#106 - Always Sucking It Up/In

Recently I've been doing a lot of traveling for work (yes, work has kept me from posting due to my crazy 60-70 hr/week work schedule). Once again I found myself squeezing into airplane seat after airplane seat. And every time it's sssuuuucccckkkk in the gut to buckle the seat belt. And when someone sits next to me, as is so common these days on cramped flights, I suck it in even more to make sure I'm not encroaching on my seat mate's personal space. Then as I walk through airport terminals and catch sight of myself in the shiny plate-glass windows, I notice I'm all slouchy and fat and suck my gut in an attempt to shed a few virtual pounds to those around me. I had a recent client meeting which required me to wear my little (well OK, "big") black suit. All I can say is thank God I over pack when I travel, cause I slipped on my fancy slacks to find that no amount of sucking in my gut would make them comfortably fit. Ugh. I had to opt for a miss-matched pair of comfy black slacks (yay for stretch fabrics) to go with my black blazer. All this sucking it in really... well... sucks! For once I'd like to be comfortable with my tummy as is with no suckage required.

And the sucking doesn't stop there. OK that sounded perverse... Get your mind out of the gutter! It's much more than the physical sucking in of my gut, it's also mental. When heading out to my last client meeting, surveying my look in the hotel mirror, and sighing yet again about how fat I looked, I just had to tell myself, "Yup, you're fat, deal with it, suck it up." I find that when physically sucking it in fails to satisfy my need to "look" thinner, eventually I admit defeat and suck it up to gain enough confidence to face my day. I hate that I'm settling for the body I have and have to "deal" with it. As I've said many times in the past, I'm not looking to be skinny, just comfortable in my own skin. I don't want to settle for the big body I have, I don't want to have to keeping sucking it up to deal with my emotions. Don't get me wrong, I don't just suck it up in the sense that I'm burying my emotions or anything. I hate it, it sucks. But you have to go about your life, and on those days you feel bad about the way you look, life is still moves forward, and sometimes you have to put those feelings of self-doubt aside. I applaud myself for the fact that in the past, sucking it up used to mean saying, "Whoa is me, now where are the brownies?" Now, I still say, "Whoa is me..." But now I think about how the hell I'm going to fix this? (sans brownies) I at least recognize the fact that a pan of brownies will only make my situation worse.

So what am I doing about it? Hmm... let me think... I know this one... Oh yeah... not a lot! OK I know that is totally the wrong answer, but it's the truth. I'm not doing a lot right now. I've gotten a decent handle on my diet: forgoing massive quantities of sweet, eating whole grains, *trying* to eat more fruits and veggies (hey at least I'm trying), and listening to when my body feels full. Doing this, I've maintained my weight loss for over 2 years. But I'm seriously lacking in the exercise department, which is the ONLY way I'll start losing weight again. The fiance and I got memberships to a local gym. That was a big step for me. Problem is... That's the closest step I've made to the gym! It's been 3 months and we have yet to go for a workout. I know, I'm bad! I am so exercise-a-phobic. I just hate it. All that hard work and sweating, bah! Can I just sit on the couch? Of course I know the answer to that question. Sure, I can keep on sitting as long as I'm fine with settling for my big bootie, because apparently it's impossible to suck in your butt!

Apparently the only way I can fix this is to suck it up... suck up my fear of exercise and get moving! Because no amount of sucking it in will ever make me lose another 100 pounds!


#105 - Resolutions...

Black steel, twisted and hard, encasing the bodies of these poor souls. The weight of the device bears down on the chest of one suffering man, sweat dripping from his brow as he endures the pain. Another woman, strapped onto some tool, stretching her body to and fro as she grimaces in agony. Torture devices as far as the eye can see, each imprisoning another wretched body. This may sound like I'm describing some medieval dungeon, but I'm not. I'm describing a horror far worse... the gym.

I seem to have gotten a handle on my eating habits. I've cut out the excess junk food, avoided fast food, brought whole grains into my life, consume more fruits and veggies, and watch my total calorie intake. This has allowed me to lose 75 pounds and maintain that lose for over a year. But now my weight won't seem to budge, and I know just the reason why... exercise. Even the word is like nails on the chalkboard to me. But without it, I just won't lose more weight (in a healthy, maintain it for life way, of course).

So once again tis the time of year for resolutions, and for probably the tenth straight year, exercise more is my New Year's resolution. That brings me to my reason... resolutions. Why is it that we save up things we want to do, especially things that are good for us, till the beginning of the new year? Health and fitness are something we should strive for year round, but it always seems to be something we put off. It's kind of like the idea that you can't start a diet mid-week (diets only start on Mondays of course). If we have some big looming goal, we put it off til the beginning of the year.

