The Fattest Girl in the Room

I am often the fattest girl in the room.

I am the fattest one in my group of girlfriends.  I am the fattest one in my immediate family.  I am the fattest one in my office at work.

There are days when I look in the mirror, and I wonder what the big deal is.  I look at myself, and I see a human being, a woman, perhaps taking up a bit more space than average, but in the grand scheme of things, not that large.  Some days I look in the mirror and think, I'm just fine.  Some days I even like myself.

Other days I look in the mirror and all I see is that I am not good enough.  That I am too fat.  That there are places on my body that roll and drape and pillow and dimple where they should be flat and smooth and tight.  My hips are wide, my ass is expansive.  My breasts are bigger than they used to be because I've gained weight, and I like that part, but I don't like so much that if I lean back just right I can feel a part of my back touching another part of my back that I didn't used to be able to feel.

There are days when I put on a pretty outfit, where I find a shirt that flatters me, and I feel confident, and pretty.  I find a shirt that matches my eyes and it looks so good the way it cinches in just below my bust then flows out, not clinging to the parts of me I don't want to highlight.  I put on earrings and brush my hair, and feel like I might be able to take on anything.

Other days I try to go clothes shopping and hours and hours of looking and trying results only in feeling upset and frustrated because clothes just are not made for this body.  Yes, there are "plus sized" clothes out there.  I am 5'7" tall, and when I go to Lane Bryant, most of the pants are still 2-3 inches too long for me.  So... am I supposed to be an amazon?  Because last time I checked the average height for women was like... 5'4"?  Most of the shirts and dresses available there gape in the chest, because even with the weight I've gained, I am usually still a C cup, definitely no bigger than a D.

Plus size clothes are made for women who are proportionately larger.  Women who are 6 feet tall and have a 45 inch waist, but not for women like me.  There are few clothes out there made for a woman with pretty shoulders and thin ankles, but bulky thighs, wide hips and ass, and a lot of weight on the front.  I carry much of my weight around my middle, especially in the front.

I look in the mirror, and I do not think I am that far outside the norm, so I wonder, WHERE are the clothes for women like me?

Do you want to know a secret?  I am more comfortable naked than I am clothed.  I have been naked in front of men, and friends, and people who I don't know well, and felt completely at ease.  When I am naked, all I am is myself.  My shape is not WRONG when I am naked, it just is how it is.  When I am naked, I feel normal.  When I try to squash and push and shove myself into clothes not made for me, it can be hard to feel even a semblance of normal.

Some days I try to get dressed and put on two or three outfits before I settle and feel comfortable and like I can be seen in public.

I have stretch marks on my stomach, my arms, and my breasts.  Some days, I run my fingers over that shiny soft skin and I kind of like how it feels.  When you gain and lose 50 pounds or more multiple times in relatively short time periods, these squiggly reminders are inevitable.  Some women call them tiger stripes.  Mostly women who are thinner than me, I think, and see their stretch marks as their largest imperfection.

There are days when I feel beautiful.  Where my boyfriend calls me his pretty girl, or one of my friends tells me how lovely I am, or where I look in the mirror and see my happiness written on my skin like a beautiful song.

Other days, I don't think men find me desirable, or the ones who do fetishize me, ask me if I am a BBW.  I am not a BBW, I am just a W.  If you think I'm beautiful, maybe I'm a BW, but why do you need to have a term for women who are larger?  It makes me feel like you ONLY like me because I am fat.  Or, they tell me that I'm not fat, which is just as bad, because come on, dude.  I am fat, and being fat and beautiful don't have to be mutually exclusive... right?

There are days when I rage, inside my head.  I think, who are all of these people to tell me that I am not worth looking at?  Who are they to tell me that I am not good enough, that I am not enough? Who are they to tell me that I don't have just as much right to happiness as they do? Fuck them!  I am a human being, a beautiful one, inside and out.  I am pretty, and smart, and worth looking at, worth loving.

Other days, I just hate being the fattest one in the room.  Knowing that other women see me and feel relieved because they aren't the fat one.  Seeing things online or in magazines or just around out in the world that make it very clear to me that my fat, the shape of me, makes me a BURDEN on society.  There are days that I know that people look at me as the problem. People look at me, and think I deserve less because I am... lazy. Ugly. Slobby. Not trying. Not caring. Fat. Obese. Disgusting.  These days, it is perfectly clear to me that I am doing something to other people just by existing in this body.

There are days when I think about losing weight, yes.  There are days when I think of joining the YMCA and counting calories, and the fact that I haven't stepped on a scale in probably two months because my highest weight in the past was 267, and I'm about 99% sure that isn't actually true anymore.

Other days I think about how it has always been extremely hard for me to lose weight because of various metabolic issues I have, and it makes me feel defeated before I even begin.  I worry that working out a few times a week and cutting back on calories wouldn't even make a dent.  I'm not sure I would handle the disappointment very well.  It's really hard to try so hard, and put so much effort into something, for so little result.  Some days I think about how I am not behind in my bills, and maybe I should just do Medifast for a couple of months and lose weight that way.  It doesn't seem like the healthiest way, but at the same time, I know I could DO it.

There are days when I tell myself that if I lose weight it will be for me.  To feel more comfortable, to be able to do things that I want to do that require more flexibility and stamina.

Other days, I am angry.  I don't know if I want to lose weight at all.  I wonder if I only think those things because I am SUPPOSED to want to be skinnier and better.  I am angry that fat shaming is a thing, and if you don't think it's a thing, you're probably not fat.  It's pervasive, and insulting, and minimizing.  I wonder if I only think about being less fat because people have told me, to my face, or just through action and culture, that I am NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  That if I am fat, I should WANT to lose weight, because being skinnier is being better.  I am angry that I am judged, and I want to throw it in their faces, and say, no, I will not change myself for you.  I am happy.

But, the fattest girl in the room is not the happy girl.  She is not the one who glows and laughs and smiles.  She is not the one who gets the boy in the end.  She is not the one with the high powered job and nice car and fashionable clothes.

I am not supposed to be happy.  I am the fattest girl in the room.