I have had this window open for over a week. Every morning I walk into my office and click this tab to find a log in window pop up; “log in to save changes, click cancel to leave without saving.”
I log in.
I keep staring at this white screen looking for the right words to say it, or even muster up any sort of feeling about it at all.
But yeah, nothing.
I’ve gained weight* and I don’t feel good, bad or sideways about it. I just feel normal about it.
It’s been pointed out to me a few times, both in person and online, because that’s a thing real people do for some reason.
“You look different.” She said as I sat down in the booth.
“My hair is shorter, I chopped about 5 inches off!”
“You’re also thicker here.” She gestures across here chest, from upper arm to upper arm.
“Oh, ok.” I smiled and looked at the menu in front of me.
It seems there are plenty of acceptable times in life to gain weight. Like your first year of college with the “Freshman 15.” Mine was more like the Freshman 20, fueled entirely by my discovery of Panda Express’ Orange Chicken, but then quickly devolved into the Freshman -40 as I spent my free time out of class in the gym across from my dorm and throwing up in the bathroom.
Many people gain weight their first year of marriage, soaking up calories during the honeymoon period. I did that, also, since the fear of zipping an overpriced wedding dress was off the table.
Obviously, pregnancy comes with weight gain, this is a no brainer.
But what about other life events where body changes happen, why aren’t they seen as acceptable?
I’ve gained weight because I am writing a book that makes me laugh and cry and find comfort in Thai food and frozen caramel coffees.
I gained weight because I have been sad and anxious more than I’ve felt like myself, and my body feels safer in my bed right now.
I weigh more because for the first time in a year, I’m enjoying being home with my family, and not kissing them goodbye every weekend as I run myself ragged working and being present for people who aren’t me and didn’t come out of me.
I’m heavier because I have amazing family and friends who we surround ourselves with now, watching football and eating pizza and being comfortable with them loving us.
And the most important one, I’ve gained weight because it’s actually a totally normal thing bodies do and it’s absolutely none of your fucking business. If my weight in any way impacts how you see me as a person, a friend, a colleague or lover, then I would like to terminate that relationship immediately, because that is not the kind of bigoted prejudice I want in my life.
A television producer I was on a conference call with once asked if I was the “right kind of plus size for television.” I told her that no, I was not. Especially if the type of plus size person they were looking for was one looking to lose weight to gain confidence, and inspire others to do the same. But if they wanted a plus size woman who already liked herself, and who’s only goal for inspiration was to help people feel good and normal and have that same amount of pride and respect for themselves, then yes, I was their girl.
I did not get that show. But one day I will.
Because I am 251.8 lbs of the right kind of plus size.
*This is where I would assure you that despite my weight gain I’m completely healthy. I actually am not going to do that anymore because 1. it’s none of your business, and 2. it’s not a qualifier for you to respect the fact that I like myself. You just have to. Because I’m human.