New Years resolutions are also an excuse to turn a blind eye to health during the holidays. The end of the year is laden with goodies, and feasts, and sweets. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years - all within two months time. Those two months can do a lot of damage if you're watching your weight! So it seems the resolution is a way for us to ditch the calorie counting, grab a fork, and overindulge. I'm not saying that's entirely a bad thing. Splurging from time to time is needed. But there is a difference between enjoying all the yummies at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without returning for seconds, or thirds, or fourths?... Honestly, that first plate was indulgence enough. I know in the past, when the holidays came, it was like, woo hoo, time to eat! At Halloween I would down enough fun-sized candy bars to put a diabetic into a coma. At Thanksgiving, I would gorge on turkey, and stuffing, and mashed potatoes, and gravy, and green bean casserole, and stuffing, and stuffing, and stuffing (can you tell I like stuffing?)... And if that wasn't enough, I would still make room for pie (apparently unzipping your pants helps in this process)... Oh and not just pumpkin, had to have both pumpkin AND pecan pie. And then at Christmas, it was like Thanksgiving take two, only this time add a stocking full of candy and a house full of Christmas cookies. I have this little odd autistic quirt about me... I have to do things in rounded numbers (I know, I'm weird). So take Christmas cookies, if I make 10 batches of Christmas cookies (10 different types), that means each time I want a cookie, I would have to eat 10 cookies... to even out the batches of course. Obesity and OCD... not a good combination in this case!

Anyway, back to my topic. While I hate that we use the ole New Year's resolution as an excuse for bad behavior throughout the year, I must say I am again making my resolution. I made one small step in the right direction already. My fiance and I joined the gym! (Oh yes, you read right... fiance! My beau of almost two years has asked me to marry him!) But here's where the resolution comes in... we joined the gym in November... and have yet to go! So this year, we're hoping to go (no no wrong word, scratch that)... we're starting to go to the gym regularly. Of course, I know my style. If I don't ease into it, I'll be scared away after a week! So we'll take it slow and start going like twice a week and build from there in frequency and duration to help us make ourselves healthier for the new year. It will be nice to have a gym buddy to help motivate me to go. Once he gets going, my fiance likes exercise (yeah I know, weird), so that will help a lot!

On that note, Happy New Year everyone! May this year bring you a life with happiness and good health! So what's your New Year's resolution?


Mini update

If you follow my blog, you know I don't post enough! Life, work, distractions, it all keeps me running. But I thought I'd update you on some cool stuff happening.

First off, I got a job!!! Yay! In past posts, I was talking about how I was starting to think it was my fat keeping me from getting a job. I had gone on a couple 2nd interviews even that resulted in nothing. So yup, I was starting to really doubt myself. But lo and behold, all I need was a little patience (maybe a lot of patience!). The economy sucks and it just took more time than I thought to find a great job.

Another good thing (geesh I sound like Martha Stewart), is that I am FINALLY falling off this weight plateau. I'm losing again, slowly but surely. 277 now, so down 75 pounds total. Yay! Plateaus are trickey. The body does naturally resist weight loss at times, slowing your weight loss down to allow time for your body to adjust. But there comes a point where you need to realize the plateau is not a plateau, but rather you being lazy about trying to lose weight. I must admit it was the latter for me. I had been getting lazy about weight loss lately. Too many sweets, too many second helpings, too little exercise. It's one thing to hit a plateau for a few weeks or a month or something, but if you've been sitting at a plateau for month after month... chances are you need to be doing something more. So I've been doing that something more and it's working again. Weight loss isn't rocket science - eat less, move more. But sometimes even something so simple is so hard to stick to! I think the important thing to think about is that even though I got lazy with weight loss, I still didn't give up. I knew I was doing less than spectacular in trying to lose weight, but I didn't just throw in the towel. In past years, I would have just said, "oh screw it, I'm not losing any weight anymore.... now I can eat that whole cheesecake" (I'm exaggerating of couse) I think the biggest difference for me this time around, is that I know this is a life-long commitment. So when I get lazy or eat poorly for while, I just tell myself it's like a little holiday, and I always come back to good habits. I guess in the past it was always the other way around, the default mode was bad habits.

And I'm still working on the book. The new job has me busy busy lately. I'm actually on the road as we speak on a 9 day long business trip! But I'm putting the final touches on a few book edits, so it's definitely moving along, albeit a little more slowly. I'm so excited to get 101 Reasons into print! It's been years of blood, sweat, and tears... ok maybe brownies, exercise, and venting... but you get the idea.

And on a side note: I know I don't post nearly enough, but I'm still here. So stop asking to buy my blog! It's not for sale!!!


