Tuesday, February 12, 2008

There is a fine line

"between overweight and obese," my trainer told me last night. "According to the perecentage of body fat you have, you are technically obese."


Now, I've known for quite some time that I have more than a few pounds to lose. I know that I have tried and unsuccessfully failed four diets in 2007. I blaimed it on everything from my job and the amount of time I spend at catered functions, to the stress in my life. Truth is, I didn't stick with anything. I could lose the weight, and did all four times. But I couldn't keep it up.

I have a love/hate relationship with food. I love it. It hates my body. Fairly simple.

I know that I am overweight. I know my % of body fat is bad (seeing it last night, I can tell you it is REALLY bad). But Obese? That is like some harsh cuss word for me. Just sounds awful. My trainer and I are just starting to work together. Other than the obese comment, she is really great. I like her style, her energy, and how she more than once encouraged me that I CAN DO THIS. I am scheduled to work out with her twice a week for the rest of the month and then we'll evaluate where I am (and how many more sessions I can afford--that is SO expensive!!)

I can't tell you that I am feeling really encouraged about my current weight situation. I can't tell you that I am excited and motivated that this is the time I am going to keep the weight off. After failing four times last year, I am not confident right now. I CAN tell you that I am willing to try another time and that I don't want to be considered obese. I can tell you that I have the most patient and supportive husband that helps me through these times (even though he can't eat fresh fruit or any raw vegetables so it makes dieting a bit of a challenge in my home).

Here I go again.....

And, a huge, big thanks to Amy for letting me call and cry last night. With three kids and a mild fight involving throwing couscous at each other, Amy still managed to talk to me for close to an hour while I navigated my way through the grocery store searching for food. Her sheer compassion as she heard me sob (having made it through the entire trainer session without crying and falling into a heap of tears the moment I got in my car) reminds me that I am so very lucky to have her in my life. Amy--thank you, thank you. I truly appreciate what you did for me last night.


3Men&aLittleLady said...

Oh Jenny, I know the feeling of being between overweight and obese, I definitely feel your pain. If you find even just the tiniest bit of motivation, please tell me so I can find it too.


Anonymous said...

I know this is going to sound like some completely high school-ish blowing sunshine up your ass trite comment...but you know I don't lie OR blow sunshine up anyone's ass, so maybe it will make you feel a TAD better.

You don't look obese. I would never consider you obese.

Maybe on the "technical" scale you are (I don't know, I'm not a trainer) but I'm truly surprised.

Love you, you beautiful sexy thang. One day at a time...do the best you can. That's all you can ask of yourself.

Saint Richard said...

Okay...seriously...I don't know what to say, except WTF.

I know you know this, but the word "obese," as your trainer is using it, is a technical term. It's different the colloquial definition.

Not helping, huh?

Well, I know a whole lot of people who think you're beautiful.

Jen said...

Oh please- obese- who the heck cares what this outdated body percentage fat thing says- it is silly and it is another way for us women to beat ourselves up. I weighed 50 lbs heavier two years ago right around when you had Maggie I know because I had my son right after you and in the books I was obese too- but that never motivated me or helped in any way. Buying clothes that fit good and made me feel pretty did- exercising did becasue I love how it makes me feel. You are a beautiful person inside and out and labels won't do anything but bring you down. i struggle to lose the last 5 lbs and find myself surronded with people in on-line communities that have become so obsessed with this they border on eating disordered. Since I lost a lot of weight I understand wanting to and how it makes your feel but you are a beautiful person and any number of label can't change that.
there getting off soap box now.

Hope the trainer goes well and good luck with the diet.

speckledpup said...

oh honey. you's not fat, you's just fluffy.

good luck on the diet sister.
I'm with ya

Franklin5 said...

And now you're making me cry in the middle of the afternoon. NICE.

Okay, okay: I'm gonna put my sarcasm aside for just a moment and tell you a thing or two:

First, I want you to really hear these voices of those who know you inside and out, and who think, to a person, that you're stunning. Gorgeous. Inspiring. Amazing. Beautiful.

Not obese.

It's just not you, sweetie. It's not even close.

Yeah, I get that the trainer was trying some tough love on you, and it obviously got your attention, but now I want you to erase that word from your memory card. Okay?

