Once you go big
I’m a cashier, so I see roughly about a hundred different type of people a day. After about five minutes into my shift, most people blend into faceless manikin’s and I couldn’t tell you what their hair color was after about an hour. It’s not for lack of trying and I do recognize a handful of customer faces but chances are unless you deeply upset me, after you leave I will probably never remember you again. But tonight I saw a customer who while in himself did not ignite my anger, what he was wearing did.
An fat middle age man who was a little bit taller than me (I’m five-six) was wearing a black tee-shirt that read, “Once you go big, you don’t go back.”
At first I was amused and rolled my eyes at the obvious sexual innuendo. But then the more I thought about it, the more angry I became. I understand that it was supposed to be a bad pun about his neither regions (Or at least I’m assuming so). But I read recently that one in five American’s who go on a diet and lose weight, will gain that weight back! Is it to assume then that because I am fat, even if I try to lose weight, that I will inevitably fail? That no matter how hard I try, no matter how hard I struggle, I will always be predeterminedly stay the weight I am because once you already big, you do go back?!
When I look at old photos of myself almost a decade ago of when I was fifteen (I know, I can’t believe it either) in my boot cut size sixteen jeans and knee-length black lace wrap that I practically lived in, I wish I could have made my fifteen year old self believe that I would never look better than I did then. The problem then wasn’t so much my body, for it had already developed into a pear shape, it was my mind. My world was filled with media telling me that I was too fat and that I didn’t look like my kindergarten friend Leah (pictured left). And because of that, I was somehow not worthy of adoration.
A simple phrase, “and you’ll never go back,” brings out some of my deepest insecurities. That shirt stared me in the face with its message. And that message is that I just might be forever be stuck with the body I have.It’s putting my shakenly new “I love my body for what it is” image to the test. Could I really be happy with who I am if I never even lost another single pound? Or another inch? I giggle how my pants have begun to fall down on their own in public but would I still be smiling if I were to know that I would never be another pant size smaller?
I can’t answer those questions because I don’t know. I like walking by a mirror and the first thing I notice are my eyes, how wide and beautifully full of life they’ve become. I rarely even think of myself as fat anymore, even when flirting. When I am shamelessly flirting with a certain coworker, weight is the last thing on my mind. I’m so focused on just trying to get him to notice me and then how to get next to him that I rarely have time to worry about my appearance.
So yes, maybe I could eventually learn to love my body for what it is, even if it meant that I was forever stuck with the body I have right now. I’ve come as far as I have already by just accepting myself for my imperfections as it is. And while I still have a long way to go before I build the confidence to become my alter ego Lilly, a silly loud mouth outspoken sarcastically loveable goofball, I’ll just have to keep reminding myself that I am amazing, just the way I am.