Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"I don't think you're fat, I think you're beautiful."


At work a few weeks ago
It won't come as a surprise to most people reading this that I have struggled a lot with my weight over the years.  I have gained weight and lost weight.  At my thinnest, I weighed 145 lbs, right after I got back from London, 18 years old.  At my heaviest, I weighed 267 and was uncomfortable in my own skin and hated having my photo taken.  I have thyroid problems, and all kinds of endocrine problems, and I have anxiety and tend to eat my feelings sometimes.  I don't like exercising.  I have gone back and forth.  I lost 50 pounds and got down nearly to 210, and thought I'd finally get below 200.

In the last year, I've gained weight again, and I currently weigh around 247.  It is no secret that I am fat.  How fat I look may depend on what picture you're looking at.  I know what angle to hold the camera at to hide most of it.  If someone else is holding the camera, it depends on my clothing, and the angle.  All of the photos in this post were taken within 6 weeks of each other with no change in my weight, only in how I did my hair, who and how the camera was held.

This morning, someone messaged me on OK Cupid.  Part of my profile there says the following:
I am fat and sexy. If you don't think that is possible, you should probably stop reading now and move on. I am sensitive, sensual, and physically delightful.
Decorating at work
The first message I received said "I love your pony tails."  Okay, pretty typical, whatevs.  So I say thanks, and this is the followup:  "How are you doing this morning and I don't think your fat I think your beautiful"  Now, setting aside the startling lack of punctuation, and misuse of the word 'your,' I immediately had a negative response to this.

Look, I am obviously fat.  I know that.  It has been a source of a lot of heartache.  I have finally gotten to the point where this year when I'm thinking about my New Year's goals, I'm thinking about physicality and about how and why I eat instead of a number on a scale.  Because it doesn't matter.  I am reasonably healthy.  I wear a size 22 or 24 pants, I shop in the plus size section.  I have more fat on my body than a lot of people consider "normal" or "acceptable."

Family Xmas
And despite all that, I am more comfortable in my own skin right now, at this very moment, than I have been... ever.  Ever in my life.  I am confident.  I know that I can be pretty, and I can be sexy, and it isn't about my weight.  I have gotten involved this year with people who have helped me see that beauty is about so much more than the body you got.

One of my friends relayed something in a piece of writing once about something her friend said to her.  "It's just a shape some people have."  It is just a shape.  My shape is not skinny.  I have wide hips and I have womanly thighs.  I have smallish breasts, and they aren't round.  I have all those things.  I also have a mind that is smart.  I have a sense of humor that is sarcastic, and I have a heart that is so big and lovely that sometimes it wants to jump right out of my chest.  I have a capacity for love and happiness that I never knew the depths of.  I have confidence.  I have self-worth.

Thanksgiving
I'm not asking every person out there to find me attractive.  We all have our types.  Some people like brown hair, or blue eyes, or lots of muscles, or flat butts, or big boobs, or whatever.  And that is FINE.  You don't have to like or find attractive every single person you come across.  But if you feel the need to mention my weight within the first couple of messages of talking to me, I'm not going to react well.  Whether you're telling me that I'm "not fat," which is basically a lie, or telling me you like me because I'm fat, which also squicks me out a little bit.

If you want to get to know me, don't tell me that I'm not fat, I'm beautiful.  Do you know what you've just done there?  You've told me that it is NOT POSSIBLE to be both fat AND beautiful.  You have implicitly implied that the two are mutually exclusive.  You're not fooling anyone.  If you think I am beautiful, tell me so.  If you think I am sexy, tell me so.  If you like a curvy, comfy woman, tell me so.  But don't tell me that I'm not fat.  Talk to me like a person, and look at me and see my whole self, without thinking about my weight first off.


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