Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Choosing sides

So, I find myself conflicted in some sort of way. I am SO happy that I've lost 70lbs, don't get me wrong, but I feel weird about it. Here's what's happened.

I went to DC for about a week because I was a hostess in my friends' wedding. I have to admit, I was excited to see people; I haven't been to DC in like a year and a half. So I was excited. And I knew that people would comment on the weight loss; I was prepared for that. What I was not prepared for is people not recognizing me. WTF? I look the same, albeit 70lbs lighter. But my face looks the same. Ok, it's not as fat, but y'all get what I'm sayin'. I LOOK THE SAME!!! As if that wasn't bad enough (yes, I count it as bad), two people called me SKINNY! Now, let's get one thing straight: I AM NOT SKINNY. At all. I am 5'8" and 177lbs. I could still stand to lose 25-30lbs. I know skinny; I was skinny all growing up until I was 18 or 19. I do NOT want to go back to how I looked in high school; I was too skinny. But to hear people describe me that way now rubs me the wrong way. Why? Because I don't have good memories of skinny people from when I was fat. Mo'nique's voice stays in my head: "Fuck these skinny bitches! Y'all are some hateful bitches. Skinny women are evil and they need to be destroyed!" And now I find myself no longer a "big girl." But I still find myself giving silent props to big girls I see when I'm out. BUT, at the same time, I find myself wondering if my big girls (see what I'm sayin'? MY big girls) are concerned about their health and whether or not they are taking steps to live longer, healthier lives. I find myself seeing overweight people and saying to myself, "Keep exercising and eating right, Monique, or that could be you." And while I'm giving silent props to my big girls, I think (I'm not totally sure yet, but I think) I'm glad I'm not one anymore. And therein lies the conflict. I have absolutely NO desire to be a "skinny bitch." But at the same time, I'm SO glad no one can call me fat anymore. Yet, I still look at super-skinny women with disdain. WTF is that about? It's not cool. It's no more fair than skinny women (or anyone else) looking down on fat people. I guess I blame skinny people for how fat people are treated. And it's not their fault that they're the standard of beauty. They don't perpetuate it at all. I mean, they might eat it up (as in the attention), but they don't create the standard. But no different than whites who take advantage of their privilege, skinny people take advantage, too. And if you talk to them long enough, they'll tell you exactly how they feel about fat people. I remember when I was in college, my roommate's boyfriend was cheating on her. She didn't believe it. Why not? Because the girl in question was thick (let's be clear, she was not FAT, but she was by no means thin). She said, "Why would Darius mess with her? He don't want her fat ass." But he was definitely fuckin' the girl, and we all knew it. But she couldn't BELIEVE that her boyfriend would cheat on her (skinny girl) with a fat girl. That's the shit I be talkin' about. And I don't want to be in that crowd. Inside, I'm a fat girl for life. I will always be a fat girl on the inside. I wonder how long this internal conflict will last. And will I ever be completely comfortable in my skin? Especially since I'm still trying to lose weight and tone. I want to look good for all my hard work in losing this weight! I don't want to just be healthy, I want to look healthy.

What about my friends? For the past I don't know how long, I've been surrounded by mostly big girls. I mean, it's no secret that obesity is running rampant through the black community. So it's no surprise that most of my friends are big girls. Not all, mind you, but most. Well, when I go home or to DC, I'm with my friends, and it makes me a little uncomfortable. Many times, their habits haven't changed, but mine have. I can't eat the way I used to and I'm more active (this is never an issue when I'm out of town, cuz I normally gain weight from eating what I know I have no business and not exercising). This trip was special. I didn't gain ANY weight! AND I exercised a little (not as much as when I'm at home, but still). Why? Because my closest friends in the District are on a lifestyle change journey as well. So we ate healthy and we exercised. And while a lot of my friends said I was an inspiration to them, I still felt weird. Most of my friends have gained weight, and here I am so much smaller. And when people ask me how I did it, I tell them the truth. And I love to talk about my new lifestyle, but in the back of my mind, I'm wondering whether or not I'm alienating folks. I dunno. I hope not. I love my friends.

I guess that's all for now. Back home and back on the exercise bandwagon. I just need to get my toning in gear. Seriously.

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