Girl, You Fat.

Archive for December 2009

I am a fatty.

I’ll come right out and say it. I am a fatty. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. Maybe at one point in my toddler-hood, I was a normal, active girl, but I don’t actually remember that time; it only exists in pictures and anecdotes. Since my very first memory, I have been chubby, overweight, “pleasantly plump.” Whichever horrifyingly cute word you use to describe it, it still comes down to the same thing: I am fat.

It’s garnered attention all my life.

My Godfather, whom I love, called me Chipmunk Cheeks for the fatty deposits on the side of my face that resemble a chipmunk storing enough food to last him a winter.

I always had to order the giant leotards in my dance classes, and fight against the tights that didn’t want to fit my ginormous calves. When the other girls had no problem changing out in the open, I ran behind a curtain so that no one had to stare at my rolls. I was conscious of this at age 10.

My fiance calls me Piernona (big legs) or Viking, both in reference to the huge tree trunks that are trying to pass as my lower extremities. He loves them, and means it purely as a compliment, but it is still as reference to my big-ness.

Suffice to say, I am not a small girl. However, as big as I am now, it was, at one point, worse. Let’s all reflect on these pictures from high school/early college, where I stood at 5’7″ and weighed between 200-230 lbs., depending on the year the photo was taken.

In this picture, I am the seafoam green monster.

In school, I was not just fat. I was “holy shit, girl, you’re huge.” Some classmates made sure I didn’t forget it, especially from fourth grade to around eighth grade. Granted, the “wide load, Bessie” comments died down by the time I got to college, but my self-esteem took a definite hit. Eventually, it came to the point where I got sick of moping around about poor Fatty Melissa, and decided to buy a bike (this coincided with my impatience regarding the Chicago Transit Authority). Riding it as my main form of transportation, along with consciously not stuffing my face with chocolate, resulted in a thirty pound weight loss over two years…I went from 230 lbs. to 200 by my college graduation.

And then I took the biggest step yet toward weight loss: I joined the Peace Corps. Getting shipped off to Panama, complements of the United States Government, insured me another thirty pound weight loss. I dropped to 170 – my lowest weight ever. Here’s a picture of how I was hot, to commemorate that event:

On the right, in my sassy size 10 Gap jeans.

But eventually, my body had to adjust to the parasites in the water, and I had to start eating all that strange food being served to me. The diarrhea stopped, the love of arroz con pollo began, and after 2.5 years of living in this country, I have gone back up to 185 lbs.

And enough is enough.

I am a 24 year old. I only weigh 185 lbs. I am not heavy enough to be a Biggest Loser Contestant, and yet I am not nearly as motivated to lose the weight, either. Those people are way heavier than I ever was, and yet they manage to put their ass on a treadmill and do something about it. I, on the other hand, can’t haul my ass out of bed any later than a half an hour before I need to leave my house. That kind of “self-determination” does not exactly lead to permanent and lasting weight loss. Which is where this blog comes in.

I’m hoping that, by having a blog, there will be some amount of accountability. Maybe I’ll have readers, or maybe I won’t. If I do, maybe they’ll be people I know, who leave messages like “Melissa, get up off your fat ass and run a mile.” Who knows. I just know that if I have to write about it, then I’ll do it. It’ll be like homework for me, every day.

So thus begins “Girl, You Fat.” A look at a 24 year old girl’s struggle with weight loss, from a country where the food is rice and fried meat, and pretty much everyone suffers from adult-onset diabetes. Where potatoes and plaintains are considered vegetables, and eating a salad for an entire meal is unheard of.

And I have motivation. The goal: look hot as hell for my May 29th, 2010 wedding, and then come back to the United States and stun everyone I ever knew in my old life.

I have the dress. I have the blog. Let’s go.


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