Judging by the comments on my last post, I'm afraid that people read it as sympathy-seeking, and I'm really sorry that it came out that way. I really overthought and overworked that post, publishing about three versions (sorry RSS feed readers) before settling on what was published yesterday.
It actually wasn't meant to seek sympathy or empathy as much as it was meant to be a comment on the mixed messages we get about weight and physical activity. "People who are overweight just need to get up off their butts," we hear on one side, but the endurance athletes quoted in the article on the recent deaths and discussing it on the forum seemed to blame the people who died for participating in an athletic event while overweight. I wanted to talk about the fact that there is a point in between being out of shape and being thin where you may actually still be carrying extra weight and yet be well-conditioned. I was actually afraid that race directors and others might start making arbitrary decisions about who is fit enough to participate. And on a larger scale, the post was meant to talk about our weird relationship to tragedy. There is this sense that if we do everything right, nothing bad will ever happen to us. The only way to avoid risk is to do nothing at all, which carries its own risks.
Ironically, though, as I was working on the post, I kept "defensively blogging" (as Shauna and Jennette) trying to make sure that people would read it the right way. I noticed typos and grammatical errors after hitting publish and edited to avoid looking like I didn't know how to spell or use the English language. I added the part about actively trying to lose weight to make sure readers didn't think I was in denial about needing to lose twenty or thirty pounds. Today, I used strikethrough to edit the post so that maybe it would be read the way I originally intended it to be read. My husband told me a joke yesterday that probably captures what I'm doing here:
Control freak -- Now you say, "Control freak, who?"Any post I put out there is an opportunity to be misunderstood, but I'm hoping that regular readers will understand that though I do have my moments of body shame just like everyone else, in general, I'm a normal person who has a mostly healthy and realistic self-image. It probably sounds like I'm struggling a little more than usual right now, but I think it's because I'm taking more risks and reaching out past my comfort zone.