Fit but Fat

It’s funny, but when I was heavy, I had no real body issues.

Then I lost 30 pounds four years ago, and suddenly I became the poster-child for disordered eating.

It might sound counter-intuitive that losing weight and keeping it off would perpetuate such a problem, but it did. In four years, I went from a “fat” girl with great self-esteem, to a thin girl with amazing self-esteem, to a normal girl unhealthily obsessed with body image.

Looking back on my pre-Weight Watchers years (i.e., the first 24), I don’t think people looked at me and saw “fat”; at least I never felt they did. I knew I was always bigger than my petite friends, but not by so much that it made me uncomfortable to be around them.

I fit into the cool labels—just in a bigger size. Years of dancing kept me from being flabby, and by high school, I was fit and firm from competitive cheerleading, which kept me physically active for two and a half hours a day, five days a week. And even the first few years of college combined, thanks to running and awful dining hall food, I only put on a couple pounds.

But a semester abroad my junior year in Buenos Aires, Argentina added another 10-15—who can resist dulce de leche, empanadas, chocolate caliente…? And before I knew it, I was graduating college heavier than I can ever remember.

I didn’t step on a scale back then but I have pictures and those pictures tell a story all their own. I was chunky. I was a 12 for the most part, sometimes a 14, and I had a thin, taut younger sister whose clothes I coveted but couldn’t get over my left thigh.

But … I was happy.

I wasn’t your stereotypical fat girl—I wasn’t Barthe De Clement’s character Elsie from Nothing’s Fair in the Fifth Grade, sitting solo in the cafeteria or picked last in gym class (every girl’s fear). I had an incredibly supportive family and amazing friends, and I didn’t feel my weight impacted my relationships with men—if anything, guys liked what they saw.

I ate what I wanted, ran when I had time and didn’t fuss about my butt looking too big in a pair of jeans. I had never “dieted” nor did I fret too much about my weight on a daily basis. In fact, when I began dating my now-husband our senior year of college, he loved me and my curves, and even when I’d say “I am getting fat” because I’d stopped running so much in favor of time together, he’d look at me like I was crazy and tell me how much he loved me and loved what he saw. (see next post)


6 thoughts on “Fit but Fat


    This may as well be me writing, I went through THE EXACT SAME THING, still trying to keep off zomg teh fatz!!1!

    Funny thing is, when I was very, very heavy (from age 0-28), I don’t think I really cared, either. I was active and always had boyfriends, just a thyroid problem. Granted, I haven’t been to the doc or on meds for 4 years so I was hoping it was regulated by itself or maybe it is in hyper mode, now. I gotta get to an endo.

  2. ” I went from a “fat” girl with great self-esteem, to a thin girl with amazing self-esteem, to a normal girl unhealthily obsessed with body image.”

    Um, you just described me exactly. Wow.

  3. ((Dori)) You’re so not alone. It’s scary, how quickly things can get so nutty … but we’ll find our way back to health/happiness.

  4. I can so relate. I’m a 5 foot small boned woman. I was a laxative bulimic in college and law school. I stopped purging in my mid 20s after I started to faint. My lowest nonbulimic adult weight was 105 in my 20s. I ballooned over time to 140 in my late 30s and early 40s but didn’t care–I thought oh well, I’m over 40. Then I got severe high blood pressure. So I lost 25 pounds, down to 115. And I’m paranoid about food and weight and that I don’t have a flat stomach in my mid40s now! Go figure. I don’t want to be overweight again, but I want to not think about it again….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s