I’m not a weight loss blogger, but I’m playing one for the purposes of this post. Skip it if that’s not your thing.
Is it OK to want to lose weight? That might seem like a silly question to you, but it’s something I’ve struggled with over the past few days (weeks, months, years). The easy answer: yes, it’s your body. I’ve dieted and lost weight in the past. (I’ve also not dieted and gained weight in the past—that part’s way more fun.) But in order to convince myself that I was ready for a slightly stricter diet plan (in this case, Weight Watchers), I had to work through some of the issues I have with weight loss in general. To sign up for Weight Watchers, it was important for me to make sure I wasn’t doing it for any of the following reasons:
1. To attract a mate. I’ve been single for kind of a long time, and every so often (read: all the time), I think that it would be a lot easier to find someone if I were thinner. Maybe that’s true, as “thin” seems to be the preferred body type among the people I associate with. But I’m comfortable in my singledom: I’m not turning anyone away, but I’m also not actively seeking companionship. Losing weight is something I’m doing for me. I want someone who will love me as I am, like in that Blessid Union of Souls song.
2. To fall in line with society’s unrealistic expectations. As far as I’m concerned—and I’ve blogged about this before—women and gay men are held to unreasonable and sometimes unhealthy standards of weight. Models are bullshit. The BMI is bullshit. Basically all public perception of what is “normal” is bullshit, and that goes past weight. But I’m never going to be waifish—nor would I want to be—so I think I can move on. I’m not trying to make the cover of Out Magazine. Maybe The Advocate, though. Can someone hook it up?
3. To stop feeling insecure. This was a tough one for me. When I’ve lost weight in the past, I have felt less self-conscious. (One brief, glorious summer, I even took my shirt off at the beach. Until I burned 20 seconds later.) And I think that’s OK, but what I need to remember—what many of us need to remember—is that there is no quick fix to our insecurities. I have a lot to work through, which is why I’m seeing a therapist instead of a nutritionist. So while dieting may help my self-confidence, it’s not a cure: Weight Watchers is not the droids you’re looking for.
4. To be able to eat an entire pizza without feeling guilty. I’m not saying this will never happen, but I’d like it to still be pretty gross when it does. The goal of this plan is to make healthier dining choices, not to lose enough weight that I can shove cheese down my gullet without regret. Have you ever eaten an entire Dominos pizza? You feel like death the next day—and that’s if the crust was cooked all the way through, which it never is. I want to recognize that eating a whole pizza makes one vommy, even if it doesn’t make one fat.
5. To please my friends and family. In the same way I don’t want to do this to snag a boyfriend, I don’t want to lose weight as a response to the people who have said, “You’d be so cute if you lost some weight.” (Note: my family has never said this, because they’re not assholes, but other people have.) I hate to feel like I’m caving to douchebaggery, which is why I’ve been forced to remind myself that this is something I’ve wanted to do without other people’s unsolicited opinions. And seriously, if you have ever told me that I should work out more, I’ve probably spit in your drink. Don’t worry—saliva has no calories.
6. To be insufferable. The hardest part about dieting is not talking about dieting all the time. (Can you believe I’m blogging about this? What a tool.) Seriously, though, Weight Watchers is a personal choice. I refuse to be one of those pedantic dicks who points out how unhealthy other people’s meals are. I don’t want to urge anyone to diet, unless he or she happens to ask me if I have any specific dieting advice. And even then, I’ll probably be a little hesitant, as though I were a new father and someone asked to see photos of my baby. Like, “Ugh, are you suuuure?”
That having been said, this is the last time I’ll blog about dieting/weight loss/stretch marks for a while here. I have awesome friends who blog about losing weight and fat acceptance and body-positive fashion. (In fact, check out these blogs: The Curvy Nerd, Broadist, My Unacceptable Body.) These are all things I care about, but I’m really more of a pop culture guy, and I’ve devoted plenty of attention to body issues recently. Thanks for bearing with me if you read this post. And if you really want to know how I feel about Weight Watchers in a couple weeks, feel free to ask. If I bite your head off, it’s because I stopped eating frosting for breakfast.