Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Would you like some Cheese with that Whine?

Sometimes, people explain too much.

Recently, I was having a conversation with my step-mom about something completely unrelated to weight-loss. I had my hair pinned up in a Chinese braid (which has become my favorite way to wear my hair... it looks sophisticated and complicated and takes me a whopping three minutes to do...) and was looking out the window while we were chatting. (My dad and step-mom have about 30 bird feeders in their yard, so there's always a flock of avian leeches hanging around their backyard.)

"You know," she interrupts me to say, "I was just noticing, with your hair up like that, in profile, now that you've lost all that weight... you're really sort-of pretty."

Wow, I thought. Did she really need to qualify her compliment that much? Not that I object to being called pretty... and not that I don't qualify everything I think about myself... but my goodness... so, I have to be thin, with my hair up, and turned to the side to be sort-of pretty? And what does "really sort of" mean? Really sort of pretty? Really, only sort of pretty? Sort of really pretty?

Advice: If you're giving me a compliment, please don't qualify it. (Trust me... I will qualify, disbelieve, and worry over the compliment enough as it is...)

(Not that I think Rosie meant to get me all in a dither... but by the time she said it, I'd spent the last two days being raved over by my assorted not-quite-relatives about how good I looked, and I was starting to feel a little... weird about it. Like, I look so great now, which correlates nicely to how TERRIBLE I must have looked before! I found myself, after about sixty of these comments, really wanting someone to say something like "My goodness, Lynn, you're just so smart!" Something. Please, god, people. I know I lost a lot of weight, but being thin is NOT the only good thing about me, I promise. At least some of the "spotlight" got swiped by my cousin's wife, who's finally pregnant - finally? she's only been married for like 18 months - and everyone got sidetracked in talking about that instead. Which was fine with me. Being fussed over that much was a little... awkward.)

We went to weigh in last night, and once again, Thomas shows me up. I wish I could get over this, but it frustrates me so much... He's on maintenance, and because he's a guy, he gets 8 more points a day over me anyway, so that's 12 points he gets, then 17 for his weight, then three or four for his height, and another two for his age... some 35 points to my 21. Last week he ate (that I saw) three cupcakes from the deli (the kind with the two inch layer of frosting that looks like a dinosaur on them!) all of his dinner at the "would you like a side order of cheese with your cheese?" restaurant, and half a piece of chocolate cake... and he lost 2.4 pounds.... I worked my ass off at the gym three times last week for about 90 minutes a session, abstained from the cupcakes, and only ate half my dinner when we went out... to lose 1.4. It's just. Not. Fair.

Thomas weighs less than 20 pounds more than I do. Without putting much effort into it, he's kicking my ass on the stationary bike, he lifts more, he does more push ups... he eats more and he's losing more weight. He looks like 10 times better than I do... I'm only 11 pounds from being classified as "normal weight" according to the BMI charts and yet I still look like a fat, middle-aged housewife (the more frustrating part about this is that I am a fat, middle-aged housewife...) Because he works and I stay home, we have to keep on top of his wardrobe, because he cannot look like a rag-bag at work. He works with client teams and customers, and he needs to look well-groomed and put together. I'm a mother. As soon as anyone sees a young child with me, they immediately file me in the "walmart shopper" catagory and it doesn't really matter what I'm wearing, no one cares. So, his clothes fit and mine... not so much. He looks nice and I... don't.

And I know that it's not his fault, and that, actually, he's trying to maintain his weight, and he's having a lot of trouble finding the good balance between wanting to be fit and what he can eat, and I positively refuse to cook two different meals in order to put full fat cheese and meats into his dinner. Not to mention, I don't want Little Debbie cakes in the house. I don't want to put my weight loss in jepordy because he can't be bothered to eat breakfast.

On the other hand, if I'm not mad at him about it, the only other person that I can legitimately be mad at is myself.

And believe me, I am. I'm mad that I must not be working hard enough, that I could do better. And at the same time, I know I'm being completely ridiculous and unbearable and insufferable. I know that weight loss is not Zero-sum DKP, that Thomas losing weight doesn't mean that I'm not also losing weight. I also know that I'm not being a good partner because I'm constantly harping on this theme of "why do you always have to show me up?"

And yet... while I know... I just can't help but be disappointed.


Jen, a priorfatgirl said...

ok, 1st things 1st, I'm excited I get to be the first to comment on your post today (simple things in life, right?)

