Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ogre-Thoughts: Some Weight-Related Musings

I am not a little girl, in any sense of the word.  With rare exception, I am taller than other women.  I think I know one, maybe two, women taller than myself?  And it's not that 5 foot 8 is that uncommon; it's that anything in excess of 5 foot 8 is uncommon.  I have a female cousin who tops out at 5 foot 10.  And I've met at least one other lady who has me beat by a couple of inches.  Put me up against a lady basketballer, for example, I'd be a shrimp.  In general, however, I am a tall woman.  And I am...not skinny.  I don't like the other word, so we'll call it...excessively fed and under exercised.

At 33 years old, let me add "mature" to the mix.  ('You mean ancient,' the inner voice murmurs...sounding suspiciously like my oldest niece.)  

And I have spent a lot of time feeling...big.  I remember the college dorms.  I'd transferred to Fresno State from Bakersfield College after getting my Associate's degree.  I was 19 years old, overweight, overtall with a gimpy post-surgical knee and self-esteem issues.  And I was rooming with a pixie, a princess and a stick.  I was the ogre in the fairy-tale, too tall for the room, too wide for the chairs, lurching like Frankenstein's monster from resting spot to resting spot.  

And, yes, I am 33 years old.  I recognize the self-esteem issues, the jealousy issues.  The princess was a very pretty, very sweet young girl with the cute boyfriend and the sorority friends.  The stick was a very skinny, maybe too skinny, young woman with a big smile, soft voice and obsessive need to keep the room heated to 80 degrees.  And the pixie nemesis, mouth of a sailor and feisty, short but cute and thin and...I wanted just a couple of those things for myself.  

But, at 19 years old, I felt like an ogre...I was an my head.  It's taken me 14 years to realize...I'm a nice ogre.  Kidding!  Kidding!  Sort of.

There's an element of that.  I think most people have ogre thoughts, and probably every excessively fed and under exercised person probably has ogre-thoughts that are somewhat similar to my own.  "Me Big!  Want small!  Yum food!"  Ogre thoughts are simplistic...but honest.

I am taking another go at Weight Watchers.  I've been on Weight Watchers intermittently from the age of 20 forward.  Yes, my young ogre-self joined up in the February following my start at Fresno State.  My pixie nemesis made comments on my food; I ate more and worse things in retaliation (because I know the revenge business...I'll show me get bigger!); the princess and the stick were just too nauseatingly perfect.  "Me Ogre!  Me Big!  Dumb Pixie!"

Somehow, beneath the ogre-thoughts, reason prevailed.  I joined Weight Watchers.  And lost 55 pounds.  At which point I learned that the ogre-thoughts were not tied to the weight; they were tied to me.  It's amazing what you learn about yourself when the excuse is taken away from you.

Self-reflection is not always a fun thing; but it is important.

Now, back to Weight-Watchers.  I have 35 pounds to re-lose.  More after that if I want to achieve something close to healthy.  Wish me luck. 

To the Pixie (who will hopefully never read this):  I am sorry.  You weren't my friend, but I shouldn't have made you my enemy...not even in my own head.

The Princess:  I hope you got that fairy-tale ending.

The Stick:  I hope you got yourself some insulation...or the money to pay the heating bills!  Just kidding...sort of.  Lol!

The Ogre:  Me Big!  Want Small!  Be Small Ogre!  Nice Ogre!  Smile!


  1. Anna,
    I really understand what you're talking about. I, too, struggle with my weight. I've lost and gained, lost more, gained way more. Now, I'm at my highest weight ever and I hate it. I try to eat right and get my butt out of the computer chair more, but I still struggle.
    The doctor wants me to lose weight. As soon as she told me, I gained weight. Am I defiant? I don't think so, because I would rather be less, um, 'big'.
    Somewhere in my brain I have a need to eat, and I'm really good at excuses. Sigh.
    Best of success on your goals. I know how difficult it can be.

    1. Good luck to you too...changing one's lifestyle (we're not supposed to say dieting anymore, are we?) is a hard thing. I suspect I'll always be struggling with it...but hopefully someday I'll be working to maintain a smaller me versus trying to become the smaller me. Thanks for commenting. :-)

  2. You go, Anna! This was an incredibly honest and moving piece that took courage to write. Thank you for honoring us with it.

    "...lost 55 pounds. At which point I learned that the ogre-thoughts were not tied to the weight; they were tied to me. It's amazing what you learn about yourself when the excuse is taken away from you." So true, especially if one does come to know it and then works to do something about it.

    Wishing you the best on this latest journey. You are choosing a healthy, effective way to handle the dietary part. What will you do for the exercise part? Though you may feel "ancient", you have a long way to go, so getting healthier now will save a lot of pain and strain later.

    xoA, cheering you on!

    1. Ah...the benefits of later are what I'm hoping for. My doctor likened weight loss efforts to a 401k...I'm thinking that's a good way to look at it. As for exercise...I have a treadmill...I keep going back to the walk/jog thing...I sometimes break out my Richard Simmons Sweatin' to the Oldies dvds. :-) Thanks for the cheer!