For the last several months, I’ve been losing weight after more than a decade of being fat. Let me just go ahead and say this… if you are offended by the word “fat,” stop reading this now! I don’t sugarcoat it. I was fat. I didn’t gain 100+ pounds of “fluffy” or “juicy.” I gained over a hundred pounds of fat. So far, I’ve lost 60 of those hundred pounds. The number on the scale starts with a one for the first time in 12 years.
There are many misconceptions about overweight people…we’re lazy, we don’t exercise, we eat garbage, we have low self-esteem or we’re depressed. WRONG! I have always had a healthy dose of self-confidence and self-esteem. They have never been attached to the numbers on a scale or measuring tape or clothing size. When I read articles about successful weight loss, they almost always mention gaining self-confidence or getting it back. Where did it go? Your weight doesn’t change who you are! Fat or thin, I’m still the same person. No one comes and takes away your college degree when you gain weight. And they don’t show up with trophies, confetti and self-esteem when you lose weight.
As far as eating goes, I grew up on sweet tea, fried food, frozen dinners, fast food and Coke (Coca-Cola, not drugs). I wasn’t a fat kid. No one was. Fat kids were rare. As an adult, I gave up the sweet in the tea, and learned a lot more about food and fat. By the time I started gaining, I was eating real food, whole food, and less processed food. But I got fat anyway. Once you reach a certain weight, you get this “what-the-hell-I-may-as-well-eat” attitude. At least I did. I could eat a 30 oz. bone-in ribeye by myself in one sitting. All-You-Can-Eat Buffets became my friends. I became an expert on which cupcake shop was the best.
I recently watched a video on YouTube made by a newly thin woman listing 10 things she would not miss about being fat. I wondered what my own list would be since none of her issues applied to me. I honestly don’t think I could come up with 10 bad things about being fat. There is one though… I won’t miss the clothes, or the lack of them. No one makes clothes for big women. Making a bigger version of what thin people wear, is not the same as making clothes for bigger bodies.
I could easily come up with 10 things that I WILL miss about being fat. Number one, without question, is french fries! These little bits of heaven are my absolute weakness. I have often said that I would love to grow french fries in a garden and dab a little of their divine scent behind my ears.
The truth is, my life as a fat girl, has been fantastic! I met my husband during my weight gain. After years of not being able to find one, men were suddenly coming out of the woodwork when I gained weight. It’s not a myth, there are men who prefer bigger women (it’s not just Bill Clinton). If I’d met my husband a year earlier, he may not have asked for my phone number. Who knows?
There’s an old saying about being “Fat and Happy” and it’s a real thing. I have been very happy during my fat years. I was never bullied or ridiculed. Being fat never kept me from getting a job. My weight didn’t prevent me from traveling. As a matter fact, most of the traveling I’ve done in my lifetime has been while fat. I went to Hawaii three times (including the one where we got married), New York City once, and multiple trips to Florida. My change in size didn’t change me. I still had a sense of humor. I was still smart. I can’t run, but I couldn’t run when I was young and thin either. I’m just not a runner.
As I lose more weight, I find that I’m running (no pun intended) into a little bit of self-sabotage. It’s not purposeful, but somewhere deep in my psyche I must not want to go back to a “normal” weight. I wasn’t happy then. The bad days outnumbered the good exponentially. My normal, accepted-by-society size had nothing to do with my sucky life, just as my hundred pound gain isn’t the reason I’m happy now (although it may be a reason). However, my subconscious may be associating Fat and Happy as a set that shouldn’t be separated.
Assuming I break through my self-sabotage issues, what else will I miss about being fat? Eating what I want, as much as I want without having to think about it, count it, journal it, or enter it into an app. Eating fast food, because it’s convenient and cheap. Cupcakes, ice cream, chocolate. Oh, and having big boobs. Definitely the best part of being a big girl was the boobs!