WARNING : This post contains information about my past eating disorder and may be triggering to some people. Please click away now if this subject matter is not something you want/need to see.
I have always been “thicc”. As a teenager I had wide hips, thick thighs, an ample booty, and a small waist. This was my natural build and while I recognized I would never be the kind of skinny that, at that time, most guys wanted, I knew I had a beautiful body. I was curvaceous and tall. Statuesque.
I came to love my body. I looked in the mirror and adored how my jeans hugged my shape. I loved how some guys at my high school noticed me, even if they didn’t ask me out. Society just wasn’t ready for a body like mine. Heroin chic was still the ideal look. Men still wanted tiny framed women with giant balloon breasts and little else. That wasn’t me. It would be a few years before the Beyonce’s and J-Lo’s and Shakira’s of the world would make having a big booty and thighs something desirable. So, I was destined to wait for society to catch up.
Unfortunately, I didn’t love my body for long. In 2005 I made the choice to move closer to my mother’s first husband, who I believed at that time to be my biological father. I’d only been living near him, with him in my life on a daily basis, for a short while when his comments about my appearance began.
My late mother’s first husband is a fragile, sexist, fat-shaming male chauvinist. He was dreadful to my mother during their marriage. My mother had Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome that was left untreated because during most of her adult life doctor’s refused to believe it existed and treat it. My father saw anything my mother ate, regardless of what it was, as just another thing keeping her fat. He hated her body. And when he left her, he married a tiny woman the same week his divorce to my mother was finalized.
When I moved down into his town in 2005, I walked into a situation that almost took my life and very much took my self-worth. His comments about my size, jokes and insults about my mother’s weight, and constant leering at thin women on TV and in public was normal for him. It took decades for me to realize that it is not okay for men to make jokes about sex around their minor children. But, he did. My entire life. He made sure his children knew growing up that a person was only as good as their fuckability.
So when I was 19 years old I stopped eating on a regular basis. I worked two jobs so it was easy to skip days. Then I’d catch up on food later, binging on garbage like McDonald’s and Doritos because I was so, so hungry. Then I’d starve myself again. If I felt hungry I smoked cigarettes. If I felt dizzy from not eating, I drank an energy drink. And it was working. I was losing weight. But, not enough for my mother’s first husband.
When I was suicidal I made an appointment to see the same doctor I’d been seeing since I was 11. Unbeknownst to me, Dr. F had conspired behind my back with my mother’s first husband. I asked Dr. F for depression pills. Instead he offered me the diet pill Fastin.
“Some girls your size feel insecure and uncomfortable in their bodies. Losing weight might help you regain your confidence.”
I was 20.
I weighed 138 lbs.
I had an eating disorder.
And a doctor gave me diet pills because he was friends with my “dad” and my “dad” told him to.
And I trusted him. Because why wouldn’t I? If my doctor looked at my size 12 body, my 5’10” height, and told me I needed to lose weight to be happy…why wouldn’t I believe him?
So, I started taking Fastin. And like the starving, it worked. I lost down to 127 lbs within two months. But when I stopped losing I got scared. I still wasn’t skinny enough. My “Dad” was still watching everything I ate and making comments. I needed to lose more. So, I started throwing up anything I *did* eat. Not all the time. But anytime I felt I’d had too much. I threw up often enough to destroy my gag reflex. My body adjusted to me thrusting my fingers down my throat to make myself sick.
And this was my life for three years. I just didn’t eat and what I did eat, I didn’t keep down. I’d gone from loving my curves to loathing them. I wanted my “Dad” to love me. I wanted him to respect me. I wanted him to tell me I was beautiful and smart and worthy of love. I wanted him to be a decent father.
And he wasn’t. He never would be. And when I got pregnant, put on weight, and was also diagnosed with PCOS, his treatment of me worsened. One day he commented, “You don’t want to end up like your mom, do you? Fat and miserable? Do you really think J (my partner) will respect you if you stay this way?”
It was finally too much. And seven years ago I kicked that son of a bitch out of my life. And have never, ever looked back.
So, this is what I look like now:
Look at how beautiful I am. Look at that confidence. Look at that stomach out and proud, those big hips, soft arms, thick thighs. Look at my eyes. I know I’m a bad bitch. I know I’m worthy of love.
I am 32 years old.
I weigh 320 lbs.
I have PCOS.
And I love myself.
And there is absolutely nothing any troll on the internet can say that will destroy this foundation of self-love I have built through my blood, sweat, and tears. I have earned this temple I inhabit and I’m proud of it. I will never again let a man tell me how I get to feel about my own body, my own sexuality, my own worth. I will never again shrink myself to make other people feel better.
I’m a fat woman. And you will never, NEVER make me hate my body again. After everything I’ve been through and all I have survived, there’s no looking back…only moving forward. In self-love and light.