This is going to be an uncomfortable and difficult post. I’m not really sure how many people read this blog, but I felt I needed to write this post regardless of the pushback I may get. And may deserve.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been on my losing weight trek. I had no idea if I’d make the kind of progress I have in this last iteration. Over the years I’ve quit and fallen in with the fat positive movement. But that never satisfied me. I always rebooted my weight loss goals. It unnerves me when anyone fat shames, including me, but accepting myself in an obese size has never felt right.
This post is for women who were once thin– women who were once athletic, attractive, and whose body would be considered by most in society… sexy. So many of the stories I’ve read about women who’ve lost a lot of weight start out this way, “I was always overweight. As a child, I was bullied… etc.” This is not me and not the story for a lot of women who find themselves (somewhat hopelessly) overweight in middle age. Social media has only exacerbated the pressure to look our best.
I’ve spent a lot of time wading through the complex psychology that led me to gain (and retain) so much weight. But always, always, in the back of my mind was my memory of the me that used to be. I’ve wanted to reclaim my identity for as long as I can remember. Well, specifically, since about 1992 when I was last a size 10 and had great sex with an a former colleague in England.
Let’s talk candidly about beauty. The truth of the matter is: beauty is empowering. Beauty and sex appeal is a cudgel. It’s a tool women can leverage effortlessly, while pretending they’re not. Women long for equality and agency, but they are stack-ranked against the ideals society places on them. This stack-ranking includes how attractive, or at the very least, how thin they are. It’s just a fact.
I encourage you to read this piece by Susi Orbach who wrote the original, “Fat is a Feminist Issue.” She outlines all the hazards of this obsession with female perfect body types, but it falls short in acknowledging the freedom and power thinness delivers to the western woman.
The physical transformation I am going through is significant. In short, I want my life back. I crave that agency I once owned. A great example for me is the superstar vocalist, Adele. Take a look at her before and after. Now, of course, Adele is a performer in the entertainment industry who lives in the spotlight. But the effects of this reinvention is available to all of us. Granted, Adele can afford to spend a lot more on trainers, perfect food choices, and therapy, but the same before and after results are within reach to the average person, if you focus on the outcome.
Adele lost over 100lbs. She’s talked candidly about how it’s made a difference in not only her physical health, but her mental health.
I’m a grandmother. I have a grandson in an MBA program. But, it’s not too late for me. I realized my shadow self (just like Generative AI!) wants to get out. I want to be the woman I was before I became so damaged that I felt I need to wear a fat suit of armor.
I’m getting there.
Thanks for reading, and I sincerely hope I have not offended anyone. This blog is about my personal experience, and I bear no judgment on anyone’s personal choices about how they wish to live their life.