Next week I’m jetting off to New York City for four days of fun and adventure, alone, participating in a conference for beauty bloggers. To say that I’m excited would be an understatement but I’m also feeling a little anxious about it.
I do occasionally post photos of myself to my blog and consider it mostly a function of luck that so far I haven’t gotten nasty comments about my appearance or weight. I’m a big girl. I am not slim or slender. You could probably fit a few fashion models into the width of my behind. In other words, I’m fat.
Usually, I’m okay with this. Yeah, who wouldn’t want to be thin (or even just thinner) etc. and shopping for clothes is a real bitch. But I’m feeling particularly anxious about going to what is in many ways the beauty capitol of the US, feeling like the complete anti-thesis of what is considered modern American beauty. I’m a short, fat, 30 year old who happens to prefer short, spikey hair and brightly colored eyeshadow. Deep down, in my heart of hearts, I am afraid that my happy facade is going to crumble in the face of a world that considers size 0 to be the epitome of fashion and beauty.
I expect the trip will be a blast. But the self-conscious part of me, the part that worries about what others think, is concerned that all anyone is going to see, and care about, when they meet me is that I’m a fat girl. That my whole worth is contained in the size of my body. I’m afraid that people will secretly be laughing at me.
On the one hand, I know that I’ll hold my head high and represent for the fat girls, that we like to look and feel pretty too. But, late at night, I’m scared that I’ll just end up embarrassed and humiliated – will the makeup chairs, when we have our “makeup touchups” be big enough for my butt? Oh god, what if they’re too small? I will crawl off and die.
I wish I was brash and brazen like other women I know. I wish I didn’t care about this stuff. But late at night, I do care. I pray that my trip is as fun and exciting as I hope it will be.
I should really add a shopping category, shouldn’t I…
Anyway, Target has some really nice plus size clothes occasionally. The quality of selection, however, seems to depend largely on the store. The store by my work (over by Washington Square Mall) has a pretty good section. The store over on Evergreen Parkway in Beaverton has a TERRIBLE section. When I was in there yesterday, most of it was filled up with carts of random other stuff – in other words, it was being used as a staging area. Nice job guys, I appreciate that you’ve turned my section of the store (that’s tiny anyway) into a dumping ground. Really makes me (and my money) feel welcome.
But regardless, I bought two items I want to point out. This, this, and this were all at more than 50% off in the store. I already have the black one (and paid full price for it, darn it!) but I went ahead and grabbed the pink one and the blue one. These are some of the greatest, coziest hoodies around. They seem pretty sturdily constructed too, so I expect to still be wearing them next fall and winter. I love them!! Run down to your local Target and stock up while they still have them. The pants are on sale too (and seem cute) but I just can’t see myself wearing velour pants (yet). I only just recently started embracing the velour hoodie.
In general, I like the Mossimo brand that Target carries. The Venezia brand t-shirts at Lane Bryant are better constructed, but the Mossimo ones are pretty good too. I also love the Great Northwest t-shirts at Fred Meyer, but they were all out of my size when I was there the other day – doh!!!
And, in a bit of a rant, let’s talk about lack of shopping choices for fat ladies (again). I went into Kohl’s yesterday as well, since it’s new and I’d never been in before. Their plus section was terrible – lots of button-down vaguely Hawaiian-print blouses (but nothing that I’d classify as stylish) and nothing much else. C’mon people, fat ladies shop too! Get with the program – I can find better options at Fred Meyer and Target. Let’s not forget Lane Bryant and Torrid. These stores are doing very well, financially – clearly there is a market here. It just frustrates me to see these enormous misses and juniors departments, and comparatively tiny, lousy, unstylish women’s departments. Let’s put it this way – I shop at Target and Fred Meyer because they often have cute, stylish plus size clothes that I’d wear. I will often go for non-clothes purchases, just because I know I’ll enjoy a quick foray past the clearance racks. But I’ll probably never go back to Kohl’s, because they are clearly not catering to my dollars. It’s true (as per my rant above) that some Freddys and Targets have less-than-stellar sections – but I know which stores are good, and that’s where I go. You welcome me, I spend money with you. It’s very simple.