..And she FINALLY gets on Twitter

Hey all, just wanted to let you know that you can follow me on Twitter now! Twitter is the perfect format for me to vent my daily frustrations with life and writing. So I thought I'd share!

If you've noticed, I removed the archives from my blog. *collective awww from the readers* But never fear, cause the good news is 101 Reasons I Hate Being Fat is becoming a book! *yays* So follow me on Twitter if you want to hear me rant and rave about the whole publishing process and talk about my daily struggles!

#104 - The Effort of Being Fat!

Let's face it; being fat takes A LOT of effort! Being fat takes much more than the normal amount of effort, on both physical and psychological levels. When I'm fat it takes so much out of me! Let me describe this in more detail... a list within in a list if you will.

1. Dieting. It seems that fat people are always on a diet, or at least attempting to be on a diet! Think of all the time and effort that goes into following all the programs, portioning out just the right amount of food, planning meals, shopping for the right ingredients, and frankly all the effort of feeling guilty when you eat something that you're not supposed to. I think fat people spend WAY more time thinking about food and food preparation than thinner people. Have you ever found yourself planning your next meal just as you took the last bite of your current meal? I know I have! I'm always planning (and not always in a good way - sometimes I'm planning when I'll have my next brownie)!

2. Physical. Being fat is hard work! Now I'm 5'6" with a stocky frame, so by my doctor's calculations I should weigh roughly in the 160 pound neighborhood. I'm currently 280, so that means I'm carrying an excess of about 120 pounds! Wow that's a hefty load! I mean imagine a 160 pound person having to carry around a 120 backpack all day long. Geesh, that would take a lot of effort. It takes a lot of work to lug around all that extra weight! Even walking up a flight of stairs can seem like a major task if you are carrying that much weight. By the end of the day, I'm exhausted, even if I've only done a few things around the house! Think of all of the other physical limitations of being fat. If you were healthier, you could play longer with your kids, you could enjoy physical activities like sport more, hell, even sex would be better!

3. Psychological. I think being fat adds so much undue stress to a person's life. Fat people have so many worries about being fat. We worry about what other people think about us, we worry about our diets, we worry about our health, we worry about getting dates, we worry about everything! That takes so much effort to constantly worry about stuff. And it's not just worrying. There are many other taxing emotions that face the fat afflicted. Many fat people suffer from depression and loneliness, though this may be a case of the chicken and egg. Which came first? The fat or the depression? Some would argue that being depressed leads to overeating and then obesity, but others would argue that being obese in itself is depressing and leads to further depression. I'm not sure on this one. Was I depressed when I was thinner and got then fat, or was I fat and then got depressed? The jury is still out on this one. I'm sure it's different for everyone, regardless, dealing with depression takes effort. You find yourself constantly having to give yourself pep talks to keep your spirits up or talk yourself out of yet another neurosis.

4. Health. Being fat is clinically proven to be bad for your health. Many people who are fat have to deal with medical conditions brought on by their obesity. It could be diabetes, high blood pressure, a heart condition, or even bad knees; they all take a lot of effort to deal with. With all of these afflictions there are numerous doctor visits, medications, and regimens that must be followed, all of which take a ton of effort. Imagine all the extra time you would have if you didn't need to keep popping pills or going to the doctor!

5. Work place. It's been shown that obese people are less likely to be hired than their thinner counterparts, mostly due to overly simplified stereotypes of the obese as being thought of as lazy and stupid. Now if you're one of the lucky ones and have a job, it's also been shown that obese people earn less money in the same jobs than skinner folks. So in the work place the obese person needs to make more of an effort to shine above the rest and prove their worth as a good employee. Who woulda thunk it? Being fat even affects the amount of effort you need to put into a job.

So what am I getting at with all of this? Well clearly being fat sucks. Not only does it carry awful social stigmas and health risks, it takes a lot of work! We always bitch and moan that losing weight is so hard and takes too much time and effort, but really it's so much harder being fat! Stay fat and spend a lifetime of hard work and effort to maintain (or should I say deal with) your fat body, or spend a few weeks, months, or years of effort losing weight and getting fit and healthy. It's our choice. Now by nature I'm kind of a lazy person. I always look at losing weight as such a major task, like it just TOO hard. But really when you put it into perspective, being fat is much harder. The amount of effort I mentioned above is just hitting the tip of the iceberg. It just takes so much effort to be fat. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to work so hard on all of the things we need to do being fat? I think the time is now to put in the effort and get healthy. All your efforts today will pay off for a lifetime!

