Acquiring the I Don’t Give a Fuck-status takes work, a lot of work, and many years. Moreover, I’d even say it takes forever. It’s sort of like peeling an eternal onion. In short, you keep taking layers away but there’s always some left. Always. But I found out how to be confident when overweight.
The Painful Teenage Years...
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about my teenage years -when what others thought about me was oh-so-important- is going to the beach in Punta del Este -Uruguay – during the summer. Additionally, I’ve written about this before because I believe it’s one of those carved-in-stone thoughts I don’t seem to be able to get rid of. For instance, my friends were all skinny, and so were their mothers, and grandmothers. It was a generational thing. Those who weren’t skinny were anorexic or bulimic. However, that was never in my DNA, hence I was always overweight. Going to the beach was a very, very uncomfortable activity. I could swear all the beach was looking at my fat body, judging my thick thighs and large boobs. That is to say, waiting for me to undress and walk to the water just so they could laugh at me.
Today it seems ridiculous that anyone would be staring at me, keeping in mind that Punta del Este is where all the skinny supermodels, socialites, and celebrities of South America vacation. No one cared about me! No one was paying attention to me! It’s funny to think that part of that insecurity could be self-centeredness. As if I was looking for attention. However, what sense would it make to seek the attention of those I assumed would only criticize my body with disgust?
I don’t know what that was about. To clarify, I’m a writer, not a psychologist. I can only write about my pain and insecurities without a real (or professional) analysis. I just know it was painful. I’d take a long time to take my shorts and top off, and then I’d just sit in the sand, slowly melting and feeling stupid. My friends would be already suntanning, laying on their towels, wearing tiny, hot bikinis, or they would be in the water. I couldn’t move from that spot.
Cut to Twenty Years Later…
I had a lover for a couple of years. He’s a well-known plastic artist in Colombia, a very tall and cool-looking guy full of tattoos. Let’s leave it at that. In short, at the time, after being ashamed of my own body every time I had a new lover (even though I always came and immediately kicked them out of my house), with his enormous height I felt right. My fat body matched his huge body. I started to view myself in a different light and began to understand how desirable my fatness could be. I was becoming comfortable in my own skin and started to realize I was okay.
A few weeks ago, the artist uploaded some idiotic meme to Facebook that said something like, if a man is single during his 30s, that’s when you’ll see him with a fat or ugly chick. Certainly some imbecile line like that. It made me angry, very angry. Consequently, I wrote to him and explained it wasn’t funny, but painful instead. He simply said he always thought I had a sense of humor and proceeded to unfriend me. As a result, I sat there and started thinking… Why is this painful? Why would I care about what he thinks? I realized: I thought I had changed the way I viewed myself thanks to our short sexual affair. Thanks to the way he viewed me. As a result, I thought I was linked to him in some mystical way because he was where my self-confidence came from. I was wrong.
After a few days, the artist became irrelevant to me. The chapter of my life dedicated to him lost all its force and simply vanished. That is to say, he became just another penis in my collection. And I think I’ll just smile and wink the next time I run into him, because I will. We sure spend a lot of energy thinking about people and things absolutely and 100% worthless! Meanwhile, you probably have to reach your forties to be able to realize that…
All About My "Aunt Arms"
I remember when I wouldn’t wear short sleeves because I didn’t want people to see my fat arms. As if by hiding them I could hide my weight. As if people already didn’t know I was fat. These days I flap the fat between my armpit and my elbow and refer to my arms as “aunt arms” in public. I go to the beach, take off my clothes, and get in the water and suntan as if there was no one else around. I even allow my friends to take photographs that will show my full, fat body.
Who-the-fuck cares? I’m the one who buys my clothing. I feed myself. Who cares if I have fat thighs full of varicose veins and cellulite? Why would anyone care about the fat in my arms? Who cares about my belly and my ginormous tits? Who but myself? I have -mostly- done what I’ve wanted with my body. I have the body I’ve worked for. I’m the one who chooses what I eat and what level of passivity I succumb to. I put that candy and bread with butter in my mouth. I chose to serve myself a second and even a third time.
This is on me. And nobody, absolutely no one (not even my mom. I went through that too) can judge my body. I’ll even give a doctor the evil eye if they tell me to lose weight. Do they really think I don’t know I should lose weight? Really?
How Does It All Start, Though?
It definitely all began to change as soon as I left my parents’ house in Bogotá and moved to Miami on my own. I became independent, and my mother’s voice permanently telling me to lose weight disappeared from my conscience. It took me a few more years to forgive her, but I did. And now that I’m an adult, all she’ll dare say is I’ve lost weight, even though sometimes it’s obvious that it’s actually the contrary. I think it was a matter of my conscience becoming my own, minus my mom’s wishes for my life.
It was about starting to think for myself. As soon as I had to start paying my own rent and groceries, I understood nobody else’s opinion mattered… Because they weren’t the ones paying for everything! Basic, yes. But that’s how my head works. I’ll consider your judgment the day you pay for my student loans.
I no longer give a flying fuck about what anyone has to say about my body. To clarify, at least not enough to end up paralyzed. Literally. For instance, I go clubbing when my good friend is the DJ, so I stand next to him and dance, waving my naked arms in the air, and facing all the skinny and fabulous people that follow him. Moreover, do you want to know what’s even more powerful than me dancing as if no one was watching, even though this time they all actually are? In short, when I step down from the DJ booth and walk among everyone on my way to buy a bottle of water, people usually stop me from commenting on how much they love how I dance and how I look.
Me the fat chick.
This is On You!
In conclusion, just get rid of all the weight on your back. All that weighs your heart and your mind down. Cause that’s what sinks your body. Become independent (damn. I really hope you’ll be able to), liberate yourself, and start thinking for yourself. If you get to a point where you can actually choose what you look like, keep that in mind: If -like me- you don’t suffer from a disease that makes you gain weight and you can actually decide over your body, what you eat, and if you exercise (or don’t!), STOP GIVING SPACE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS. Because if you don’t, those are the toxic thoughts that will certainly occupy your mind. Leaving no space for your own. YOU CHOOSE. No one else chooses for you. I’m telling you…