13 Jan 2011
Today I went shopping for new work pants. You’d be amazed how hard it is to find khaki colored pants that aren’t straight legged. Straight leg pants make me look like a penguin, but I digress.
I originally had three pairs, but one got lost in the move, one is now way too short, and one is so old it has holes ripping in the thighs (a constant problem for me). Amazingly, I found that I’d dropped two pant sizes since I last bought pants, down to a US 18 from a 22. First thought through my head? Shit. How do you shrink denim?
I made the mistake of texting this “amazing weight loss” to my mother. She proceeded to tell me, in numerous texts and exclamation points, how proud she was that I was losing weight. I rolled my eyes and headed home.
She called me this evening while I was eating a sandwich (the first chance I’ve had to eat today, mind you). When I asked how she was doing, she replied, “Never mind how I’m doing. Tell me how excited you were that you lost two pant sizes!”
I was honest: I’m indifferent. I just want my damn jeans to fit, but I suppose that’s what belts are for.
Really awesome Mario Death Mushroom belts:
But again, I digress.
There was a long pause on the other end of the phone. Now, even seventeen words into our conversation, I could tell she had been drinking. You don’t live with an abusive alcoholic and not pick up on the nuances in their mannerisms. No matter what I said, this phone call would not end well.
“Why aren’t you happy about slimming down?”
Because my life was defined by my weight for almost twenty years. Because, even though I was an avid dancer, living in the studio four hours a day, six days a week, I was told I couldn’t advance my pointe studies because I was “too heavy” (at 5’4″, 160 pounds, and massive leg muscles). Because I’ve been fighting EDNOS (eating disorder – not otherwise specified) since I was 16. Because I’ve finally learned that my life will not be over because of what I weigh.
She tried shaming me, questioning why I was eating right now because I’ll gain those sizes back, saying she believed I weighed too much, that my health would start suffering, and hey I bet you’re borderline diabetic and might have some cholesterol problems because you know your father has Type II diabetes and he’s got cholesterol problems and you don’t want people thinking you’re a lazy slob do you? A year ago, that would have worked, and I would have begun restricting my food intake down to 300 calories a day. Now? I just take another bite of my sandwich.
When I confronted her about her comments (which has taken me years to build up the courage to do), she hung up on me, calling me back twenty minutes later, saying that she didn’t intend to try to hurt me, she was just looking out for my health.
Well, mom, guess what? Intent is fucking magic. Even though you think you mean well, that your comments are really for my own good, you’re telling me that I’m not good enough, that I don’t fit some sort of ideal you have. I’m sorry you’re not happy that I’m not jumping up and down about losing weight and solemnly vowing to lose more. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then it’s not the end of the world.
I’ve learned that it’s completely possible to be healthy at every size. Exercise on my own time, doing things I want to do, with no goal to eventually fail at, and just… eating. Eat for the sake of eating, that it’s completely alright to eat when you feel hungry, and stop when you feel full (this being the hardest thing for me to learn).
The Fatshionista LiveJournal community has been a huge help to me; to see so many people enjoying their bodies, embracing the “deathfat” (“morbidly obese” body mass index) label, and finding ways to look amazing was inspiring. I wanted to be that, to be happy with myself; to smile in pictures, even though I never translate well into photographs. So, with the help of my friends and lovers, I began changing my outlook.
Fat acceptance is still a learning experience for me, but goddammit, I’m learning. I wish I could say the same for you, mom.
2 Nov 2010
NB: This post was originally going to be posted the end of July, but every time I went to post it, I started to spin into panic attacks. I’m getting better about my assault, but… it still hits me every so often. Hard. Flashbacks still affect me three years later; they’ll probably be with me for the rest of my life.
In rereading, I realize a lot of sentences in here start with “I blame myself”. While I know I shouldn’t, I still do. I don’t know how to stop myself from victim blaming.
I’m still told at least once a week that what I’m wearing is inappropriate. I was wearing a 3/4 sleeve lightweight turtleneck top for work, and was told by a coworker that the shirt was not work appropriate. When I asked why, she said “your chest is inviting trouble”; I spent the next two days curled up in panic attacks, thinking about this event.
I don’t know how to block out the blame of others, and I don’t know how to keep me from blaming myself. Any advice is welcomed.
(Oh snap. Two actual posts in the same month! I spoil you people =P)
This post contains talk of sexual assault. I apologize for the triggering nature of this post, but I feel the need to get it out. The body will be behind the jump, for anyone that chooses to skip over this.
15 Jul 2010
(Oh snap! I’m making an entry here and attempting this blogging thing. And I can never think of good titles for posts. Forgive me for that.)
“Oh, look how crazy that is”
“The prolife movement is just psychotic”
“Why listen to a bunch of psychos like them?”
Why must we refer to things that we fear, or don’t like, or find against the norm, or find really annoying as psychotic? Or crazy? Why is that word not considered offensive? Why do people use this as an insult or as any form of adjective? Especially around me? Especially if you know me? Especially if you don’t?
Newsflash: I’m psychotic. I’ve been diagnosed as (according to the DSM-IV) 296.34: Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Severe, With Psychotic Features. I hear people telling me to do things that I would never imagine doing on my own. My hand writes on its own words that I’ve never seen before. I spent about three months locked away in my room, absolutely convinced that the living room furniture was plotting against me.
This is severe depression on top of several other mental illnesses that I’ve been living with for ten years.
Couldn’t tell I’m psychotic? Thank my medication.
I’m on a cocktail that I admittedly don’t take as frequently as I should, simply because the monetary costs are so high. These medications are meant to keep my symptoms at bay, my depression at a decent level (one where I can function with day-to-day tasks), and the coffee table from eating me. They’re meant to keep me on the right side of the road, out of the hospitals, and everyone else around me alive.
And even though you may not realize it, calling someone or something “psychotic” is ableist and ignorant. When you use psychotic as an insult, you are insulting me and every other person with psychosis. When describing, for the example, the pro-life movement or the tea partiers as psychotic, you are equating me and every other person with psychosis to those principles.
True, some people with psychosis may be pro-life or tea partiers. But there are many of us that aren’t. I, for one, don’t want to be compared to those movements. I find the pro-life movement to be outdated and oppressive. Tea partiers are just that: tea partiers. Those are two groups that I do not agree with and do not want to be associated with.
And frankly, the only time I will ever accept being called a psycho is in reference to one of my favorite shows. Because, yes, in that way, I am a Psych-O.
7 Jul 2010
Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!
I suppose I could figure out something to make of this blog. Considering I’ve got a more… personal… one over at EllJay, I suppose I could try to do something a little more constructive with this one.
I’ve been struggling lately with many things: body acceptance (because, let’s face it, I’m fat; but I’m also fabulous, and I’m finally learning that those two can coincide), gender identity, mental illness, Major Life Transitions™ that all seem to want to happen at the same time… I don’t know. Maybe I can turn random rambling into something slightly coherent and positive. We’ll see =)
Or, maybe this will be my only post and I’ll totally forget I’ve got this thing (my poor Plurk. I completely forgot you existed until last week =/)