Update: I know a lot of you have been wondering where I've been. I'm here, just trying to deal with life. As you see by my stats my weight hasn't budged! Yup, I'm still 280. So why the slow down? I'd been doing so well, consistently losing about 0.5-1 pound per week. Well let's face it; I haven't been putting in the effort into getting healthy. I've been letting the fat weigh me down (pun intended). Sometimes life throws you curve balls, and I got a whopper. Now I'm not trying to make any excuses. I know I'm not putting in the effort and it's reflected in my lack of weight loss, but I thought I'd fill you in on what's been up. In May I got laid off. :( Woo hoo, gotta love the economy! So I've been coping with being an unemployed person. Truth be told, I've been holding a pity party for myself. We you're unemployed for a while you really start to doubt your own self worth. I have a PhD and I can't even find a job, so I keep wondering what's wrong with me. Then I keep going back to that statistic about how it's harder for an obese person to find a job and I wonder if that's part of it, which in turn, makes me feel even worse and leads me yet again to that wonderful pan of brownies... yeah I know, I should know better. These walls on my pit of despair are steep, but I keep trying to claw my way out! I'm not going to get stuck in that rut of feeling sorry for myself and turning to food as a way to cope. I just have to keep reminding myself that's just the economy; so many others are in the exact same boat as me. I really need to remind myself of the big picture, that getting healthy NOW is important and will make me feel much better for the rest of my life. Hard times are no excuse. We'll be dealt a bad hand in life now and again. Learning how to deal with the tough times the right way is so important. Many people turn to their vices during the rocky times, whether it be drinking, drugs, or in my case food. But all of those things merely mask the pain. They don't solve your problems, only you can do that by facing them head on. That's why I say now that I'll always be a recovering fat-a-holic. The temptation to slide back into old habits is so easy. Sure I may have fallen off the wagon for a bit, but I'm not quitting


#103 - My inability, at times, to say "No"

I am always amazed watching normal/thin people say 'No' to food. You know what I mean. 'Would like a slice of pie?', 'No, thank you.' Huh? If someone ever offered me a piece of pie, I would most graciously say 'yes'. :) Could I even turn down a slice of pie, ever? Even at Thanksgiving, when we are full to the limit with turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing and all the yummy trimmings, there always somehow seems to be room for pie. I don't know where I picked up this inability to say 'no' to foods offered to me. Am I just being gracious? Am I truly hungry? Do I just want that high I get from carbs? Or is it just that I'm cheap and can't refuse a free offer? Who knows. It's probably some combination of the above. But it's true, I don't seem to have the word 'no' in my foodie vocabulary.

I notice that my normal-sized boyfriend always turns down my offers of food. 'Do you want a cookie?', 'No, thanks', 'Do you want some cake?', 'Nope, I'm good', 'Would you like some dinner?', 'Nah, not hungry'. How does he do it? Is he truly not hungry? Or does he possess some superpower I am unaware of? Ask me any of those above questions and I guarantee my answer will be 'yes'. Granted, I know my boyfriend isn't that much into sweets (I know, the horror!), so I get that it's easy for him to turn down my goodie offers. But still. I could ask him, 'Honey, want some steak?' (cause most men go weak at the knees for grilled beef products) And many times he'll still say 'no'.

What I wonder though, is do people like that consciously say 'no' as a choice? Like sure they would REALLY like some pie, but realize it's not good for them and refuse the offer? Or do they truly not have the same urges and cravings? I wonder. I've asked my boyfriend about this, and his answer usually is 'nope, I just don't want it'... Don't want pie??? Crazy talk. Everyone wants pie... don't they? Is there some innate switch inside normal/thin people that turns off that automatic 'yes' answer? Is our switch broken? Are we (the chubby ones) stuck in the 'on' position, and forced (ok I know not FORCED, but ya know) to say 'yes'? I mean I honestly can't remember the last time I turned down an offer of food. Probably the only time was when I had the stomach flu and couldn't keep anything down. Even then, I still managed to eat some soup and crackers when it was offered to me.

I keep thinking I have to work on exercising my right to say 'no' to sweets. I know they are not good for me. I know they don't add any essential nutrients to my daily diet. I know they make me fat. But despite all this knowing... I still say 'yes'. Maybe from being fat so long and saying 'yes' to all the crap over the years, I've just gotten out of practice in saying' no'. I think just like anything in life, it takes practice. By no means do I expect to always say 'no' to my favorite baked goods, but I think I can start consciously throwing in a 'no' here and there. I always say it's the little things we can do to help ourselves that add up. Just saying 'no' to a piece of pie 3 times a week, for example, adds up to 18 pounds in a year in excess calories! I'm going to do my little part today. I made a fresh batch of brownies yesterday, but I think today I will say 'no'. I can wrap them up and put them in the freezer where they can wait for me another day. I can say 'no'!


