Thanks again for all your support while I was in New York. I read your comments and emails on my phone as I traveled home and they helped me feel less like a goober in the spotlight and more like myself.
I smiled when I read MizFit’s comment: “Can’t wait to read about what you were feeling inside as you came across as calm cool collected and CONFIDENT.”
Ah…a tale of two Lynns: What I present on the outside versus what’s going on inside.
Other than armpit sweat which cleared up once I was dressed, thank god, I really wasn’t as nervous as you might think. The producer, Joy, the director, the stage crew…all of them did everything they could to make the segment successful. They know a nervous guest can spell disaster. No one wanted a Cindy Brady moment on their hands. (Remember the quiz show episode?)
Other than seeing first-hand how hot Ralph Macchio is, what I’ll remember most about my two hours at 30 Rock are the weight-related stories I heard from the woman in wardrobe, the woman having her hair done in the chair next to me, and the cameraman. Everywhere I go, when people find out I’ve lost weight they almost inevitably have their own weight story, either about themselves or someone they know.
Like love, weight is a universal language (although “love” and “weight” are usually never used in the same sentence). We all deal with it to some degree all of our lives. And I’m a firm believer that the more we talk about it, the easier it will be to deal with it no matter what we choose to do: lose, gain, stay the same.
However, not everyone would agree.
The thing about the media is that when a story shows up in one place, it eventually shows up in other places. One friend saw my Today Show story and clip on her AOL homepage. Another found me on a fitness site he subscribes to. I usually avoid reading the comments on websites I didn’t agree to be on mostly because, to put it nicely, some folks have no filters. But I did go to the fitness site and read some of the comments. Most of them were advertisements for weight-loss drugs and colon cleansing products, but a few were positive and encouraging.
One, however, really stood out, and I’ll explain why in a minute. Judith wrote: “Why does this woman get an article about her? She is a 46 year old GRANDMOTHER who lost weight? BFD. I lost 60 lbs two years ago - am a size 6, and weigh 150. Where do these numbers come from? Oh yea, it was like Kirstie at 145. BS. The numbers don't mean that much until you factor in the height and body type. Muscle weighs more than fat, just takes up less space. I am 5'6", good sized girl, but tiny now. Guess what folks? Eat the right foods and walk around the lake - 2.5 miles in 38 minutes will do it. Good grief. This is not rocket science. Quit whining and complaining about your weight. Lose it! jeez.”
If you look beyond the underlying anger and the fact that she doesn’t believe I’m “real,” Judith voices what I think a lot of people – both normal weight and overweight – believe: that if you just eat less, move more and shut the hell up, you’ll lose weight.
If only it were that easy.
In almost every story I hear and read, weight isn’t just a number. Weight brings up feelings of inadequacy, stress, fear, self-doubt. It is challenging, thrilling to lose, a bitch to get keep off. It sometimes molds us and plans our menus. Weight is how we relate to food and our bodies and our selves on a daily basis. You know how gung-ho you are when you first start a “diet”? The energy is incredible, but difficult to sustain day after day. Commitment wanes, doubt sets in, schedules get screwed up, and Chinese take-out starts sounding really good.
Eat less, move more, shut up about it? No, Judith, it’s not that easy. And by the way, I AM 46, I AM a grandmother, I HAVE lost 168 pounds, and if you have any questions about my muscle to fat ratio, I’ll show you some arms that will do my talking for me.
If losing weight was so damn easy, we’d all be thin and content, Judith. But we’re not. And until we are, I won’t shut up. I’ll keep blogging, keep telling my story, and keep listening to other people’s stories. Yeah!! (Where’s Howard Dean when I need him?)