Girlie Talk

So Red Room Salon is written by a woman. I realize in my posts that hasn’t been specifically stated, so if it hasn’t been obvious, this post will make it blatantly obvious. Feel free to skip if that perspective on particularly girlie subjects has no interest for you, I will not be offended. In fact, it usually doesn’t hold my interest either, but this is my life, so interest in me is of course natural.

Two weekends ago I was in a class held in San Francisco, and I wore a short skirt. No big deal. I wore tights underneath, I wore a long jacket only because it was cold, and it was a very good thing, because the skirt kept creeping. Up and up and up, it was now a micro-mini! When I put it on, it was just an inch above my knees, the perfect length I have found, so even if in heels, I feel as though I can put in a full stride and run even, if need be. (If running away from something, I probably would ditch the heels though.) Becoming very concious of this skirt and how short it was (dis)appearing, I waited until the drive back to ask the people I carpooled with if they noticed anything about my appearance that weekend. I wanted unbiased feedback.

Eventually one of them remembered I wore a bright black and red skirt on Saturday. I asked what she thought about it. Well, it was short… there was a harrumph from the back of the car, and the other woman obviously had something to say about it. She thought it was way too short. I pressed further, and realized I just wasn’t getting the feedback I wanted. We stopped in San Luis Obismo for restrooms and food, and after that break I realized I hadn’t asked the right question.

“Did I look fat wearing that skirt?” I asked. There was a stunned silence.

“No,” answered the first woman, a woman taller than myself. “But I’ve never thought of you as fat.”

“No,” replied the other woman, a woman larger than myself. “You didn’t look fat.”

“Thank you. That’s apparently what I really wanted to know.” And a different subject of conversation then took place.

I once was fat. I once was obese, actually. And that was only a little over two years ago, so I am quite happy with those comments.

Obesity, as defined by the Body Mass Index, is a BMI count of 30.0 or above. In October of 2006, I had a BMI of 31.29. For whatever reason, that month I figured out my BMI, saw the label of OBESE in prominent letters, and decided to do something about it. I started walking home from work (4.2 miles) most work nights. In two months, just from adding that, I had dropped 18 pounds and then had a BMI of merely overweight at 28.29. I actually stopped being as religious about walking home, and it made no difference. The impact of those two months had re-set my metabolism or some such, and I stayed nearly 20 pounds lighter. I slipped back into old habits, but it didn’t change my weight.

I didn’t pay much attention to it until I began losing weight again. Strangely enough, it was after I no longer had a job. Since the eight years of working in the corporate world was when I gained 50 pounds, surely it was no surprise that the only thing that changed when I began losing weight again was lack of a job. As of the end of last year, I was down to a 26.28 BMI count, still overweight.

So, when I went to the doctor’s office to get my yearly gynecological exam, it wasn’t that my blood pressure was 100/80 (ho-hum, low blood pressure, had it all my life, runs in the family) it was the very accurate scales at the doctor’s office read a full 8 pounds lighter than my home scales that made me excited. Yippee! My BMI is now down to 25.25! I am almost back in the official normal weight range for my height. Without doing a thing, but stepping on a different scale. Another 19 pounds had been shed.

So I’ve been trying on clothes that I knew I eventually would fit back into, and the black and red skirt of the previous weekend was evidence that I am indeed not fat/obese/overweight in the perceiving eyes of others. Since I have had a screwed up perception of my weight and height proportion since age 15 when I dieted down to less than 100 pounds, because I had gained a pound after attending a party one weekend, and having been yo-yoing in weight ever since, I need to check in with others to make sure my clothes are appropriate.

And to have lost the weight almost effortlessly and easily from the time I decided to do something about it, makes me even happier.

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