When I was 26, I was 105 – 110 pounds. I thought “Hey, I look damn good. So good in fact that If I gained a few pounds, I’ll look even better because I am SO skinny.” I would see larger people and be grossed out thinking, “I could NEVER let myself get to be so big.” Well, here I am about 40 – 50 pounds heavier, thinking about my mid-twenties and pining for the days of physical activity, eating anything I wanted to, and being completely comfortable in my skin and bones.
The story beings when I was 23. I moved to NYC to go back to school at FIT (three of the best years of my life so far). At the time, I was so poor that all I ate was pickles, popcorn, and dry Cheerios. I was always thin and athletic, but not in a disgusting way. I lost 15 pounds over the course of 3 years and was loving it! I loved that I could wear anything I wanted and be whistled at in the streets and be asked to “model” by Photography Club Pals. My jawline was fierce and my high cheekbones stuck out like a chiseled statue. I did, however, hate that my rib cage that would show on my chest. That was gross. Oh, and I was also starving ALL THE TIME. As you know pickles and Cheerios and popcorn aren’t all that filling. Someone asked me once why I didn’t eat a cheeseburger. I replied ” Well, shit. I would if you’d buy it for me.” Of course they didn’t oblige (jerk!).
The last semester of school was the hardest. I was having all kinds of stress from work and school and then discovered I had an inguinal hernia. That’s the kind of thing boys usually get. It’s discovered when the doctor grabs their balls and makes them cough. I found mine in the shower… a small lump where my body meets my leg. I seriously shit a brick.
After surgery, I was, naturally, a hot mess. Then came finals and then the total freedom of graduation followed by the empty sadness of having to get a real job and wear dresses and fancy shoes. I found work at a production company doing this and that. After work we’d all go out for a beer and that’s when it happened… I started drinking beer. I always hated beer, but now I love it. I need it with pizza, or on a hot day, or on a cold day…. I just love it (except Guinness. ew) and it’s cheap!
Once I started receiving health insurance, I went to all the doctors for all the check-ups and decided to get back on birth control. I opted for the Mirena IUD, since my plan would only cover contraceptive “devices” and not oral contraceptives, making the pill about $75 a month after insurance (Gotta love the American Health Care System).
Since the application of my contraceptive device, I have gained about one million pounds. To top off the Beer and Birth Control, I love pizza, bagels, tacos, pasta, and Netflix. I am eating a hunk of cheese as I type. I also worked a desk job for 3 years and hardly ever moved all day. So, there we have it. I am becoming a true American: lazy, fat, and unhappy.
Anyway, once the pounds started to find their way onto my bones I was like, “Oh hey! I have boobs again!” And now I am like “Wow, I am using my belly as an arm rest!” Something has got to give, friends! I have recently switched to Light Beer (so gross) in the hopes that a difference might be made. I am also switching to imbibing only on the weekends and taking long walks in the park as well as bike rides (and teaching myself the fine art of arm circles and hoola hooping). I have switched to salads, too, but then run the risk of devouring half a bottle of dressing! YIKES (ok, that was an exaggeration, although salad dressing is delicious)! I may even join the gym, but the thought of a stranger taking my weight is just horrifying… and then having to work out with other strangers who obviously work out all of the time? Gross!
All in all, the biggest problem I am having is not being comfortable in my skin. I am so uncomfortable! I feel sweaty and smelly all the time, I even have knee sweat! I have a gigantic ass (which I’m actually okay with). My boobs are great as long as they hang out past my belly, but I’m now growing boob rolls. BOOB ROLLS!
I didn’t even mind the first few pounds that I gained because I was starting to look like a real person and not a skeleton in a skin costume. Captain Clam reassures me a thousand times a day that I am not fat, but I have “gained a few pounds.” I’d say I’m chubby, and these days I am so worried that my arms are fat. Imagine… of all the things. ARM FAT! Oh arm fat, I love you! NOT!
I don’t think it’s bad to be big. In fact, I have a lot of friends who pull off a full figure very well and the absolutely adore themselves (as they should). It’s really about being comfortable and relaxed in your body. I know that’s ridiculously cliché, but after being a stick-thin starving artist and now being labeled as a “bold figure” by the gal at the Levi’s store, I am realizing that the skin on my body is not mine. There is a much happier person locked away in here somewhere, like I’m a sculpture that needs more chiseling (Wow, that was mad cheesy (I love cheese)). I seriously go out and am always thinking about how huge I feel and wondering if any notices just how fat my arms are. Some days I refuse to leave my house. It’s not abut the weight or the size, it’s about the flip and the flop; all that flab jumping about. I can feel it and it just feels wrong.
Thanks Goodness Gracious that I clean up pretty well when I slap on some make-up and hair-do, a dress, and what I like to call my “bike shorts.” I don’t feel that bad about myself when I’m in “costume.” Now if I could only get my thighs to have a fight and stop hanging out so much. I am learning the big girl tricks, like never leave home without baby powder… and just give up on wearing a belt entirely! I have also shunned bathing suits (that may have something to do with bad tattoos as well). All in all, I am ready to get my shit together… just in time for the end of bathing suit season.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress, because I know that you care.