Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Insecurity has got nothing to do with it

Before I went to the States for the very first time, I thought I'd be experiencing the first catastrophic slice of insecurity of my entire life. Even as a child, I never minded my weight. As far as I'm concerned I'm happy with my less than ideal built; and the fact that I could still play Chinese Garter up to level six or seven (armpit level) was enough for me to conclude that I'm still A-OK. Call me over confident but I never did indulge in an adolescent weight drama.

But thanks to my over exposure to Baywatch and HBO, I had an impression that for Westerners, I might be a planet, a meteorite that they would like to hurl back to space where I belong, isolated, far away from the baywatch world. It's true that my theory has no proof except cafeteria scenes in HBO 80's teen movie. I had to consider that they are artists that are required to eat celery sticks with low fat blue cheese dip for lunch and celery sticks with no dip for dinner. I had rehearsed speeches in front of the mirror lashing out on Hollywood's 0-size image, that is if I were an A-list star like Kate Winslet for example, whom I once vehemently hated in HS because I was a total fan of Claire Danes. Claire was supposed to be cast as Rose in Titanic and I just hated Kate Winslet's guts. But little did I know now that my body frame now is more of Kate Winslet's and would never be like Claire Danes' Broad shouldered-thin frame...ever! I love Kate Winslet now (acting wise and personality wise) and her move to accept her own curvaceous body. As for Claire Danes, well there is still a small proportion of like left.

The point is I thought my first step in LAX would be excruciating. I prepared myself from eyes darting towards me and calculating how many doughnuts and happy meals I ate. It didn't help that I'm with my father at that time, also a big fellow, and they might think of us relatives of Big Bertha in a circus enjoying their day offs. But curiousity and hunger for knowledge repressed my slight fears of ridicule. I finally stepped into the land where Baywatch is created and where the likes of me might probably be frowned upon.

But it was anything but Baywatch moment there. It was my pair of eyes oggling at the sensation that...I belong?! A few days made me realize and experience the joys of eating bigger version of food servings, to actually find my size easily on the department store racks, not having to ask for any assistance. I sincerely felt I was J. LO.

But there are a couple of lessons that I've learned and reflected from that experience. One is that don't generalize the things that you see on TV. TV makes everyone beautiful to ignite fantasies and attraction. What's outside is real and not all people have the personality and capacity to fit in celebrity lifestyles. Some of us just have to work, came from a healthy-buffed gene family, and just love food. Second, despite my 'private' acceptance and convenience that "fat" is part of society, it's still not an excuse to continuously increase weight. Health-wise, we can only go so far. Third, being fat is quite acceptable and sometimes even unavoidable, but being obese is an obvious addiction that requires more effort to control. It takes acceptance to avert from denial to be able to eradicate society's most common dilemma with a mixture of physical and mental strength. I don't need to take a trip somewhere to uplift myself and push back thoughts of change. Anyone could do it. Do the BMI math and accept. As a person, I hardly feel insecure, and I thought possible issues that might just erupt would eventually cause my death. True it might hurt one's ego at some point. There's no denying that. But I figured that there are a lot of more powerful and less dramatic ways to deterioriate life than by mere insecurities. Obesity is a big pandora's box of health issues. Sometimes, insecurities may have nothing to do with a call to a much healthier lifestyle.

"Obesity doubles the risk of death and reduces life expectancy by six to seven years. This is according to a study entitled “Obesity in Adulthood and Its Consequences for Life Expectancy: A Life-Table Analysis” by Anna Peeters, Ph.D; Jan Barendregt, Ph.D; Frans Willekens, Ph.D; Johan Mackenbach, MD, Ph.D; Abdullah Al Mamun, BSc(Hons), MSc; and Luc Bonneux, MD, PhD.

Living with obesity is debilitating. Dangers include cardiovascular disease, stroke, high-blood pressure, high-blood cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, fatty liver disease, gout, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, back pain, migraines, dementia and depression to name just a few."- Maniltimes* I still adore you Peter Griffin.

1 comment:

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