A Letter I Wrote To Myself About Getting Fat

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Shall we talk about your body?

Your body, which used to be thinner. Which you took for granted, because it fitted into cheap, tight dresses. Your body, which took you up and down Brixton Hill, every day, twice a day, never unheralded by catcalls, the stream of men and their “Oh baby hey baby nice tits nice ass hey WHERE YOU GOING?”

Your body was a girl’s body, made from dancing and late nights and skipped dinners, of hopefulness and sleeplessness and sadness. It took care of itself, or rather, you didn’t care that it couldn’t. It wasn’t for you, and so you didn’t mind that you couldn’t always afford to feed and nurture it. The admiration of others was nourishment enough. You often went to bed feeling empty. You thought it was heartbreak. It was probably hunger.

Then your body became plump with love.

Late dinners and later breakfasts, cream in your coffee, champagne in the bath, room service bacon sandwiches. Watching your skin, glowing and gold, buttocks round on white sheets, talking and kissing and laughing, the tension in your stomach dissipating.

Love gave you the confidence to grow your career. And your body grew with it. Writing in bed, writing on sofas, writing at the kitchen table, your body still so your brain could pump thoughts furiously, fingers flying.

Now, you have the body you deserve. The body of a woman in love, who is loved, who’s managing to make money and maintain a room of her own. A woman who adores buying wickedly extravagant dinners for people she likes, and has the wherewithal for a cab home afterwards. A woman with wide hips and full thighs, who can’t pour herself inside the cheap, tight dresses any more.

And even though you have everything to be confident about, everything to play for, this has made you sad. You worry that in spite of everything you have gained, the world liked you more when you took up less space.

It’s hard to be honest about how you feel, how you worry sometimes that even though you’re bigger, you’re disappearing, how dressing up was once a source of joy and it’s how a source of panic, how it’s hard to fully appreciate why zips get stuck and buttons don’t meet in the middle. And everyone says “love your body”, but it’s an empty instruction, like “fly a kite!” It sounds wonderful, but it’s hard, and confusing, and you feel guilty because you can’t get it right.
You don’t have to love your body all the time. But love it in bed, and in the bath. Love it when you’re walking fast, and your music is loud, and your boots are clumpy. Love it when you’re walking up huge, hidden gym hills, and the sweat burns your eyelids, and you still, somehow keep going. Love the way your belly shakes when you laugh, and your legs shake when you orgasm, and your shoulders shake when you cry. Keep taking vitamins and washing your face carefully. Dance more, dance harder, and don’t stop downing a pint of water after the wine, before you go to sleep.

But mostly, don’t worry. As long as you can sing and come and giggle and wiggle and weep, you’re treating your body exactly as you’re supposed to.

302 thoughts on “A Letter I Wrote To Myself About Getting Fat

  1. My partner just shared this post with me and I was just blown away. One of the best darn articles I’ve read in awhile. You go girl! Keep sharing your brilliance wit the world until every dang person hears this wonderful truth!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love, love, love, love, love. After some bourbon, some writing, a late night, and the ever present disdain for how my body has grown, I’m going to sleep with the happy remembrance of things that matter, thanks to you. Well done. And may you continue to celebrate what matters that it not only nourishes you, but continues to overflow to others. Happy remembrance, and cheers to things that matter; i.e., that bring joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful!!! I can relate so much to this post.. From thin cheap dresses to cat calls to wider hips and bigger boobs. I love my curves even if some people tend to point them out as if they are a curse. From my point of view i have nice bossoms, nice shoes, happy heart and a world of stories accompanied with taste. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. as my yoga instructor said at the end of yesterday’s class…
    “take a moment to feel gratitude for your body, for the incredible vessel that is carrying you through your unique path.”
    that gave me goosebumps, just like this post. it’s hard for most of us, but we just have to find what we love about body, keep the focus there, and don’t worry about the rest. thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This is so beautiful! At the beginning I was loving the body-love high, that tone that weight gain didn’t affect your value. And then near the middle when you start to struggle… it’s so honest. Because that’s how it is to appreciate your body when you’re bigger; some days are good, some days not so good. And I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that “love your body” comes without proper instruction, and it’s not so easy to do as people make it sound.
    When I have bad days, I try and remind myself that I am a person of substance, and those who have loved me despite body changes are the people who will love me for who I am if I lose or gain 20 pounds.
    You are an excellent writer, I really enjoyed this peice!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. just love, love, loveeee ittt…. you are unbelievable!
    Your words, the rhyme in your letters, the sweet memories, complex of joy- sadness, happiness- contentment and satisfaction. I think all I needed was this very post!
    You just gave me a boost,, inspired me and I will go write something about myself ,,,, inspired by you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Touchingly written.

    The word ‘Fat’ has us running for the hills, literally.
    Are these new rolls of fat, really?
    When we were technically perfect body-wise.
    As we grow older inspecting our bodies,it’s “Why? Why?”
    We embrace our new roles as we get older.
    Earner, wife, child bearer and mother.
    To laugh is to continue to see.
    What a glorious matter is our changing body.

    Liked by 2 people

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