but I am very aware that I am too heavy, even if I am built like a brick shit-house.

2). I injured my back last May. (Sneezed twice, violently, whilst bent over in the bathroom retrieving something from the floor. Managed to completely injure the second-last disc in my back. Was in bed for a week and have been doing clinical pilates to correct the injury ever since. Let's just say that I don't do things by halves.) My back still aches even though the injury is fixed. This is due to my excess weight, so my doctor tells me.

3). I have two very old knee injuries. I grew up too fast, and, out of seven possible structural problems that you can have with your knees, I have four of them. The tendon is too long, the groove is too big, the patella is too small and all of this resulted in my patella dislocating itself every time I turned around from the ages of twelve to sixteen. The patella would always go back to where it was supposed to go, but it would ride out of the groove and cause incredible pain, bleeding and swelling. It was horrendous. I ended up having two lateral-release arthroscopies, in which the surgeon tidied all the crap up in my knee and cut the other tendon in both knee, relieving the tightness that was helping to yank out the patella. As a result of this, my left knee (and the quad muscle in particular) is incredibly weak. It isn't going to get better until I can help it along by being less heavy.

4). I would like to lead a healthier lifestyle. Fresher food with less fat content. I am willing to do anything to aid my journey into a full-time singing career.

These are the reasons that I have chosen to lose weight. They've been a long time coming, and I'm happy with the decision that I have made. I don't know how long it will take me but I'm here to slug it out until it's over, and then switch into a "maintenance" mode during which I will try to keep the weight off, be healthier and more active, and ultimately, even happier than I already am!

Let me just reiterate that I am really pleased that my friend questioned me on this. I'm sure he won't mind me sharing this snippet:

The Elephant Fairy: it is kind of novel for somebody to be worried about this
The Elephant Fairy: everybody else has agreed that it is about time... hahahaha

Spanish Inquisition: well, i come from a different place
Spanish Inquisition: and i have only known u in a certain way
Spanish Inquisition: but i'm always concerned about people making such large decisions about their bodies
Spanish Inquisition: not that it's really my business
Spanish Inquisition: but many people go into "weightloss" with strictly an aesthetic intention
Spanish Inquisition: to me that is a negative approach, and unhealthy

The Elephant Fairy: oh
The Elephant Fairy: nah
The Elephant Fairy: I don't mind the way I look
The Elephant Fairy: but I do mind the way that I feel

Spanish Inquisition: ok
Spanish Inquisition: i like that set of statements
Spanish Inquisition: A LOT
The Elephant Fairy: me too :-)

God bless good friends.

1 comment:

  1. You know, one thing that always bugs me is when people talk about losing weight for aesthetical reasons as if it's an inferior decision - that somehow, vanity is a sin and people should not be free to make these choices about their bodies' appearances without being embarrassed. And the same goes for snarky comments aimed at people trying to build muscle mass or put on good weight because they simply prefer to look a certain way. Unless someone suffers from mental disorders like anorexia or depression-triggered binge eating, is there really anything unhealthy about wanting to lose weight or gain weight for aesthetic purposes (especially when one is overweight/underweight)? Not only will achieving the goal possibly bring about better health for the person (assuming they are not aiming for an unrealistic or unhealthy goal weight, or engaging in extreme dieting), it will also make them feel better and more confident about themselves once they are closer to their ideal physique. And there is NOTHING unhealthy about feeling good about yourself, whatever the reasons may be - health, aesthetics, etc. I am a big fan of people having the freedom to do whatever the hell they want with their bodies, so long as they are ultimately healthy and happy with their decisions, and personally, I feel that why a person makes these choices is no one else's business. It's like being really judgmental about personal choices when it's not your body, and therefore not your place to judge.

    I'm glad you were pleased to be questioned, Pammy. I really am. But if it were me, I would have been annoyed beyond belief. It's like, "Ok, I'm overweight by X amount of kilos. IF I were doing this for aesthetic purposes, are you honestly trying to tell me that I'm making an unhealthy decision because I prefer to look a certain way - even if no medical practitioner would dispute it's better for my health? Are you saying that if I lost weight because I wanted to look slim, you would try to make me feel ashamed of this highly personal choice?"

    I'm glad you made your choice because of health problems, Pam. It sounds like your back and knees could use some help, and it's as good an approach as any. But if hypothetically, you decided to lose weight for other personal reasons, or you decided you are happier remaining the weight you are now, I would be equally supportive. It's your body and your choices, and what matters the most is how happy YOU are with them. No one else's business at all.

    p.s. Sorry this comment was so long but it's something I've always felt quite strongly about. Even reading your post made me feel irritated on your behalf... although YOU were clearly not annoyed at all haha. (Good on you!) =) I'm sure your friend only had the best intentions possible - I'm not disputing that, and you are very lucky to have someone so concerned about your well-being. This is just my alternate point of view, that I recognise is my own, and I am in no way claiming that it is superior to your friend's!