Monday, March 1, 2010

Through the Thick and the Thin

I think we all wait for that horrible day when we'll have to admit that our metabolism has indeed slowed down. For women, hormonal changes associated with fertility can wreak additional havoc on what we knew to be true in our early 20s. Comfortable jeans stray from the Jrs department, bras don't seem to fit the same. As 30 approaches and passes, so can that number on the scale we thought we'd never see before age 40.
OK- I'll stop speaking for "women" and admit that this has happened to me.

In my case, however, it's not a bad thing, yet.

I was always very thin, to the point where I was insecure about it. At almost 5'9" and 135lbs, I heard far too many insensitive, and shortsighted, comments from men offering to "thicken me up" or "put some meat on my bones". It was as if my thin frame was indicative of a decision not to eat enough, or a decision to subscribe to the thinner "waif" ideal seen in the general media, but not so much idealized in the thick of American black culture. I had no such agenda. I was just naturally thin, despite my occasional peer-pressed efforts to gain weight. Not even thin really. I was well within the healthy and average weight range, and BMI, of someone my height and age. I also had (have!) a figure to go with it, something like 34-26-36.
So yup- as I got older and wiser the comments stopped bothering me so much. I'm sure my confidence in my figure also increased with the advent of the Facebook rage. I got to see all those coveted "thick" girls blossom into bigger women in the otherwise invisible decade after high school and undergrad. Then in the past year, I noticed that I too have not only hit my unattainable weight gain goal from my 20s, but I have surpassed it by 5 more lbs... and 148.

So what happened in the past few years besides recently hitting 30? I have not had any pregnancies or gone on any hormones. But I did meet, and begin living with FairSir. According to varied research, not only married, but even cohabitating women tend to gain weight. So alas, yet another reason for weight gain.

FairSir has also gained his "new relationship 15," as many men also tend to gain weight when they enter relationships. Thus the good news is that we are "lucky" enough to be in this predicament together.  I'm not afraid that FairSir is concerned about just me becoming "fat" (yet!) And looking at my thin mother, and how long I've gone being thin, I think I'll be able to stay on top of any weight related health issues.  I have decided to make some changes to my diet already to check some of the hormonal fluctuations.  I'm on week 3 of a low/no sugar diet.  FairSir and I both were sugar fiends. Candies, cookies, fancy juice and soda... ahh- the good times. But what gives me great inner peace is that FairSir has gone low/no sugar with me. It's a testament to his dedication to our joint well-being and progression. It means a lot to me.

I'd always heard that working out or dieting with a friend can boost resolve and thus bring greater success. I fully understand that now, as this small adjustment towards health maintenance has not been easy. We already used to check on each other for meals we ate apart, asking "Did you eat lunch? What did you have?" As horrible as it is, we both are the type to forget to eat sometimes. Eating on the run, and practically anything (fast food, leftovers... chips...) for a so-called lunch. I feel really good about the level of support we continue to provide each other. I think this seeing eye to eye and going through this worrisome time together will be beneficial to our longevity.

I wonder though, about people who are on different pages. The black men who still appreciate that precariously thick frame and would have a woman like me forget about healthy eating for the sake of holding on to weight. The Black women who do so much to stay fit at any size, yet meet a man who does nothing at all for his health. And for that matter, the gym heads who hold their women to high standards, and work out alone for 2 hours every day. I know some women love their "teddy bear" men too. I just hope that the underlying health, of the thick and the thin, is not being ignored. Deteriorating health of either partner can tear a relationship apart. The irony is that the relationship itself can be the harbinger of thicker times.

1 comment:

  1. I also wonder about those couples who are on different pages. My hubby and I both tend to lose and gain weight around the same times. Having each other to work out with definitely helps with our personal goals.