Monday, October 19, 2009

"All Woman"

I’ve mentioned before that my mother used to try and shame my sister and I into losing weight because she wanted daughters who were beautiful enough to boast about, and that she was more critical of our weight issues than of her own. She treated our being overweight as if it was somehow worse than her being overweight despite the fact that she was just as heavy if not heavier than my sister and I during many of our teenage and young adult years.

One of the ways my mother justified her fat as better than our fat was by talking about her body as if the quality of her obesity was superior to ours. She once related a story about going to the doctor and being checked out which was part of the web of lies she wove to convince herself that her flab was not so bad. She said that the doctor, who was a long time family physician (and a smoker), remarked while examining her that he had thought all fat people were soft and mushy, but was surprised that my mother’s body felt relatively solid. Supposedly, he said, “you’re all woman,” to which she replied, “doc!” The idea was supposed to be that firm fat was fit fat.

I don't know if that story was true. My mother was and still is a borderline compulsive liar who will make up whatever she has to to support her worldview or to attempt to validate another lie when challenged. I do know that it is possible to have hard fat and soft fat though and it’s something that I’ve been noticing as of late.

Despite my mother’s intention of promoting her fleshy body as fitter than my sister’s and mine, the truth is that firm fat is worse than soft fat. Firm fat is the result of skin being stretched out more by expanded fat cells. Softer fat comes from the cells being shrunken and the skin being looser. I’ve noticed as I lose weight that certain parts of my body are getting squishier as things are slackening up and the flesh is not as tight. I can tell which areas of my body aren’t losing the weight as fast by how firm the area feels. Right now, those areas are my belly and behind.

At any rate, I welcome the lack of firmness in my flesh for the time being. Unlike my mother, I'm not interested in fooling myself into believing that my fat is fit.

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