Monday, April 14, 2014

Body size and self image

My thoughts of late have been on one's body image.
Probably because of my "obsession" with my weight as I get ever closer to my goal -- a goal that is important only to me.
In my head, it is the norm for me to be very thin.  But as I've discussed here before, apparently I've lived most of my adult life closer to the obese category -- quite unaware of being of that classification, I might add.
My little chickadee told me last week that in her lifetime, this is the smallest I've ever been.
Yet this is not my "norm," to my mind.
So I started doing the math in my head.
I am knocking on the door of a 40-pound weight reduction.
Yet at this new weight, I am 30 pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant back in 1974.  At that time, I was seriously underweight.  Had been all my life to that point (I was 24 years old).
I only gained 17 pounds with my pregnancy.   My doctor at the time was a little disappointed that I hadn't gained extra weight, saying that he had hoped the pregnancy would be a perfect opportunity to add some permanent pounds to me.  It all came off.  My baby was tiny but the rest was fluid that left with her.
My medical file indicates that by 1980, I had gained 15 pounds.  
Sorry, my little chickadee, but your memory isn't serving you very well because you were nine years old before I hit the weight that I am today.  I'll grant you that by the time you were 12, I had hit the obese column.  But again in 1993 I was 20 pounds less than what I weigh today.  You should remember that year.
Seeing me today, at this weight, I don't think I would want to be much smaller than this.  I imagine that I would look emaciated if I lost more weight.  I do know that when I was all those lower weights, I was often asked if something was wrong.  Accused of being anorexic.  You get the picture.  I was skin and bones.
The BMI charts -- those dreaded charts that the health care community cling to so tightly as gospel -- indicate that someone of my height should range anywhere from 118 to 159 pounds.  That's a 40 pound spread!
I needed to lose the 40 pounds I lost.  No question.  My current BMI is 24.43 -- just under the overweight classification.  (A "normal weight BMI" is between 18.5 and 24.99.)
But I also recall a period when I was 20 pounds lighter than I am today (a BMI of 20.22), and my doctor was threatening to hospitalize me to force feed me.  I was that thin!
My massage therapist tells me that she can so readily feel my bones now, she would be quite concerned about me should I lose a significant amount more weight.  I would simply be too thin for my body frame.
All this to say that my new, smaller body is close to 30 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnant 24-year old self.  
Bonnie in the summer of 1974
Some say that skinny is sexy.
I for one don't ever want to be that thin again.
And I certainly don't ever want to have that hair again!

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