Thinner

The other day I walking down the hall where I work and the only thing I could think of was how I'd look if (1) I didn't suck it in and (2) if I didn't have to suck it in.

It was only then that I realize that every day I do things to hide just how deeply ashamed I am of my own body. And, of course, the things I do or don't do to change it.

The Cure for What Ails Ya...

I remember when I was going to the gym 4-5 times a week.
I was addicted to running on the elliptical and a familiar face in the weight room.

The first time I was able to run 10K on the elliptical, I realized something: it's impossible to be drowning in depression while exercising.

I didn't measure my progress in pounds lost, but by distance, time, and sets. I measured my progress in how I felt not in my clothing, but how I felt in my skin.

And then it happened.
I was at a concert and some jackass decided to wrap his arms around my waist because he was falling, and he pulled me down. About 7 people landed on me. I landed hard on the awkwardly-shaped electrical conduit.

I had always had back problems (dating back to high school) but this was the straw that broke my back, or rather pushed the discs out of whack. Apparently I had inherited the degenerative disc disorder from my mom.

The doctors said that if I wanted to avoid a 4-level spinal fusion (removing the 3 discs) that I wasn't allowed to run/bike, lift weights, or do anything with torque/twisting. Basically I was left with modified yoga and swimming.

It wasn't long before the depression came back.
I know how it started: I used to have a scheduled week. I had something to pull me from day to day. I had a commitment to myself. I could look in the mirror at myself and sense the changes that were happening. And I was proud that for once in my life I was taking responsibility for my body.

I deeply resent how some people think that fat people are lazy. Everyone has a different story. But when people give me shit about being fat, I ask them how they would keep fit if they weren't allowed to run/bike, lift weights, or do anything with torque/twisting. If they say "put down the twinkies," I invite them to look in my kitchen and see what food I eat.

Ugh, my dear readers... I wish I could have continued the trajectory I was on. I'd be my goal weight by now. I am mourning the loss of the person I was trying to be.

"So this is what makes life divine...."

The Cinderella Story:

Suffer hardships
Have a great attitude
Remain kind

Karma Prevails
The prince chooses you no matter what you wear.


But no Cinderella is ever Plus Sized.
Be kind, be optimistic, but also be desirable.
Only then will someone then take the time to see who you are on the inside.

And yet, I still love the story. I still hold on to the hope that someone will see me for me. I don't wear rags. I just wear extra pounds.

Verbal Poison

"You're such an awesome chick." I can't tell you how often I hear this. or "I can't figure out why you're single."

Seriously? I can. It's easy. Who wants to date the fat girl?
The ones who do usually have an agenda -- they either consider fat girls an easy mark, have a fat girl fetish, or don't think they can do any better.

It's a big surprise, I know, but fat girls have standards and won't just spread eagle for any guy that shows interest in her. And if they do, they shouldn't.

I'm single because I'm not willing to be someone's placeholder.

And I'm fat because goddamnit... I love food.

Let's Go Fly a Kite

So the healthcare debate...

My whole POV is that there are many preventable diseases (obesity, hypertension, diabetes in some cases) and we should fix those things first because they are huge burdens on society and the health care industry.

We need:
--better access to healthy food (fuck the USDA and FDA)
--better access to healthy living conditions
--better access to basic health information (ie, don't let the pharmaceuticals supply all the information)
--better access to basic education (people tend to take better care of themselves the more education they have)

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY:
People who want to be healthy.

And the biggest part of that is how we're raised. We need healthy parents teaching kids how to become healthy adults.

Unfortunately, I didn't have this. My brother and I both think my mom was anorexic and an alcoholic. My father has always been obese. I can't remember my parents ever saying "Let's go take a walk" after dinner or anything remotely similar. What I do remember is how much they both smoked, how much my dad ate, how little my mom ate, how both of them didn't think to help me when I gained weight after my Nana died...