#102 - Underwear

Underwear? You ask. It's true. This is one of those little odd reasons I hate being fat... underwear. As a fat woman I find myself faced with the dilemma of which underwear style to choose. I'm still quite heavy and have this oh-so-attractive stomach roll that I can't figure out what to do with. Here's the thing... do I wear big huge granny panties to cover it up? Do I wear high cut bikinis that cover half of it? Do I choose normal bikinis and let my undies sit under my roll. Or do I go nuts and wear a thong just covering up the bits? It's a strange dilemma, but I'm faced with it. The only reason this came up was the fact that I got so lazy and didn't wash clothes for a long time and have now gotten the chance to take a tour of every single pair of underwear in my underwear drawer. Yup I've worn them all. Briefs, bikinis, boy shorts, lace ones, cotton ones, silky ones, my underwear drawer is a cornucopia of undergarments.

So here's my take so far of Undie Tour 2009. The high cut bikinis are a pain. They cover half my roll when I slip them on, but during the day gravity and movement manage to roll them down and they end up bunched in a little roll under my, well, roll. Not very comfortable I must say. Same thing with the boy shorts. They are super cute when I slide them on, but in the end are hidden under my tummy. The regular bikini was at least honest with me. It made no attempt to cover up the stomach and sat below my gut. They are comfortable, but something about my tum tum swaying loose in the wind bothers me. I don't like the feel of my stomach scratching against the inside of my jeans. I don't know, maybe it's just me. Then there was the string bikini. God help us. This one was terrible. Not only did they disappear under my roll, the strings on the side found themselves wedged into my hip. Geesh, didn't I realize before I actually had hip rolls? Gross out. So when I look in the mirror, all I see is a little triangle of fabric covering my hoo ha, the rest mysteriously missing, tucked away in the folds. This, I did not like. Finally there was the infamous granny panties. OK I think what I call granny panties isn't the same ones your granny wears. Honestly I don't think I've ever bought a pair of truly full cut brief underwear. The ones I wear are actually labeled hipsters, whatever that means. But like Goldie Locks said, "they were just right". These seem to hug my body in all the right ways, cover the stomach, and stay put all day long. In my mind these are granny panties, but I know they are not even close. Granny panties are the ones that go up to your belly button... Let's not go there. So the clear winner for me was the hipsters.

But what about the size? Ugh, don't get me started. When did someone come up with underwear sizing? 4,6,8,10? And those sizes pretty much cover the size range of most women? I've always hovered in the 8-10 range for most of my adult life. Size 10? What is that equivalent to? I wear a size 22? I like what some of the plus-sized stores do. They actually size underwear normally. I can go there, buy a size 22/24 and KNOW they will fit. How many times have you picked up a 3-pack of undies in size X from one brand and another pack in the same size from another brand, go them home, and neither fit right (one probably being to tight, one too big)? I'll stick with my plus-sized brands even though they are heinously expensive ($14 for a pair of undies?!?).

This makes me think of the sizing on pantyhose (ok pantyhose aren't underwear, so a bit off topic, but at least it has the word panty in it!). A,B,C... Q? I was surprised to find I had picked up a royal title just from wearing my Queen-sized pantyhose! What the hell is that about? Is that the company's way of saying, "Aww, I'm sorry you're so fat. Let me make you feel better and call your size Queen." Strange. Some of the plus-size stores at least have the dignity to call it like it is and just continue the alphabet with their sizes, D,E,F,G,H. While some others have opted to come up with up with their own naming convention, either restarting the alphabet, A,B,C, or using numbers 1,2,3. I personally like the ones that give me the real sizes like 1X, 2X, 3X. Then I really know what I'm getting. I mean, am I a B or a C or a 2 or a 3? Well at least I know I'm somewhere around 2X or 3X, so I appreciate the honesty in their sizing. But I suppose pantyhose don't really need exact sizes anyway. When a pair of pantyhose says it fits a woman from 5'4" to 6'3" from 190 pounds to 250 pounds, I think you can be loose with the sizing.

So now all that remains in my undie drawer is a thong. So the question is... am I going thong or doing laundry today? I suppose I could take a tip from my boyfriend and just go commando!


~*~ Mail Bag ~*~

I know, I know, I haven’t posted in ages! My bad. Mea culpa, mea culpa. I’ve been going through a tough time lately, just having a hard time sticking to being healthy. Sure I’m trying, but only half-assed, you know what I mean. So I’ve been having myself a little pity party lately, falling into that stupid cycle again of feeling bad, eating more, feeling worse, eating more, feeling even worse..... and so forth. But something made me realize what I had fallen back into. I opened up my email this morning and got a really delightful message. Shelley wrote me a great honest story about an experience she had while clothes shopping. Just reading her story today was enough to snap me out it. Anyway, I thought I’d share her story and my response with you all. As I explained to Shelley, I really don’t think you all realize the impact you have on me too!


