One thing I have been asked a lot over the last year or so is why I don’t talk about my weight loss.
“You’re totally inspirational,” I’ve had people say, “You should promote yourself more and help other people!”
First of all, the fact that someone may see me as an inspiration is incredibly kind, and I appreciate the sentiment like crazy, I really do.
But there are so many reasons I don’t talk about weight loss, I’ve lost count.
Here are a few.
SIDENOTE: Have you ever noticed how the universe seems to line shit up so that everything sort of happens to you at the same time? It’s like the universe wants you to learn something or something. Weird, that.
Last month, I hit my goal size.
It’s totally none of your business, but that’s a size 10.
Or as I like to joke, “Fashion Fat.”
I feel like this goal shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who knows me at all or has read my blog given the types of women I think are extremely sexy (Jayne Mansfield, Christina Hendricks, Penelope Cruz, etc.). I tend to lean toward the more curvaceous ladies.
SIDENOTE: Maybe it’s because my mom used to take me to the library when I was little and flip through books of classic paintings of fat, gorgeous women and tell me that those painters knew round women were beautiful to make me feel better about being chubby.
SIDENOTE TO THE SIDENOTE: I fucking love my mom.
ANOTHER SIDENOTE: Let’s not even get into a debate about whether slim women can be sexy. OF COURSE THEY CAN. I’m not even going to go there. This blog post would never end if I tried to entertain all the sides of this argument/world/issue/whatever the fuck. Okay?
Sometime around last month, I also started hearing a lot of this. (A LOT.)
“Oh my God! You look amazing! What a great start!”
“You look smaller every time I see you – keep going!”
“You’re just gonna keep getting smaller and smaller and looking better and better!”
And then there’s also all the times I’ve been to visit my grandparents in the last few months and they’ve told me how happy they are that I’m beautiful now. “You’ve always had a pretty face,” my grandma said to me, “Thank goodness now your body matches it.”
I also had this wonderful conversation with the greatest* doctor in Edmonton, regarding my damaged knee:
DR: …And the more weight you gain, the worse it’s going to get. (ANDREA’S INTERJECTION: This comment came out of nowhere.)
ME: I’m not gaining weight.
DR: As time goes on and you do…
ME: I’ve lost 110 pounds in the last 18 months. I think if anything, I’ve done a lot of good for my knees.
DR: (Looking me up and down) Well, you’re gonna have to lose A LOT more.
I read this article yesterday, which left me feeling nauseated. In reading it a second time, the part about women perpetuating the social expectation for women to be thinner to be beautiful struck a chord with me because I’ve also had women get upset with me for losing weight. Like my weight loss means I disapprove of anyone bigger than me. Nope, once again, my weight loss is none of your business and it’s not about you.
I recently got called out and reamed out for encouraging a plus-sized girl to wear whatever she wanted because I wasn’t fat enough so I guess that meant I was being condescending?
What the fuck? I spent my entire life being plus-sized and now that I’m not, I can’t think you’re sexy and fashionable?
SIDENOTE: To a great, GREAT percentage of the world, I’m still totally fat, y’all. (See my conversation with the doctor above. Or turn on your TV. Or open a magazine. Or Google “Lena Dunham” or “Mindy Kaling” or “Christina Hendricks” or any other famous woman with hips.)
I was just texting with my BFF about this blog post. Sometimes, I want to write about stuff that feels too big to write about. This is one of those things. Because being plus-sized for 20+ years shaped my life. Being harassed daily for my size shaped my life. But in some ways, losing weight and trying to figure shit out in the last 18 months has been even harder. I could probably write for days and never feel like I’m saying the right thing, saying enough, properly expressing how I feel.
For today, I’ll say this: I’m happy where I am. That doesn’t mean I don’t have further goals. But I love my size. I love my body – flaws, stretchmarks, issues, and spots that trigger massive self-consciousness and all. And I just want you to be happy, too. If you want to lose weight, I will cheer you on. (Unless you think you HAVE TO lose weight because you won’t be beautiful until you’re a size 0 – then we need to chat.) If you want to gain weight (Yeah, guess what, world? A lot of people struggle to gain weight!), I will cheer you on. If you don’t want to change at all, I will cheer you on.
Basically, can we all just do our thing and let other people do theirs?
Lesson learned: Weight. I don’t talk about it because it’s personal.
And I just talked about it. And I’m gonna feel weird about this for THE REST OF TIME.
Bonus Lesson: I’ve also learned that I’m a very “live and let live” person. Writing this kept making me think of when people ask me if I’d only date/marry a gluten-free vegan, which seems preposterous to me. Nope. As long as he doesn’t think what I eat is stupid and he’s respectful of me, he can eat whatever he wants. And no, I’m not judging you when you order meat when we go to dinner together, friends. Do your thing. I like you for you. Not what you eat. Not what you wear. For who you are.
P.S. Endless thank yous to the wonderful people in my life who encourage me – and have always encouraged me – no matter what. To the friends who don’t care about numbers or anything else but me. To the friends who say “congrats!” rather than “…really?” about my goals. To the guy who told me I have an amazing body. Oh, and to one of my favourite Zumba students ever, who last week told me I’d better start eating more because she doesn’t want me to vanish. Best. Ever.