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Comfortable In My Skin

I keep getting compliments, online and off, from people who are amazed at my comfort in my own skin.  This is MY skin, why should I be uncomfortable?  A few weeks ago, we went over to a friend’s house for pasta night.  I said I loved pasta, and I eat it at least once per day.  She looked right at me and said:

“Well, that’s why you’re not losing weight!”

There’s plenty of things wrong with that statement, but I was slightly stunned for a minute before saying that  I was not in fact trying to lose weight.  She looked really flustered, blushed, asked if I was sure I wasn’t trying to lose weight, and then changed topic really really quickly.  Another time, Master decided to take me out for an ice cream cone, and a neighbor asked where we were going so excitedly.  Master told her that he was taking me for an ice cream and I got excited.  The neighbor said:

“Shouldn’t you be NOT going out for ice cream?  Aren’t you trying to lose weight?”

When I told her I was not, she gave me a lecture on how I really needed to.  Oh yeah?  I do?  Are you a doctor?  Is one small ice cream cone going to be the end of my life?  Suddenly, I’m going to have a heart attack or stroke, or just look ugly in my jeans.  Nowadays, it seems like everyone is the Emperor of everyone else’s bodies but their own.

Here’s the deal.  When I was a little girl, despite being a normal healthy weight, my father was constantly harassing me and telling me to lose weight.  I am not talking about a random comment here or there.  I am talking about actually referring to me as “crisco” or “thunder thighs” instead of using my real name.  To reiterate:  I was never overweight as a child, this was my father’s way of “preventing me from becoming big later in life.”  All it really did was trample on my self-esteem.  The doctor never told anyone I could or should lose weight.  My dad was just made this way.  He would compete with me to see who could lose the most weight the fastest, little things like that.  Gotta love parents!

It is true that I did not love my body as a child.  I can remember being really young, before I even started school – and doing crunches while I watched Sesame Street.  I would also step on the scale 9,000 times per day.  These things are not normal in a small child, they just aren’t.  Because of this, I grew up with a twisted sense of self worth, and a battered and bruised view of myself.  It didn’t help that everyone else wanted to put their $.02 into into it when I got into high school.  No matter what I did I could never be the right size or shape.

Eventually, I started to get over it.  I met someone who was constantly trying to build me up.  Who explained to me that I was beautiful as I was.  That I did not need to worry about my size and shape.  I hit this point in my life where I realized something: if my BMI was healthy, and I wasn’t sick, then everyone else could love me the way I was or fuck off.  I’m a human, I have imperfections, and I’m learning to love them.  Out in public, yes, I’ll wear my bikini on my curvy body.  I’ll wear a mini-skirt even if I don’t “have the thighs for it”.  This is my body, love it or leave it.

I take a lot of flack from strangers and people who don’t know me because I am at the higher end of a normal BMI.  Who cares?  Honestly, why are you so bored that you’re figuring out the figures for weather or not I should lose 5 pounds.  Since my venture to eat less processed junk food, I have lost a ton of weight already anyway.  I lose weight every week weather or not I try.  If I suddenly stop, that’s A-OK with me.  I just want to be healthy, vibrant, and have energy to spare.  I feel like I do.

You know what I’ve discovered? I’ve discovered that if you’re 80 pounds or 800 pounds, you’re sexy if you are confident, hold you head high – and love and appreciate yourself for who you are.  You wish you were smaller?  Walk and act as though you have the body of your dreams and you will have it.  You’ll be more attractive because you’re not sitting around wondering if your thighs are too big in this dress, or if you have a “bikini” body.  Who cares?  This is what I look like, and I refuse to believe that the only way I could look good in my bikini is if I lost 30 pounds.  I’m going to wear it, I’m going to have fun, I’m going to bounce around and have a blast.

And yes, I’ll do all of that while eating pasta whenever I damned well please.  Perhaps an ice cream cone too, if I’m feeling punchy.