Yesterday I posted a facebook status saying that I was taking the week off from everything blog related, and I had planned on sticking to that statement, but last night as I sat down and watched Huge I knew that there was something I wanted to address and since the blog post instantly came to me I figure why the hell not indulge in a little posting. I guess the creativity comes back when you take the pressure off huh?
Well since I am not under pressure i’m not really going to talk much about what happened in the episode, if you want a play by play check out Fatshionista’s Recaps. Basically this post, just like our other weekly Huge posts, is just a reflection from one instance of the show, one small moment. Amber and George (the hard bodied couselor) were getting their makeout on, which i’m not quite sure how I feel about, and he got a bit grabby and touched her stomach and basically she kind of freaked out. This ended up making him think that he was moving too fast, but we find out it wasn’t really the speed that was the problem, it was her insecurity with her stomach. First off let me just say he is a counselor at her FAT CAMP, i’m pretty sure he knows she isnt a size 2, yet he has been all up in her pretty Hasselhoffness and doesnt seem to have a problem with it and is far more concerned with the fact that she is under age then the size of her jeans. None the less this triggered a bit of reflection for me cause as ridiculous as it is we’ve all probably been there right? We’ve all probably found ourselves in the middle of a makeout session and worrying about what will happen when the person we’ve had our lips attached to for the last hour feels the layer of fat that coveres our stomach. Or what will happen when our top comes off and our lover see’s a roll, or a patch of stretch marks or anything else that we think is wrong with our bodies and hide from the world.
When I was 15 I met a guy from another school. He was a football player, the kind of all American popular guy, had a killer smile, a fairly ripped bod, and basically the thought that he was God’s gift to women. He and I hit it off right away though and had a lot more in common then I ever really thought we would since I was the cute but chubby funny girl and he was Mr. Everything to Everyone. We got along great and to even my own suprise he asked me out about a week after meeting me. We went on quite a few dates and eventually became an item. We talked on the phone till all hours of the night and we spent some serious time with our tongues shoved down eachother throats in the back of movie theatres. As we got more serious you would think I would have become more secure in the relationship but I didn’t. I never wanted to meet any of his friends because I was afraid after seeing me they would give him shit and that he would realize that I wasn’t attractive enough to be dating him. I also was constantly worrying everytime his hands would roam my body that he was going to feel my fat and be disgusted and realize that I wasn’t the girl for him. Before our dates I would spend hours dressing myself to look my smallest, and thinking of how if things got hot and heavy I could somehow distract attention away from my stretch marked hips and petruding belly. It got to the point that I couldn’t even find myself enjoying the moments with him anymore, I was too busy overanalyzing any thing he could possibly be thinking in regard to my body, to my fat. Eventually I physched myself out enough that I was convinced that he was ashamed of me, that even though I was the one turning down group activites that I was somehow his dirty little secret. That I couldn’t be with someone who thought I was less than them. I ended up breaking his heart and mine with my own insecurity and ruining a relationship with a guy who never had thought one single negative thing about my body. All because I couldn’t see past my own insecurities.
I know that losing a possible love at 15 isnt that big of a deal but is something I carried with me for a long time. For years everytime I got naked with a lover for the first time I still found myself worrying what they were going to think when they find out whats was underneath the clothes. It took quite a few years to realize that anyone who was worth getting naked for would love my body just as they loved every other part of me. That women and men even those of the gym rat variety could still find an appreciation for a soft stomach, and a juicy ass. That my fat wasn’t a secret, that they knew it was there before getting my clothes off and that it hadn’t changed their opinon of me yet and wasn’t going to. I realized how ridiculous I had been and how all my insecurity had done was make me appear ridiculous. I was confident in myself fully clothed and there was no reason that my confidence needed to deminish when the clothes disappeared.
Last night I took down a few notes while watching Huge for my Huge Reflection post for this week. I had a whole page of quotes, thoughts, WTF’s and memories it brought to mind, but I think the thing that had the most affect on me and brought up the most to reflect on for me was when the character Ian said to Alistair
“It’s so freaking hard and you still have so much left to go”
Now this may not seem like the most thought provoking line especially in regard to self love and body acceptance but it brought up alot of questions for me. This whole episode of Huge was about weight loss and weigh ins ofcourse but it was also about pressure, acceptance, expectations and the way each character feels about themselves in regard to their weight. I’m fairly certain that every fat person, even those who now practice fat acceptance, have dieted or intentionally tried to lose weight atleast once in their life. We have all probably stepped on a scale with worry and anxiousness, and stepped off a time or two with pride, dissapointment, anger, confusion, happiness, and feelings of failure. As I watched the Huge campers appproach their weigh ins and saw the different expressions of feelings cross their faces I could think of a time where I had felt the same as every single one of them at one point or another throughout my weigh in history. I could remember times of victory and happiness where I stepped on a scale after the first week of a new diet to find 5lbs had fallen off my body. I could also remember the times which typically happened on week 3 or 4 of a “lifestyle change” where the pounds had either become stagnent and I felt dissapointed, or when the pounds had creeped back up after having a cheeseburger that week, and feeling angry with myself. I also remembered that even on the weigh ins of loss, the feelings of victory not sticking for very long and 5lbs not feeling like such a great feat in the bigger 280lbs scheme of things, thats right because ““It’s so freaking hard and you still have so much left to go”.
Why do we, or did we, put so much pressure on people and on ourselves to the point where doing well in regard to losing pounds can still not feel like enough? Why is doing our best and trying our hardest still not enough unless we reach an acceptable size? How can our society be so fixated on a number and that we all need to reach that number in order to be attractive, healthy, sucessful, and worthy? And if we don’t give a shit about that number and how society feels about, if we practice acceptance of our size and living our lives at whatever that size may be were considered wrong, detrimental to the society that outcasts us already, and ignorant? Why is it only ok for someone who is thin already or actively persuing a smaller pant size justified in saying something along the lines of “I don’t want to let a number define my whole view of myself” but when I say that at 270lbs and a non-dieting but still healthy and active lifestyle I am slammed and considered the real problem?
Why is it ok for Seventeen Magazine to promote a Body Peace Treaty like they advertized during last nights Huge but people who promote fat acceptance considered bad role models for doing essentially the same thing? Is it because Seventeen is also showcasing size 0 models 3 pages before and after while self loving fatties are showcasing such “radical” ideas as Health At Every Size and the belief that weight is not an indicator of health?
So those were the questions it brought up for me and the answers to them I don’t really have, all i know is “I don’t want to let a number define my whole view of myself” and even if that makes me the villan to some I’m not going to. I spent far too much of my life trying to live up to other peoples expectations in regard to my size. I let the pressure to be under a certain number on the scale break my spirit, take away a part of my heart, ruin my fun and missed out on way too many exciting experiences because I was too busy counting calories, weighing obsessivley, and figuring out how many calories I would have to burn in order to have a slice of pizza. The pressure, the expectations, the emotional rollercoaster is not worth it. For me its far more important to live a scale free, diet lacking, fat and fearless life, and thats exactly what I’m going to do. Whether my body stays the same, shrinks, or gets larger I know that I will be viewing myself by the size of my heart which, since leaving behind caring about the size of my ass, has grown two sizes.