Scales of indifference

There is a wide and varied range of things that piss me off. I hate it when people walk slowly in front of me or blow smoke in my face or when friends are late more than five minutes or when they steal chips off my plate. I hate it when the heel of a shoe wears out while the rest is still brand new. I hate it when publications pay me late and expect me to accept it as par for the course. I hate it when I hear stories about 53-year-old film stars in steamy clinches with women who are not their wife of 28 years (*cough* Mel Gibson *cough*). But more than all of that, I hate it when skinny girls moan about being fat.

It’s exasperating when a size six nothing pinches her almost non-existent waist and gasps in horror at the amount of fat she’s managed to amass between her emaciated fingers (I used to work for a fashion mag – believe me, it happens). I know how stupid and superficial it is so please, please bear with me while I, er, moan about getting fat.

Before I start, I’ll just say that if you’re a new reader who’s landed on this blog and is reading this post, I totally forgive you for casting me aside as a vacuous airhead.

Right, now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, I can start.

As I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous posts, I’ve always been able to eat like a pig and not put on an ounce of weight. And I do. I mean, I eat chips and crisps and chocolate and cakes and pastries and burgers and fritters and waffles and pancakes and popcorn and nachos and pizza and ice cream and… well, the list goes on. I have always loved food and, proportionately for my body size (and usually even in absolute terms), can out-eat most of my friends (male and female). So, no, food and weight have never been issues, but as I said in one of posts linked above, I’ve always suspected that my metabolism will catch up with me (or, er, the opposite so to speak) when I’m 26.

Now, for the first half year of being 26, I was all good but then, in December of last year, I went on the pill (after marriage, mind) and oh, how it’s gone downhill from there. I’ve put on about 5-7 pounds (making that 7 stones and 5 pounds on a 5’2″ frame) and, no, it doesn’t exactly make me clinically obese but I can really feel it. I now understand that all my sneering and smirking at the salad-munchers and gymrats was completely misplaced. Yes, some women are delusional when they think they’re putting on weight, but I now realise that even a few pounds worth of weight gain can have an effect on a person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly hiding behind the duvet, wrapped up in shame and embarrassment but I can feel the extra weight and it’s not pleasant.

It’s great to be carefree about food – it can even give you an attractive edge – but when that translates into superiority over those who have to watch their weight, it turns a natural advantage into something quite nasty. So next time a friend passes up on that decadent dessert, please don’t roll your eyes like I used to you – have a bit of understanding.

I’m determined to lose the extra weight but I won’t find it easy to change my eating habits. I’ve been told that weight gain due to the pill peters out but, after four months, it still hasn’t. I may actually have to start exercising (gasp!). In the mean time, just to prove that I’m not delusional, I’ve linked to some pictures below. I’m doing this despite extreme reservations. After all, if people disagree, they’re clearly being patronising and if they agree, well, that just means I really am getting fat. Hmph.

*EDIT*: A friend has very helpfully sent me this.

11 thoughts on “Scales of indifference”

  1. Kia, you still look lovely in the right-hand picture but I have to say you look downright stunning in the left-hand one. Weight does affect a lot of people, even men – I think that’s underplayed in the media etc.

    Five pounds isn’t a lot and can easily be lost if you exercise for about 30 mins about 4-5 times a week. Good luck!

  2. > Afjalur
    A great response to an (almost) no-win situation. Thank you 🙂

    I think you're right about the media issue but in the long run, I think men should be grateful that there isn't as much attention and scrutiny on their weight. It's easy to say that 'grown-up' women aren't affected by images of stick thin women in the magazines but I think it does affect our idea of beauty. Having said that, I think we all agree that the Scarlett Johanssons of the world are much more attractive than the Kate Mosses (though let's face it, Scarlett is hardly a heffalump).

    > Ben
    Chocolate is something that just can't be helped. I have at least two bars a day (it was Maltesers and M&Ms yesterday) but will try to cut back (notice the future tense).

    And 10 miles a week? Oh, man…

    > Shak
    I don't think I've ever been healthy. Thin, yes, but never fit. Unless, of course, you mean in the general 'you have your health so stop worrying about such stupid trivial things' in which case, yes, I'm healthy.

    Incredible? As in incredibly self-absorbed? It was packed full of disclaimers.

  3. >Incredible? As in incredibly self-absorbed? It was packed full of disclaimers.

    Blogs are inherently self-absorbed. I don't expect yours to be any different (it's probably why I read in the first place) so that's not the problem.

    Maybe you're fat; maybe you're not (I can't really tell from the piccies myself). I guess I just find it incredible that it bothers you this much!

  4. > Shak

    "I just find it incredible that it bothers you this much!"

    Well, exactly. I too used to find it incredible that a teensy bit of weight gain used to bother other people so much until I experienced it myself. Not that you would know anything about that Mr I-run-5k-everyday.

