Sunday, July 06, 2008

Chewing the ?Fat?

As I mentioned last week, I spend the weekend in a microcosm of High School Girl Cliques. It was Debate Club Nerd trapped at a Cheerleading Convention nightmare. Loehmann's dressing room in a golf dome.

Still, it was an amazing time. And I lost ~not a darned ounce~. Which brings me to the other topic I pondered this week- Size.

Recently on Ravelry there has been a "heated discussion" about size, healthy weight portrayal in the media, and the rest of us.

Back in the early 90s I read a book by Gloria Steinem which made me very aware of how media influences our images of ourselves, it really changed how I look at women's magazines and their ads. Because of that awareness, some of that advertising lost it's power to make me feel inadequate without whatever it was selling.

As a result it was interesting to read the Ravelry discussion and hear other people's frustrations about clothing. The upshot seemed to be that No One is happy with off the rack sizing. Yet, we're the consumer.

For instance, I am that weird size that is not Misses, but too small for Womens. Small but 40s postergirl curvy. It's difficult to find a 34D/36C bra for athletic or everyday wear, that cup size is generally reserved for bigger band sizes. And I buy pants based on hips, not for the waist that is 8 inches smaller. And I like a waist in those pants, my belly button is not for public consumption thank you.

On the flip side, I have been shopping for workout wear. In part because I came here in the winter and packed winter sweats. In part because only having 2 changes of gear doesn't work when you have to go to the laundromat to wash. In part because I wanted to Buy new things, and workout gear doesn't seem as decadent as other options.

When I was at the convention, they had Zumba gear. Very cute. Except that I take the XXL, and even then most was too small. It was all cut for androgynous tiny people. With only a 3/4 inch difference between XS and XL. So it was interesting to me that a company selling chiefly to "healthy" women had stocked such bias clothing. The majority of people there were 30 or older, and teaching a class that encourages "shaking what your mama gave you" It was strange to see women that I considered "small" buying "large". And it made me feel fat.

By the same token, I have been frustrated buying gear because of I am not an A cup. I've resorted to buying Men's shirts. Several companies have nicely fitted tees with a conglomeration of seams meeting under the arms or across the breast - maximizing the chafing factor. I bought a pair of Puma capri's in XL that fit nicely unless I have to sit, then they pull tightly across the thighs. Dang! Fat!

Speaking of "shaking what your mama gave you." Imagine my surprise when I checked a workout DVD out of the library and then discovered that a portion of it was done by a woman in full makeup, high heels, a blue sequin G string, elbow length gloves, and tassels. Did you know that you can control the direction the girls circle in by how you hold your arms? I didn't actually want to know it. After the first shock I watched it again and laughed so hard I had to sit down.

In between cursing the manufacturers and designers of clothing I did treat myself (at full retail) to "The world's healthiest foods" by George Mateljan. This book is about the size of a major metropolitan yellow pages. It starts with healthy cooking techniques-maximizing the nutrition in the food. Then goes through 100 foods, telling what they are, how to cook them, how to select them, store them, prepare them, health benefits of them, and gives 500 recipes. It also covers what to add to your diet for particular health concerns: heart, fatigue, inflammatory disease, etc. I'm reading it in drabs, using it as part of my "additions" to my diet plan. There are several foods I would eat more often if I knew How/What/Why. But not sardines.


May said...

I recently went shopping for gym clothes as well and it was very painful. I know exactly what you mean about the sports bras. I'm not very big at all, but due to the nonexistent cup sizing, even xl sports bras were too small! what the heck?
I'm still on the look out, but found one possibility - patagonia makes one that differentiates the cup size for A/B and C/D.
Shopping like that seriously makes me feel fat too :(

Jennifer said...

I've been consistently irritated by sizing in off the rack clothes as well. I don't know one person that can find something that fits perfectly.

That book looks interesting!

ChelleC said...

That body building magazine sounds like it has good recipes.

Shopping for clothes is one of the BIG reasons I've decided to make a more serious effort at dieting and exercising. It's a real bummer.

melanie said...

And just to add to everyone's conversation - how about the article that published this weekend saying the only practice that shows any serious impact on longevity (as far as diet) is to consume fewer calories? Like forget the 2,000-calorie-a-day threshold. Instead it's more like 1,700 or less, maybe more.