UPDATE! I think there has been a misunderstanding on this post. When I say “skinny girl,” I guess I should clarify that I mean girls who stand in the mirror, wanting to fix every flaw in their body and hate themselves for it. I mean girls who only value themselves based on what others say or think about them. I don’t mean the skinny girls who love going to the gym and eating healthy and love themselves, no matter what anyone else says. If you are a skinny girl who loves herself, you are not a “skinny girl,” you are a fit girl. If you’re skinny and fit and happy and you do not judge yourself or others based on their appearance, you are not a “skinny girl,” you are a beautiful woman. There is no need to get bent out of shape and send me hate mail and write inappropriate comments. If you are loved for the person that is inside of you instead of what you look like, then you are a healthy, beautiful person.
This post is not about how I hate girls who look better than me, this post is about how I was able to love myself after twenty four years of hating what I saw in the mirror. This is a post about every girl who thought her self worth was tied to a number on a scale, when a persons self worth is through their actions and through the beauty of their heart, not the beauty in the mirror. If I have offended anyone in any way, I apologize, I never meant to cause any ill harm to anyone.
Ever since I was a little girl, for as long as I could remember, I knew I was different.
I grew up in a Minneapolis suburb, where most of the little girls were Scandinavian or German descent, like myself, or they were Hmong or Middle Eastern. The latter two were very scarce until I was in high school though, and looking back, I could tell by just how I looked that I was different.
I had very pale skin. My mother had read that a child who gets sun burn badly has a much higher chance of skin cancer so she was very cautious to ensure that we never got sun burn, and it resulted in us not really getting any type of tan either since my brother and I would burn just looking out the window. I was the tallest girl in my class, ending up being around 5’8” once I finished high school. My hair is almost black and very thick, my eyes are a very dark brown, and I had monsterous hips at age 10. My body decided at age ten that I needed to fill out so my hips got wide, I got mosquito bites on my chest (those never really grew much), and I shot up, but one thing about myself never really changed.
I was always the fat kid in class.
When I was in fifth grade, at the ripe age of 11, I weighed nearly 200 pounds. When I was in sixth grade, I was a size 16. When I graduated high school, I was nearly 300 pounds and a size 24. When I got married, I was even heavier and a size 26. I’ve lost a decent amount of weight since getting married and I’m the same size I was in high school, but how I view myself has changed drastically.
I used to be horribly embarrassed of my weight. I would apologize to my friends that they had a fat friend like me, and they never understood why I would apologize for that. I would look in the mirror and think I was ugly because I was heavy. I would stare in the mirror and find every single flaw with my body, and wonder why I was heavy. When I was first married, I banned all full length mirrors in the house, as well as a scale, because I knew that I would obsess over them. Why are all of those other girls who are skinny so lucky to be like that?
Like any kid, I was teased relentlessly because of my weight. In my sophomore year of high school, I was playing dodge ball and one of the kids in my class hit me with the ball and yelled “Out of the way, lard-ass!” I remember sitting in the locker room nearly in tears, so embarrassed. Not really mad at him for calling me that, but mad at myself for thinking it was true.
I tried every diet, I tried starving myself, I tried making myself throw up sometimes. But, alas, I just love food and I hated to be wasteful so I ate. Everything bothered me.
Once I moved to Alaska, I saw that most of the people I knew were heavy, and they were happy. I still got some grief from people, once even from my manager at a deli I worked at. She bought me some weight loss pills and handed them to me with a wink, telling me that customers would like me better if I looked more like my modelesque coworker.
But when I hit around the age of 19, when I got into the dating scene finally, I realized something.
Being fat is awesome.
I went on a date with a decorated soldier once. He was gorgeous, far out of my league when it came to looks. We went out for lunch and I ordered a greasy hamburger and devoured it. Because I was hungry. He commented on that, and not the way I expected.
“This is why I like dating heavy girls. They don’t eat those shitty salads. I’m not afraid to order good food. You’ll order good food too and we can talk about how awesome the food is!”
I had never thought of it like that, so every time I went on a date, I would order what I wanted to order: delicious, greasy food.
Surprisingly, most men I met loved this. One time, I had someone ask me why I didn’t order a salad and I gave him a look and said, “Seriously? Do I look like someone who would ever eat a salad?”
He laughed and we gorged ourselves on ice cream.
Other times, I would have some of my guy friends tell me that they secretly preferred heavier women just based on the fact that “I can always be myself around women who have a few extra pounds.”
My eyes opened to the possibilities. I realized that everyone is self conscious about the way they look, but there’s no reason to be.
I met my husband a couple of years after moving to Alaska, and he was a gorgeous man who is basically the perfect husband. He’s six feet and seven inches of awkward, gorgeous hilarity. And what makes him even better? He doesn’t care about how heavy I am. He seems to like it, actually. He’s never asked me to lose weight, he’s never told me I needed to lose weight, and he always tells me that he thinks I’m beautiful.
And I can out eat him at a buffet and he doesn’t even care.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I pity the skinny girls.
The reason is simple: those bitches won’t be skinny forever.
Being married to the military, I’ve met many spouses who were skinny and would pretty much live at the gym because their husbands told them that if they gained weight, they would leave them. And I’ve even met men who have filed for separation or divorces because their wives gained weight.
I’ve been to parties with military spouses whose husbands would tell their wives not to eat something because their dress won’t fit after eating it. I’ve met men who made sure that their wives went on a diet directly after giving birth because they needed to get that baby weight off now.
The only reason I’m working to drop some weight is for health reasons. I’m trying to work for the state, and the position I want requires me to be able to do a lot of running and shoot a gun with accuracy, and in order to do that I need to be a little lighter and a lot stronger. I’ve been dieting lately, I’ve been seeing a personal trainer, and I’ve dropped over 20 pounds and my body feels stronger every day.
I’m not doing it for Alex. I’m not doing it for the world. I’m losing weight because I want to lose it for my health.
To the skinny girls: If your boyfriend or husband wants to leave you because you might be heavy some day, then guess what, you need to drop him like a bad habit.
Your looks will fade anyway and before you know it, your nipples will be knee high. Salads are not delicious, no matter what you say. Unless it’s drowning in dressing, cheese and meat.
I know my husband will love me no matter what because he fell in love with me when I had several hour glasses on my figure.
And I know one thing for certain: No matter what, my mom will always love me. Who else’s approval do I need in order to be happy?
No ones. Just my moms.
Have you ever thought you needed someone elses approval, only to realize that it was for a stupid reason? Have you ever hated yourself, only to realize that it was for no reason at all? I want to hear about your experiences, your struggles, and your triumph to love yourself.