Today I would like to talk to you about a subject very near to me, and that is: Being fat.
I am inspired today to talk about being fat both by my friend doomgirl as well as my friend Lys.
I am fat. I will not deny this. I am not going to sugar coat things by saying I am a little overweight or have put on a few extra pounds or anything else. That is just silly. It is easy enough to look at me and see that I am indeed fat. I am a tall woman, standing at 5'10", and I am still fat. I carry my weight well, but that does not change the fact that I am fat.
And I don't care.
Well now perhaps that is not the right way to put it. I care. I really do care. I care so much that I am actively trying to lose weight and be not fat. The thing is I am not trying to lose weight because of anyone but me. I don't care what other people think of how I look. I don't care if they think I am fat, because I am.
It is not like I woke up one morning and was suddenly fat either. No, I have been fat most of my life. It is a thing I am well used to. I just finally decided that I didn't want to be fat anymore. I decided it was time to change, because I wanted to, and now I will (which in my opinion is the only way anyone can effectively change anything).
When I was in 5th grade was the first time I realized I was fat, and I cared. We were in science class and the teacher was doing a lesson on control groups. She was showing us how you break groups down by similarities, and then you break them down more and more and more until you only have one in each group. She first had us split boys and girls, and then in those groups by hair color, and then eye color, and then weight.
We were 10, and so it shouldn't have really mattered. The boys quickly divided into two groups, under 80 pounds, and over 80 pounds. At ten there was pretty much a half and half split there for boys. The boys all already knew who was big and strong and who was skinny and weak. For them it was probably worse to be standing on the under 80 group.
For girls though, I realized about half a second before I took a step that no one was moving. Looking around it was easy to see that probably none of the girls were close to hitting 80 pounds yet. I was 93 pounds at the time. Now I was also 2 inches taller than the tallest boy in my class, so I was a good 5 to 6 inches taller than any other girl. I didn't look that much like I weighted nearly 20 pounds more than any other girl in my class. I knew in that half second though that if I stepped away from the group, admitting I weighed anything more than 80 pounds, I would be fat, and I would be chastised. I did not move.
That was the beginning of feeling fat, even if I wasn't. I had a wonderfully unsupportive family when it came to weight. My mother was constantly trying to lose weight, even though I always thought she looked perfect. My grandmother was constantly telling me I was fat (while trying to feed me as much food as possible). My brother also told me I was fat constantly, but that was more sibling rivalry than anything else. I was always reminded that no one likes a fat girl, and I was convinced I was fat.
I went through high school wearing boy jeans, baggy t-shirts, my hair pulled back into a ponytail, and no makeup. I was fat, so I thought, and I wanted to hide my body and fade into the background as much as possible. I was 5'10" and no one made clothes for me. Girl pants were never long enough so I had to wear boy pants. I had broad shoulders and big boobs, so no shirts fit me right. If it fit my upper body it hung like a sack over my lower body. I was a mess. I was convinced at 5'10" and 170 pounds, wearing a size 10-12 and a 36D that I was fat and unattractive.
What kind of fucked up world do we live in that I thought that?
I look back now at pictures of myself in that time and realize, that if I had any idea what I actually looked like, I could have done some serious damage. I mean a couple of fitted shirts, and girl pants, letting my hair down, and damn...
Stupid hind sight.
I went off to college though, and while with the help of some friends I started dressing better, I also actually started gaining weight. I found a boyfriend (who would eventually become my husbeast), I got a car and wasn't walking everywhere, I ended up leaving school (and wasn't really doing anything anymore), and I was a poor college student/dropout so I was living on a diet of hot dogs, Dr Pepper, and ramen noodles. All a very good recipe for weight gain.
By the time I got married I was 290 and wearing a size 24. Your dress size matching your age is never a good thing. It didn't stop there either. At top size I was over 300 and almost a 28. That is actually fat. That was not just all in my head.
I wasn't doing anything to change it though. I wasn't happy with it, I was frankly embarrassed by it. I didn't want to think about it. I knew what I was doing wrong, I knew how to fix it, but I was doing nothing. I still cared what other people thought.
I have this weird problem where I do things to spite others even to my own detriment. You tell me I am fat and should lose weight, I will go eat a pint of ice cream and sit on my ass while telling you to go fuck yourself. Who the hell are you to judge me? Yes I am fat, and I will be fat as long as I want to be fat, and you can't tell me otherwise. It's not your place or your right to tell me so.
This is probably an unhealthy attitude, and I recognize it. What can I say? I am fat and flawed.
I am not sure when or why I decided to lose weight, but I did. A couple of years ago I joined the gym and I was very active for a few months, and I dropped some weight and dress sizes. It was nice, but at that point I still really didn't care. People making comments about it was flattering, but in the end I got busy and stopped going to the gym, and that was that.
About seven months ago I decided to just stop being fat.
That is something I just woke up one morning and decided to do.
I have been slowly changing my diet, adding in more healthy food, taking out the processed sugary foods. I started scaling down my portion sizes and now I get full after eating much less food. I cut out all soda from my diet, and pretty much anything but water and milk. I eat more vegetables and fruit. I hardly ever eat sweets or fast food anymore. I am not denying myself shit though. If I want ice cream or pizza, I have ice cream and pizza. I only have a small portion of ice cream and a single slice of pizza, but I still have it.
I also have been working out. I go to the gym, which I despise, I take the stairs instead of the elevator, I stretch, I do simple exercises at my desk, I workout at the house in the evenings as well. All in all I am much more physically active than I have been in years. I feel better for it.
So with all this change I have managed to lose about 25 pounds over the last 7 months. That is not too shabby (especially considering I didn't start going back to the gym until the last 2 months). I am at a 20 pants size as well, which is nice.
Most importantly though I feel better. I am happier for my efforts, and I am going to keep them up until I am happy with where I am. It might take years to get there, but I am getting there.
I am still fat. I am not going to wake up tomorrow and not be fat. I am never going to not be fat by societies standards. I will never reach single digit sizes, and I am alright with that. I will be what I am, and I will be happy with it. Even if that means I am still fat.
Fat doesn't matter.
Skinny doesn't matter.
They are just words. They are just highly subjective labels.
Fuck the rest of it.
And if you feel the need to judge me by my size remember this:
I may be fat now, but I can lose weight. You will always be an insecure asshole.