When FAT is just a 3 letter word

Hey all and happy Friday! This is a long post, but an extremely emotional and heartfelt one. So please enjoy and engage!

For as long as I can remember, I have been that fat girl. Now, if you had asked me several years ago, I would have lamented the word fat and would have never even considered it as a way to describe myself. Fast forward to the present time: after years of blogging, years of self-doubt and body shaming, and more diets than you can even begin to fathom… the word fat (and many of its synonyms) no longer holds that same nasty connotation that it once did. Obviously, because of this blog, my life has become so much more public, and thus, I have opened myself up to so much more scrutiny. Whether welcomed or not, people like to leave their opinions and insert them wherever they see fit. So, as a girl who is 5’3” and currently weighing in at 187 pounds (good lord it took a lot for me to type out those 3 numbers), I am here to tell you that your body is beautiful. This blog post is a bit of a testament to what it feels like to be considered fat. It will speak to the pressures we face daily and the way society perceives women they consider fat.

It took a lot for me to get to this place of comfort and confidence, and to find beauty in myself. There are times where I still question myself and my choices, and wonder how I got to a place where I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I constantly reassess my actions and habits, and I try to improve certain aspects of my health and my body. But at the same time, I have come to a place where each stage of my body is acceptable to me. I no longer have to look forward and long for that next perfect stage, because I can wholeheartedly accept my body in its current state, and welcome the next one as well.

I have been heavy pretty much my entire life. I cannot remember a time where someone would have ever referred to me as skinny… literally not ever. I spent most of my college and adult years trying to become something and mold my body into what other people expected of me. So, for all those reading this, whether you can relate completely or not, here is what it feels like to be FAT:

You have a pretty face, but if you lost weight you would be so much prettier.

I could probably tell you every single person that has ever uttered that phrase to me, or something similar. When I was 135 pounds, or 160 pounds, or even at my current weight… people somehow think that this is totally acceptable to say to a person. Imagine being told that your face is fine, but the rest of you is somehow not good enough, that you somehow do not measure up. I would meet men who would ask me why I didn’t lose weight to match my pretty face. Or my friends in college who would tell me to work out so that my body would catch up with my face.

You cannot possibly exercise… you wouldn’t still be that size.

Ohhhh, but I still am this size. For those that do not know, I have been doing yoga for about 7-8 years now and I start off every morning with a bit of yoga and meditation. I still run stairs for exercise, do squats, and even lift weights every single week. Yet somehow, because my body does not look the way you expect it to, I am not working out. There is that moment of shock on a person’s face when you tell them that you work out and they look you up and down. You can see that critical level of thinking transpiring, as they wonder how you still look the way you do.

This happened a lot growing up, as I figure skated throughout most of my younger years. Most girls who figure skated were extremely small, so there was always a dig at me in competitions and shows for being so “large.” Girls would come up to me and ask me how I can balance on skates when I am so big.

OMG have you lost weight??
Look, I know you may not have seen me in months (most cases this is years), but there are many, many other things to ask me.
Examples: How is life? What are you doing for work? How were the 2 years you spent living overseas?
I believe a lot of this truly does stem from not knowing what to say, or feeling the need to possibly validate my weight loss or size. I believe it does come from a good place, and the intentions are there… but PLEASE do not ask this.
Things to say instead: Love your dress, love your hair, love your nails… normal things you talk to people about!

Do you really think you should be wearing that? Just because it comes in your size does not mean you should wear it.

So, I going to start off this one by saying that last year was the first time I ever wore a crop top, and I fucking loved it. I actually wonder what took me soo long. I remember in middle school, we used to shop at this store called RAVE, and let me tell you, this place was the store. I remember I had bought this burgundy top with cutout arm details and it was tight. Now, I was a little chunky in middle school and definitely not the cutest thing on the block. But I recall my friend telling me a day later that people had been making fun of me because I was fat and fat girls shouldn’t wear tight tops. This still happens in the present, especially with some brands I have considered working with. I will literally be told that they won’t send me a certain piece because it won’t look good on someone my size.

There are also those lovely people on the internet that like to comment on posts or send DM’s and insert their opinion about how I look in an outfit. Good lord, the amount of pig comments, fat slut comments, and all around body shaming comments that I receive is insane!

Should you really be eating that?

DAMN SURE SHOULD. Let me explain something to you. If I want to eat pizza, I will sure as shit eat pizza, or cheese fries, or whatever greasy food I want to eat. Because it is all about moderation. Despite the fact that you believe that I go home and shove my face (guilty, at times) I also eat fresh and cook 4-5 times per week.

Your friends are so much hotter than you!

