The series “Fat Fridays” is based off of my new journey of couch to 5k for the Spring Girls on the Run on April 20, 2013. I am trying to raise 300 dollars for the local chapter of girls on the run, the donation link can be found here. While I am training for the 5k I am also self-reflecting using some of the themes from the GOTR biweekly lessons that the girls go through. I do not claim to be fat (although “Feeling Fat” -definitely) but I am taking the perceptions of myself in reflection to help compile this series.
I’ve always wanted to run in a sports bra and shorts. Trust me I am very aware that it gets stinking HOT when working out. In fact, I am jealous of the women at the gym who wear “work out shirts” with the cut sleeves and tied back. Normally these women are wearing some bright purple, or my favorite, teal, sports bra. I’m also jealous of those that wear the black sports bra, because somehow they give off the vibe that they belong. They are serious. They are athletes.
So why don’t I just take off the shirt when I am sweating and start running? Well for multiple reasons. First comes from my discomfort and my fear of other’s discomfort with my tummy. People with tummies are suppose to keep them covered, even if they are sweating buckets. It’s an unwritten law. Don’t believe me google tummies uncovered and you’ll find hoards of people mocking folks at the beach, the gym, the country, any where. The message is clear – tummies are not allowed.
Secondly is another story I would like to share with you. I have amazing friends who I truly believe always have my best interests in mind. However no one can really understand what it feels like to be in your skin, to feel fat, or to feel uncomfortable in clothes. This isn’t to say that others don’t feel that way, it’s to say others can’t feel what you feel.
My freshman year of college I went shopping with two of my friends just to check out some of the places we always go to. However what my friends really wanted and planned for was to force me to get measured at Victoria’s Secret. Looking back my chest was spilling out of the top of my bra and I only had a few colors including bright pink, bright blue, and black. Apparently white was necessary.
I was literally pushed into the front door with two giggling girls laughing at how outrageous they had become. I laughed uncomfortably and understood that behind the laughter was real concern about jobs and daily wear on my back. Or I hoped there was something under that laughter. I was measured and my C bra suddenly became obsolete when I moved up two numbers and three sizes. Suddenly I was a DD.
Victoria’s secret as we all know is highly over priced and I was a freshman college student – I didn’t have the money. I bought one bra that was on sale and outrageous – I think it was cheetah print. Keep in mind that when you shop at Victoria’s Secret despite the fact that the VS models all are DD or higher the average size they sell is a B or a C. This leaves the option of ordering a full price bra and they will ship it to you, or looking where there is the most selection, at the full price newly released bras with all the bells and whistles. I had very few options in the sale bin.
So we meandered into JCPenny still determined to fix my silly problem of wearing something that clearly doesn’t fit. At this point I was struggling with the sudden pressure to buy bras without previously thinking about it and thinking that I am three times larger than I had perceived myself only moments before. I looked through the even smaller section of bras at JCPenny and although there were more bras in my size there was one color and one style. Tan. With three hooks and large straps. This bra offered you one thing – the promise that your boobs will stay where they are suppose to be.
I sat in the dressing room holding this tan bra that I’m not even sure my grandma would wear (hers would have at least been peach) and I looked at myself. My stomach was still just as big as it had ever been. It didn’t go away and now I had these two large drooping breasts to go with it. You see I begged and pleaded the universe for a good rack. A big robust sexy rack. I knew looking at my family that I was genetically looking at a solid C. What I did not realize however was that what I was really looking at was being the largest one in my family. What I didn’t want is the feeling of being “too big.” There is no sexy in a tan large covering bra. There was reiteration that fat can never be sexy. In fact fat didn’t even require any time for designers to think for sexy. Fat people aren’t sexy and now as a person who can barely find my size at a store – I became a fat person.
I sat with my shirt off in the midst of taking off my old teal bra that clearly didn’t fit and holding the new large covering one. I looked down at how my stomach rounded when I sat and I couldn’t even muster the energy to sit up straighter or suck it in. I just curled into myself even more and cried. I silently sat in the dressing room and toyed with the stitching wondering if I could ever be sexy. I wondered if anyone could ever find me attractive. I cried because I had “let myself go” because I had gained the “freshman 15.” I cried because I quit the swim team when I was in the best shape of my life.
I cried because I was crying in a dressing room stall. I was that person.
– Will Be Continued