  5. Kia, some women put on weight with hormonal contraceptives and it just stays there until they come off again. It can be to do with water, metabolic changes, false appetite … we’re all different.

    I’m not recommending that you come off your pill or even change, if the weight is stable now, but you may find it vanishes once you do choose to quit. (Or it may not, I know someone who put on weight that way but never lost it. Oh dear, this isn’t as encouraging as I intended…!)

  6. Kia! Get a grip woman! 5'2" and weighing 7st 5lb means you have a BMI of 18.8. BMI<18.5 is classed as underweight. You are perfectly healthy and most probs at your ideal weight. Lose any weight and you will fall into the underweight category which is what you must have been before you went on the pill! You look the same in all the pics…where exactly has all this extra "weight" gone?!

    Anyway I heard the pill doesn't actually make you gain weight but actually increases your appetite for food which makes you put on weight? Correct me if I am wrong?

    Seriously though, I don't think anyone is ever happy with their weight. I am 4'11" weighing the same as you, dress size 6/8. I know I am not fat and that others envy my figure but I would just love to have a completely flat stomach, toned hips and thighs; unfortunately the only way that is achievable is making sure I do plenty of the right exercises!

  7. Hi Kia,

    I just thought I’d point out that Mel Gibson seperated from his wife about 3 yrs ago (I think that DUI arrest was the last straw for his wife).

    anyway, you look great and you write well so keep us posted on all the latest stuff!

  8. Hi Kia,

    I read your blog regularly but am commenting for the first time. I would back up the comment by anon, and I talk based on having lost a lot of weight myself. I’m 5’1″ and got down to 7st 12 (still half a stone off my ideal weight according to BMI) and found it horrible, I felt so bony and size 6 clothes seemed big for me. Therefore I can only imagine how slim (make that skinny) you must be if you’re the same height and around 7st. As anon points out, you’re on the verge of being declared medically underweight, which is hardly a condition to aspire to…

    So whilst I get your angst, not surprising given the magazines you’ve worked on (yes, I’ve read them and I despair at the unattainable beauty proffered within their pages) a more enlightened approach could be to embrace the curves that may have emerged? If it’s any consolation, although the differences are difficult to spot, the photo on the right shows softer features, which to me, seems more attractive than the harder features on the left.

    This extra poundage is probably a good thing physiologically, if not emotionally and when the time comes to start a family, your doctor, if s/he is any good will tell you that a BMI of 22-24 is actually the optimum range for reproduction. The fat that women put on has a lot to do with reproduction and if a woman’s weight is too low, the body stops producing the hormone that maintains fertility (hence female anorexics not menstruating).

    So at least you’ve got the right approach to solving the problem, i.e. more exercise. As a an exercise-phobic myself, may I suggest walking everywhere you can, with a pedometer ( I lost most of my weight this way)? And for some fun stuff, try powerplate strength training. A certain London-based company is offering free taster sessions until the end of May in thelondonpaper this week. It won’t help you lose weight unless you change your diet, but it will help you tone up which sounds like what you need to do, given that you don’t technically have a weight problem.

    Sorry for the overlong comment – hope it doesn’t come across as patronising – it’s not meant to be…


  9. Sorry about the late replies. I've been AWOL for a while.

    > lyndagb
    Hmm. You're right – it's not encouraging! It's okay though. I'm eating healthier now. I've been forced to because, since writing this post, I've put on another few pounds, making me around 7 stones and 10 pounds, which is the heaviest I've ever been (though, it has to be said, I rather like the C cups 🙂 .

    > Anon
    "You look the same in all the pics…"
    Nooo.. is all I'm going to say about that.

    I don't think it is that my appetite has increased. I was eating no more than usual but the weight just piled on. Though I don't exactly calorie count so it could be that I *was* eating a lot more but just didn't realise it.

    "I don't think anyone is ever happy with their weight."
    But I was. Sure, I could have done with a bit of toning but, overall, I never worried about my weight. My colleagues used to say I'm a fat girl in a skinny girl's body. Alas, no more.

    > Rambling Man
    Thanks for the info (and the compliment).

    > Anon / SM
    Thanks for commenting (for the first time :).

    I don't think my angst is a result of the magazines I've worked on*. As I said in my comment to the other anon, I've never worried about my weight. Even at 7 stones, I wasn't super toned or anything (that's impossible without exercise) and yes, I had cellulite and those little bumps on my thighs (wannabe love handles) but I never worried about it because I was happy with my weight. The thing that has surprised me most is how I suddenly understand what all those other women feel; the ones I used to dismiss as paranoid weight-obsessed airheads that worry more about what goes in their stomachs than in their brains.

    *No-one likes to think that they are simple enough to be so easily affected by the media but, like I said in my comment to Afjalur, I don't think we can say the effect is zero.


Leave a comment