I know you haven’t updated the blog since January so I don't even know if you will even read this, but I feel like I want to email you and tell you my story and profess my love for your blog.

I stumbled upon your blog about 4 or 5 months ago at like 11 at night and I ended up reading the whole thing, in its entirety, start to finish and was up for a long time reading every post while my boyfriend lay in bed. I was smiling, agreeing, laughing, and crying. I couldn't stop! I haven’t read anything like your blog, ever. I have browsed many a book by overweight women and find myself not able to really relate to them because for some reason or another I don’t feel like its very real, but your blog is the most real thing I can imagine. Thank you so much for writing from a legit perspective.

I am 23 years old, 5'4 and about 250 pounds. I have almost always been kind of heavy, and it is no doubt in my mind that I suffer from some sort of Compulsive Overeating disorder. I love to eat! I ritualize it and honor food. Either way, I am a lucky girl because I have a great boyfriend who isn’t one of those creepy BBW admirers and is really supportive and understanding and truly likes a bigger lady. ANYHOW, that wasn’t the point of my letter; I wanted to share with you my eye opening moment when I realized that I could do something with what I have always thought of as my fat, shapeless body.

I have always been super self conscious about my clothes. I can never find anything that fits so I resort to black band t-shirts and jeans and flip flops pretty much all the time. I know, that I look terrible, but I feel like its okay to do in t-shirts and that wearing black will somehow slim me down. So, one day I stumbled upon Torrid in the mall, I am sure you know what Torrid is, and if not, boy are you in for a pleasant surprise. Well, it’s a modern plus size clothing store that isn’t too tacky but can be a little lame at times. So, I went inside and was blown away by the amount of cute clothing in bigger sizes so I started picking up things to try on. I was in my usual attire and the girls at the desk were those super proud fat girls with a lot of sass who are exponentially cooler than I am. I went into the dressing room and came out in a little outfit I picked out that look okay. The girl was waiting outside the dressing room for me and as I looked in the mirror I sighed and said "nothing fits!" The girl just gave me a blank stare and said "I think it looks pretty good" to which I gave the standard response "it makes me look fat". The girls at the counter kind of looked back as they heard my declaration and the girl standing there said "well, you ARE fat." I was so confused. Did she really just say that? Is she fucking crazy? She's much bigger than me, why is she insulting me? "What???" I said. "You ARE fat. I know, it’s hard to hear, but someone had to tell me too." At this point I had no idea what to do, I was frozen with humiliation. "You're a big girl, and that’s okay, don’t be scared of it, that won’t do you any good. You have to embrace it and learn to dress accordingly. Those jeans you were wearing when you came in, what size are they?" she asked. I told her they were an 18 and she shook her head. "You are trying on size 18 jeans but they don’t fit you. You aren't a size 18, you are a 20, is it that hard to admit that? Holding on to that size 18 in your head doesn’t make you any skinnier, neither does that disgusting t-shirt that is way too small. No one can see the labels on your clothes, so even though in your head you are wearing an XL shirt and 18 jeans and you feel a few pounds lighter, to them you are just a fat girl in clothes that don’t fit. Try on a bigger shirt and a pair of 20s" Reluctantly and still a little shell shocked I let her show me to the bigger jeans and some daring tops that I would have never picked out for myself. To my surprise, when I put on the jeans they fit like a glove, perfect around my waist, I didn't have to suck my stomach in all the way to get them on and they didn’t tuck my fat in and cut off my circulation, I was impressed and the shirt showed a lot of cleavage but surprisingly, took the attention off my stomach and damn, I must say, I looked good. I came out and the girls at the desk clapped. They threw me in a pair of kitten heels to elongate my body and a new bra and sent me packing. I felt rejuvenated, just as I did after reading your blog.

Thanks for everything you said on there. It helped me find comfort in myself.

Shelley M.

Hi Shelley,

Yes it has been so long since I've posted on my blog. I guess you can say I've been in a bit of a slump. I lost 70 pounds over the course of about a year and a half and now I'm stuck in some holding pattern, my weight not budging. And this has gotten me down.

Thank you for emailing me. Your honest story about the clothes was great. And I know about Torrid - LOVE it! The whole thing about realizing - yes, I am fat - can be painful. But I find now when I look in the mirror after picking out some outfit that might not be the most flattering, and I say to myself, "OMG, I look fat!" Then I pause, look again, and say, "well, you are fat, get over it." It definitely takes a healthy dose of acceptance of our current fat bodies, before we can muster up the gusto to try to lose weight. It's kind of an oxymoron. You have to hate your fat enough to do something about it, but at the same time you have to love yourself enough to want to do it. It's tricky and complicated.

