“You Got Big”

I didn’t actually know I’d gained weight until someone I really never spoke to broke the awkward silence of an ill-timed smoking break that had captured us standing side by side.
“What happened? You stop watching what you eat?”
I was confused.
“What?” I said, not indignant – just puzzled.
“You got big”, he said without hesitation.
I laughed, because I hadn’t really “stopped” watching what I ate, I had just begun to blur the lines. Too many drunken binges loosening my conduct in more than one way.
“I guess so.”
I didn’t let the fury overtake me. I couldn’t be mad at him for saying something. I am now thankful.
I’d been model thin in my early twenties, scrutinizing any pocket of fat until I’d driven myself to tears and a temper tantrum, swearing I’d never eat again. Yet over time, the looks in the mirror began to elicit a self assessment of “eh, ok.”
I’d never lacked in attention from the opposite sex, so it was “fine.” It was “whatever.” I didn’t know how to feed myself, I’d never really learned, and my idea of “healthy” at the time was far from my current reality.
Finally, a year after this well-fated conversation (and many other uncomfortable encounters) I’ve come to a place my 21 year old self would be encouraged by. Although my end goal is now closely within reach, I’ve spent most of this past year feeling very alone and completely crazy. I waded through the endless memes on Pinterest of “#fitspo”, watched YouTubers tell me to drink more water, and to my disappointment found that no one wants to share the depth of emotional archeology it requires to conquer that which keeps us from achieving our best selves; that thing we all admire and desire.
This article and the subsequent ones are my answer to that silence. It is my hope that through sharing my experience, I might shed light and hope on the real struggle of trying not to be #justalittlebitfat.

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