I get it.

I know I’m overweight. I know that I’m not healthy. I know that better than you, because, hey, this is my body and I’m living in it. And because it is my body, I know how I got this big. And – big surprise coming – it isn’t my eating habits.

So yeah, stop looking so surprised when I eat less than you at restaurants, or take the fewest slices of pizza out of the box, or don’t ask for food when I come late to a party and everyone’s already placed their order for takeout. Sometimes, weight gain has nothing to do with the food.

Let me tell you what it can be about.

In my case, it can be about a job. You know about those, right? They’re those things you probably keep saying people should get off their lazy asses and find. Well, I got up off of mine and I found one. And you know what? It keeps me on my lazy ass all friggin day. What time I used to have for exercising is gone now. And I eat even less than I did before, because it’s so hard to get away from the desk sometimes, and sometimes I’m the only person in the office not busy with a client and I have to stay put, no matter how long ago my last break was.

In my case, it can be about a hormone condition. Because let me tell you, there is something hella wrong in my body. I won’t gross you out with the details.

This is the internet; you can go elsewhere for a freak show.

But I will tell you that I’m gaining weight. I’ve gone up from a size 14 to a size 18 in a matter of months. And no portion control or dieting or staying up late to exercise has been able to stop it.

So when you see me and I seem to be completely oblivious to my weight gain, because I’m smiling and I’m not complaining about it, and you start thinking I must just not know how bad it is? Stop. Stop right there.

I know my body. I know that there is something wrong with it. I know that a doctor could help me, but I don’t have time to visit one and I barely have the money to pay for even a regular check up. I know how I sweat in places I never used to, and that it’s getting harder to breathe. I know that I feel disgusted at myself sometimes when I try to put on a skirt that fit me five months ago and which I now have to squeeze into and try not to rip. And I know that if I thought about it as often as you seem to think I should, I would go mad from the blows to my self-esteem.

I’m not built to be acceptably skinny – that’s another thing I know – but my weight is very obviously hurting my health. On top of that, I don’t look that good. I still don’t look bad, but I miss fitting into my clothes. I have some awesome stuff. But I can only worry about so much without loosing it. More important than my looks are my fears about my health, and if I have to start worrying about what you think of my appearance….

To paraphrase a line from Mr. Burns, I don’t believe in suicide, but your death might cheer me up.

It’s more important that I be able to like myself than for you to like how I look. That distinction doesn’t mean that I or anyone else who struggles with their health and weight doesn’t want to fix it. No one wants to be unhealthy and few people want to be called or considered fat.

I am trying to fix myself, but just because my self-repair isn’t happening as quickly or as obviously as you’d like doesn’t mean I don’t know about it or don’t care about it.

And if you keep asking me if I want more pie, I’m going to start calling your ass Moon-pie in public and telling ridiculous stories about the nickname to mutual friends and cute guys.


About Morgan Maria D'Isidoro

Morgan Maria D'Isidoro has lived in Baltimore, MD for most of her life, saving a handful of failed escape attempts. Given the murder rates, she'll probably die here too. Morgan is a writer of speculative fiction and poetry, a musician of dubious quality, cat aficionado, art history fangirl, kitchen sorceress, recovering pyromaniac, accomplished liar, and an all around person of questionable employability.
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2 Responses to Heavy

  1. Genevieve says:

    People always assume that weight gain is related to lack of exercise and/or overeating but it’s not always the case. In ’09 I gained 30-40 pounds in less than 4 months. Was I eating larger portions? Yeah, maybe a bit too much. But not enough to warrant that much of a weight gain. Was I exercising? YES, 4 days a week for at least 2 hours of cardio each time. Why did I gain the weight? Because I had a sleep disorder that was causing me to sleep 1-2 hours per night and my body was under an extreme amount of stress (which also caused hormonal imbalances). I went from about a size 4 to a 12 or 14. I’m not sure what the highest size was because I didn’t buy anything larger than a size 10 (which were about 2 or 3 inches too tight) and my large sweatpants were too tight. It’s taken me 2 years to get to where I am and I still have more weight to lose. The guy I’m dating is all “You look fine, your weight doesn’t matter, I like you the way you are” but I want to get down to what I was in ’08 (about 10 pounds lighter than ’09) for me, not him or anyone else. And yes, my goal size is a small number but that’s because I’m a short girl with a naturally small frame. What would be considered average for my height/frame would be considered to be too thin for someone who was taller than me. As you said about you, I also have a lot of clothes that I want to fit into. Yes, it may take more time to get to where you’d feel comfortable but it doesn’t need to be a sprint to get there. I know that it took me longer than I expected and I’m actually fine with it.

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