Second, I want you to know how grateful I am that you called me. It's hard, really hard for me to open up and talk about this stuff, but last night was like therapy. So: thank YOU.

We're great. Dammit, we're fabulous! I LOVE us. And it'll feel even better to get to a healthy place about our bodies: emotionally, mentally AND physically.

We. Can. Totally. Do. This.

Sugar Photography said...

I can't say it any better than the rest of the crew. Calipers be damned...and there is NO WAY I'm getting my body fat measured after reading this. Who KNOWS what they'd say!!! Sheesh!

You are beautiful. Not only inside, but outside too. Who is it that Chuck calls my "pretty friend"? YOU! Everytime he sees you he tells me how cute he thinks you are (and then he launches into your airline security lady impression).

And like Amy, I GET that she was trying to get your attention. And maybe it gets her faster results in her clients. But give me a freaking break...obese?

Harsh and unnecessary.

M Yeager said...

join the club! I don't think you look obese though! (((HUGS)))

Like you, I know I could lose the weight but I am lazy and love food, and have a bum leg, I could go on and on! LOL.


Dawn Endres said...

Girl! You do not look obese. I need to find a way to get motivated and lose about 90 pounds. I wish you luck in your weight loss journey.

Hannahsmama said...


Okay so officially I'm one of your too lazy but love you and check your site everyday kinda unmet friends. I feel like I know you since I've been with you since Allie was 5 months old. Now that said there was no freakin' way I could just read your latest blog post and not get off my lazy ass and write! Obese!?!?! WTF!!?!?!No way. End of story. I am so tired of people trying to look like living skeletons and making everyone else in the free world think that is the goal. You know what Jenny...forget about that comment. No matter what her intent it was cruel and unecessary. The goal for all of us should be health. A woman can be healthy at 175lbs and a woman can be healthy at 115lbs. The number doesn't matter. Just try and walk everyday...drink water...and do your best to make good food choices. If you slip up...just tell yourself that you'll make a better choice next time. That is it. Treat yourself the same way you'd treat Maggie if she were the one in your situation. You would be kind and gentle and supportive. That is what she would need and that is what you need. You are a very beautiful woman no matter what size you are...and that is the truth!

Kelly said...

Wow...if you are obese than I am....well....I don't even want to go into it. It's just depressing. Please don't stress so much over this. Like the others said just do your best to live a healthy life and the rest will fall into place...including the weight loss. Or so I've been told. It hasn't happened for me yet but I plan to work on it.

skyandkysmama said...

I hate that word. I have failed miserably this past year and am there with you. I am trying hard to get back into the groove, but it is completely hard.

Just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. I will look forward to hearing about your trials and work with you through them.

Good Luck.

Kristen said...

On the "technical" scale, sparkpeople had me joining the dreaded "o" club last month when I finally started looking at my weight. What cheered me up? Look and see how much weight you have to lose to get in the more accepted "overweight" category. For me, it was seven pounds. That motivated the hell out of me and now I've almost lost ten. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

For every seven pounds you lose, you go down a whole percentage on the BMI scale. Start small- set small goals, and make small changes. It all adds up. Hang in there!!!!

Jenn M said...

OUCH! Bless you for keeping the tears in check in front of her, I almost wonder if that's what she was looking for. I would have "needed" to use the restroom or something to let them flow, my cheeks are flush just thinking about it.
Obese is tough for me to swallow, you are not that label. Not even close.

Hang tough superstar; you can do whatever you set mind to, that, I know for sure!

Carolein said...

Hey Jenny!

I'm 5'4" myself and am at 202 pounds right now, down from 217 since January 1st. Yes, the 15 pounds has been somewhat hard to lose, but I've been psyched, especially now knowing that the 100s are only 3 pounds away! So like you, I fall into that "area" as well. Unfortunately, between 2 jobs and my family, it's hard to make it to the gym at all. My husband and I have decided and promised each other to walks once it gets a little warmer (unfortunately, right now we have snow on the ground here in NY). I hate the "obese" word!! Like Hannahsmama said, some woman can be a healthy weight at 115, others are healthy at 175. I believe it's just a number. I would rather be stuck right here at 202 then look like like some skinny-mini with no meat on her bones. Believe me, I've failed miserably on diets the last 2 years (I've GAINED back my pregnancy weight---not PRE-pregnancy, my ACTUAL pregnancy weight). Finally, I am just really cutting back and watching my portions. If I want seconds of my food, I just go for seconds of the green veggies. And God Bless the person who thought up 100 calorie snack packs. Two of those a day, and I'm good to go!

