Thursday, June 17, 2010

What I don't want

We all do a lot of thinking, blogging, and talking about what we do want - out of our lives and our bodies.

We want to look great in swimming suits, to be able to have babies, to walk, to run, or to have sex without shame. We want to shop in the smaller stores, to turn heads, and to see space between our thighs.

But I don't think we do a lot of talking about what we don't want.

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After I graduated from college, I decided that I wanted to do something about my weight. I don't know exactly what I weighed at the time, but was wearing size 20s and 22s pretty regularly.

I lost weight and got down to where I was wearing mostly 10s and 12s. I started dating one of my friends (who to this day is a dear friend of mine) and ended up gaining some of the weight back.

I moved to Colorado and weighed in the 190s/200s.

I started dating Mr. Perfect (or so I thought at the time) and became very, very miserable. Because my weight seemed to be such a big issue in our relationship, I gained MAYBE 5 pounds during the year we dated - I kept it pretty closely in check.

But after we stopped dating? That's a whole other matter altogether.

I gained weight. Scratch that. I gained A LOT of weight. To the tune of 90 pounds.

Because after all, how do you get over the idea that someone didn't want you because you just weren't good enough? I couldn't. I just couldn't bear thinking that what I had always believed about myself REALLY was true.

I just wasn't good enough. I probably never would be.

It took 5 years to put on the 90+ pounds, but I did it. I encased myself in a layers of fat so thick that no one would want to come close to me. And if they did? At least they'd know what they were getting into. I was fat. Any potential beau shouldn't expect me to be otherwise.

I dated a guy that I loved who ended up cheating on me. My self confidence was as low as it ever had been and I saw no way to climb out of the hole I was in.

During this time, I went to a restaurant to celebrate a birthday with some friends of mine. I had dressed up a bit and felt less like a fat cow than I normally did. We had Mexican food and margaritas. Maybe life still kind of sucked, but it sucked LESS that night.

On my way to the bathroom, I noticed someone at a table that I knew. It was The Babe...a girl that was friends with Mr. Perfect. I hadn't seen her in years. To me, she looked exactly the same and my face actually broke out into a smile just at the sight of her. I wanted to rush up to her table, and say hi - to tell her that I thought of her every once in a while. I wanted to thank her for her kindness after my relationship with Mr. Perfect ended. I wanted to hug her and find out how she was.

I even took a step in the direction of her table.

But then complete and utter dread washed over me. I froze. I had gained a whole Olsen twin since I had last seen her. What would she think? Would she tell Mr. Perfect that he dodged a bullet - saying something like, "You thought she was fat before, well WHOA NELLY is she fat now!" Would she scan my body and then meet my eyes where I could see disappointment in them?

Maybe became probably. Probably became definitely.

I turned around and asked the closest waiter directions to another bathroom. I returned to the table completely flustered and broke out in a clammy sweat. I prayed that when she walked by our table (which was semi close to the entrance of the restaurant), she wouldn't see me.

She didn't. Or if she did, she didn't stop.

Even though my friends were still having a fun time, I left shortly after returning from the bathroom. I stopped by a Burger King on my way home and ate until I almost burst.

I hate even thinking about that day. And it was a little over 2 years ago.

Although I have a great handle on what I do want these days, I know - without a doubt - that I never want to feel that again.

It's taken a while, but I now know that I'm not something to be ashamed of and am not someone to be hidden away in a corner.

I want to not worry about my body or how others see it. I want to have the light inside me glow with happiness when I see a kindred spirit. I want to be more than just my body or a number on the scale.

Luckily, thanks to the interwebs, we've been able to reconnect - and hopefully we'll get to meet up this weekend for the chat that we missed out on. I passed up my chance to catch up with someone I actually genuinely liked and cared about because of my weight.

I won't let that happen again. Not with her, and not with anyone else.

12 Comments:

Lesia said...

What a great story. I know there are lots of us out there that can relate to this post. You go get er done now!

Katy said...

I can definitely realte to this. It pains me to even think about my 10 yr reunion last year and how I looked like a puffy red faced version of my former svelt self. Good for you for reconnecting with your friend! Great post.

christina said...

Thank you for sharing... you are an amazing person!

Misspudding said...

Awww! I hope you guys have a good time. :)

fatgirl_vs_world said...

what a beautiful entry!

Lyn said...

I TOTALLY relate to this, and in fact saw someone in a store once who I had not seen in ten years, and in a second I was THRILLED and then it hit me that I weighed twice what I did last time I saw him, and I looked at the floor and walked past and hoped he didn't recognize me. It's an awful feeling. I am SO glad you are reconnecting, and won't go through THAT again!!

Tricia said...

I think a lot of us can relate to this post. Good for you for taking steps to keep it from happening again!

允輝允輝 said...

人生的光榮,不在永不失敗,而在於能夠屢仆屢起。......................................................................

Sarah Beau Bera said...

Wow. I really am very moved by this story. Thank you.

The Babe said...

I wish had I seen you that day...I would have been just as happy to see you (and just as worried about my own weight gain and what you might have thought of me!).

And Mr. Perfect? Well, he's kind of like those fancy bakery cupcakes. They look lovely and yummy on the shelf but when you actually eat one you realize they never taste as good as they look (and they make you feel so awful that it isn't worth it anyway).

You, my dear HFP, are beautiful inside and out. And always have been. I can't wait to get to walk with you and your horse/dog!

Love, the Babe
http://scribblinginthemargin.blogspot.com

Becca said...

Thanks for sharing your story, and although that specifically has never happened to me, I think we have all "given up something" b/c of our weight, and regret it now.

TinaM said...

I'm so sad for the girl who had to go through that 2 years ago, but so happy for the woman who knows who she is now! thanks for sharing this experience with us.