Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back Fat

If the two words at the top of this post gross you out even a little, then don't read this entry because it's pretty much all I'm talking about today. My back fat.

Plus size stores, in general, seem to assume two things about fat women: 

1) The fatter you are, the taller you are.

NOT TRUE!!! I'm a petite, dudes - a PETITE - so when I request a pair of petite size pants it's for a reason.  I can't tell you how many pairs of pants I've had to cut the bottoms off of and hem up over the years, so I would stop tripping all over them and pulling my pants down while walking up a staircase! But this doesn't translate to regular length Capri’s, of course - somehow those still end up being a Capri length when I just want a frickin pair of normal pants I don't have to roll up (because cuffs never stay up) or shorten with a pair of scissors, a needle, and thread.  I can't stitch in a straight line on an area that big and it always looks terrible because I obviously don't know how to properly hem knit pants so the thread doesn't show.  Grrrr!

2) Your boob size is directly proportional to your body fat, so if you are a size 28 you must have DDs.  

NO!  I only have boobs because I'm fat - they're "fat boobs"!  I'm only a C cup because I'm 400lbs - without all the fat I'd be a B or less - and I guarantee the first place the fat will come off is in the front boobs!  

That's right, I said front boobs. Because I have boobs in the back, and those, my friends, are DDDs.  

I have had huge boobs on my back for as long as I can remember.  Certainly I had them by the time I was 14 because I was in a play where I had to wear a corset with a period dress (I was Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan, Which is hilarious because the girl playing Wendy was at least two years older than me and looked it). Luckily my mother is a costumer so she was able to make all of my costumes in high school.  I remember my mother having to build a dummy with my measurements because there were no corset patterns that accounted for back fat.  Once I was in the corset I had way more cleavage in the back than in the front - which was not only annoying, but painful since those puppies had to be squished and squashed instead of the front puppies which could be lifted, fluffed, and settled into place.  

The most annoying thing about them is that they have and continue to make finding attractive clothes that look nice almost impossible.  No Plus-Size designer ever takes back fat into account for the simple reason that the vast majority of fat people simply don't have back fat - certainly not in giant blobs the way I do.  So the very pretty and usually flattering style of the "Empire waist" doesn't work on me because it cuts off the fat in the back.  And now that the front boobs below the real boobs are bigger then their sisters above them, that style doesn't look flattering at all.  

Even bras are annoying to try on and it's hard to find a size and style that works.  The back has to be stretchy elastic with at least three - and hopefully four - hooks to hold it closed.  I can't reach my back to close the bra because the fat is so huge back there, but I haven't been able to find a front clasping bra that will actually fit around my back fat enough to fasten.  AND it has to go under the back boobs and be able to support them.  It's extremely frustrating!

The most frustrating thing is knowing that very few women have such an issue.  When I see a fat woman walking around, I always look to see if they have a "normal" back or suffer from a ton of back fat.  I've only ever seen one stranger who had back fat like I do.  I feel like regular fat women can't understand this frustration because it really affects what you can wear and how you look and feel.  

So my wardrobe consists of knit pants, big shirts - preferably long - and jackets and sweaters that no matter how big or stretchy still pucker in the back across my massive DDDs. Any dresses I wear are shaped like tents and usually have a jacket over them - and forget about finding a nice looking Halloween costume!  I can no longer fit into any of the outfits my mother made me so it's just what I can whip up for myself on that front - which isn't much and tends to be jacketed tents.  

 I'm hoping that with the surgery and enough weight loss, I will be able to wear all the beautiful costumes my mother made for me back when I was a size 22/24.  I hope some of the weight I lose will come from the back, but I doubt it.  The back fat is likely to be the last thing that comes off.

Honestly I have three pairs of boobs - two in the front and one in the back.  And of course the smallest pair is in the actual place that boobs should be.  The second set of front boobs came from growing so fat that the back boobs apparently couldn't stretch any further.  They were like "dude, we're out of room!  What do we do now?  I know - let's continue our path of fatty destruction and party in the front!"

Anyway, I know why I have the back fat - it's a side effect from the PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome).  Some women are pear-shaped, but I'm apple-shaped.  If you take a photo of me from above then I look like a ball with a tiny head in the center - I'm not kidding!  I totally do!  

And I look enough like a giant beach ball to fool ocean waves into thinking I'm something they can play volleyball with.  Totally true, dude - the last time I swam in the ocean the waves knocked me around and I bounced back and forth like a ball.  I had trouble getting to shore because the waves were all like "noooo!  come back!!  I haven't scored enough points yet against that east wave bastard!" With the waves pulling me back repeatedly I almost drowned - but that's another story. One that involves a giant wave, four burly strangers, my dad, and a wall.  But now that I have you curious, I'm not going to tell it. Because this post isn't about near death experiences, or kind and burly strangers - it's about back fat.

Back fat!  I hate you!  The first thing I'm gonna do if I ever win a million dollars is hack you off and put in iron plates so you can't ever grow back!  

And now I'm done. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Losing Weight for What?

Obviously there are a huge number of good reasons to get the surgery and lose the weight.  Too many to list, really, but here are a few of them:

àTo be able to participate in more activities with the kids like being able to chase them around without worrying about falling down and breaking something (me or household items) and actually having a chance to catch them (they all run too fast for me now…it’s very sad).

àTo set a good example for the children by showing them that I can do whatever I set my mind too, and that being too fat is unhealthy – they know this, we’ve talked about it and though we’ve taught them acceptable and love for all sizes, I don’t ever want them to have to go through what I have over the years.  I want them to see me achieve major weight loss so they can see that nothing is impossible if you really want it.