Hang in there!! I'm sure once you find what works for you (as my portion-control has been working for me the last 6 1/2 weeks), you will be doing fine.



Jennifer said...

Ugh...that is a word that just totally needs to be banned from the human language. No matter how it is used, with good intentions or not, it is just an ugly word that brings to mind not so pretty thoughts. And you do not fit the image of obese thoughts! You are just like all of us other moms out there, just trying to get to a comfortable place with our own weight. I know I am, and I shudder at the thought of what a trainer would tell me. Big hugs to you...don't let it get you down honey! I haven't met you personally, but I've seen pics of you from the BBC days - You were and still are beautiful and don't let anyone tell you differently!!!

Becca in Texas said...

Thanks for your honesty, knowing there are other people out there with the same issues makes my day a little easier. Good luck with your trainer, you can do it!

Seeds Of Love said...

Hi Jenny,
I am in your boat! Hearing that i was obese, seeing that body fat percentage at over 37%, that is hard. My body refuses to give up any pounds. After my weight climbed up over 180, it just would not go down. The only thing that has been helping me lately is Curves!!! I know it sounds odd, but i have been losing inches (not so much pounds, but that will come i am told). I started Curves two years ago. I did great the first few months, i even flirted with 175lbs.. then i got pregnant. So, now i'm back again, trying to get back to where i was those two years ago. Curves works for me because it is so quick, 30 minutes, three times a week and you're good to go!!! I wish you luck on your weight loss journey!
BTW... my daughter is 10 pounds over what she should be for the "typical" 4 year old and her doctor used the "obese" word. Boy was that awful to hear.

Good luck Jenny, you can do it!!!

rachelwilliam2000 said...

I have been reading your blogs off and on for the past few years. I love the way you write and I am inspired by your passion. This particular post reminded me of when I got my first job as a pediatric nurse 3 yrs ago. I put on a lot of weight in nursing school and at the employment physical the nurse asked for my height and weight...plugged them into a calculator and said that I was obese. She also offered me a discounted membership to a fitness club and weight watchers. I remember how numb and upset I was. People can be so insensitive. About 2 yrs ago I started working with a weight management nutritionist who also referred me to a psychologist to work through the issues around food. Food turns into so much more then fuel for our bodies when we are stressed, happy, sad, etc. My weight is now stable --for the first time in my life (I'm 30) and I feel so much better.
I know it would be really hard, but maybe you should tell the trainer how that made you feel so that in the future, she can be more delicate with her clients.
Take care,

Tiffany said...

I usually workout on the killliptical machine but I started going to a kickboxing class on Monday nights, by Tuesday it hurt to use the stapler that sits on my desk here at work.. I didn't even know I had muscles in those places.. and if anyone ever suggests those stupid stability balls - tell them to shove that ball where the sun doesn't shine b/c that was the worst part of the workout!! I would like to lose 25 pounds this year - it's probably a pipe dream;) Your support systems seems great - they are the best form of cheerleaders!! Best of Luck!

Mary Beth said...

Jenny - I think that your meanie of a trainer was trying to motivate you. You do NOT look obese...it's a technical term that's based on antiquated scales.

You have taken the big first step - you're working with a trainer...you've acknowledged that you're going to do this. That's half the battle!

I started Weight Watchers in September and began walking on my treadmill for 45 minutes a few times a week. I then added in swimming a few mornings a week in October. Since September 1, I've lost almost 40 pounds. It's been slow...but it's worth it when I get to buy jeans in a smaller size. I've still got another 35-40 to lose, which seems daunting.

But now I can walk 3 miles uphill on my treadmill...I can swim over a mile in 45 minutes...I can do the whole pilates workout without modifying the exercises. Baby steps...I know that I'm healthier now than I was, even if I'm still not 100% satisfied with the scale.

You CAN do this and you WILL...I have every confidence in you.

"hey, mama!" said...

You need a new trainer, preferably one with discretion and decent vision.