Before we tackle the problems of providing universal health care, perhaps we should tackle universal disease prevention (and creating electronic health databases).

Just my 2c.

The Quick Fix

I often fantasize about my skinny self -- the person that's hiding under all of this fat. Part of me wants to know her better. I've often thought about going to a plastic surgeon (or a forensic sketch artist) to ask what I'd look like if I weren't fat. Would I recognize myself?

That and if I were at a plastic surgeon's office, what would they tell me is wrong with me or what would they want to fix? Would they match up with what I'd want to fix? Would they even have the heart to tell me that underneath all the fat is a muscular, strong, beautiful woman?

See the thing is, I know it. I know who I am underneath all the fat.
It just takes longer for most people to see it.

Envy

I've been fat since I was 8 (I'm an emotional eater, I gained the weight after my Nana died and again after my mom died). Never ever in my adult life have I known what it is like to not have my thighs rub together. I've been obsessed with this lately.

There are girls out there with thighs that look barely larger than the circumference of my arms (14").

I would love to be able to wear a pretty dress and not worry about my thighs rubbing together, chafing, or having to wear something that prevents this (stockings, shorts, spanx, shorts, etc.).

[[July 13, 2010 Edit:  I abandoned the whole thighs not touching thing after reading Crystal Renn's book, Hungry and just how much weight she had to lose before her thighs wouldn't touch.]]

Damsels in Distress

I was musing about this the other day with a dear friend of mine (who has waged the fat war and won)...

Women have a psycho/physiological need to be with another person. It affects our oxytocin levels. When we are with another person (in whatever context), our brains are stimulated with this wonderful drug that makes us feel happy. When we're alone, we don't get this oxytocin boost and we're more likely to be depressed.

But that's not what we chatted about.
It was the disparity between how people console fat girls when they say "I'm lonely."

We've found in our collective experience that when a thin girl (in our proximity, friends, coworkers, etc.) say "I'm lonely," the reaction is "Don't worry, you'll find someone."

When a fat/ugly girl says "I'm lonely," the reaction is "Maybe use this time to work on yourself" or "You should find happiness without a man."

Aroo? What?

Why the difference in the reaction? Why shouldn't the fat/ugly girl be consoled and comforted in a way that suggests her lonliness will end. Or does she have to be willing to change herself in order to be deemed worthy of another person's affection?

Size 12 Model in Glamour Magazine Causes a Stir

Have you seen it or heard about this?
http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2009/08/on-the-cl-the-picture-you-cant.html
http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2009/08/on-the-cl-more-body-image-brou.html

I'm so glad that there is a dialogue about women's body sizes in magazines.  On one spot about the photo some guy said that (and I'm paraphrasing) "Women don't want to see that in a magazine.  They want to see what they aspire to be."  Seriously, Mr. Man? 

Women come in all sizes and shapes and can still be HEALTHY.  That's the key word.  HEALTHY -- their physical health as well as their emotional and mental health. 

There are naturally thin women, yes, but the majority of models that you see in magazines (except for sports/bikini magazines) have underweight BMIs.  Are they healthy?  Is that what we should aspire to be?

Introductions

Dear World:

I am a 28-year-old, size 14, 5'9", 217lb woman.  I know I'm obese.  I know I am fat.  I also know that I'm statistically average-sized.  I do not have my own gravitational pull.

I do not eat twinkies, eat fast food, or guzzle soda.  I play sports.  I can even run.  I know what a basal metabolic rate is, and I frequent farmers markets.

I have heard your putdowns.  I've been on your diets.  I've been the butt of many of your jokes.  I have suffered your insults, both the shallow ones and the ones that cut deep to my fat-laden core.

And you know what?  Despite your trying to put me down at every turn, I still manage to be a happy, confident, sexy woman. 

This blog is my open letter to you, World.  Just know that no matter how beaten down any entry might sound, I will remain triumphant, positive and more than you can handle.

Sincerely,
Fatgirl_vs_World