Monday, February 21, 2011

I believe # 1: fat steals my beauty

I suppose everyone might not agree with me and that’s ok. I can only share my own experiences.


Fat or not, I’ve mostly always felt kinda pretty.


Maybe I have my parents to thank or maybe it’s that I was raised in Jamaica, where we weren't as saturated with images of how beauty is suppose to look like. Regardless of why, I’m grateful.

Last friday afternoon, I went to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) with Julieta. It was a beautiful day—so warm!—so we figured it'd be fun to hang out in the city after classes.


Apparently a canvass with white paint is art.


Huh. But who am I to say what’s art?

Still, sometimes it get so ridiculous (THIS?! This is art?!), we gotta pick the nose of an Andy Warhol.


Sorry, Andy.

Later when I saw the photos Julieta posted unto facebook, I noticed how the weight I gained last semester did unkind things to my body.

For some reason, in my mind, I am thinner and taller.


The neck fat, the abdominal fat (the worst place to hold fat!), the face fat, how my breasts have ballooned to take up what feels like 50% of my body…I haven’t mentioned it before, but because my breasts are heavy (they were DDD, then went down to DD due to weight-loss last spring, and seemed to have gone back up when I gained weight late last year) I have problems keeping good posture. I always want to slump and there is some discomfort and back pain.

I don't mean to say that larger women aren't beautiful. I know all shapes of women who are.

For me, beauty is glowing from health, love, gratefulness, faith. For me, beauty is feeling comfortable in my body. And with 50 plus pounds to lose, I often feel uncomfortable.

I can't find it as the beauty is buried somewhere, when I'm binging or compulsive overeating or fretting about weight-loss because I'm not really caring about myself or anyone of you I claim to love. Our diseases makes us lose touch.

Last year, I remember I was at the funeral for a former friend's grandmother's funeral when his uncle complemented him on how well he looked because he'd lost enough weight to affect his looks considerably.

"It's like they think I looked like crap," he said.

No no no, I wanted to say.

You we're always beautiful.

And yet, I'm here admitting that I believe that fat steals my beauty, but it's a teetering sort of belief...

Because it's not like we're going to get to a certain weight and always feel beautiful. In fact, I've felt like the most beautiful woman in the room at my highest weight.

But what can I say? I've always been delusional.

See that first photo? That's me, summer before last, after I lost some weight when I didn't know I could because I wasn't really trying. That spring I'd been hospitalized and given blood transfusions for severe anemia due to overactive bleeding in my uterus, my doctor believing it was due to me being 236 pounds at the time. I feel beautiful in that photo, just as I feel beautiful in photos of me at my lowest body adult weight (187 pounds, last fall). It's the deliberate living that keeps me feeling beautiful.

Now, what about you?

Thank you for reading. This is the first in my series of "I believe" posts.



Lisa said...

Great pictures and beautiful post!
You are beautiful and it emanates from your pictures and your words :)

Thanks for making me smile.

Alexia @ said...

It makes me so happy to make you smile, Lisa :))))

Miss E said...

I think beauty is a feeling, as long as you feel it, you're it. And all your pictures radiate a confident, happy spirit on a beautiful person... how would you not see beauty?

jillerwich said...

i totally understand not knowing what you look like. i dont trust the mirror anymore and even pictures sometimes. its a weird feeling to not really know what you look like. you are for sure beautiful.

Andrea said...

I couldn't agree more. I hope that when I'm more comfortable in my body I'll truly feel beautiful. Even if I see a picture of me where I think I look pretty, I can't help but feel that it's a little deceiving because I don't look like that in real life.

P.S. I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and I love it!

arielcircleofnine said...

I could've written this post...I too suffer from not trusting the mirror or pictures, AND I know what it feels like to feel terrible about my looks at a low-ish weight, and great about them at a high one. It makes no sense, sometimes we are trapped in our own heads! You look beautiful and adorable, and you are on your way back down to where you were last fall. It will happen. In the meantime work on feeling that beauty (it isnt buried!!).

Callie said...

I have felt this way my entire adult life. It wasn't until just recently that I finally looked at a picture of myself and didn't criticize it to the max about my weight, my big nose, my posture...etc. I'm finally getting to the point that I love myself the way I am. Yes, I need to lose weight to be in a healthy weight range, but I am happy with myself, finally. I can tell this is affecting my weight loss as well. I no longer binge or emotionally eat like I used to. It is so freeing. You should try to work on seeing yourself as beautiful just the way you are. No reason to beat yourself up, it doesn't do any good, it actually does bad. You are beautiful!!

Thirteenlbs said...

I saw myself as very fat for the first time from a pic. It's why I take pics currently...they don't lie to me, or forget a meal, or tell me "that one time didn't really hurt."

When I saw that pic (mine, all those years ago), I remember being shocked at how little of myself was there. That wasn't my face with a double chin! Those weren't my eyes all squinty from fat! All my fat was covering the person I thought I was.

I think you are beautiful...and wanted you to know that I SO PERFECTLY UNDERSTAND what you mean.

Dani- danielleislosingit said...

I feel (and in my opinion I look-) ten times more beautiful when i am skinny. Thats just how it is.

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