Tag Archives: plus size

This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine

I haven’t blogged in 3 weeks. Yikes! The upside is that my lack of posts has nothing to do with my stick-to-it-tivy. I’m still working my program and have lost over 40 pounds.

I haven’t blogged because I’ve been busy. Can you imagine? No time to sit and write a little creative non-fiction. At first I thought, “well clearly I haven’t blogged because I’m on top of my shit. I have no issues to unpack, and since I promised no asinine recipes or cray photos, the blog can wait.” Then this happened.

Now I am no where in this photo, but someone on an internet forum said the person on the left (an actor in costume) looked like me. Now that’s some bullshit. But the suggestion caused me to get real with myself about perception. How I perceive myself and to what extent I care how others perceive me.

A co-relative yet independent event happened. In the midst of some non-diet related diversity and inclusion training, I had a breakdown. Now I believe that breakdowns equal breakthroughs (work with me on this one), so I’m thankful.

We worked on this pie chart of privilege and I quickly realized that of race, age, gender, nationality, class, religion, ability, sexual orientation, I experience little privilege. Some, but little. We then did the good ole authority, power, and influence game during which I discovered that I play small.

That made me cry.

So back to the picture…I know I don’t look like the actor in that photo (who happens to be a 20 year old young man). But I often FEEL like I do. So I BEHAVE like I do. You know, the “so you think, so you feel, so you do” adage…

When I meet new people I’m a bit reserved. I tell people I’m shy, an introvert, and those that really know me are like “really?” I get it now, I play small. I try to make myself invisible until I have assessed a situation and ensured that it is “safe.” This safety resting in the ability of my humor, wit, or intelligence to outshine my fear, doubt, and inadequacies.

I don’t didn’t think I am was good enough. EVER. F that ish. Imma play like Viola Davis is in my ear telling me I’m kind and smart.

I hope to maybe blog about other more exciting things like the book recommendations I have received since I’ve started this journey. Or the impact I’ve had on a few friends who have started their own weight loss journeys on the WW plan.

French Fries are the Devil’s work

Ok. I know I’m behind on posting. My bad. So I am crawling toward a 40lb weight loss total. I want it so bad. Intellectually. There is some emotional barrier however that has me dancing w/ old habits. I’m a social eater. While everyone else is boozing it up, I’m ordering wings & things. Today it was French fries (which could have only been invented by a sadist). Last week FroYo and home baked cookies. But here’s the thing, for 3 months I did fine. I said no, or ordered water, or perhaps a salad. So the issue isn’t my will power or even determination. It’s fear.

I’m afraid to have the thing I want most. In large part it’s because I don’t believe I’ll ever be thin. I never have been. Don’t even know if its possible. What if I really am a rare breed – the last big boned girl around? So, if I stop in the middle of the road I don’t have to face the disappointment of getting to the other side and not liking what’s (who’s) there. I know how to be fat. I know how to dress fat, shop fat, eat fat, make jokes fat, be single fat, be career driven fat. I know who I am fat, how to behave in social settings, what others expect of me, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, I know that being fat renders me invisible in the most ironic of ways. And when invisible the stakes are low.

So the more people say to me “wow 40lbs,” the more I stand in the road. The more they see me, the more I am afraid. Afraid that once my amour (read fat) is gone, I still won’t be good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or talented enough. I also won’t have my golden ticket (read excuse) to ride the this is why my life sucks bus. So I’ve been stalled in the middle of the road. The thing is, the road isn’t a safe place to hang out, and I don’t want to be on fat street anymore. So I’m crossing, but it’s some scary shit. I don’t know if I’ll find myself on skinny street or if I’ll barely get out of the medically morbidly obese woods, but I imagine it’d be a joy to sit in a chair with my legs crossed. I figure my friends will appreciate that we can just go to the bar not need to search for the last open kitchen on earth on one of our after hour adventures. And if the truth is that I’m not something or the other enough, then it’s time I got to work on that narrative.

Thanks for reading

The I’m feelin some kinda way blog post…

On falling in love while fat…

So I’m a serial crusher. Like I’m always swooning over some gorgeous human being who probably got caught in my web because he/she/it/they kindly smiled in my direction. The math there is simple, if you’re nice to me I’ll probably fall in love with you.

NBD right? Well here’s the problem – the first problem – why do I think so low of myself that I’m gawking over someone because of their show of basic human kindness. A smile is nice, a friendly greeting, etc. but am I so unaccustomed to decency that when I encountered, I dive head first into attraction? I must be. That is just awful. That my expectation is that people will shun me, walk past without a greeting, or silently judge me because I take up more than my share of the sidewalk. And poor fellas that are just being nice guys can’t just be nice to me w/o me going gaga. Well I hope to change this.

