Weekly Confession #2: My Body is Broken (I’m Fat)

Last week I opened up about my broken brain. I keeping with my pledge to make a new confession each week, this post deals with something about which I am very ashamed. I’m fat.

I don’t like my body anymore. I don’t feel okay with my weight gain. I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I don’t feel like myself. I don’t feel good. I don’t feel like going outside. What DO I feel? I feel fat,  and very ashamed.

This is new for me. I mean, we’re all always somewhat ashamed of some aspect of our body – even if it’s just those fugly elbows or our weird pancreas. But for most of my life I’ve been relatively comfortable with my body. I may have occasionally wanted some parts flatter, and some parts less flat, but I was mostly OK. Having been a long-distance runner and bodybuilder for most of my adult life, I had my body fairly under control. Since childhood I could eat pretty much whatever, and as much, as I wanted. Save for despair over body hair or the odd pimple, I focused most of my self-loathing on parts above the neck. My face and hair were the enemy; my body and metabolism were my friends. (Or at least my frenemies.) In my 20s when my body fat was low I was anxious about my ‘puny’ C cups and fretted about getting implants constantly. That’s how pernicious the Baywatch culture was; it made the idiotically low self-esteeming even more insecure and more idiotic. Of course, now I see how stupid and crazy I was. As Nora Ephron said, if I could go back to those days now I’d just walk around naked. (And insanely jubilant.)

But Father Time kicked this daughter’s perky ass. First, all those years of running 20-60 hours a week totally did in my knees and lower back. I can no longer run — even walking hurts. As if losing all that calorie-burning weren’t enough, menopause did a drive-by and threw a serious wrench in my metabolism. The “change” came in and changed a shitload. My get-up-and-go got up and went. I need to take all kinds of meds that sap my energy. No more 5am runs, no more 140lb bench presses. It’s a good day if I manage to put on a bra and only watch three The Good Wife re-runs. To make a thin story fat, I gained almost 40 pounds. Goodbye denim cut-offs, hello caftans.

Now, let me be clear. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people being on the heavy side. Every day I see lots of people my size and heavier that I think are genuinely gorgeous. All kinds of body types are beautiful. But not on me. This isn’t the body nature gave me; this is the body age and my lack of portion control gave me. I’m not used to this new physique. I don’t feel good, and I don’t look good. I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. Each time I see my reflection in a store window I wince. When I run into people I used to know, I can see it in their faces, the surprise of my new size.  I know that look of sad surprise because it’s in my own eyes when I look into the full-length mirror. (I try not to.)

I’m not taking this lying down, though I do lie down an awful lot. I exercise. I still weight-train twice a week when I’m well enough. I can bench 115lbs for reps. I’m strong, but fat. I already had my blood checked and I take meds for my hypo-thyroidism. I tried to diet but my self-control is horrible when I’m hungry. I can go a long time without eating, but once I eat anything – bam! It sets off some kind of hypothalamus-y trigger. No idea what the hypothalamus does, but it sounds legit, right?) I don’t want to eat celery sticks and drink protein shakes for the rest of my life. I want to lose weight, but I guess not enough.

There was a 20threunion party for a job I loved a few weeks ago. I loved all the people that would be attending. A good friend was going with me. But my broken brain and big ole body made me bow out at the last minute. Bottom line: I felt ashamed. I know it’s stupid, I know no one cares.

But I care. I feel fat. I feel horrible. I feel ashamed. Now you know.

Dixie Laite - Dame Town Writer

Author: Dixie Laite

I'm Dixie Laite -- a writer, speaker, and branding consultant in New York City. For over 40 years I've been a bullshit-slaying, classic movies-obsessing, animal-loving dame. For over 40 years I have been working on figuring out how to be a woman. Some of it I nailed, a lot of it I'm still trying to get a handle on. Let's figure this shit out together!

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  • Oh what a transparent, eloquent post.
    Menopause and peri-memo are a bitch.
    I have taken Bio identical hormone’s for years. I think it helpeds. But lately
    my lack of impulse control and lower energy level has kicked my butt.
    Growing vidence of aging in my body is a bitch. Who knew that this skinny girl Who could eat anything in sight , would develop Bubbe arms and bunions, midnight snacking, no resolve?
    So many changes..It’s like a second adolescence in reverse. Hormonal insanity.
    Compensated only in part by a growing wisdom and generosity towards others.

    Hearing and seeing you, Dixie.

  • Now my weird pancreas situation has been outed.
    I have avoided people for many years for fear of being judged. No more. Life appears to be getting shorter.
    I love your writing.

    • Lisa, knowing you, and YOU liking my writing, is so lovely! It’s like French-kissing Santa Claus in a. pool of liquid gold. (And Santa has good breath.). Mmmwah!

    • Lisa, knowing you, and YOU liking my writing, is so wonderful. It’s like French-kisisng Santa Claus in a pool of liquid gold — with unicorns cheering us on. Only better!