Because It Needs To Be Said.

Internet:

I am 28 years old, and about 5’9. I do not smoke, and am a social drinker. I have perfect blood pressure, do not have high cholesterol, and do not have a thyroid problem. I am very rarely sick, and actually went to the doctor only one time last year for strep throat.Β I do have a knee problem, but this is mostly due to a car accident I was in during high school. I have never had a cavity.

During my pregnancy, I did not gain any weight. I had zero complications until my third trimester, when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Even so, I was able to control my sugars through diet and exercise until the very week before my delivery, when I went on medication “just to be safe.” I then gave birth to a perfectly healthy, completely average-sized baby. The next day, my diabetes went away and my blood sugar, though slightly elevated, has not given cause for concern.

I can run a mile in about 15 minutes, and can make it through a Zumba class without stopping to rest. I’m a stay at home mom now, but in the days of yore I was a preschool teacher and spent ten hours a day keeping track of 12 two-year-olds– not for the faint of heart.

I am all of these things. And I am also almost one hundred pounds overweight.

I am writing this post in response to this post:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2085226/PLUS-Model-Magazines-Katya-Zharkova-cover-highlights-body-image-fashion-industry.html

Specifically, in response to many of the comments, which were, if I’m being honest, total bull shit.

The model in these photos wears a size 12 (remember, Marilyn Monroe was a 14). She is obviously curvy and has a tummy. GOD FORBID THE WOMAN HAS A TUMMY. It’s my guess that if she were wearing clothes, we wouldn’t at all notice a lot of the ‘flaws’ that people are so upset about.

A lot of the comments are from women who are considered ‘plus-size’ themselves, and are happy to see their body types represented in a fashion magazine. Many of these women would never be considered obese, but are not the model-skinny that is so sought after these days. These women were SO happy to see a beautiful, youthful, healthy looking girl.

And then there were the negative Nancy’s. The women who, I can only assume, are so evil and bitter because they haven’t let themselves eat in twenty years.

One woman, in response to one of the aforementioned happy, normal-sized women commenters, responded, “Ok, go ahead and pretend like everything is fine and you are happy with how you are. We know the truth.”

Oh you do, do you? I wonder if she imagines that overweight women cried into our pillows when we heard that Hostess was going bankrupt, or that after a full day of audacity– how dare we walk around with normal people as if nothing is wrong– we stare at ourselves in our mirrors and feel sick.

I suppose that may be true of some overweight women. Not this one, though. Not by a long shot. I can’t even remember the last time I gave more than two seconds thought on whether or not I looked ‘good’– really, lets THINK about that for a moment– what have we become, as a society, when we are spending so much time grooming ourselves? What other awesome amazing things could we be doing with our time?

Another said, “That girl’s fat rolls are disgusting. If I saw her in a swim suit, I would tell her to cover up.”

Which means, I guess, that when you see those girls at the pool with their flat bellies and perky boobs that we should be HONORED to see them in their bikinis. That when the young coeds walk by with cut-offs so short that their POCKETS ARE LONGER THAN THEIR SHORTS, instead of being shocked and bewildered, I should be groveling at her feet and congratulating her on winning the ‘you’re so skinny’ award.

Friends, here’s the truth. I will just bottom line it for you.

Do I wish I was healthier? Of course. Who doesn’t?

Do I wish I was skinny? …. Not really.

In fact, the only time that I wish I was skinny is when other people tell me that I should. It gets into your brain and sits there, and you start to think, you know, maybe I SHOULD do something…. even though I’m perfectly happy, very healthy, and all ready feel that I’m living my life the way I want to and imagined that I would.

When you’re skinny, no one cares what you eat. No one cares if you’re a binge drinker, if you put all kinds of chemicals and additives into your body, if you smoke or go to a tanning booth. No one cares. But when you’re fat– when the WHOLE WORLD CAN SEE YOU IN YOUR INFAMY– it’s like everyone starts counting how many calories you’re consuming for you. And everyone has an opinion. Oh, EVERYONE has an opinion.

Everyone wants to tell an overweight girl how she should dress, what she definitely shouldn’t wear, and whether or not she should be allowed out in public. And also, my opinions on fashion suddenly do not matter, as if by being fat I am now also blind. No one seems to want to listen to ME when I want to stand at the mall and scream through a bull-horn, “LADIES. THERE ARE ONLY PROBABLY SIX OF YOU THAT CAN REALLY PULL OF SKINNY JEANS. THANK YOU.”

And everyone wants to tell us how we should be eating, too. I’ve had all kinds of advice– from not eating at all during the day to only consuming liquids, to only eating cereal to only eating meat. But when I want to talk about food? Oh boy. Man does THAT open up a can of worms.

And that is one thing that just doesn’t make any sense. If you want to talk about cars, do you go to a guy who rides a bike everywhere? So if you want to talk about food– why wouldn’t you want to talk to someone who LOVES food?

And friends– I LOVE food. And I’m SO tired of being ashamed of it.

My mom taught me when I was little that one way you can show people how much you love them is by cooking for them– carefully choosing the best quality ingredients and then carefully combining them into a dish. Choosing other dishes that are complimentary. Finding new ways to make old things, and spending time getting to know what the people around you like so that you can learn how to cook for them.

That sure doesn’t sound like popping open a Slim Fast, now does it?

Now don’t misunderstand me. I know that cooking and eating well does NOT necessarily mean that you have to also eat unhealthy foods– trust me– I know this. Ask anyone who knows me what kind of food I make for my child– I even handmade her BABY FOOD because I didn’t want her eating additives Β and chemicals. Someone asked me once how Maren likes her hot dogs cooked– boiled or grilled, I guess– and I blinked at them for a second and responded, “I don’t know. Maren’s never had a hot dog.”

