Life as a Fat Mom

I haven’t always been fat. It didn’t happen overnight either. I didn’t even realize it at first. Still, people go out of their way to make me painfully aware now. Sometimes I wonder why nobody close to me took a moment to mention it. Nobody did.
Me at the Rock Hall of Fame….Love The Doors!!
 
Curvy, weighty, overweight, hefty, plus-sized, BBW….or….just plain fat. Yep, I’m fat. According to BMI charts, at 5’4” I should weigh between 108 and 145 pounds. When I was a senior in high school and a two sport athlete, I weighed 155 pounds. I did not feel good about myself because I was not tall and lean like my friends. My chest developed very early (it was not small) and I was gifted hips and a healthy rear end. Looking back, I looked good, I looked healthy, I looked top heavy. But I was healthy. I must emphasize this. Despite constantly feeling fat, I was not.
 

How it Happened

In college I gained the freshman fifteen and then some. Again, it didn’t happen overnight. Taking a full (and sometimes overfull) course load, working part time, and trying to have some semblance of a social life took its toll. I didn’t weigh myself for a long time, it wasn’t on my to-do list. In fact, I didn’t really notice my ballooning figure until more than a year after I graduated college. At that point I was dealing with some serious life issues and used food and exercise as a means to begin reclaiming my life. In the spring of 2001 I weighed in at 172 pounds (give or take). I looked pretty good, I felt great.
 
Then, I got married in 2002. I had my first child in May 2005 and my second in June of 2006. My body betrayed me in so many ways. My already ample chest seemed to explode. I went from a 34DDD/E to a 36GG in that time. My weight fluctuated from 180 to 210 over the course of a few years. It was a tough time for me. By the time my marriage fell apart I was struggling just to stay afloat and look out for my kids. My weight was not in a good place.
 
Me (as the TARDIS) stepping into a TARDIS

The Worst Parts

I think the heaviest I weighed in at was 216 and that broke my heart. My body has been a struggle for more than a decade now and I am made painfully aware of my failings all the time. I’ve had four doctors in the past fifteen years. Three of the four have treated me like a second class citizen because of my weight. I have actually been told that my chronic migraines would go away if I would just lose weight. Migraines have been a part of my life since 4th grade so I find that hard to believe. They did not want to hear that.
Interestingly, my blood work is all normal. The only chronic health problems I have are my migraines and sinus/allergy difficulties. I don’t eat terribly – I could do better and far worse – but the perception is that I must be unhealthy because of my weight. It’s simply untrue.

But Plus-Size Women Are Speaking Up!

It’s true, plus-size women speaking out all over the world, it seems crazy that I would continue to encounter prejudices at my size. Yet it still happens. All the time. Unlike those women who appear confident and proud of their size, I am not so much. I remember the feeling of being curvy, voluptuous but not fat. Believe me, I notice when people ignore me for my size. I attend a lot of comic cons and I’m passed over in photo ops for the thinner, more scantily clad ladies and was even edged out of a photo op I had paid for so that it was just the celeb and my son. It looked so awkward that I cut down the picture from an 8X10 to a 5X7 for my son. I’ll admit, it stung more than a little bit.
I ran a 5K with Autumn
 
Sharing a post run smoothie with Autumn
It happens in bars and restaurants, school and well, anywhere I go.

 

The kids and me at Notre Dame

Shopping

Hell, it happens at the when I go shopping for clothes. I wear a size 14/16 pant, sizes that are generally available in most stores but I have been practically run out of more than one retail giant. One sales clerk actually told me I would probably be more comfortable at another store even though they carried my sizeIt’s not like I was looking at size 2s! Bra shopping is even worse. As noted before, I wear a 36G/GG. Do you know how hard that size is to come by? Nevermind the cost of one when you manage to find one. I try to make my bras last as long as possible for this reason.

What I’m Doing

My weight doesn’t keep me from doing things with my kids and they never seem bothered by my size. I help coach their ball teams, take them to the park to play, and generally don’t stop until hours after they do.

Still, I keep trying. I keep plugging away and altering my sleep patterns, my activity, my diet. Soon, I will find my way back to a wiser version of the curvy girl I used to be. She’s still in here. Somewhere. But in the meantime, I’m going to plug away as the fat mom and remember how I was treated all these years so that when I find her she will be that much wiser.