April 8, 2017 by adbesserer
Some of my previous essays might have mentioned that since I can remember I’ve had a complicated issue with my weight. I grew up around the influence of my mother who was never over a size 6-8, but she constantly referred to herself as fat, or complained about the size of her ass. In our life together, my Mom and me, we never ate 3 square meals a day.
I may have also mentioned that my father has always been obese; he won’t eat anything that isn’t fried or full of sugar. So navigating body image has always been difficult terrain for me. My weight has fluctuated from under 100 lbs to now 180 lbs, well 179 if we want to get picky. You can imagine, I’m sure, that being in Asia at my heaviest weight has been a constant emotional battle. I want this extra meat off of my body immediately, but I know that unless I make it happen in an unhealthy way it’s not going to happen like that, so I keep trying not to repeat old patterns. Honestly, it doesn’t work the way it used to anyway.
When I see other women who exceed healthy BMI standards, I’m not judgemental. When my friends gain weight, I might take notice, but I don’t think to myself that they’re less attractive. I’m still so hard on myself.
I usually don’t weigh myself, and even for my work permit physical I promised that I wouldn’t convert those kilos to pounds to figure out how much I weigh, but I did and I was pretty shocked. I knew I was heavy, not only because of how I look at me, but by certain other things. The weirdest thing is that other women who struggle with their weight will approach me and talk about that struggle as if implicitly suggesting that I know how overweight I am. It happens all the time.
Another thing is that men don’t look at me the way they used to. Sure, my boobs are big and glorious right now, so I have more dudes checking my cleavage than during puberty, but they don’t go out of their way to get to know me. Online dating taught me that many men are extremely concerned with seeing a full body shot before they meet me, or, if they don’t ask, they feel as though I’ve misrepresented myself.
Another thing is that when I comment on my own weight people will not deny that I could lose a few, or 40. It’s hard to gauge people’s intentions that way. They may be looking out for my health, or they may just be like “but you used to be so pretty!”
Anyway, this is probably the first time that my BMI is straight up out of control. I should have noticed, not just because of how people look and speak to me differently, but because I’ve avoided buying jeans for the last 3 years. I get winded much more easily. I have stretch marks when even my pregnant friends aren’t getting them. I avoid doing things I want to do because I can’t find something to wear that makes me feel sexy. In fact, I can’t even picture having sex right now, and it’s not just because I’m surrounded by 24 year old guys.
I know that I will struggle with this for the rest of my life. I could dye my prematurely white hair tomorrow if I wanted and people would stop being dicks about it, but this is never going away. I need to find a way to battle my moods, my desire to stay inactive and secluded with only food to soothe me, and my desire to stop eating entirely. I need to stop tying my weight to my self worth while still staying motivated enough to make positive changes–I just don’t really know how yet.