I found a website that had a simple sliding chart that shows you whether or not you are morbidly obese based upon your height and weight. Generally speaking, the medical community considers a person morbidly obese if their Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 40, and a person is obese (you know, with out the morbidity) if their BMI is over 30.
I have lost 104 pounds in the past year and a half. My BMI is 37. I’ve lost 104 goddamned pounds and I’m still medically obese. But hey, at least I don’t have to be so morbid about it now. Thanks, medical community!
There’s a part of me, of course, that would like the medical community to kiss my ass Tyra Banks style. A year and a half ago I was a couch. Not even a couch potato, but the thing that couch potatoes sat on. Today I jogged five miles. Was it slow, painful jogging that I assume looked like a person who is in shape actually walks places? Yes. Sometimes in the reflection of the windows at my gym I could see myself, and I kept thinking “Is that how I really look? I feel like I’m moving so much faster than that!” But I reject the idea of morbid obesity. Can I have fabulous obesity instead?
And absolutely no clothes fit me correctly. None. The clothes that I wore before the weight loss have long since been donated. I tried to sell some of the nicer clothes on craigslist, but had no luck. The clothes I bought during the weight loss are wearable afghan blankets my mother crocheted when I was a child. They feel shapeless and too bright. I’ve spent my entire life hiding in earth tones, and with weight loss came fashion bravery. I bought four tank tops, or “bro tanks” as I often refer to them. Every single time I wear one I look at my arms and think “This sounds like one of those moments where just because something does fit doesn’t mean you should wear it.” And my back hair pokes out from the back. God, who would ever do this to themselves?
I write these things only to illustrate a point: weight loss doesn’t equal confidence. And the medical community doesn’t get to define your happiness. You can nitpick at yourself all day, but really, how does it feel to lose 100 pounds and still be medically obese?
It feels fucking amazing.
Did you hear what I said before? I jogged five miles earlier today. I’m wearing shirts that are an XL. That’s right, I can find them in stores that aren’t specifically designed for people of size. I have moments of doubt- the window reflections and back hair moments that lodge themselves in my brain. But then I take a beat and remember that I’m a powerful badass who has commanded his body to lose 100 pounds. And my body has listened. We all have doubts, and we all aren’t totally satisfied with our bodies, but it feels a whole lot better than it used to.