The Defiance of Fat

I feel fat. Like pot-bellied pig with a snout fat.

And please, save yourself the effort of convincing me that I’m not actually fat. This is not a sad expose on the state of my self esteem. According to the World Health Organization, I’m actually “Pre-Obese”, which I find far kinder than fat anyways.

I’ve avoided writing this post. I’ve ruminated on it, scripted it out, and walked away from it. Only, as it usually does, the Universe put it squarely back in my lap. I was listening to Dear Sugar Radio (so good!) on my drive down to Nashville, half day dreaming, half concentrating (I can do that, ya know, I’m a superhero). The podcast was actually about addiction. And in the guest’s message about her attempts at sobriety, I found the answer to my avoidance. I want a different solution to my problem.

I am currently 15 pounds (17 if we’re talking clothes and breakfast) over my desired weight. I hit that weight three years ago before I took a travel job, dated a cheater, and left my life for Tennessee. That sounds like the premise of a country song, doesn’t it? Maybe its song-worthy because that weight is a story. It’s MY story of the past three years. It’s emotional drinking (let’s be honest, wine wins over chocolate), eating in airports, nursing chronic injuries, and celebrating bitter sweet goodbyes. That story is holding on to me.

I know how to let go of it, at least practically. I am well versed in the virtues of protein shakes, avocado, and water instead of wine (not the direction Jesus went, I’d like to point out). I’ve found peace on my mat, and I’m thrilled to know that eight hours of sitting on my ass likely won’t kill me as long as I get to the gym every ninth hour.

I’m just not there psychologically.

I’m fascinated by how other women handle this fat phenomenon. If we’re honest, every last one of us has thought “I feel fat” regardless of size, circumference, or WHO category. I applaud those that can disassociate self worth from weight and who find comfort in their own skin. At the same time, I seriously can’t figure out how they reconcile what I see when I look in the mirror. I’m also appalled by women who will knowingly destroy their bodies for the sole purpose of being thin. And yet, I find myself recognizing a sick kinship with their desperation.*

I want to see myself through my husband’s eyes. He is literally addicted to my butt. He kisses my belly and claims it as his own. He peacocks with pride over his “hot wifey”. It is the dissonance between that story and the one I’ve been living that keeps me from believing him.

Feeling fat sucks.

It is on me to write a new story, one that I can believe. It is on me to establish boundaries for the relationship I will have with fat. It is on me to honor the cease fire others negotiate with their fat. It is on me to reflect to the mirror what I want to see.

It is on me to embrace the pot-bellied pig, to kiss the snout, and share the slop. She’s my beast, after all, and my beauty.

*Check out the podcast (yes, I’m addicted!) “Tell Me I’m Fat” from This American Life for some profound examples of how women tell their fat story.