And then there is the underwear question. Admittedly, Lane Bryant has some of the cutest underwear – but it’s not cheap. I’m just not willing to spend a lot on panties. Fruit of the Loom makes my favorite panties – their stretch cotton boyshorts (here) are so great but good luck finding them. Most retailers don’t carry them. Grrr!!! Their briefs are okay too, but I’d prefer the boyshorts just because granny panties are so unsexy!!!
Anyway, I hadn’t meant this to turn into a fat rant, but I was just so frustrated after yesterday’s Kohl’s and Target forays that it has been on my mind. The mall where I work has a Lane Bryant but no Torrid – if they did, my shopping life would be complete…
Big Diva Fashions is an online consignment shop – sort of like heading to the thrift store without leaving the comfort of your home… Anyway, I haven’t purchased from here, but it looks pretty cool.
Today my personal trainer measured my RMR (resting metabolic rate). This is the rate at which I burn calories doing nothing (sitting, sleeping, etc). After looking at some example food journals (adding up calories for what I ate, say, yesterday and the day before) we concluded that I’m not eating enough.
Yes Folks, a fat person who needs to eat more to lose weight. The idea is to eat more healthy snacks to the tune of about 300-400 calories a day – like carrots with some cottage cheese or some dried fruit, or some nuts… I also have to quit this terrible habit I have of skipping meals entirely. I get hungry, but it’s really easy for me to ignore it if I’m busy or involved in something (like reading) so I just skip it entirely.
Human metabolism is truly complex and not simple at all. Looking at how many calories I eat versus how many my body wants to burn each day, you’d think I’d be skinny. But no, it’s not nearly as simple as that. How much muscle you have must come into play as well as how much activity you get. That’s all I can figure. I also think that’s why diets fail.
But anyway, I need to stock up on nuts and dried fruit and baby carrots and peanut butter. I need to learn to snack, which will be hard because I’m just not a snack person. I learned to cut out all extraneous non-meal foods years ago, but that isn’t an effective technique for what I’m trying to do here.
I decided I want to be a size 16 by August. Once I get started, watching the numbers on the scale go down each week starts to get really appealing…
It was hard getting through my workout today. I usually am really enthusiastic and have a good energy level at the start of my workout, but today I was feeling draggy. It was an effort, start to finish, to get through it. I was doing a lot of jumping and running up and down stairs, and the cheapa$$ bra I have isn’t cutting it, either. I’m either going to have to wear two bras or spring for the spendy one because bouncing boobs are pained boobs.
Then there is the fact that my body image is taking a beating. Given our nation’s collective body hatred (and fat hatred), this isn’t surprising, but it’s still depressing. It creates something of a cognitive dissonance for me, because I believe that body size shouldn’t matter, that one can be sexy at any size, yadda yadda yadda, and yet I secretly (well, until now) still want to lose weight because… well, because there are days when I can’t say “Hot Mama!” to the mirror and can only think “Fat Pig!” There are days like today when exercise isn’t a joyful expression of moving my body around but becomes an expression of frustration at how heavy I am, literally. Wouldn’t it be easier to trot up and down those stairs if I weighed less? Let’s not kid ourselves here, wouldn’t it be nice if OTHER people thought you were sexy too? More dissonance — who cares what other people think? *little voice* Sometimes I care…
Argh. I start to feel like I have one of those cartoon devils on one shoulder and a cartoon angel on the other, both whispering in my ear. The devil says “You’re fat and ugly and need to LOSE weight!” and the angel says “Love yourself, respect your body, you’re beautiful, don’t listen to him!”
It’s a conflicted existence. I’m not sure how I solve it, except that maybe if I ignore the devil most of the time I’ll feel better, at least.