It’s Easter. Jesus is Risen. Spring has sprung. Love is in the air. Walking my dog this morning, my thoughts went from all the recent terrorist attacks on the globe, to all the political brown-people-scapegoating and spent the most time on the massive amount of weight I’ve gained.
So let’s get vain. Seriously, the human world is suffering from repeated trauma, the threat of global war, my Facebook feed keeps reminding me that I have no influence on my own government and I’m worried about my waistline.
Such is vanity.
I’m 5′ 2″. That’s 157 centimeters. Last year I was 127 pounds. This year, 140. That’s a 10% increase in weight. What gives?
Yeah, I’m on medication that slows my thyroid and taking replacement hormones every morning is Oh.Such.a.Drag. I’ve also been an impressive impulse eater. Snacks are my co-pilot.
But this morning I was sweating, sprinting down the street, dog at my side, getting blown kisses by a creepy man driving by. I’ve been exercising. Doesn’t that mean I should be thinner now?
And all that body positivity on the internet reminds me I should be glad for the body I have and where I am in life and blah blah blah. Yeah, ok.
Secret: I love my body. I say “fuck you” to clothes that don’t fit anymore. I really, really like my new, heavier body. There are drawbacks, like the fact that it looks more womanly now with hips and boobs and all sorts of secondary sexual characteristics emphasized another 10%. The neutral agender that I feel is nowhere to be seen on my hips, sure, but I love my body. It’s strong. I’m strong. And I take up more space.
Let me emphasize that point: I TAKE UP MORE SPACE AND THAT IS AWESOME. I have always felt invisible. When I learned to drive, I was startled to learn that people could see me and would wait for me to pass by before turning into my lane. Oh shit, I thought. I’m here. They can see me. There’s no escaping this.
My nickname has been The Ninja in more than one social circle. Being relatively short and fairly slender, I could slip through crowds like a ghost and sneak up stairs without a creak. Now that I weigh the same as my high school boyfriend, boards creak, my hips snag passerbyers, and I am here. My body is finally here.
Sure, I want to be thinner. I also want a million dollars. Ya can’t buy enlightenment and gaining weight has shown me what a fool I’ve been my whole teenage-girl-life. “Oh no! I’m 127 pounds. I wish I were 120 pounds. That’s the perfect weight for my height!”
In high school, I wrestled in the 119 weight class and would barely make weight. I thought the jiggle in my walk made me gross.
So here I am too repulsive for 1990s magazine covers at 140, wishing I could get back to my nightmare weight of 130, which is 3 pounds more than my hideous 127, and 11 pounds more disgusting than my barely passable high school athletic weight. ([*I use these negative descriptive words to make fun of my own personal hypocrisy, FYI]).
Here’s the thing: I’m the happiest I’ve ever been! I finally understand, from a whole other epiphany for another time, that no prince is going to save me from having to survive in this world. And so, now, the only person I need to attract is myself. Only I can save me from me.
Ha. So I’m done feeling bad about my thighs. My ass is awesome. My stomach is round and I hold it when I’m feeling blue. My boobs make fantastic cleavage and, yeah, that makes it pretty fun to look down.
I may never get back to the past. But my future is bright. I’m finding joy in strength. I’m doing push ups and hopefully I can continue being healthy both emotionally and physically. If that takes a little extra cellulite and a brand new pair of jeans, it’s gonna be a great fucking spring.
Now back to you, world.
5 thoughts on “Fat on Easter”
here is hoping you continue to find joy in your strength. AMEN.
“There are drawbacks, like the fact that it looks more womanly now with hips and boobs and all sorts of secondary sexual characteristics emphasized another 10%. The neutral agender that I feel is nowhere to be seen on my hips, sure, but I love my body. It’s strong. I’m strong. And I take up more space.”
For my own two cents, I’ve had partners with agendered (and omnigendered) identities. It’s always interesting to me that we rarely see the dysmorphia associated with those identities with the expression of masculine expressions and characteristics, but rather, a misplaced sense of shame at excess hip or chest curvature, as though having distinctive expressions equates with a betrayal of your inner/’true’ expression.
I realize that treads close to dangerously insensitive territory, since, obviously, in the Trans experience, that can *literally* be the case, where your form isn’t in line at all with how you feel you are. That isn’t the experience I’m referencing here, however. Rather, I’m referring to the seemingly common cultural fallacy surrounding the ‘gendering of the agendered’, which seems to come up a lot in discussions about non-binary gender expressions. The ideals held up, the David Bowie’s and Jaden Smith’s of the world, while helpful, come with their own problematic baggage. Why is the masculinization co-option of female fashion and expression considered the agender/androgynous ideal? Why can’t a curvy individual also be agendered? Why does it seem it’s always the female associated characteristics which have to be bound and minimized in order to pull this expression off? In this age of Identity politics, why can’t one embrace their natural body while not identifying with the social expectations and baggage associated with that form?
I’m sorry, I’m sort of rambling here, and I don’t have any easy answers for any of the above, I basically just wanted to say, regardless of how you look, or how you are presenting, you will always be a ‘they’ to me (as long as that’s how you want to be addressed, anyway…).
I think negative body image is tough. Reeeeeeally tough. It’s really easy to get into a spiral over it. But it seems to me that you’re aware of it, you’re exercising (which boosts endorphins), and you’re sharing your feelings. Plus, by posting this, you’re encouraging other people to contribute some very strong points about society’s contributions (almost uniformly negative) to people’s body image issues, which they are very much doing (a tip of the hat to you, @bonzothefifth). To me, your very strong reasoning skills are taking the stress you’ve felt over this issue and using it for constructive dialogue.
I’m really glad you like who you are, both mind and body*, and hope that that continues!
*I like who you are too.
You are truly the best *HUGS*
I’ll love you regardless of your weight. Just be you.