Here’s how I am going to do that: I will not put my head down as I take up more than half of the sidewalk, because, well damn it, go around. I side step for your toy size puppies and untethered children. We’ll just have to negotiate the walk way together. I will also smile more, even if it means I’ll look like I have 7 chins. I am working daily on my jaw line exercises, and guess what? I have to do so many reps & sets of smiling. Mine as well throw it in someone’s direction.

Here is problem number two. Though I get all school girl crushy, I never have any expectation that my crush will reciprocate because I don’t didn’t think I was attractive. Now don’t get me wrong, I think I’m cool af. I would totally hang out with me. But I’m pretty sure I’d keep me in the friend zone cause, well, I’m not attracted to fat people.

I think I’ve been ashamed of my body for so long that I just assume no one finds me attractive because, here is the obvious, I don’t. So what am I to do? Wicked crush after wicked crush that only reaffirm my negative self talk. Oy vey.

And worse yet, I don’t know how to be thin. What if after I lose 113lbs (well less the 25 I’ve already loss, but medically I’ll still need to lose 40 more fuck it, back on topic), I resent people who find me attractive who wouldn’t look my way when I was fat?

What if the guiltiest of those is me?

So you see why the songs in my last blog aren’t helping.

Well here is the proposed solution…get over myself and get out the damn way. I’m cute! And yes I’m fat (today). But I am a whole host of other things too. I would hope that any deterrent my fat presents, my charm and wit, and loyalty, and passion, and bad taste in movies and music and trashy novels can overcome.

And so say I don’t find love until I’ve lost a bunch of weight…it is what it is…and I’ll take it.

Thanks for reading

Moment of truth

Ok right to the point. While with my ex, I developed some pretty bad habits. The obvious, I packed on the pounds. This happens in a lot of relationships. But for me it wasn’t about “we’re comfortable” or “I eat to keep up with him.” Nope. Not at all. I ate & ate & ate to make myself unattractive to him & anyone else that might’ve been lookin’. Why? you ask. Well because I didn’t want him to touch me. I subconsciously yet intentionally (can you even do that?) wanted to be unattractive to keep him away. But guess what, he didn’t care about the weight.

I stopped focusing on my appearance at all. Proclaimed “I’m low maintenance.” But anyone who knows me knows I’m pretty uptight about a fair number of things. I’m the only person on earth who thinks I’m low maintenance. So no makeup, no nice clothes, I stopped wearing skirts and dresses altogether. I became a jeans and t-shirt gal, wearing pajama bottoms like it was my job, and became queen of all things elastic waistband. I tried to render myself as undesirable as possible.

The end result.

I convinced MYSELF of all those lies. Now I’m stuck trying to undue all the damage I did to my own self esteem. It’s almost humiliating except for it is kinda karmically perfect. I made myself unpretty and then believed it. So here’s hoping that it works in reverse. That I can let down the walls and not hide behind fat. I might even buy a dress & put on some lipstick & mascara.

Woah…did I say lipstick…that has been a long time.

Here’s to bringing sexy back.

Thanks for reading.

No, I’m not Tongan, I’m just fat

So as I disclosed in my previous post, I watch a lot of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. I recently finished season 7 again and am now on season 9 again (I watched season 8 last week – my daughter and I re-watch seasons based on the contestants we like/don’t like, so we don’t watch in order). If you’ll recall, season 7 is when we were introduced to the contestants Felipe and Sione. These guys are Tongan cousins and were so concerned about the trend/tradition of obesity in their culture. In season 9 of TBL another set of Tongan cousins, Koli and Sam, shared these same concerns.

 

Ok OMLD, your point? Well here’s the thing, since I was an adolescent, I have been asked if I was Tongan or Samoan. I am *sure that part of the reason for the question has to do with my skin tone or hair or some ethnic marker. I think more than anything though, I was asked because I’m fat. I am not Tongan or Samoan, I’m just fat. I have wondered though, what it would be like to grow up in a household, or community, or even culture where I wasn’t ostracized for my size. Where I look like the women in my family. Where I am not the fat sibling. Where my plate at family functions is not policed. Of course, I know, “the grass is always greener.” I don’t presume that people in cultures where largeness is accepted have it easy, clearly Felipe, Sione, Sam, and Koli wouldn’t have appeared on TBL, but here’s the thing (and in telling you the thing, I will reveal certain identifying markers – “O brave new world…”), it sucks being different from your family. It sucks feeling like an alien in a place that you call home, where love and acceptance should abound.

 

Now to be clear, my mother (she is my natural mother) and I are the same nationality, American; we share some ethnic heritage, English, Irish, Scottish; but we are not the same race, she is white, I am black. The standard of beauty for her race is in many many ways not the standard of beauty for mine. Not to generalize, or over simplify, but certain physical attributes are more accepted in the black community. My mother didn’t grow up in the black community. She grew up with icons like Twiggy.

