Yes, I’m a fat girl. I’ve been told most of my life that I needed to lose weight. The funny part about that is, I wasn’t overweight when it started. My weight issue started when I was pregnant the first time. I gained 70+ pounds with that pregnancy. My weight went up and down from there for a few years until eventually it was more than just a little overweight. Life got away from me, I worried about taking care of everyone else’s needs more than I worried about myself. I tried several things to help me take weight off. I tried exercise DVD’s and every diet from here to Mars. When I was pregnant with my fourth son, we found a couple contributors to my weight issue which included a gluten allergy and a sluggish thyroid. This helped to explain why it was so hard to lose the weight.
In 2004 I joined Curves and went 6 days a week. Within 4 months I lost 50 pounds, and at that point I needed and wanted more. I moved on to a bigger gym and hired a personal trainer. The trainer was more of a life coach. His biggest purpose was to help me find low fat foods that were gluten free and to keep me accountable. You see my biggest food issue was not that I ate too much or that I ate a lot of junk food. My problem was not regularly eating enough. Yes, I’m the fatty whose fat because she doesn’t eat. You see, when you are hypothyroid and your metabolism is already slow, and you have the bad habit of not putting enough fuel in your tank… you end up with no go-go, in other words your body stores calories rather than burn them, aka starvation mode. Everyones bodies acts and reacts differently to different situations, and this is my bodies reaction. My trainer Jim talked to me about taking care of myself and not forgetting my needs, both physically and mentally. I lost another 30 pounds. A year later I joined a new gym and got a new trainer. His name was Jared and quite honestly he scared the shit out me. He was very strict and I was certain that if I didn’t do exactly what he said I would pay dearly. I was even afraid to waiver at home because I was convinced that somehow he would know. But…we turned out to be a great team. He busted my ass and I loved every minute of it. I shed another 70 pounds. I was strong, I was cut, you could even see my abs! The gym used before and after photos of me on posters and advertising in other gyms within their franchise across the US. I started kickboxing and training for obstale course races. I was in my mid 30’s and in the best shape of my life hands down. All of this, and when I looked in the mirror I still saw a fat girl. A couple years later while I was dealing with my divorce and the stress of working 9 hours from home, I lost another 25 pounds. This isn’t weight I should have lost, the size I wore told me I was tiny. I was in a size 3 which was not necessarily healthy for me. I don’t remember ever being a size 3 in my lifetime, but that small number seemed to give me power. For the first time in my life, I started to feel like I MIGHT NOT be a fat girl.
Less than a year later, my drive to get to the gym slowly started to diminish. I was getting injuries one after another and my orthopedic doctor advised me to take an extended break. No doubt my physical self needed it because God knows I loved to overdue it, but mentally it was the last thing I needed to do. I dont do well with change, and when I tried to get back to it, my old gym rat friends were gone. I couldn’t justify the money for a trainer, and honestly I hated going to the gym alone. I had a new man who didn’t need to, like to or want to go to the gym and I much preferred to spend any of my “extra” time with him. It became obvious that the gym wasn’t going to be a big part of my life anymore. I missed my gym workouts but my life had changed. I no longer felt the need for the social time I had previously longed for and I forgot that in the big picture, my body really does need it. Some people are lucky and never need to work out a day in their life, unfortunately I am not one of those lucky ones. You build a real connection with the people you work out with. Helping and seeing each other in vulnerable situations, showing your weaknesses and strengths and no one caring that you’re sweaty and looking ragged. It builds a trust and respect amongst you that is not shared with just anyone. I had become an equal in the gym, even a mentor to some. It was inevitable that eventually I would miss the social aspect of my gym time as much as the physical.
Over the past ten years I have gone up 40 pounds down 20, up 15 pounds down 45 etc. Now, here I am with 80 of the original 190 pounds that I had lost, back on. I’m not 300 pounds, but I certainly am a far cry from my empowering size 3 jeans. What does that mean for me? Yep. I’m back to fat for real.
Some people in my life have seen me through all of the sizes, and some have only seen one or the other. So I’ve hear a lot of comments that I might not have otherwise heard. I know what it feels like to have the fat jokes directed at me. On the other hand, I heard all the fat jokes directed to other large women when I was skinny. I can honestly say, I hated it all just the same. When I was skinny and I heard fat comments being made, I would say things like, “don’t say that”, “that’s mean”, “you dont know their situation”, I even remember saying “I’m a fat girl and it offends me.” People would roll their eyes because they didn’t know what I had come from.
Putting weight back on is humiliating at best. It’s embarrassing to let the people who only know skinny me because I fear it looks like I “let myself go”. It’s humiliated when I see the people who saw fat me turn into skinny me because I don’t want them to see my failure. There are certain things I love to do, but now I’m afraid to do them because during my skinny years I heard all of the laughing and negative comments people say about big girls doing them. Why would I knowingly put myself in that situation, especially knowing from experience how embarrassing it is. No one enjoys being the target of humiliating comments or laughter.
The scariest part of this weight gain for me is having a hotty husband. It appears to me that the good looking guys without a weight issue rarely desire fat girls. We started dating when I was skinny. He has seen some pictures of me in the past and he knows my story, but I’m no fool, seeing it in front of you naked is a whole new deal. It’s a silent brag moment for me everytime I see a woman “gawk” at him. But those moments coupled with knowing he was a man slut before he started seeing me, makes me feel like I’m sitting on a powder keg just waiting to explode. Meaning it’s just a matter of time before he gets tired of my grossness.
I can’t help but think it won’t take long for him to miss having a skinny girl and start to “wander”. I know he loves me dearly, he shows me in countless ways. Still I can’t help but fear him seeing me for the fat gross woman that I am and leaving me or worse yet filling that desire by cheating on me. And besides that, what woman wants to be “bigger” than her husband? I have no judgement for the women that are and are good with it. I wish I had that kind of confidence. When will this self loathing stop? I’m working on myself, but it feels like I’m not getting anywhere. When will I be strong enough to make this self loathing stop? I’m a fat girl, not dumb girl and I know that I’m the only one that can fix this.
When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Appreciate who’s looking back at you, respect and love the person you see. Find the courage & strength to love yourself for who you are and as you are. If you present yourself in such a way, others will see your confidence, your courage, and your strength and they will respect you for that. There will always be some ugly people, but don’t hesitate to dismiss them because of their ugliness.
Learn to love yourself today. You are worth it right now and you don’t have to wait for tomorrow. Take care of you today, because you never know when your tomorrow won’t come.