Oh Workplace, why do you want me to diet?

I have not worked in a 'professional' (read: office-based) workplace since 2002. Since then, I have gained approximately 20 lbs, but I am healthy (cholesterol - nada, blood pressure - rather low, liver function - spiffy, uric acid - wth is that?). Sure, I'm round in places where women ought to be round, flat where.. well, nowhere other than my forehead. I fit a Medium-petite, US size somewhere between 8-10. Size 34c bra. Size 34 jeans. Am turning thirty-SEVEN this year.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm in a pretty good shape. I would like to join a martial arts program - simply because I liked martial arts, and being able to do martial arts/self-defense is more useful than - say - yoga, pilates, etc. Particularly since I am now public-transport-bound and am working a night shift.

And Lord,  I was not prepared at the diet mentality of the almost-all-women office. It all came down onto me like flash flood; also made me gasp and feel like I want to die like being in a flash flood (a swimmer would know that being on, and being caught in a flash flood, is literally facing slow death. Your swimmer brain will constantly make you try to survive the unsurvivable. A swimmer in a flash-flood is not a quick death.).

Once upon a time, I dieted. I've told of this somewhere before. I lost 20 lbs in 3 weeks (said 20 I've regained in 10 years). Along with the fat, I'd also lost 2 weeks of my life being flat on my back with Hepatitis A - as a result of the diet and my liver saying: "Hey, I'm here to clean up toxin. If you ain't eatin' nothin' for me to clean, I'mma check out off of you!"

Was NOT fun. Not in the least bit. Not especially when both my maternal grandparents died from liver problem - non-alcohol-related liver problem.

I don't want to die young. I would like to die when I'm somewhere in my 80s, with my grandkids milling about outside my deathbed, yadda yadda. Not in my 30s where I haven't even started to procreate. Not specifically because of my own action - that is: doing yet another diet that I knew would hurt my body.

I eat in moderation (think a whole bigmac for the entire day = the total calory I consume in a day). My weight gain in the past 10 years was caused by my sedentary lifestyle. I eat red meat once every other week. I eat plenty of greeneries to starve a whole goat for a month. My main source of carb is brown rice. I eat sugar (cane) in my coffee twice a day, one teaspoonful's worth. My GP would've been proud of me.

Still, the women at the office wanted to know why wouldn't I diet. "If you lose a few pounds you'll look prettier!" was the battlecry. Or, "Look at [insert formerly chubby person's name here]! She [who happens to be 10-15 years younger than I] can make it! You can, too! Just diet!"

I keep reading that as "Just die-d!" in my mind. Since 1997 (when I got sick), I have set up my mind that diet is an euphemism of die-D. So no, I don't want to die. Not now. Not soon. Not self-inflicted. Not when I know what would happen when I do the things they want me to do (read: not eating).

Do I care that I'm fat?

Of course. I know that my paternal grandma died from diabetes. Both sides of my family have bible-length history of cholesterol-related problems and hypertension-related strokes. It's difficult for me to find clothes that fits in Indonesian size. I have fatrolls. I look twice as big than my slim nieces.

Noticed that I never lamented about 'gasping for breath'? Because that never happened. I was a competitive swimmer since I was 3 to highschool years. I played basketball. I trained two martial arts. I have a six pack under my six-gallon belly. I don't actually have a potbelly. I have  large, jiggly thighs, yes. But I also have the swimmers' shoulders and taekwondoin calves. Not even 20lbs weight gain could make me gasp for air when walking/climbing stairs.

So why worry about my being fat? Furthermore, why do other people worry about me being fat? I don't. I mind my meals, eat in moderation, stop eating before I'm full, drink a lot of water, avoid sugar, avoid processed meals the best I can, no junk food other than homemade ones. As far as I'm concerned, at 36.5, I'm all good.

And now I shall indulge everybody else's hypocrisy and self-loathing with a nice slice of blueberry cheesecake - courtesy of the office's birthday - for my self-acceptance and blissful life. Tee hee hee.

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