A wonderful thing happened this morning.
My four-year-old son presented me with a necklace of his own design. This is a first, and it really touched my heart.
But you know what really got me jazzed?
When I realized the string was one of those elastic models, that can accommodate heads of all girths and dimensions.
Sixty pounds ago, such a ridiculous thought never would have occurred to me. In fact, the oddity of the thought was so jarring, it forced me to consider how it ever came to be in the first place. Surprisingly, I saw the route. And that’s what I’m about to share with you.
First, there were the thighs.
Ever since the days of grade school tights and leotards, I was aware my thighs were, how shall we say…thicker…than other girls’ thighs. This wasn’t a big deal way back when, because the thickness was a muscle thing, and there was a sense of pride at their rock solid bounty.
But sometime in high school, there came a slight inner-thigh “swak,” as if the very tops of my inner thighs were star-crossed lovers, and they had at long last been reuinited for a long, passionate kiss.
(These days, my thighs’ agents are negotiating spokesperson deals with the folks at Close Up toothpaste, but I digress.)
After the thighs came my booty.
Rare were the pants that could clothe my thighs and buttocks and not jut out a good seven inches from my waist. A belt does not assist with this dilemma – it just strangles the extra fabric in an awkward fashion, and no one’s fooled.
The tummy bulge was the next self-esteem culprit.
A wee littl *pop!* that no amount of lying on my back and sucking it in could hide. Still, in intimate situations, this was the hands-down alternative to sitting up and revealing the belly crease. So, I snuggled deep down under the covers at every opportunity, flat on my back, perfectly horizontal…preferably, in ill-lit rooms.
I do believe it was at this point the hips began to sprawl.
Words like “Ruben-esque,” “voluptuous,” and “bodacious” came into my vocabulary. I had to be careful on dance floors – especially if there was a hip-bumping situation, as there always is in groups of three or more female friends on a disco binge.
During this whole time, I was still somehow OK with myself, because it was just my lower body that had its issues. North of the belly button, I was doing fine. My bras were in the 34/36 range, my arms were strong, and with the right A-frame dress and a decent pair of support hose, I could still turn a few heads.
Things were going along all right – until I got bamboozled by my calves.
Never, never, NEVER did I consider that weight issues went beyond shopping for jeans and pants. Thighs, butt, waist, hips – all these were areas of great distress. But with shoes? I just chalked it up to my wide feet and got over it. I didn’t like the pointy-toe-strappy-look-pin-prick-heel thing anyway.
But one winter I thought it would be a wonderful thing to have a pair of boots.
Boots were sexy. They went with a whole array of thigh, knee, and full-length skirts. I don’t know why I never considered them before, but I was excited to get on the boot band wagon.
Unfortunately, as I was trying on pair after pair, I was sucked into the vortex of my rude awakening. My calves – my CALVES! – were not fitting into any of these standard floor-model styles.
Chunky heels, flat heels, knee-high, 3/4 high – didn’t matter. None of them zipped up past my hard, unforgiving, circumference-a-plenty mid calf.
When I saw the sales lady glance over at me with a mix of pity and disgust, I realized I was the elephant in the bikini shop, and I hadn’t even realized it.
During the next several months, I’d sneak into stores and try on their boots, hoping I had just had a bad day, or the original store had a limited selection. I finally struck gold in mid-April, when I found a pair of black boots at a a discount department store called Ross. These boots had no zipper. What they DID have was stretchy, elastic, plastic-y faux-leather. I gave the cashier my $20 and put the boots away for the next six months, for the next boot season to arrive.
After the calf incident, it’s been all downhill.
I couldn’t ignore the boob spillage anymore, and went up to a 38 bra. (I probably should’ve just gone with 40. But we Weighties have strange little rules in our heads. I don’t know where they come from, I just know they exist.)
Arms of my shirts got cinchier and cinchier. And then, of course, I realized I was a victim of “Muffin Top” – where my mid torso finds creative ways to spill over the tops of my pants. And then there’s the back fat issue…but I already went over THAT horror story.
Which brings me back to my lovely new necklace.
You know Jeff Foxworthy’s “You know you’re a redneck when” jokes?
Well, you know you’re a Fattie when your four-year-old son gives you a beautiful homemade necklace, and the thing that makes you happiest about it is the elastic string. Because you know, no matter how much weight you may gain – even in your skull – it’ll always fit you.
Now if only my wedding band had been designed with such sweet forgiveness.
(Oh BOY, does being fat SUCK!!!)