No, that's not just an eye-catching title for this post, it is the first words of Judith Moore's brilliant memoir "Fat Girl." While plenty of the men I have pursued for sexual purposes in my disease found me perfectly acceptable for naughty chat, phone sex or even a roadside or office "servicing," they too have found me "too fat to fuck." Even more men, upon seeing my photograph, simply stopped talking, disappeared and pretended as if the online conversation never started. And while I might catch the attention of a few dozen men with my online antics, I've never been someone who would be picked up at a bar ... unless it was closing time and even the ugly fat girls get pretty then. A dear friend chose this week to disclose that while he had been sporting a hard on for me about a year ago, once he saw what I looked like he was "physically turned off by (my) weight." He told me this as if I weren't already keenly aware of why his attitude had shifted. We remained friends and value one another on a host of levels ... but the pain is no less.
My friend's disclosure prompted me to begin to write about something that has been calling to my writing fingers for a while now. For some time, maybe months, I have felt the need to write about and talk about the fact that for as long as I can remember I've been not just overweight, but obese -- to explore at some level how much I hate my body and at many levels myself.
Interestingly, it's far, far easier to share the shame of my sexual escapades than it is to talk about being fat. I suppose one reason is because in my addict mind, sex gives me significance. Obesity, while it is there for the world to see, strips away any significance I hope to have. Whether it is in a job, a friendship, or simply walking down the street, the first thing people notice about me is that I am fat. I carry my fat with me everywhere. Yet I hide its pain deep inside.
I'm the person for whom people have to think twice about which table to choose at a restaurant or even a dinner party to accomodate my fatness. I'm the person who has to ask for a "lap belt" when I ride on an airplane. I'm the enormous person in the room who is invisible.
And, psychology tells me that I am invisible because I want to be, that all my fat is "protecting me" from the things I fear most -- sexual attraction, intimacy, and transparency. I don't have to be anything else because I am fat. My therapist often tells me that my behaviors and choices are always serving me in some way. I suppose she is right, and at some level I can accept it, but I'm not sure I can dwell on it long enough to even absorb its truth, much less accept it.
So, at least I broke the ice in writing on this topic. I want to explore it more and hope to come back to it.
5 months ago