Revealing Secrets: My Weight

Posted: June 17, 2014 in Body Image
Tags: , , ,

Several months back I found myself in a situation that shocked me a bit.

I was at my house with 3 guy friends talking and the topic turned to creating a fight club- something I’d been advocating doing. It was suggested we could use my basement for our fight club which I agreed to. At some point it was stated by them that we would need a gender division in fight club, which I opposed and stated they could not use my basement if they would only fight men. My main opposition, of course, was that at that time the only woman who was going to be involved in the fight club was me. I was the one who first suggested a fight club, we were talking about using my home for it- I was not ok with a set up that would basically result in me being excluded from participation. We argued about this for a bit and they brought up as an argument that in professional fighting there are weight classes to keep things fair (now, there is certainly an argument to made here that the same rules that apply to professional fighters may not make as much sense when talking about a fight club with a bunch of people who are not professionally trained fighters, but that’s off topic at the moment). I responded that I was ok with having separate weight classes but not a gender division. They all were of the opinion that a weight separation would be a de facto gender separation, which of course is not true. So I asked what they would propose for weight classes. They suggested a simple under 200lbs group and 200+ lbs group. Sounds good to me. “And you don’t think any women weigh over 200lbs?” I asked them. And I should have known what was coming next. Out comes “do you realize how big a woman would have to be…” I cut him off- “I weigh over 200lbs”. Not interested in sitting there listening to the stereotypes people have in their head of how disgustingly monstrous someone my size would be. (I remember once online seeing someone describe how someone my height who weighed 200lbs would have to just be this blob of fat- so incredibly fat they no longer even had identifiable limbs- their arms and legs would just be sucked in to the fat!)

Rainbow Dash Outfit

I don’t know about you but I can’t make out any limbs in the massive blob of fat…

 

First shocker (to me) here was me actually admitting to these guys that I weigh over 200lbs. We really are beat over the head our whole lives that women do not ever tell people how much they weigh. And if you are forced to say how much you weigh, women always subtract from their real weight. Whether actively encouraged, or more often just used as a joke, the message is still the same- women never admit their real weight. And it’s hard to get away from that mentality and not feel like that number on the scale is a big secret you aren’t supposed to tell anyone.

So, what was the reaction to me breaking this cultural norm and disclosing how much I weigh? Disbelief. Literal disbelief actually- I was accused of lying. There was no way I weigh that much. And suddenly I found myself in a heated argument where I was trying to convince these 3 men that I really do weigh more than 200lbs. For some reason they seemed to think it was highly likely that I would be lying about my weight to say I’m even fatter than I am. That for some reason I really want people to think I weigh more than I do- because what fat woman in the US doesn’t hope people think she weighs way more than she really does, amiright?

While having this argument I’m also in complete disbelief with myself- am I really sitting here trying to get people to believe I’m as fat as I am? When I’ve been taught my whole life I should want people to think I weigh less than I do?

I can ‘t remember who suggested it, me or them, but somehow we were now discussing proving that I weigh that much- getting on a scale. I agree to get on my scale in my bathroom and one of them can come see what it says- this is not good enough, they want me to take the scale out of the bathroom, into the hallway and get on it in front of all 3 of them so they can all see how much I weigh.

If one believes popular media, this is a nightmare scenario for most women, right? Get on a scale in front of 3 guy friends and let them see the real number that comes up on there? Horrifying!

But I went into my bathroom, pulled out my bathroom scale and stepped on it while they gathered around. I think I weighed 209 that day. And I was relieved it was only showing 9lbs over 200 that day. Not only did I admit to being over 200lbs, I also stepped up on scale and let them see just how far over 200lbs that number really was. Even as I was doing all this I couldn’t believe it.

They actually still did not believe me. Each of them took turns weighing themselves, convinced I had tampered with the scale to make it read higher. Because, again, what fat woman doesn’t want to go to elaborate lengths to trick people into thinking she weighs more than she does! ?

And despite getting weights for themselves that were what seemed accurate to them, they still suggested I tampered with the scale and didn’t really weigh that much. I have no idea if they still, to this day, think it was a lie.

