Tuesday, February 1, 2011
You're thinking, "Did she really just say that? Why she likes being fat? Wait a minute here..."
Hear me out.
Human beings do things for a reason. Most behaviors, even the pathological ones (with the exception of those caused by mental illness, hormonal imbalance, or lack of dietary chocolate) are chosen because they serve us in some way. We do things because we "like" them. We may say we don't like them and we may hurt because of them, but ultimately, we're filling a need or a desire, however backwards.
So, I'm fat. I'm not fat because of my thyroid (though that helped). I'm not fat because of my possible trouble with insulin resistance (quite the opposite). I'm not fat because of some underhanded fast food conspiracy. I'm fat because I ate too much, I ate really crappy food, and I didn't exercise. And if we choose behaviors because they serve us, then somewhere in this twisted brain of mine, I must like being fat.
I think it's time to explore that, don't you?
I like being fat because...
- It's safe. From a health standpoint, this is way off. From an emotional one? Well, it's way off too, but a girl can hope, right? If I'm fat, no one can possibly love me. If no one can possibly love me, then no one can possibly leave me after loving me. If no one can possibly leave me after loving me, I can't get hurt. The problem with this thinking is that it's incredibly untrue. I'm pointing at myself with one fat finger and chanting, "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" I've been fat for 15 years, and in that time, I've been loved, left, and loved again, and I have never escaped the pain of life by packing away a slice of cheesecake or an Egg McMuffin. I've dulled the pain a time or two, but it always rebounded and ran me down later. It's not like a fat person can outrun anything...
- It's fun. I like the taste of bacon. Who the heck doesn't? Cheeseburgers are second only to double cheeseburgers in the "How fast can you make me one?" category. Ditto pizza, milkshakes, buffalo chicken wings, and late night nachos. Being fat means you get to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. The little kid in you who had to ask for a cookie sees the smorgasbord of options available to adults and says, "I WANT EVERYTHING!" Is this a good thing? Of course not. Does that mean it isn't fun? Of course not! Ask any heroine addict what it feels like to get high, and they'll probably tell you it's an enjoyable experience. A recovered heroine addict will probably tell you they've learned to enjoy other things in life, and that's where I'm hoping to get. (Note: I will not be replacing my food addiction with heroine...in case anyone was worried there.)
- It's a way to fit in. I had a discussion with my mom over the holidays about where her parenting style came from, namely a hardscrabble, Iowan, "Don't let your kids get a big head" kind of parenting. I think my mom struggled against that mentality in some ways...it's kind of hard not to stand out and succeed when your brain is as vastly superior as hers is...but she agreed with it in others (who wants conceited children?), so I was raised to shine and succeed and then retreat before anyone noticed. I hope that gets a chuckle from her and not a long crying jag. Either way, it is my personality to stand out, to be noticed, to shine. It was my upbringing to be no better, no higher than anyone else. You write a weekly humor column in a city newspaper and strangers start recognizing you on the street? You find a way to compensate. America is fat...really fat. So you know my name because I make you laugh on my blog...you couldn't find me in a crowd of people who are all as fat as I am. This one will probably take more therapy to correct. Lucky for me, America is also obsessed with therapy.
- Fat people are funny. Or so the stereotype says. At an annual gathering of certain of my friends, called ATLOP (After Thanksgiving Leftover Party), my girlfriends were lamenting the extra belly skin that was left behind on their abdomens post pregnancy. All these skinny Minnies had the same story to tell. I piped up that I had found a wonderful solution to that problem, causing them to perk up expectantly. "I just stayed fat!" The laughter in the room was thunderous. Oh, Sarah...she's so jolly! Look at her and her self deprecating humor! We all feel so comfortable around Sarah because she makes fun of herself. She's SO REAL! REAL IS FUNNY! I don't think my friends actually had these thoughts. But fat people think thin people have these thoughts. At some point, I will realize that funny is a part of who I am. It's not attached to my oversized fat cells. It's not written in my flab. I am funny. I might have to get some new material when I slim down...but I hear there's an extra skin problem I can joke about when I get there.
- The clothes are cuter. Or so I think because I actually have some semblance of fashion sense now that I've hit my 30s. Seriously? I only think the clothes are cuter because the last time I was thin was 1996. Do you remember the 90s? Sarah...you can let this one go.
- My husband loves me just the way I am. I was 17 years old and 130 pounds when he met me (and rocking a pair of Rocky Mountain boot cut jeans that made me look like a rodeo queen who won special honors for best booty), but it was 13 years and another 100 pounds later that he fell in love with me. He fell for me at 230, married me at 230, and he tells me every chance he can get that I'm beautiful. Is there a little voice inside saying he might not love the thinner me? Yes, except it's not little. It's 230 pounds and it has an attitude and it thinks those Rocky Mountain boot cut jeans never actually existed. (Richard begs to differ, citing his very vivid memory of his 17 year old self's fascination with my rodeo queen booty.) I'm taking a wait and see approach on this one. If I lose 100 pounds and he decides I'm hideous, I'll have some decisions to make. It might involve dressing like a cowgirl for the rest of my life... I could be okay with that. (Richard's note: I could also be okay with that.) Well, there you go.