àTo be able to do all the things that normal-size people can.  I know I might get flack for saying normal-size because society should not dictate what is normal and everyone should love themselves no matter what size they are – which is true, I admit – BUT I’m not talking about what society and the media consider a normal size, because that’s too skinny to be healthy in my opinion – I will never be a size 2 and although I have nothing but love for my friends who are a size 2 most of them didn’t try to get that size, they just come by it naturally (okay, I’ll admit to jealously about that part).

To me a normal size is anywhere from a size 8-16 for a woman, a medium or large size shirt in general.  The national average seems to be 12-14 or 14-16 depending on who you talk to.  Marilyn Monroe was a size 16 and is still considered one of the sexiest women in history.  What I really mean is by doing all the things that normal-size people can do, is like riding a bicycle, not needing a seatbelt extender in a car or on a plane, being able to climb up or down a steep high without thinking I’m going to die, or being able to step up into a train or trolley at the zoo without practically tipping the whole thing over as I hoist myself onto it and barely squeeze into the metal benches no one else seems to have a problem with.

àI want to do the things that most people take for granted with a general measure of ease and quite possibly even a little grace.  You know, every day things like climbing a staircase without pausing at the bottom, gritting my teeth and thinking “okay, here we go – hope no one’s watching”.   Or sitting in a chair – any chair – without carefully and discretely examining it to decide whether or not it will hold me and often choosing to stand because I don’t want to risk breaking it – especially in public. 

à To no longer be the ugly girl when I go out with my friends in public.  There are obvious and not so obvious looks from people (mostly guys) and interactions that make it clear I’m the ugly one and what am I doing hanging out with them?  I don’t ever get this sort of thing from my friends (otherwise they wouldn’t be my friends) and I don’t think they even notice it, but I do.  I can’t help it – I’ve noticed stuff like that all my life.  Even though I try not to, I still can’t help noticing every now and then. 

This reason, or objective – of no longer being the ugly one – is one of the things that makes me hesitate to have the surgery, not because I enjoy being the obviously ugly one among my – let’s face – pretty darn pretty friends, and not because I’m angry at myself for being pessimistic and negative about my looks – because I’m not.  I’m being realistic.  I’m ugly, okay?  I’m not fishing for compliments so I don’t want anyone to say, “no, you’re not ugly – I think you’re beautiful!”, because I’m not and I’ll hit you over the head with a frying pan if you say that to me!  (seriously, I will, I have one right h— Okay, I don’t, so I’ll just hit you with an electric tea kettle, but I’ll fill it up first!)

And don’t say that I have a pretty face because that’s the most backassward compliment/insult ever for this fat person, but more on that another day.  Suffice to say that if you tell me that, I will bitch-slap you into next Tuesday.

My body is ugly, my face ain’t too great either – although I do have nice eyes and lovely hair.  (And lovely shoulders – I really like my shoulders).  Don’t try to make me feel better by saying I’m pretty because you’ll just come across as being either fake or blind or both.

Do I have a beautiful personality?  You bet!  I have a great personality (albeit a slightly unstable one, but just makes it better right? RIGHT?!?).  I am a fantastic person who is fun to be around most of the time, has a great sense of humor, and is one of the coolest aunts ever.  I have a lot of talent and a lot of great things going for me – but beauty ain’t one of ‘em and I’m just being honest.

So that gives me motivation to lose weight, right?  Because if I’m thinner, I’ll be prettier, right? Ehhhhhhhh….no. Life don’t work that way.  Being normal-sized doesn’t automatically make you pretty, it’s true.  However it is a step in the right direction! 

Except…even if I lose 200lbs - which is the most anyone seems to have lost through surgery, and I’m more likely to lose 100-150 – which is great, don’t get me wrong - that’s still a far cry from normal-sized.  200lbs less puts me at 225lbs, which is great in theory and would be much much better for me BUT…that’s about what I weighed in high school and I was still fat and made fun of there.  I still felt ugly a lot of the time and had trouble doing the kinds of things my normal sized friends could do.  So I lose all this weight just to end up where I was 20 years ago?  To end up still being fat, just less fat?  Is it worth changing my life forever (because the surgery will do that) just to look like I did when I was still fat and miserable (part of which was because I was fat, though part of it was not)?

Is it worth it? 

That’s the central questions I have been asking myself when it comes to getting the surgery.  Is it worth it?

Is it?

The answer of course is YES, because I’m just going to keep getting fatter and fatter like I have my whole life if I don’t.  I might be able to lose some weight on my own, but I know – I know – that it wouldn’t be much and I wouldn’t be able to keep it off.  I need the real world consequence of having pain and nausea when I eat too much or something too sugary.  I need that Pavlovian training – it’s the only way I’ll ever lose enough to stay under 400lbs.

So, it’s worth it for many reasons, but I still feel a sense of disappointment and anger that it can’t magically turn me into a size 10.  There’s no magic wand that anyone can wave to make me feel beautiful in my own body, no matter how much weight I lose, because I’ll still be different from everyone else – even my friends.  I’ll still be fat.  I’ll be a happier fat person, but I’ll still experience those little glances of disgust and polite (or not so polite) brush-offs.  It makes me sad, but that’s the way it is. 

I just wonder what it would be like to look like my sister Gen, who, in my opinion, is the perfect size -5’7 and around 140-150lbs.  She looks amazing.  What would my life be like at that size?

The reality, of course, is that I would still be worried about my weight because my sister still wants to lose a little more weight even though she’s perfect as she is to me.  Maybe being happy with how you look is just something most women can never achieve.  The grass is always greener, as they say…