Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pass the Pie, I'm Fat

*This isn't one of those blog posts that I'm sharing in an effort to get comments like "You're awesome, girl!" or "You're beautiful! Rock on with your bad self!" Although, rest assured, those will happen from time to time. This post is just me documenting thoughts that have been running through my head today and an earnest effort to do something constructive with those emotions besides sitting in a corner and crying. When I don't know what else to do, I write things down....

There are some things that I really and truly despise doing.

These are different from the things I have to do on a regular basis that I find tedious and exhausting..like shaving my legs, brushing my teeth, or bathing the children.

But things I despise doing? They include the following..
Calling anywhere that has an automated system. I despise them.
Putting away laundry. The washing and folding I can handle. But for some reason, when it comes to actually putting them away? I have a serious mental block...
Making awkward conversation with strangers.
Shopping for clothes. Especially since I have to try on every single thing before I buy it.

That last one.... it's incredibly difficult.
Unless you're a size 10 or under shopping for clothing can be so stressful...and expensive.
I've finally found my go to bra and jeans, after many many years of searching. But both of those are way more than I can afford on a regular basis. It's more like..buy one once a year and make it last. But in my line of work where I'm crawling around in the dirt and chasing 2 year olds, they rarely do.

And then there's the tedious task of dressing for weddings.
As a photographer I'm supposed to disappear into the background and be barely noticeable.
That's where the idea of having a simple black dress comes into play.
It wasn't intentional, but a lot of the several weddings I have booked between now and the end of the year are quite formal affairs. And me and my size 22 ass find it difficult to blend in.

Which means that yesterday I had to do one of the most dreaded things ever.
I had to go shopping.

And I discovered that shopping in a skinny store that happens to have a plus size section isn't all that awesome. I mean, I would've loved to walk my fat self into Lane Bryant or Torrid to shop, but all of their clothing is about 4 times more than my budget allowed for.

And I have to tell you.. it's humiliating and totally degrading.

The internet is a wonderful place. There are blogs where fat women are celebrated..worshipped even. My favorite tumblr blog is a place where I'd love to live. Where curves aren't just accepted, but celebrated. But even there are so many images of gorgeous plus sized women have had their cellulite magically erased by the gift from the powers that be called photoshop.

This woman is stunning. Absolutely incredibly beautiful. She oozes beauty and confidence and obviously could give two fucks what people think of her.

And I'm missing that... that ability to not give two fucks. I actually give a lot of fucks..too many really.

Even now, while I'm writing this, I want to give you all a list of excuses for my jeans being labeled with such a high number.

Things like...
fuck off, I've had 3 kids.
I don't have medical insurance, and thyroid issues run wild among the women in my family...so I'm sure that's part of it.
We live in an incredibly meager grocery budget. Which means that things like making bread in our bread maker or pizza dough from scratch is way cheaper than buying fresh, good for you food.
I can't afford to go to a fancy gym. And while I try to run or walk outside fairly frequently, that only goes so far...especially when you have 3 small children and literally no extra time on your hands.

But the truth is, you guys, I just really love food.
Seriously.
Nothing soothes me on a horrid day like a giant chunk of brie on some fresh baked bread.
Or those horrible cosmic brownies from the grocery store. You know...those ones with the tiny chocolate candies on top? Oh god.
Or putting an extra drop of syrup in my coffee in the morning. Because, dammit, I work hard and I deserve it.
Then I wake up the next day and despise myself..hate myself...and I'm determined to make a change. Then it's a huge shit storm the next time a conflict arises. Which is every second of every day.
One of the boys throws a shit fit in the store? I want to come home and stuff my face with anything...everything...
I'm behind on all of the massive amount of work I have to do? No better way to motivate myself than sitting at the computer with a giant bowl of ice cream.

So here I am... telling you all about it.
And I don't really even know why, except for the fact that while I was trying on clothes I was sending Cory pictures to get his input...and looking back today at the picture of me in the dress I decided to get sent me into near hysterics.


So of course I posted it on instagram..and here...for everyone to see. 

And I feel as though I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place right now.

I have two options:

I can either slap myself and do something about it. Which I've done. Lots of times. I made it through two weeks of couch to 5k then life happened.
Cory didn't wind up getting the huge bonus he was promised at work... Groupon started getting even more horrible and backed up.... and I gave up on it all.
And instead of moving forwards, I moved backwards.