Let me tell you, this used to bother me soo much when I would go out with my friends in college. Men would literally tell me (no exaggeration) that my friends were hotter because they were skinnier. Men at bars would ask me why I didn’t go out with girls who looked more like me (they meant other fat girls) or why I went out with women who clearly work out.

The shunning at bars kind of became a thing, and to be honest, it still happens pretty regularly as well.

So, I realize that this post sounds a bit like a lot of me complaining, and I can understand that perception… to an extent. BUT, if you have ever been considered fat, overweight, large, thick, curvy… then one of these points above is extremely relatable. You have to understand, the world as a woman is already hard enough, but being a fat woman, it makes it even more difficult to navigate!

So, where do we go from here? How do you get to a point of self-love, confidence, and the ability to call yourself fat and not allow it to bother you?

Find your style!

I cannot stress this enough! I get DM’s all the time with girls telling me they are a similar size and asking how to dress for their body. I love helping every single one of these women out. I have given bra and underwear recommendations, I give out my sizing on the daily, and I speak with women openly. You need to find pieces that work for you. If you are not comfortable, it will be extremely obvious.

Because I wear so many different sizes, I teeter between straight size and plus size. So, I have plus size brands constantly telling me I am too small and not representative of a plus size woman. On the other side, I have had sooo many brands tell me that I am too large for their clothing. So finding those brands that will respect you and your body is crucial!

The biggest thing I tell any woman trying to find their style is this: branch out and step outside of your comfort zone. Take small steps outside of that box, and then take a leap. My leap was wearing a pajama set with a crop top.

Now, I wear tight dresses without spanx, high waisted jeans, and shorts, and crop tops pretty frequently.

All those words that you have been called, call yourself by them as well. Change the narrative. Change the connotation.

I know this does not make complete sense, as I was not sure how to completely phrase it. But, when you can take control of those negative words and change the narrative and connotation, those words no longer hurt.

When people DM me to tell me I look fat in a dress… I DM right back and say damn right, I do look fat. When it no longer bothers you, it starts to bother them.

Practice what you preach.

I will be the first person to admit, I used to body shame, and I would body shame a lot. It came from a place of self-doubt, a place of self-hatred and loathing. I would call other women fat to make myself feel better.

Now, I try and see the beauty in each woman. I try and understand and appreciate each body for what it is and understand the person behind that body. In order to be comfortable with other women and their bodies, you need to be comfortable with your own.

Eat what the fuck you want.

Look, I am not saying to gorge on every meal all the time. But if you are going on a first date, EAT THAT PIZZA. Good gosh, I used to only order salads, only to have people see me eat wings weeks later. You need to be comfortable being your size and eating what you want in front of other people. Do not put on a facade. Eat at your pace and enjoy what you want without feel badly about it.

Talk to men/ Date men (or women) that will not put you down.

This is much easier said than done. I can tell you honestly, it took me such a long time to understand how to navigate this. When you go to a bar and you are confident, your size seriously no longer matters. Well, it still matters to some people (ignore them), but to most men (or women) they will not even notice. When your confidence and love for yourself are obvious, it radiates.

The biggest way to demolish your self-worth is to let someone else demolish it for you.

So going forward, please always feel free to reach out to me with questions regarding size, weight, clothing, etc.

And make sure to engage in these conversations with women, because they are important to understanding and moving forward!

loveDenise

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6 Comments

  1. Jenna
    February 9 / 1:10 am

    This was such a good read. I really liked how relatable and real it was for me! While I have never considered myself to be fat there is still so much of this that resonates with me.

  2. jcrewismyfavstore
    February 9 / 7:28 am

    This post!!!!!! If I get one more comment that says, “you look like you’ve lost weight,” I’m going to scream. It’s SO rude and invasive. People should know better.

  3. Mindy
    February 9 / 7:47 am

    Thanks for sharing Denise! So relatable, honest, and empowering. I read this piece thinking “yup, same, been there” and it’s so nice to be able to connect with this. Talking about this stuff is so helpful! I love the advice you gave too. Thanks for the pick me up before heading into the weekend!

  4. Anotheroverweightgirl
    February 9 / 8:36 am

    Awesome post Denise! You are beautiful inside and out!

  5. February 9 / 9:15 am

    So raw and honest, Denise, and this is why I love you! Owning who we are right now and feeling good in our own skin is the key to happiness. I am so sad that people feel like they have the right to send you mean DMs and comments – who raised those a*holes!? Thank you for bringing up this important subject and being a champion for body positivity! Brb while I go find that photo of you rocking that crop top!
    xoxo Roxanne
    http://glassofglam.com

  6. February 9 / 10:53 pm

    What a phenomenal post! You are beautiful and I love following and meeting you irl. I adore everything you wear and how talented you are. Thank you for speaking so candidly about this topic… This fat girl needed that! 😘

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