The ideals for beauty have certainly changed over the decades. One minute, we’re marveling at the sight of Marilyn’s voluptuous thighs and the next, we’re all researching Keira Knightley’s diet. And in a small town, those pop culture trends determine your social…relevance, for lack of a better word. Pretty girls just don’t know how to be around chubby chicks, I guess. One evening, I was posted up on my couch, watching America’s Next Top Model, grabbing my tummy blob, and eating some variation of a Little Debbie pastry when I realized that I was insanely overweight. I’m not talking about ten pounds overweight; I’m saying more like fifty. In the large scheme of things, it may not sound like a lot, but it’s a significant amount of additional weight to drag around.
Losing weight has always been more than a challenge for me. I’m what you would call an emotional eater. I tend to consume calories like emotion points, binging on different types of food for different moods. I do realize that there are plenty of others out there like me, some of which don’t even realize they’re doing anything wrong. When you’re a compulsive eater, you’re practically an addict, and food is the drug of choice.
It doesn’t exactly help to be the out girl either. Being alone most of the time meant filling my empty circle of friends with French fries and frappucinos. Not having anyone to text was solved by tacos and tater tots. When I was hungry I ate, and then when I was full, I ate more. I ate until it hurt to move. And despite all of the gorging I did to fill the pit of my stomach, I couldn’t ever fill the emptiness in my soul. Well that sounds depressing as hell, right? Perhaps I’d have been okay back in the 70s or 80s when social networking wasn’t around to make bullying an effortless pastime.
Girls in my hometown had a habit of picking on the weird girls when they were bored. They’d subtweet and whisper and stare and giggle. The hallways were virtually a zoo, and I was the token baboon. I felt like a complete fool for trying to befriend them like I did. I would sit down at a table with a few of the mean girls, greet everyone, and add to the small talk, but they always glanced at me with disapproving eyes and proceeded to pretend I didn’t exist. To make matters worse, I had a habit of making more than one of those attempts. I could just hear them whispering to each other. Ugh, that awkward, annoyingly desperate girl again. After enough of that, I completely threw in the towel and decided that I was better off without them. I had a few kids I’d talk to in class, and my best friends Kylie and Jessica; that was all I needed.
When I got to college, I had a breakthrough. I spent the summer after my freshman year with a personal trainer, lost over 20 pounds, and was beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin. Unfortunately, I relapsed when classes were back in session. The stress was overwhelming, and I felt compelled to binge on basically anything and everything in sight.
Today, I weigh 177/178 pounds at my measly height of 5’5″, and I’m wearing a size 12. Plenty of people, most of which do not see me aside from photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, say they don’t believe me when I say that. I don’t blame them. I’m one of those chubby girls that’s just really great at taking self portraits. With the right angle, vantage point, and posture, I could look about 10 pounds lighter. Selfies are usually well-told lies. We should all remember that.
I won’t lie here though. I want to show you what I really am. I want you to see me in my true form with no filter or favorable angles to hide behind. My goal is to lose about 50 pounds, mostly in body fat percentage, and gain muscle mass. I’m not doing this because I’m tired of being the out girl. I will always be her, but I’m ready to make a positive change for myself. No more letting sadness drown me in TV dinners and barbecue pork: it’s time to be the best version of myself. My couch and I have been so close in the past year. The breakup might be a little hard, but life goes on.
~The Out Girl