Or, I could just accept me for who I am the way that Cory does, and maybe even learn to love myself. Because he loves me. 
Life isn't about being perfect. It's about embracing your imperfections, right?
I want the confidence to be able to wear shorts in the Oklahoma summer heat without worrying about the cottage cheese consistency of my thighs.
I want the confidence to not cover up with a cardigan every time I wear a sleeveless shirt.
My hair? I want to dye it hot pink and turquoise without feeling like I look like a fat girl desperate for attention. I want to do it because I've just always wanted pink hair.

I've spent the majority of my life feeling unwanted because of my size. 
I feel the constant need to make excuses for myself, or make a joke about being gigantic so it's not that one thing everyone's thinking and avoiding all at the same time.

Maybe some day I'll find some other way to deal with stress or my emotions and just quit eating everything in my path at the end of a hard day. 
Maybe some day I'll wise up and replace the food with nicotine and alcohol.

But for now, I felt the need to post something about it here..on the blog that only the people I love and know will ever see...

And mostly as a reminder to myself. 

Self,
Fuck everyone else.
Fuck that guy who kept looking at you like you were a piece of garbage today just because of how you looked.
Fuck that girl at the mall yesterday who looked you up and down when you asked her to get that 3x shirt down for you off the rack.
You're talented, funny, have really strong nails that never break, and your farts rarely smell.
You're also a kick ass wife and mom to some of the most amazing people on the planet. 
So what if those pants you tried on at Old Navy today didn't fit? 
They're judgmental assholes for not carrying plus size clothes in their store anyway..they don't need your money. 
Now go eat your brie and drink your diet coke like the amazing goddess with her tree trunk legs and flappy underarm fat that you are.

And yea, thank you to the lovely Clay for posting this on tumblr today.... it made me cry, and spawned this whole post. So really if you're thinking anything negative about me posting this you should take your complaints to him. 

Guide to loving your body:
 1. Get naked and take a good long look at your body. Trace your stretch marks, feel your hip bones poking out, place your hand over your tummy and take a fistful of yourself in. Appreciate your scars and pimples, your uneven,large,or nonexistent breasts. Take pride in your un/shaven, un/cut, fantastically odd private bits. Hold up a mirror to yourself and study your body. Love it.
2. Be Ugly, reclaim words that are used to put you down and shut you up and scream right back at these fascist beauty standard reinforcing scumbags. Give them the finger and tell them to kiss your fat/skinny/somewhere in between ass ‘cause you ain’t got time to waste with their body hating bullshit. and remember, you don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Validate yourself by accepting yourself.
3. Wear clothes that don’t fit, that are too big or too small and show all your “problem areas” that cosmo insists you hide and walk down the street like the fucking fabulous queen you are. Sashay the hate away.
4. Do what YOU want with YOUR body. Shave or don’t, wear makeup or don’t, whatever choice you make is yours to make, and anyone who shames you for your decision can keep it moving. This also means respecting the choices of others, even if they differ from your own.
5. Surround yourself with loving and supportive people. Rid of the toxic bullshit in your life if possible, and immerse yourself in a community that embraces body positivity and diversity. 



4 comments:

  1. I love you, and I think you're great... and what's more, I think I'm just a little great too after reading this - there's something about knowing you're not the only one with body issue crap - it helps. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Emily Rose"April 29, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    You know Vanessa, I feel very very fat in my skin. I was a size 4-6 until age 35. But since I've pushed four children out now and I'm over 40 I know that will never happen for me again. It's so hard to live with that piece of knowledge and I try very hard to be okay with it. Some days I do awesome. Some days I do pitifully. I think most women do. Really.

    But what I really wanted to say was that the first time I met you and I saw you and judged you on your looks (let's be real, we all do it at least to some extent), I didn't see you as a fat girl. I saw you as a fun girl. Really. I've never really noticed that you were any bigger than me. I love your hair. I love your tattoos (even though I'm generally anti-tattoo in the interest of full disclosure). I love that you're someone who I saw and thought, "she would be fun to have as a friend." I know you're not looking for "props" or anything, but I just wanted to say that. I'm not trying to blow smoke up you tushie, either. Really. You rock. And cardigans rock. I've always loved them. Size 4 and size 14. So rock one out, girl.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, yes, yes. I feel this same way. It's weird to like... know that it's totally stupid not love your body for all of its flaws and say fuck you to a standard that doesn't include you, but then to also be susceptible to that standard and feel like crap. Even though you don't really hate your body. But you do. But it's stupid that you do.

    You're gorgeous, btw. I mean, really fucking adorable.

    ReplyDelete