I used to be a smaller person. Half my current size to be exact.
Like damn near every other woman on the planet, I thought I was fat back then, but when I look back, I just want to grab my 20 year old self by the throat and yell “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?”
In 1993, I was pregnant with the boy (that’s my son’s name…”the boy”…it’s actually James, but he’s “the boy”). My dear friend, Janelle, became pregnant with her twins at the same time.
So what that meant is this: Two women, pregnant at the same time, hanging out, bonding over baby books and food cravings. Constant, insatiable, food cravings. And Janelle had two little parasites inside her to feed as opposed to my single fetus…so, needless to say…we ate a LOT. ”
We’re pregnant, we do what we want! Yay! LET’S EAT ALL THE FOOD AT THE MALL!!!”. We planned entire days around where we were going to eat.
Fast forward to six months or so into the pregnancy. I’m shopping for pregnant whale clothes with Janelle, and I end up in a dressing room with those cruel, insultingly honest lights. And multi angled mirrors. With zero blind spots.
“WHY DO I HAVE STRETCHMARKS ON MY CALVES? I AM NOT CARRYING A BABY IN MY CALVES, WHY DO I HAVE STRETCHMARKS ON MY CALVES?”
“OH…MY..GOD…IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE FOR A STRETCH MARK TO BE THIS WIDE? THE BOTTOM OF MY BELLY LOOKS LIKE I WAS ATTACKED BY WILD TIGERS, WHAT THE HELL????”
“WHY DOES MY ASS LOOK LIKE THIS???” (this is a phrase I still say on a weekly basis by the way…)
You discover many interesting things about your body when you visit a dressing room. For instance: A few years back, I tried on a little plaid skirt at Hot Topic – I was feeling pretty good since I had lost some weight. Then I saw the backs of my thighs which, apparently, I hadn’t bothered to really look at in quite some time.
I grabbed my phone and called my then-boyfriend FROM the store and asked, in a completely calm and rational voice:
“HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU EVEN LOOK AT THAT WHEN YOU’RE BACK THERE? GODDAMN!!! I WOULD SOOO NOT FUCK ME!”
Perhaps I had stopped looking in the mirror after that episode while pregnant, I really don’t remember. But this was life changing for me.
When you’re pregnant, and you engage in the “no holds barred” eating thing? You gain just a wee bit more than you really needed to gain to sustain the critter you’re incubating. Then you have the baby, and, when the lard is still magically affixed to your body, you have a conversation with yourself.
“Hi….fatty fat fat…you go now, I don’t need you here now. No really…go? Please? GET OUT!”
I spent another couple months, after giving birth, living in super comfy clothes – and basically looking like a giant lump. Yet I weighed less than I do now interestingly enough. It was mostly in the way I felt and the way I carried myself. I was just…dumpy. I looked like one of those Walmart dwellers that live in elastic waist-banded pants and matching tops with little rosebuds at the bottom of the scoop neck. I may as well have just bought a selection of Loony Toon T-Shirts.
It wasn’t pretty. It’s so fat-shamey, but that’s how I felt.
After a couple months of that crap, I stopped wallowing in apathy and bought a few new items of clothing, got rid of the pregnancy granny panties, bought some nice bras…but I would NOT buy jeans, because there was no way I was going to buy jeans in the size my body insisted I wore. NOOO fucking way.
I mean I TRIED ON a pair of jeans on once…they got up to my mid thighs before they told me to fuck right off. Message received.
A year later…STILL not in the size I should rightly have been in. “Will…not…buy…jeans.” As I repeated often to myself and others, “Fat girls just should not wear jeans. I will not buy them.”
But I did find clothes that looked pretty good on me, and as the years have gone by, I have gotten pretty good at finding clothes that, even though I have ENTIIIIIRELY too much baggage, I still feel pretty sexy in. I live in skirts, form fitting tops, and groovy shoes. I’m good at finding clothes that camouflage what I hate and accentuate what I like. That’s my ‘uniform’.
One day, when my son (the boy) was twelve years old, he asked me why I never wore jeans. He was TWELVE. And he noticed. And, after being asked at work for the 4,000th time,- “Damn, you never wear jeans, you’re always dressed up and you make us look like slobs when we show up on casual Fridays!” I finally said to myself:
“You ridiculous bitch. Buy some jeans. Just because you don’t WANT to be the size you are….doesn’t mean you’re not. Hi, reality. How are you?”
So I did it.
I bought jeans.
I – BOUGHT – JEANS.
This may not seem like a big deal to you, but my friends back home would fall over. Some of my friends have never seen me in pants. LOL
But I went to the fucking mall, and I bought jeans.
I am wearing them right now. At work. On casual Friday. I am participating fully in casual Friday with my fat girl jeans, my little black top, and my black “skater shoe” vans that my son wants to steal from me. And jeans. Unforgiving, cutting into my soft midsection jeans.
MY FAT ASS IS IN JEANS…and yet, I feel surprisingly ok about it.
I’ve had 5 people at work today go, “WOAH, you’re wearing JEANS!!! You feeling ok?? Ha…cute!”
“Trish, look, Lisa’s wearing jeans, look!”
I gotta say, though…
The last time I bought jeans (don’t laugh), the style was…hmmm…the waist line was…higher?
WHY DO I FEEL LIKE MY HIPS ARE ON DISPLAY? Are they supposed to ride this low???
WHY DO I SOUND LIKE MY MOM!!??
I think my thong is sticking out the top in back.
Whatever. I’m in jeans. I win.