I feel like this is the part where y'all are expecting me to post some New Year's resolutions for 2009. Considering how well that worked out last year, I think I'll have to pass on that.
At the same time, I'm not entirely comfortable just not having goals or plans for the next year. There is so much I'd like to accomplish, and having a list of goals is a good way to stay on track for that. It's hard, though, to determine what my focus should be. If I try to do too much, will I compromise my success? Will I become overextended and then fall back to a position of refusing to act on any one thing?
One of the biggest things that I know will affect my year and my abilities is my change of offices. While I am sure that my new position will not be entirely stress-free, I think it should go without saying that the level of stress should be significantly more manageable and less likely to cause me to shut down in other areas. It's still hard, at this point, to calculate how much this change will affect other aspects of my life and my ability to accomplish personal tasks and goals.
I also need to determine how to set goals that are less about the results and more about the action and the moving forward.
For example: Weight. I find myself waffling between wanting to be thinner and more fit, and wanting to be content with myself as I am. While "being more fit" is certainly a part of my goal, make no mistake that the "being thinner" portion of the goal is purely egotistically driven. I want to be thinner because society deems this as more beautiful. Not just that, but, also, thinner means that buying clothing is easier and less expensive. Everything from underwear to pants and coats are more widely available and generally cheaper. If I want to find a sexy pair of shoes, I would not be relegated to specialty stores to find something available in a size that fits me with the chunkier heel I need to support my weight. If I need a new bra, I can get it from WalMart or Target without having to go to the mall and pay more for an undergarment than I am willing to pay for a pair of pants. (Seriously, y'all... I bought two bras on Friday, on sale, and spent more than I would for an entire outfit) It's ridiculous the things that we have to put up with when we're fat.
You can say what you want about the reasons we're fat and how we're doing it to ourselves, but, at some point, you have to face the fact that America is becoming fatter by the day, but the consumer industry is not keeping up with America's expanding waistline.
Take WalMart, for example. I'll go out on a limb and say that the Sam Walton family of companies is responsible for not just the obsoleting of the small store, but that they are also directly responsible for fattening the American consumer. I dare you to take one look around a WalMart or a Sam's Club and tell me I'm lying. You can't, because it's true. If you have any doubts, take a look around at your fellow consumers. How many of them are riding around in those motorized carts because they have become so fat that they are disabled?
Now that we've established WalMart's culpability in America's obesity problem, let's take a moment to see how WalMart is supporting its now-fat consumers. Looking through the clothing section, you'll find yourself hard pressed to find clothes higher than "misses" sizes. When you finally do discover the "women's" section of clothes, you'll find that fatties are pretty much relegated to elastic waist pants and hideous shirts. Bras for fat girls are virtually non-existent. Even if you can find one that claims to be the right size, it's almost a given that it will not pass the try-on test. Looking for panties? I hope you enjoy the granny style!
Men's clothes have similar issues. They do sell more (and more "mainstream" styles) in extended sizing, but you will be paying more, and the size as listed is probably not going to fit the same as the same size at another store.
(How derailed did this post get?)
I don't think that being fat makes me less attractive. The feedback I get tends to support this belief (in fact, I get way more positive feedback about the way I look than I did when I wore a size four). So why does it have to be so hard - and expensive! - to be a beautiful fat woman?
What is wrong with a society that works so hard to tell us we should be practically anorexic and, at the same time, spends so much money convincing us that we need to do things and buy things and eat things that, intrinsically, make us fat? And, because we can't get through the day without a trip through a drive-through, Americans spend billions on a diet industry that, by its very nature, sets us up to fail.
Maybe it's time to wander back to my point?
My point is: Do I really want to fall within society's standards for beauty?
Oh, hell no!
Honey, I am way too much to fit all of into a size four ever again. Too much style, too much attitude, too much fierce, fabulous femme. A size four would never hold it all in. Are you kidding?
So what do I want?
I want to be more fit. I want to be stronger. I want to be more able to do the things I want to do and like to do without worrying about whether I'll have the stamina to make it through.
Can we have a long day of playing with the Monkeys, take a trip to the snow, to the ocean, go mini golfing or laser tagging without needing a nap or a day of rest afterwards?
Our life is hard! It's an endurance race with no finish line, and it's not fixing to get easier any time soon.
What do I want?
I want to know that I can handle it, that we can handle it, and that I'll still have the energy for "me" time or "us" time at the end of the day.
At the same time, it would be really nice if manufacturers, designers and merchandisers would realize that beauty comes in all sizes. And that, if they want my money, they had better start selling beauty in my sizes.
How am I planning on turning all this ranting into goals I can work towards?
I have no clue.
I'll be happy to take any advice y'all have. And I'll get back to you soon with some goals for the year.