Tuesday, November 9, 2010

If I Can Do It, You Can Too and Other Big Lies. . .

I admit my magazine rack is filled with heartwarming, inspiring stories of formerly fat people who "got their life back" after dropping a lot of weight. 

I don't know why I read them.       

OK, yes I do.

Why do they always say the same thing?  I got my life back, I was disgusting, If I can do it, anyone can.  Blah blah blah blah blah. 

For one thing, if you didn't have a life when you were fat, that is your fault.  Not the fat's.  I have a life already. Losing weight does not magically qualify me for some extra experience that was heretofore unavailable to me.  Except maybe being able to see my toes when I look down.  And honestly?  That would just piss me off more because if I can see my toes that means I'm too skinny and I'm flat-chested. 

It totally rankles me when someone says they were "disgusting" when they were fat.  You were?  Were you like a pedophile or something?  Because that is disgusting.  Fat is not disgusting. 

And the shout out they give to all us other fatties:  If I can do it, SO CAN YOU.  Shaddap already. 

I feel a little conflicted now I am the workout queen.  I am losing weight.  I am gaining muscle.  (Can I tell  you how incredibly hot I looked in my LBD on Saturday night?  I don't mean to be conceited.  But I looked awesome and I wasn't even wearing Spanx.)  I must remember: it's not about how I look.  It's about my fitness.  But I looked great. 

Does this qualify me to tell all my size 18+ pals "If I can do it, so can you?"


The truth is, there are very specific circumstances that are enabling me to do this.

1. I began as part of a challenge for work.  IT WAS MY JOB to do this.  Well, not really.  It's not like I would have gotten fired or anything.  However, I did feel that the College's commitment to the program should be taken seriously.  I am the face of the College.  I take it seriously.

2. The first 3 months were FREE.  Who doesn't love free?  It was actually better than free.  It was like someone handed me $2,000.00 only I don't have to pay taxes on it. 

3. My kids are all big enough that it's OK for me to be a couple of hours late two nights a week.  One of my girlfriends was telling me how frustrated she is that she can't exercise more.  She has a one year old.  When I had a one year old, I sure couldn't work out.  At all.  He won't be one forever.  When he's ready, you can think about getting ready.

4. My husband has been willing (and able) to pick up the kids on workout days.  He gets them dinner, gets them bathed and in jammies.  This is huge.  Without this, forget it. 

5. The studio is right near my office.  This convenience is critical.  I guarantee if Vic ever decides to move, he better consult with me.  Because if he moves too far away, I'm done. 

6. We have enough left in the budget to pay for it.  Believe me -- no budget, no Vic.  It's that simple.  I know that there are those who say that you don't have to pay to work out.  You can do it on your own.

You might be able to, but I can't. 

I don't bake my own bread.  I don't sew my own clothes.  I don't even mow my own yard.  So I am not going to feel bad that I don't manage my own workouts. 

Even if I did do it on my own, know what my workout would be?  A few laps around the park.  That's fine if there are no other options, but Vic challenges me.  He has dome more with my fitness in four months than I was able to do on my own in a year. 

So, to all my friends out there who think "Jeeze -- if a big girl like Mary can do it, I should too". . . .

If you can, do.  If you can't -- don't pay attention to those stupid magazines.

I only read them for the recipes anyway. 


  1. Wow! So cool! It's a pity that everyone is quick to point out obesity, but no one talks about the flip side- girls who starve themselves to be skinnier than every model they see on TV, and inevitably tie their self-esteem to it. I am decidedly chubby, but the truth is that once I'm out, talking to people, I try to project my personality most importantly.

  2. Thought I was the onbly one who thought like this! Fab!

  3. I stood up from my desk to see if I could, in fact, see my toes. Nope. Boobs are too big. And I love my boobs. And my polka-dot skirt is too flouncy. And I love my polka dot skirt. And toes are overrated. Mine right now are all chipped and gross. They look like the toes of a dead hooker, in fact. I don't really know where all this is going. Wait. Yes I do. GOOD FOR YOU and your fitness dedication! I've been to the gym a whole two times in the last month. I envy you. I'll cheer and live vicariously from over here.

  4. I love this post! You are so right on! I try to keep in mind that being skinny will not solve all of your problems, not even close. I focus on staying healthy and exercising...that's so much more important to me than being a twig!

    PS - I am reading through your blog so expect a few more comments from me :)

  5. It's about your fitness. A+
    How you "look" will always be subjective to you and to anyone else who can see you. Subjective doesn't help you live longer, ward off disease, or make your body feel better. But staying fit does, so congratulations on putting this so eloquently here!

  6. You guys rock! @Nicki -- you crack me up! Treat yourself to a pedicure girl!

    @Miss Sweet Tea -- can't wait to read them!

    @Marshmallow - thanks for the A+!

  7. What a great blog!!!

    But, dangit, you made me stand up to see if I could see my toes too (insert blush icon here). Yay, boobs!

  8. Well I hate to tell you this but one of the reasons I started the Couch to 5K was because of YOU!!!!

    You are so committed to your exercising that I seriously thought "if she can do it, so can I". Hell - you even gave up your cleaning lady a few times and I would rather cut off my arm that do that.

    Your commitment and enthusiam are contagious. Keep it up!!!!!!

  9. It's true Mary, it is like the stars have to align in order to be able to get out to the gym. It's tough making time for it when you have kids. I love how you think and find you inspirational. xo


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