Night Terror

Content note: fat phobia/body image issues.

So, I snore. I mean, I’ve always kinda known about it, you know those moments where you wake suddenly into a deafening silence? Yeah, I’ve snored loudly enough to wake myself.

Thing is, I’ve basically either started snoring more, or just become more aware of it recently because of sharing a bed (#HumbleBrag). And this has become a frequent enough issue that I decided to look into what measures I can try to take to relieve this.

Have a wild flying guess what comes at the top of the list for possible causes of snoring?

Being overweight.

Guess what comes top of the list for suggestions for how to reduce snoring?

Losing weight.

What’s that, oh, hello body dysphoria, it’s been a while. No, please don’t settle down on the sofa I really have other things I need to be…

This kind of diagnosis and “advice” is bullshit and there’s a bunch of reasons why.

First up, let’s be clear, significant weight loss is not a viable option for the majority of people. Yes there are people who achieve a significant reduction in weight, but they are very much outliers and it’s extremely challenging finding a study that shows the majority of participants successfully losing a significant amount of weight and then managing to keep that weight off long-term.

For most, advice to lose weight broadly leads to either yo-yo dieting or a never-ending cycle of failure and shame about not being good enough. Because let’s be clear, we as a society have an utterly fucked up attitude that treats being overweight as a moral failure. I had a partner who strongly discouraged me from being unusual, from attracting attention by not fitting by general societal standards because, sas they saw it, I’d effectively used up my allowance of social deviance by being overweight.

I will very probably always be significantly overweight. So trying to tackle things like snoring by losing weight is just adding extra carrots to a gigantic pot of carrots that is so far in the distance as to be almost over the horizon. Putting all hoes and desires into that impossibly distant goal is a recipe for misery. I don’t want to end up as one of those people with a wardrobe full of clothes I haven’t worn in years because throwing them away would mean admitting that I’m not going to be the same body shape that I once was.

No, I Marie Kondoed the shit out of that wardrobe.

The other thing is that simply seeing someone as overweight or not overweight misses a whole world of nuance. Because if I’m always going to be overweight then why the fuck bother? Because there’s a lot of fucking grey in the picture here.

I’ve gone through periods in my life where I’ve not been in great shape, and I’ve been in periods where I’m doing pretty well. I’m currently feeling pretty good about my body, I’ve got an exercise regime that fits neatly into my life and I’m feeling stronger, fitter and more energetic than I have in quite a while. I’m still overweight though. I can shrug off a bout of circuit training that three months ago would have been impossible for me. Still overweight though.

The thing is, I went through a change in my outlook a while back, a change from looking outwards to looking inwards. I try not to crow about the exercise I’m doing because I want approval, but I share photos of me naked and sweaty afterwards because I feel good about my body. I don’t work out to get approving looks from strangers in the streets, I work out so that I can go ceilidh dancing with my partner and not be spent after three dances. I don’t do upper body work to show off y glistening guns, but because I want to make interesting things in the shed with a hammer. And when it’s leg day I’m doing it to keep my thighs firm and strong and able to thrust hard.

Still not quite sure what to do about the snoring though.