“I Am More Than My Body” … You know who says that? Fat People.
That’s the kind of shit I used to say, because I used to be a really attractive asshole. And it’s caught up to me. Several years and several pounds later, here’s the truth: I’ve lost my looks and I lived.
I can’t get away with sh*t anymore. I used to just show up and people would hand me free everything. I didn’t pay for my own Starbucks, Jamba Juice, or Dunkin Donuts drinks for basically all of 2007, 2008, and 2009 (and hey… maybe those high calorie drinks have a lot to do with my weight gain but anyway). I met my fiance in 2009 and from there the fancy dinners and “I’m invincible and somebody loves me” snacking caught up with me.
Now I actually have to do more than smile my way through a conversation. I don’t get things handed to me. It’s made me a little bitter, but it’s made me a better person. I appreciate people who do good deeds just to do them, not because I look really great in a strapless dress. Getting fat has helped me like humanity a little bit more, and also helped me hate humanity too.
When people say anything to me about my weight, it kills me. I don’t mind being the biggest girl in the room depending on the day, but generally it’s nothing I can’t handle on my own. I’m used to coping with my own negativity and body image. But the hardest part about gaining weight is dealing with tactless people who want me to make sure I know, just in case I didn’t already figure it out, that I have indeed gained a lot of weight.
Of all the comments, the ones that hurt the most are the ones who come from people that I can’t “talk back” to. Calling me overweight when it’s uncalled for = fighting words. But I can’t defend myself with typical California Mean Girl insults or New York Aggression when it comes from much older or much younger people.
Older folks (who are too old to give a shit about my feelings) like to make sure I know that my body is specifically for one thing and one thing only: to have babies. I won’t be able to get pregnant if I’m fat, I know. My fiance probably won’t love me if I’m this fat before we have kids, sure. If I’m too fat I won’t be able to play with my children, yes. I might as well give up now because what is the point of life if you’re over weight, right?
Then there are the kids who point out my weight gain. They’re too young for me to be able to appropriately tell them to f*ck off and so it hits me hard. Aren’t kids the cutest? I love that they say what we’re all thinking! Yeah I’m glad you feel that way, rest of the world. Maybe I am crazy but guys I swear I’m not that overweight. Sure, my thighs touch when I walk but I’m not using a wheelchair in Disney World. I’m still perfectly capable of a lot of things, I just happen to have a big ass.
Speaking of my big ass: people loooooove to remind me about my huge ass. To be honest, I never noticed I had a big butt until someone pointed it out to me in a negative way. Wait – I thought 2015 was the year of the butt. And also, why does anyone care? Worry about your own butt. Leave mine alone.
Now that I don’t get things handed to me for free on a daily basis I have figured out how to take what is mine and make no excuses for it. I have to fight a little harder and deal with people in a different way, but I’ve figured it out. I swear to you: before I used to just smile and get VIP treatment. At my first internship the security guards used to give me access to the executive only elevator. Now I’m lucky if anyone will hold the door open for me.
So this brings to me another point: chivalry is a joke. The only time a stranger was chivalrous to me was when I looked good. But now that I’m 40 pounds over weight? Chivalry is dead, my friends. You only get it if they want to picture you naked. Or when it’s mandatory, like if you’re a senior citizen, a child, with child or holding a child. No one holds the door or offers you their seat on the train when you’re an over weight normal person.
But it’s fine, because I am fully capable of getting the door myself thank you very much. And now that I know how it feels to be slightly invisible or regarded as the fat girl not worth noticing I truly appreciate when good people do nice things. When out of the blue someone does hold the door for me I am genuinely thrilled. It’s nice because it’s nice.
I don’t owe my looks to anyone. I have built my friendships and relationships based on who I am at my core, not what I look like when I’m in a bikini. This is the best part, because your real friends come out when your fake friends no longer want to be photographed with you.
The best person who showed up from all of this is me. My self worth no longer comes from how I look in a mini skirt because, frankly, I don’t look good in a mini skirt. I used to, sure. But now I know how it feels not to look good in one, and guess what? I lived. I got fat, and I lived.