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it is not a crime to be overweight. I’m not hurting anyone. That model is not hurting anyone. She is not stealing jobs from a size 4 model, nor is her very image going to climb off the paper and eat you.

I’m healthier, stronger, and more active than many skinny women I know. I’m happy, I’m comfortable, and I am enjoying my life, thank you very much. I walked down the aisle in a size 18 dress, and my husband loved me then and loves me now.

Speaking of which– before I was married I would often get THE SPEECH. The Speech about how I wouldn’t ever find a man if I didn’t lose weight. That is just so stupid it almost makes me laugh. I have NEVER had a hard time dating– NEVER. Mitch is NOT the only guy who ever proposed to me, either. I sometimes would turn my phone off on the weekends to get some damn alone time.

And I know that people say this, and it sounds so empty and stupid, but I am so serious when I say that if there was ever a guy who looked me over and said “Ick” and walked away, that guy had just done me the best favor that anyone ever did. Think about that. If you wear a size six and a guy tells you that he would never date, say, a size ten, what does that really mean about that guy? And are you planning on EVER gaining weight? Better hope your thyroid stays in check and your pregnancies all go smoothly. Personally, I’d rather have a man who saw me and said wow right away. And that’s what I have.

No, I’ve never run a marathon or walked down a cat walk. But this body has carried a child, gone through three days of labor, vaginal delivery for three hours (!), and then finally a C-section. I’ve done boot camps. I’ve tried running. I go on walks and hikes and bike rides. My daughter and I dance every day. When I go out, no one can keep me off the dance floor. I am fun, funny, and daring.

I’m sick of people pitying overweight women– and I’m beginning to think that its something else. I’m beginning to wonder if the issue is really resentment– women who were unhappy being heavier, lost weight or work very hard to maintain their weight, wondering WHY OH WHY these other women just walk around HAPPY, as if NO ONE has ever told them that they are overweight? I mean– hello– hasn’t ANYONE EVER TOLD THEM THAT THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES???? Because they can’t picture being overweight and happy, they don’t think that anyone else ever could, either. So they paint with a broad brush and figure that we must be kidding ourselves.

Well I think it’s time for society to move on. I don’t think that there are any overweight people in the nation who don’t know that they’re overweight. I don’t think that anyone needs a reminder, a nudge, or heightened awareness. We are all grown-ups, and we can decide on our own if we need to do something new or try a new path. Our doctors will tell us if we’re being stupid. THAT’S THEIR JOB.

And another thing. If I am wearing my swimsuit, swimming with my daughter, and someone comes and tells me that I better cover up, I will pound your ass into the sand. It shall come to pass. I will do this thing that I have decreed.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Because It Needs To Be Said.

  1. jewel Klingforth

    I L O V E this!! love it. I really have wondered before why it wasn’t OK to just be happy with the way I am. I know other people aren’t tiny & they’re OK with that, I definitely try my best to be one of them but I have my bad days too. I may not be skinny but I am healthy, healthier than some of the skinny people I know. being pregnant 8 times, 2 of the babies a year apart & these last 2 about 18mos apart changes ur body & I’m mostly OK with that fact. πŸ™‚

  2. Well put! I often get looks from skinny women who clearly cannot understand how I can possibly be happy and confident as a size 14. My husband loves me and calls me beautiful daily. And I am also healthy, I am aware of what i put into my body and stay relatively active. This article just validated many of my own thoughts and feelings. Thank you!

  3. Jamie Shaw

    I envy you Adrienne – your bravery and courage you have to love yourself for who you are. While, I am too very comfortable in my skin – I have health issues that can’t be ignored. I feel everyday is a battle of life or death with EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth. I have Type II Diabetes & high cholesterol (triglycerides) – but I am 27 years old – I shouldn’t be battling for life through food/beverage. It is a huge battle everyday, but I am NOT loosing weight (or trying) to please ANYONE, I am doing it for my health because I want to be here for my children and grandchildren!!! And I agree that if anyone tells you to cover up that they deserve a good ol’ fashioned ass whoopin’! These women who are a size 12 are no where near overweight or ugly or obese. I often wonder what people think about me, the looks I get…but then I think – who cares, I have a wonderful husband who thinks I am sexy – and that’s all that I should care about. Keep on preaching girl, I will be here reading to my heart’s content! πŸ™‚

    • Jamie: Like I said: of course I would like to be healthier, but I don’t wish I was ‘skinny.’ Women who are underweight often have underlying health issues as well, but they aren’t nearly as addressed or taboo in our society as type 2 diabetes. If the focus was on health, then I don’t think I’d be as rankled as I am. But that’s not the focus– the focus is all about looks, and that drives me crazy. Good luck to you in your fight– I think about you all the time!

  4. Bridget

    Amen, sista. And there is no effing way you could lose a hundred pounds unless you were SERIOUSLY anorexic. I think BMI is a total joke. Everyone’s body is different, so we shouldn’t all be judged on the same scale.

    I also am so proud to hear you say your daughter has never had a hot dog. I hope to be able to say the same thing in a couple years!! πŸ˜€

  5. This blog made me miss you soooo much!! Love it πŸ™‚ There is definitely a difference between healthy and skinny. And knowing the difference is important. If any of those girls that were ridiculing overweight women saw me naked, they would probably call me overweight and tell me to cover up… Even though I’m not technically considered overweight by the ridiculous BMI scale. I love food and have found that you can enjoy it and still lead a healthy lifestyle. All body types are beautiful and I think you are gorgeous just the way you are! πŸ™‚

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