 

I actually tend to bounce back and forth on how I feel about sharing my weight. It’s hard not to feel like it’s some shameful secret I shouldn’t ever admit. But other times, I actively make an effort to be open about it and talk about it matter of factly. Because it is a fact. Lying about your weight or keeping it a secret doesn’t change what it is and it doesn’t change how you look.  Someone looking at me can see how fat I am and a number doesn’t actually change that. Though at times it’s hard not to think that it will influence how people see me, especially when people have such a negative mental image of what my weight would look like. But then of course on the other hand that is a great reason to be open about such things- because people have such inaccurate ideas of what fat people look like.

I’ve been told many times when people hear how much I weigh that I don’t look it. Which is meant as a compliment usually, to make me feel better about weighing so much “oh, but you don’t look it!” Well, actually I do! I’ve actually gained some weight since my story above and weigh about 220lbs right now. My highest weight ever was around 235lbs, I lost weight and got down to about 200lbs for awhile before I gained weight and am back to 220lbs now. And here’s the thing, by definition, I look like someone who weighs 220lbs! Because this is what someone who weighs 220lbs looks like (and above photo was taken at 220lbs). It’s not what everyone who is 5ft and weighs 220lbs will look like, the same height and weight combination can look very different on different people based on a variety of factors including fat percentage, muscle mass, bone structure, and of course where one carries fat/muscle. But there is no one right way to look a particular weight and height combo.

In my experience though, people tend to overestimate what certain sizes look like. I hear it a lot too when people talk about people who are “morbidly obese”. That is many people’s go to qualifier when they suggest that it might be ok to be overweight. “Well yeah, it can be ok to be overweight, as long as you aren’t morbidly obese”. I’ve even gotten: “well, you might be a little overweight but it’s not like you are morbidly obese or something”- but here is the thing, I actually am. Morbid obesity being defined as a BMI over 40, I’m pretty solidly in that camp at my height and weight. But most people don’t think that “morbid obesity” looks like me.

 

I’ve actually found it interesting that when it comes to fat I seem to somehow span both sides of the fat spectrum. I wear a size 16ish (sometimes a 14, sometimes an 18) putting me at the low end of plus sizing with some folks not even considering that actually plus size. It’s also the size range where I’m right in between non-plus and plus sizes a lot of places- I can shop at some non-plus specific stores that go up to 16 or 18 or at plus size stores like Lane Bryant. At places like Old Navy I can shop in either their non-plus section or plus section. So in this measurement I fall at the smaller side of the fat people spectrum. Yet being classified as morbidly obese would suggest I actually fall into the higher end of the fat spectrum.

 

Well, since I’m blogging about body topics and have “fat” in my title I figured I should  do a blog post on this and just put it all out there. Think what you will of that, but this is who I am. I am not interested in advice on changing that- if you haven’t been paying attention to the blog, I already work out and work to eat healthy, which I do because I like it and for general health benefits. I am not interested in any weight loss advice, if I lose weight as I continue working out that’s good with me, and if I don’t I’m ok with that too, either way not interested in unsolicited weight lose advice so if you were thinking of giving some just move along.

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Comments
  1. lozette says:

    Thank you for the follow and THANK YOU for this post. I think I ❤ you already.

    I am pretty open about what I weigh (you need to know what you weight/be public about it in competitive powerlifting) and I'm also open about being OMG OBESE!!!1 as I like to screw with peoples' idea of what obese is. It's just a word. I'm 75kg @ 159cm (5'2") so in BMI terms I'm obese.

    If people think I'm not "what they think" obesity is or looks like, then maybe they need to change their perceptions?!

    • ebay313 says:

      Thank you for the follow back and the comment!

      Yes, exactly! I hate when people say I don’t look like I weigh as much as I do. I do though. So obviously what is wrong here is not my weight but perceptions of what that has to look like.

      I was also reading your profile information btw, and find it very inspiring. Part of me thinks it would be fun one day to compete in lifting instead of doing it only in my basement, but sometimes I feel intimidating thinking I’m already too old to start let alone start down the road (I’m not sure I can really commit to a competitive training program right now.) So it’s really cool to see that isn’t the case and you don’t have to start as a teenager to do it 🙂

      • lozette says:

        No, you’re not too old! I didn’t even start lifting until I was 32! I’m not remotely competitive at the moment but I hope to be when I hit Masters (40+)

  2. […] to think that I, as someone who has a blog with “fat” right up there in the title, who wrote a blog post on my weight, which included pointing out that my weight and height puts my BMI quite squarely in what is […]

  3. […] of my very early posts on this blog was actually about what my weight is (and yeah, I weigh even more now than when I posted that). I am publicly telling you all how much I […]

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