Friday, June 1, 2012

Bariatric Betty gets Vanity Sized

Before I had surgery, my mentor JoJo said "Oh, you're going to be just tiny!" and bet me I would be wearing size 10s or less.  I told her that was not possible.  I've only worn size 10 jeans once, and that was during my high school flirt with aneroxia.  I had started out dieting somewhat sensibly but as I hit plateau and after plateau I ate less, exercised more, and ended up skipping meals for days at a time.  When I got to the point that I was getting dizzy and starting to pass out when I stood up something clicked (Thank God) and I started eating normal meals again.   Then of course, I started eating more than normal size meals and became overweight and then obese again.

I have no intention of going down to that weight again (according to bmi charts I was at about 20), so I thought "Heavens, no!   There is no way I will wear size 10 jeans again." even though JoJo reminded me that today's size 10s aren't the same as yesterday's size 10s.  Then yesterday I went jean shopping after finding out that my size 12 jeans were getting loose.  I ended up buying a pair of 10 petite jeans at Talbot's Outlet. 

What the heck?!?  OK people, I got quite the buzz off of that, I'm not going to lie.  However, my BMI is 30.4 today, I weigh 58 pounds more on the same height I had back then, not to mention I've had kids, so my hips bones aren't even the same configuration any more.   For those of you not used to the BMI numbers - I'm still officially OBESE (for about 6 more pounds) and I'm wearing size 10 jeans. 

Lies.   Lies lies lies lies lies.  Lies we tell ourselves; "just a couple bites of that won't hurt my diet", lies we are told; "school lunch 'tossed salad' = 1/4 cup of shredded iceberg lettuce", lies the fashion industry tells us; "you are a size 10!"  Lets get real, people!  None of this is helping - it's part of the reason that we are becoming an increasingly obese society.  

Because a middle aged woman can gain over 50 pounds of excess weight and find herself buying the same "size" clothes she used to buy.   Why do we even bother with ladies sizes?  Because we don't want to got by waist and chest measurements like men?  I remember reading multiple times that Marilyn Monroes was a size 12.  Right, I believe that, but to say that implies that she would wear a size 12 today.  Uh uh.  The last time I was my current weight I was getting married (15 years ago).  Now the pounds have moved around somewhat, but I think I was a size 14 in my jeans.  So in 15 years the sizes have moved that much:  14 then = 10 now.  Go back to high school and that's 23 years.  I'm guessing that the 16 year old me wore a today's 4 or 6.

The wedding dress industry may be a little more honest in the measurement department.  15 years ago I was told to order a size 20 wedding dress.  Ouch.  I had heard that "wedding dresses run small" and the size 20 was the right size for my chest, but it's still not fun to hear.  They took in the waist and took up the hem, and it looked great.  I expect that now a days current brides get a much larger shock than I did.  I was watching "Say Yes to the Dress" the other day and a bridesmaid ordered a size 6 dress instead of the 12 that was suggested because she was so upset that they would suggest that she wore a size 12!  I can understand that feeling, but believe me, even after dieting she POURED herself into that dress. 

New York City just made the headlines because they might be banning serving drinks in glasses larger than 16 ounces.  Why?  Because sugary beverages are a leading contributor to our expanding waistlines, and we should be aware of how much we are taking in.  That 44 ounce Coke at the movie theater has over 500 calories - which is 1/3 of the total calories an average woman should be consuming for the day.  (I won't even TALK about the popcorn. Mmmmm popcorn.....)  So get a refill of your 12 or 16 ounces, but know that you're asking for more than 1 serving - make a conscious choice.  I know some people will be yelling "Nannystate" at NYC, but really - if we didn't need reminders, we wouldn't be doubling our obesity rates, would we?

I want to give a shout out to the recent series of anti-smoking ads that have been played on television.  The ones with real past smokers talking about caring for their stoma, or amputated limbs, or living after a heart attack.  They have apparently resulted in a real increase in smoking cessation program inquiries.  Maybe there should be a series of obesity related ones like that.  Reality checks.  Maybe they could feature WLS patients...

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post! I agree that vanity sizing is crazy! I kept some size 12 Levi's and old Tommy Hilfiger jeans from 1999-2001 time frame when I was smaller for a while and I am using those to gauge when I am really the size 12 I was then at least. And yes, Marilyn Monroe was a 12 or 14 back in the day but that was probably today's size 6 or 8. She had a very small waist.