Friday, November 5, 2010

The one where we talk less about weight and more about self-confidence

Hello bloggy peeps! Remember me? Yeah, I don’t blame you at all. I have been seriously neglectful of this blog and since it’s the very thing that got me so far to begin with that is truly unforgivable. But I think I’ve kicked the case of “bloggy blues” that I seem to have been suffering with lately. (And it wasn’t just me. Did you notice how many other bloggers seemed to have struggling lately? Must have been some sort of weird co-alignment of the planets). But I’m back and hopefully to stay this time.

Now, normally you know I don’t do a lot of reactionary pieces. I respect everyone’s right to have an opinion that differs from mine and don’t find a lot of fulfillment in arguing just for the sake of argument. But I feel I must speak up this time. If you’ve been on the webs at all in the last week, you’ve heard about the horrible blog at Marie Claire bashing fat people. It’s gotten a lot of attention and evoked horror from most people. I was content to ignore it. People are dumb, right? Then I read it. And while the author did say some insensitive things, I don't think she truly meant to hurt people. (But you totally spelled "heroin" wrong, sweetie. There's no "e" on the end of the drug). But then I happened to have my attention called to another blogger’s response to the article. I know she was trying to be helpful, but her blog was almost as bad. She says that the times in her life when she’s been fat, she felt invisible. That most people ignore fat people. Girl, you could not be more wrong!

First, I don’t think anyone who claims to have been overweight for roughly three years out of her life knows much about being fat. And the author completely fesses up that at these times in her life she’s been miserable, hating her own body and desperately wanting to change. So of course when she goes out into the world, armed with her horrible self-image and expecting to be treated poorly, she seems invisible. That has more to do with attitude than extra weight.

Let’s get this straight. I am a big girl. I’m not morbidly obese, but I’m no one’s idea of thin. I have been thinner in the past. High school, after my first baby, after my second baby. Oh don’t get me wrong; I was never a skin and bones girl. I was curvy. And always, I had to be careful to maintain that weight. I had to get plenty of exercise and say “no” to desert. Then I got pregnant with my third child and 17 years later I still haven’t lost all that baby weight. Oh here and there I lose a few pounds, then I find them again, and so on. But I am far from miserable in my skin.

I don’t binge eat. I don’t hideout and scarf food where no one can see me. I cook healthy. I don’t fry foods and I don’t eat them if I can avoid it (except for the occasional greasy cheesy goodness from McDs). My blood pressure is good. My cholesterol is low and my heart is healthy. I do not have diabetes or any other weight related health issues. I would like to lose a few pounds but mostly that’s because I’ve been forced into inactivity lately by circumstance and feel better when I can get outside and hike or stay in and play Wii. So I’m heavy, but relatively healthy.

But here’s the thing. I am not invisible. No one treats me badly because of my size. Men still hold doors for me, I still get flirted with and I still feel sexy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those “fat is sexy” girls who run around in body revealing clothing. I wear age appropriate classic clothing most of the time. (sometimes I splurge on something silly but that’s just my fruit loopness coming out). I feel sexy because I’m self-confident. It has nothing to do with the way I look and everything to do with my personality. People smile at me because I smile at them. I meet their eyes and I don’t look away. I’m friendly and positive. I don’t hide. Want an example? I was at Wal-Mart the other evening and I left Mike and Sean in the hunting department to head over to pick up orange juice. As I walked down the aisle, I saw a guy stocking and he turned, smiled at me and said:

Him: Didn’t you used to work at Waldenbooks?

Me: Yes.

Him: I worked at the calendar store one year.

Me: (I really don’t remember him, but I don’t want to be rude) Oh yeah! Hey! How’re you doing?

Him: Great. Wow. It’s really good to see you!

Me: You too. Take care.

And I strolled on, apparently quite visible. The topper? It was the day I’d been in the ER, so my hair was slightly messy; I was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt, obviously completely un-ravishing. But it was probably my personality that he remembered not my beauty.

And now, lets talk about that dirty little secret that no one ever talks about. Skinny doesn’t equal self-confidence. I know just as many skinny girls who are miserable in their own skins as heavy girls. In fact, sometimes I wonder if skinny girls aren’t even more insecure. Skinny girls feel like everyone judges them on their appearance instead of getting to know them. I know because my sister is a stick. Seriously. Like they divided the fat genes in my family 90/10 and I got the 90. Does it mean she’s uber self-confident? Hell no! Does it mean she’s healthier? No. She complains about just as much joint pain as I do, she just won’t go to the doctor and do something about it. My daughter? Size zero. Self-confident? Not as much as I would like. And constantly worried about gaining a pound.