2nd, I was so excited to read your comment on my blog about the fact that you called a babysitter just so that you could work out. So many times people say "Gotta watch my kids" and while I agree it would be unrealistic to have a babysitter 5 times a week, there are options. Good for you for finding a way!

Jen, a priorfatgirl said...

Excuse me for being a comment hog, but I forgot to comment on your post subject today. It is so true that people over-clarify their compliments. Just when they think they are being nice, they forget to stop talking and ruin it. I see your picture and I think you always look beautiful. END OF COMPLIMENT, END OF COMMENT HOGGING!

st said...

I haaaaaate "compliments" like that. I always wish I had a good comeback like, "Assuming you meant that in a nice way, Thank you!"
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Summer said...

I once got extremely offended by someone who came up to me at a wedding and enthused, "wow, you look great, you've lost like a million pounds!" I'd lost... about ten pounds, not a million. I'd gone from a size 6 to a 4. Yes, it's nice that you've noticed that I've made an effort, but could you do it without implying that I'd been a whale to begin with?

This is why I usually play it safe and deliver compliments like "great shoes!" No one seems to get offended by the shoe compliment.

45+ and Aspiring said...

I think it's important that you feel good about how you dress etc. in general--and now especially since you are putting so much effort into your body and feel so much more on display. Not meaning to be too analytical (my dad's the psychologist, not me! ;)), but maybe that is partly why you resent Thomas, because you are always feel 2nd in the relationship. Even if you are home, you can clean your closet of things that are stained, worn out, lost their color, too big, stretched, etc. Since you are that amazing size now that I am so incredibly envious of, it seems to me like you could find some clothes on sale that fit you right and that make you feel attractive. And if you wear any makeup at all--go get a makeover! See a new hair stylist. Embrace this new you.
And heck, you have hidden yourself for so long. . . when people compliment, even if it's an awkward weird one, just look up, smile big and say, "Thank you! I feel great!" and put the rest of your thoughts on "STOP." That's my advice for the day. . . hope it's not overstepping.

Anonymous said...

.me respectfully maintains that your mirror is broken.

Becky Fyfe said...

Oh my goodness! I completely know how you feel! My husband once lost 8 pounds in ONE WEEK just by exercising a bit more that week! I exercised my butt off the same week and lost 1 pound. *sigh* It's not fair, but it's how it is.

Anonymous said...

I had a giggle at the "weight loss as Zero-Sum DKP" comment. Because I swear, I can remember at least a couple times when I thought exactly that. You know, on a week when I was feeling particularly heavy or had gained, and someone says "Oh, I lost # pounds". My brain retorts with "Oh yeah? I think I found them." Usually I remember to not actually say that, and it'd probably be good to stop thinking it too. Thank heavens it actually *doesn't* work that way.

(The word verification for this comment is "unbum"... sounds like a social awareness program to fight homelessness, or possibly couch-potatoness)

Anonymous said...

All right, quit being mad at yourself or I'm coming out there and giving you a stern talking-to, and who knows what cosmic bizarreness might result from both Evil Twins being in the same place?! (Though I am determined to find out, soon, especially if we do, as it appears we will, end up moving to Kentucky. Which is farther away, so I have to make the road trip to meet you before that happens.) :-)

You are doing SO great. You know that. I know you know that and don't need me to tell you. But I'm going to anyway cause that's how I roll. Men just SUCK and it's totally okay to be mad at them for that because you still recognize that it's not his fault and love him anyway. So you're fine. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a walking contradiction in emotional terms. We get to do that; it's the tradeoff for not being able to lose weight the way our Mr. SuckyPantses do.

AS for the "sort of pretty" comment...wow. Kill me with kindness, why don't you? Maybe you should have looked at her and said, "Hmm...you know, with all the deodorant and perfume and body spray, you really smell almost sort of clean today!"

I get a little bitchy about stuff like this. Women can be so mean to each other sometimes, even when we aren't trying. :-(


Jen, a priorfatgirl said...

I'm back again to comment on this post. Just wanted to share this quick story. About a year ago, I went from blonde to burnette hair. And about 3 months ago, I went from long long to short hair. Well, someone just came up, who probably hasn't seen me in about 9 months...pre tons of weight loss, pre hair transformation. And she said "Hi jen, wow...you changed. You look pretty." uuummm....i asked her to repeat herself and i think she realized what she had just said. BACK AWAY FROM MY DESK NOW