I just wanted to thank you again for your email. I've been stuck in this rut, and I must say your email made me smile and shook me out of my funk a bit. I am fat, so what? I don't like being fat, so I'll do something about. I just have to keep chanting this mantra. I think I've been stuck feeling sorry for my fat body lately, letting myself slip back into that "I'm fat, woe is me, now give me something to eat" mentality. Thanks for giving me a little jolt!

I think what people don't realize is that it's comments and emails like yours that totally help motivate me. I get a lot of thank yous from people saying how much I've helped them stay motivated, but really it works both ways! Thanks for sharing your story! We all need to find a way to feel comfortable in our own skins. Only then can we truly be ourselves!

Thanks again!

AKA karaokekitty @ 101 Reasons I Hate Being Fat

Read the last Mail Bag post


#101 – When will I stop being "fat"?

I've been thinking about this, and I wonder what your opinion on this is. At what point will I earn the right to stop calling myself fat? Is it when others stop calling me fat? Is there a weight limit? A BMI limit? Is it some abstract state of mind, only definable by me? Is it all of the above? I don't know. I know I'm definitely still fat. I'm cool with that. I've lost 70 pounds, with about... oh... 80+ more to go. I know this is a process, a journey, but when won't I be fat anymore? Sure I could go by the height and weight charts in the doctor’s office, or calculate my BMI, but that's just a number. I don't know, does it even matter? So many of my reasons why I hate being fat all have to do with me being self conscious... Are those people looking at me because I’m fat? Do men reject me because I'm fat? Do these jeans make me look fat... and are people looking? I CANNOT wear a swim suit in public! Sound familiar? Maybe we lose the fat moniker once our brains stop thinking we're fat. Maybe it's a personal thing for everyone. I think some people think they are totally fat when they are only 5 pounds over weight, while others don't feel fat until they are something like 50 pounds heavier. It's all a state of mind. But I don't know, maybe I'll always be a fat person. I don't mean physically, but mentally. This may be something I struggle with for the rest of my life. I mean what am I expecting to happen? Lose like 150 pounds and then keep it off with no effort? That's not gonna happen. It takes work to lose it and even more work to keep it off. I guess it just means I'll be a recovering fat-a-holic for the rest of my life. One day at time. Geesh, I think I need a 12-step program. Makes me think of that Serenity Prayer. Here's my version for the weight-challenged of the world:

God grant me the serenity
To make good food choices;
Courage to turn away from baked goods;
And energy to exercise daily.
Living healthy one day at a time;
Enjoying my journey;
Accepting that the road to wellness can be hard;
Taking the tools of better eating out into the world
As I should, free from the bad habits of the past;
Trusting that making wise decisions today will pay off tomorrow;
If I surrender to my will
I will not beat myself up in this life and the next
But I will remember that this is a life long journey;
A journey that is well worth every pound lost.

All kidding aside, I think that really sums it up. It will be hard to make good choices everyday, but just take it one day at a time and never give up. And don't beat yourself up so much! Life is hard, weight loss is hard, being healthy takes a lot of time and effort, so any energy you put into it is awesome! Pat yourself on the back! This is a life long journey of many tiny changes to your old habits. I'm a firm believer in making VERY small changes. Clearly all those fad diets didn't work for us. Sure maybe you lost a little weight, but did you keep it off? I think it's all about the little changes. You can sustain little changes forever. An extra glass of water a day? Easy peasy. An extra serving or two of veggies daily? Piece of cake (oh God, don't let me get started on cake... ). OK then... a smaller piece of cake at the next birthday party. Simple. You get the idea. It just takes teenie tiny changes like these, that over time will add up to something significant - a more healthy you! Sure you won't lose weight as fast as that fasting diet, but the changes in your body will last a life time.

Hi. My name is Jenny. And I'm a recovering fat-a-holic.


OK, I think I just heard a collective gasp as you all realized that was post number 101. I know what you’re thinking. Is she going to stop posting now?!? Is it over?!? Well, let me reassure you I don’t plan on stopping yet. Why? Well… have I reached my goal yet? No way. Do I still have reasons why I hate being fat? You betcha! So never fear, 101 Reasons I Hate Being Fat will go on. I guess I just need to start over… Another 101 Reasons I Hate Being Fat!


#100 - Blaming something else for my weight gain

This is going to be a difficult post to read. It's a difficult post to write. But it's something that needs to be said. We all got fat for a reason. It didn't just happen. Sure, there is a small percentage of people that gain weight due to medical reasons, but I'm betting you and I are not one of them. We gained weight mostly due to emotions. Food is a great coping tool for life. It makes you happy when you are sad (gotta love the calming effects of the carbohydrate). It gives you company when you are bored or lonely. It lifts you up on a down day. Food is always there for you. Food is awesome that way. But there is the flip side. Food will let you down in the end. It's not the miracle cure to all of life's problems. Food will trap you. Once you start to overeat, you need more and more food to satisfy you. And like a junkie, you keep going back for your fix. Food can be a drug, plain and simple. You need to be careful how you use it. Food is meant to nourish our bodies and keep us alive. But we've turned food into this tool to help us get through the bad times.

