Monday, August 15, 2011

The Fear Factor and Body Image

In the past I was always motivated to keep my weight under control for reasons of personal vanity. I haven't become any less vain however recently FEAR kicked in!

I'm a few years past menopause. I've slowly gained a little weight since then but the big change has been in how it is distributed....all on my torso. This type of weight pattern is considered to be the most dangerous to an individuals health. I've read that the change in estrogen levels is causing the redistribution of body fat. This has been bothering me for a few months now. My Dad had Mixed Dementia which ultimately lead directly to his death. It was late onset which is less likely to be genetic and more likely to be lifestyle based. He was a poorly managed diabetic, had high blood pressure, rarely exercised, wouldn't follow his diabetic food plan, and I suspect that occasionally he manipulated his insulin to eat things he shouldn't. I could go on and on but you get the picture. The thought of experiencing the same decline that he did is terrifying.

The good thing about fear is that it does motivate you. I've been slowly increasing my daily exercise and cutting back a little on food. I'm using the Canada Food Guide as my basis, as I'm not a big fan of dramatic diets that no one can maintain in the real world. I'm already a pretty healthy eater so this has been more of a dietary tweak as opposed to big changes.

I'm a month into the changes and I'm having some success. My clothes are a little looser and some new better habits have been established.

Many Knitters don't knit for themselves due to body image issues (real or imagined). In my case the problem has been with things that I have already knit. What has surprised me is that my interest in clothing and by extension my knitting has been re-energized. I haven't been wearing some of my summer knits due to the fit issues the weight shift has created but I can see that I'm close to being comfortable enough to enjoy them soon. Yahoo! 

Body image issues are a major threat to the garment Knitter. I'm going to ask all of my readers to try to make peace with their own special shape. Either accept what you have or make realistic changes for improvement. Little changes can made big improvements in how you feel about yourself and to how much you are enjoying your life.

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