I have skinny friends and I have friends who are way larger than I. So here’s the point. Be you. And be happy being you. You can choose to worry about your size, hair color, height, boob size or weight. Or you can choose not to worry. The choice is yours. Not everyone who’s fat is gross and not everyone who’s skinny is hott. So why don’t we stop discriminating? Why don’t we stop beating each other up over it? Why don’t we learn to base self worth on personality, kindness and accomplishment? Why?

Bottom line: I do not want to see two fat people having sex. I do not want to see two super skinny people having sex. Personally, I don’t want to see anyone having sex. But if I were forced to, I would prefer it were two healthy people, regardless of a few extra pounds more or less. So if fat people gross you out, close your damn eyes and don’t watch.

Be you. Be happy. And don’t let anyone (ever) make you feel bad about it. Regardless of your outer shell, you have what it takes to shine.

Sorry for the length peeps, but if you made it through, you deserve a snack. A snack of your choice-a be it healthy or chocolate.



  1. Very good post Lady, you are so right here in so many ways, personality goes a long way and a "perfect" person can be 100% ugly as soon as they open their mouth.

    It's too bad that our society judges people by their looks and folks who are overweight are made to feel like outcasts so to say.

    If more of us just concentrated on being ourselves rather that trying to please those who don't matter then the world would be a more comfortable place, Thank you for bringing this subject to our attention because it is one well worth discussing with our children and each other, no one should feel ashamed of themselves due to trying to fit in with standards that are unrealistic.

  2. Well spoken Spot! I have recently been on a sort of weight loss plan (not entirely by choice) and have been trying to keep myself busy on the treadmill to take my mind off stuff that I cant control. Not to lose weight, just to maintain a healthy mind. I have friends who are large, small, black, white, etc...I prefer the company of people who are happy to be themselves regardless of thier outer appearance. Excellent subject matter today. Thanks Spot!

  3. Excellent post! Someday, I might post about the skinny obsession and nonexistent self confidence of my I am a bit larger and content with life. Leaving on my trip in a few hours so I might not get back to read this week. I will post as I have time and internet this week. Hugs my fruit loop friend!You are perfect just as you are!

  4. Jimmy~ Thanks! I knew that with your "tell it like it is" attitude you would appreciate this post! And I agree, most standards are completely unrealistic.

    Mark~ Thank you! It's true that exercise seems to help the mind as much as it does the body. I know of no better way to clear my mind than a walk. And I prefer the company of people who prefer the company of people who are content within themselves!

    Suzi~ Thank you! For both the comment on the post and the friend comment. It's funny how being honest on the web, reminds me to be myself in real life. Have an awesome trip!


  5. Are you implying chocolate ISN'T a healthy snack? :)

  6. Elly~ It's all perception right? But I mean if you eat dark chocolate and it's the 2nd day of the lunar month and the temperature is below 40 degrees faranheit then it is totally healthy. So go ahead...indulge! Lol.

  7. All sorts of opinions just sprang to mind ... but I realize I do not have all the info, as I never bothered to read the article in question ... so I am going to wait and comment later.


    Glad to see you back

  8. GREAT post! I like your serious posts, too.

  9. I'll take chocolate and that's why I'll never be skinny or invisible. I'M HERE DAMMIT GIMME SOME CHOCOLATE!!


  10. I'd prefer not to see anyone have sex either. It makes me squirm, especially if a sex scene happens to come on when I'm watching something with my parents.

  11. Great post! As you know I'm a big girl and always have been. I too believe it is all in the personality. Unhappiness weighs more than your body does and will always show through what ever facade your trying to present.

  12. This post reminds me of one of my favorite sayings I saw on a T Shirt. It said "Inside me is this really thin woman trying to get out...I can usually shut the bitch up with chocolate". Since that is my favorite I guess anyone could surmise I am by no means or stretch of the imagination THIN. I can't ever really remember being thin or at least never considered myself that. But I AM happy! I guess it's all in perception.

  13. Hey Spot, Happy Turkey-day. Finally getting caught up on blogs. Maybe one day I will start posting again. it is complicated as to why I have help back but then that goes for my friend Rob over at as well.

    loved the entry and really a lot of the things that have been going through my mind as of late. size doesn't make or break the difference. it all comes down to attitude and that can fluctuate even more rapidly then size. you knew me back in my super skinny days and well guess I am twice the man I was back then but that is only part of who I really am. That is what we all have to remember. Who is it that we really are and we have every reason to be grateful for all the experiences that have brought us to this point. Have a great day.