I suspect if you are like me, it took some pretty bad times to get you where you are today. Why did you turn to food? I truly don't think we can lose this weight until we face up to why we got fat in the first place. It's so easy to blame something else for our weight. "It's genetic." "I have big bones." "I don't like to waste food." "I quit smoking and gained weight." "I have a medical condition that makes me gain weight." "I don't have time to watch my weight." "I don't like to exercise." Sorry, but I think all of those excuses are crap. It was a choice. You chose to become fat. Sure, you didn't wake up one day and say, "I think I wanna be fat now!" Of course not, but you chose to overuse food for whatever reason got you started. You say it's genetics? Ok so you were dealt a bad genetic hand. That only means you need to watch your weight more closely. Some people can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. You are not one of those people. You know it. So choose. Fall back on your excuse, or work at it. You say it's medical? Then get to a doctor and solve the problem. So many people fall on this excuse, but it is VERY rare to have a medical condition that makes you morbidly obese. Sure there are lots of medications and conditions that can predispose you to gain a bit of weight (a bit, like maybe 20 pounds), but true medical conditions causing you to gain 100+ pounds are very rare. Again, you choose. Excuse? Life?

I hate to be so brutal, but it's the brutal facts. We make choices. And we've apparently made some bad choices. But it's not the end of the world, it's not game over, we can fix the problem. We can choose to use food in a more normal way. Remember, food is there to keep us alive and nourish us. It's not an emotional coping tool. This brings me back to the real reason most of us got fat. Emotions. We hate to admit it, but food was there when we were down, and it temporary lifted us up out of whatever crap we were going through. So why did I get fat? This is the hard part to write. To actually put down on paper and share with the world why I got fat. When I was a little girl I was sexually abused by a relative. It went unnoticed for seven years. I hid what was happening to me out of fear and shame. I was a little girl. I was brainwashed into thinking I would destroy the family if I said anything. And I believed that. I thought it all must have been my fault. Initially I didn't use food to deal. Though I was taught food was a reward for my silence. I got an ice cream cone after every time. Sad huh? But my way to cope overall was by becoming the perfect child. Perfect student. Perfect friend. Perfect clothes. Perfect life. Perfect everything. It's pretty hard to be perfect all the time. Finally when I was fourteen years old, I snapped. I basically had a nervous breakdown. I couldn't stop screaming and crying. Of course my parents freaked out trying to figure out what had happened to their perfect child. Ironically, my father was a psychologist, and it wasn't long before my parents figured it out. I couldn't utter the words, but they knew. They knew there was only one thing that would make a girl fall apart so bad. We went to the police. We did everything you do in this situation. I started therapy. But after all of this, I was numb. My whole life seemed false. I wasn't that perfect child. I was just me. Was just me good enough? I didn't think so anymore. All the threats that had been whispered to me came true. My family was destroyed, everything fell apart. My immediate family broke off from the extended family, and became isolated. He was right, I wrecked everything. Of course that was what I was thinking then, I don't think that now. It was all his fault. No question. But I took on all the blame. That is a lot for a fourteen year old to deal with. And so it began. I made the choice. Ironically, I used food just like he had taught me. Feel bad... eat an ice cream cone, and so on and so on. I gained all that weight to protect me from the world. If you are fat, you are less desirable. Who wants a fat girl? I was safe.

Does this story sound familiar? I wouldn't be surprised if it does. It's estimated that 25% of obese people have been sexually abused. Only 6% of the thin population have had the same experience. It's even been shown that people with a history of sexual abuse have a harder time losing and maintaining weight loss. Any small failure or set back seems like the end of the world and we quit. Food is so much easier.The choice seems so easy when you feel so bad. But where does it get you in the end? Food lies. It's a quick fix. In the end, you are more fat, more miserable, and have less self-esteem than when you started. It's a bad choice. I can sit back and blame my life's events for my weight. I can eat all my problems away. Trust me, I've done that! But I won't do it anymore. I went through therapy, I dealt with everything that happened, I came to terms with my life, and I'm moving on and choosing to live. Unfortunately my body hasn't quite caught up with my brain, but I'm working on it. For me, the fat is kind of like the scar left behind after everything. I'm still healing, and slowly the scar is starting to fade. Maybe someday, you wont even notice the scar anymore. Everyday I make a choice now. Fall back on bad habits or move forward. I choose. What do you choose?