 

Growing up with a petite, super skinny mom was hard af (as the kids would tweet). I wanted to be like her, but by 12 was taller and much larger than she. She didn’t know how to have a fat daughter. So we fought. I want baggy clothes to hide my fat, she wanted me in the smallest size I could squeeze into (this has not changed). We fought about food, I had to carry the OG slim fast in a thermos to school, and at 14 she put my on Jenny Craig. We fought for control. Of my body. Including piercings and haircuts. Eventually I won. My prize was getting fatter.

 

Now as a *responsible adult I am actively trying to understand my triggers. My mom is el numero uno. I’m trying to understand why when my mom asks me “can you have X on your diet,” I want to eat cookie dough because I can *have whatever the hell I want. Or why when she wants to go to the gym together, do I talk my way out of it, and find myself napping half the day. I don’t have all these answers yet, but I now recognize these triggers and redirect my responses so that I am making positive choices instead of negative ones. AND of course I can’t trade my family in for a community of fat people, where I feel a sense of belonging. BUT I can create that community for myself with people who are not necessarily fat, but whose respect and acceptance create a safe space for me to be fat today and work toward being less fat tomorrow.

 

I had to say it out loud (type? it out loud?)

 

Thanks for reading.

What is with the word normal?

I keep hearing the word normal in contexts that leave me increasingly agitated. So, I looked it up and here is what dictionary.com has listed:

nor·mal

[nawr-muh l]

adjective

1. conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.

2. serving to establish a standard.

 

My whole life, I’ve had it in my head that there was some ideal body, a standard of beauty, some example to serve as a beacon of normalness. This notion of *normal* is why I fostered years of shame. And as it turns out, there ain’t no such thing. I mean yes, we are bombarded with images in magazines, in movies, on TV of gorgeous folk with awesomely sculpted bodies. But this isn’t “normal.” Those people are either photoshopped or spend hours of their lives in the gym with trainers working their asses off. They aren’t bad guys for doing this, but the rest of us aren’t bad guys either cause we don’t.

For survival, the idea is that we all keep our hearts pumping at a steady rate with unobstructed blood flow to the various parts of our bodies. Apparently x # of minutes a week makes this possible along with a “healthy” diet. Hours on end in the gym is a career choice, one somehow married to a public life in Hollywood. But “normal” is something else altogether.

If what I hear regularly on the news is true, that there is an obesity epidemic, well then I’m actually closer to normal than my thinner friends. My body is what is common, and in cultures and times gone by, ideal. Good for breeding, a sign of wealth, and a whole host of other things that until film became a thing, were desirable. But even still, I say screw normal, mine, yours or anybody else’s. I don’t want to be normal. It dawned on me only recently that I have never sought to be normal in any area of my life. I have always wanted to be unique, extraordinary, special. So do I still. I want to be healthy sure, and feel good about myself. But I don’t need to look like a top model or Hollywood actor. I want to embrace my imperfections and know that we are all perfectly imperfect.

So who cares about being normal? I certainly do not. It’s an arbitrary idea, unachievable, divisive.

Why is fat funny?

Several questions came up for me this week:

Why is movie theatre popcorn the most impossible thing to get an accurate calorie count for in the world? All the websites I am looking at give conflicting information.

How on Earth is a 1/4 cup of Alfredo sauce enough to adequately cover a cup of Fettuccine? These are the listed single serving sizes that I have clearly ignored for the entirety of my life.

How come the Tall at Starbucks looks like the kids Jr. Frosty cup at Wendy’s when in fact all standard commuter mugs hold the same 12ozs of fluid?

How come on WW the are no free proteins?

But the big question is why is fat funny. Now don’t get me wrong, I think Cedric the Entertainer is charming, witty, cute and hella hella funny. I have also been known to cut up a bit myself, but as a general rule how does this works.

I saw The Hobbit this week, and (no spoilers here) the fat dwarf was the butt of the jokes, the scape goat. Paul Blart, mall cop. Nell Carter. Drew Carey (who is out of work since losing weight). Melissa McCarthy, the ONLY actor in ALL of Hollywood to get more work by getting fatter. These talents and many more have become the staple side kids, the butt of jokes, the unrequited lovers, the blundering idiots and would be heroes.

Rebel Wilson…hilarious...case in point, she had to halt her weight loss efforts to film Pitch Perfect

But why are their follies funny. If they somehow fit the standard of beauty would we still laugh?

I don’t have an answer. It was merely an observation. But I am kinda over it. I’m over fat, or rail thin, or odd shapen noses, or differently abled bodies being the butt of jokes.