Quarantine Weight #ThoughtProvokingThirstTrap
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
TW// diet talk, fatphobia, body image
I’ve gained 30 lbs in the past two years.
At the beginning of the year, I had my first divination. My best friend has been trying to get me to do one for years and I’ve been hesitant because it’s an entirely new world to me and, I can admit, I watch too many scary movies to appreciate the spiritual world as complex, rewarding and safe. But after 9+ months of a global pandemic I thought, fuck it, let me give it a try, “what’s the worst that can happen, we’re already in a fucking apocalypse. Ghosts could be …fun.” So, I booked the appointment.
Beyond me getting messages from my spirit guide and an affirmation that my ex has it coming, I was told an elder couple came through (I believe my dad’s parents) who made multiple comments about my body – “they’re opening your mouth and looking at your teeth. When was the last time you’ve been to the dentist?” the healer said. “They’re’ scanning your body, your heart and reproductive organs… they seem really concerned with your health. Have you been to the doctor recently?” Beyond me thinking they’re judgey, the message from my ancestors was loud and clear: “take care of your health (because we didn’t)!” All of my grandparents have passed from old age. Cancer, mostly.
So, to be sure I’m not ignoring them, I made four doctor’s appointments in the last month just to make sure everything is where it needs to be. When I went to the first appointment, a physical, they took my vitals and weighed me. I had written down 200lbs on the intake form because that’s my, “I haven’t worked out in a while” weight. I’m usually between 190-200lbs and that can look like a toned 190 or a soft 200 depending on how active I’ve been. My belly is definitely rounder than usual and my back rolls are THRIVING. My face has filled out and my arms are nice and soft. I assumed, after months of a pandemic, being less active and eating comfort foods (of which I wrote about!) I would definitely be on the “soft 200” side.
Boy was I wrong.
I stepped on the scale and she pushed the little box to 150. No movement on the scale. Then she pushed it to 200. No movement. So, she pushed it to 250 and dropped the smaller dial down until we landed on 220 (ish). I wasn’t sure how to feel. Now, let me be clear: I’m not mad that I’m beyond my “soft 200,” well into the 220’s. I’m not mad that I don’t exercise as frequently as I used to. And I’m not mad (at myself) for eating literally whatever I want. I’m mad that I feel this unspoken (?) pressure to be ashamed. That, now that I’ve seen those numbers, I’m supposed to feel bad and disgusted by my choices. As my best friend put it, “it’s very much giving ‘my body is not the problem, the structures and systems and practices around my body are the issue.’”
And it’s true. I just want JUST to exist and to focus on meeting my basic needs. I don’t want to feel like the natural next step is going on a crash diet (or worse, a “detox” diet – because what in god’s name is that?? It’s juice every day until you shit yourself). I don’t want to feel like, because I’m a sex worker, I’m indebted to some imagery of “sexy” that no longer aligns with my identity. All of that annoyance I felt was years of diet culture and fatphobia re-playing messages and commercials in my brain – shake weight, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, Insanity, fucking Herbalife. Reminders of years and years of watching my mother do fad diets and yo-yo to maintain the unrealistic. My aunt, viscerally hating fat people (and her fatness, by proxy). An inconceivable amount of data in my brain dedicated to hating my body.
But I don’t actually hate my body, I hate that my body has to exist in a world that tirelessly attempts to demean it. I’m frustrated that I’m expected to be or do something and that I’ve felt obligated to pursue that ‘look’ for 20+ years. I don’t care anymore!!
Beyond this being informed by age, being 30 absolutely made me feel entitled to divert that energy elsewhere, over the course of the pandemic, and the last 10 years at large, I have significantly shifted my desire to be perceived by men. I can say with my full chest that I have no interest in upholding any kind of body or beauty standard that centers them and that, previously, it was directly informed by my need (?) (professionally, emotionally, whatever) to be desirable to cishet men. And for good reason – although it’s frustrating, I’m not ashamed nor do I regret how I actively pursued being a “bad bitch.” But now that I no longer give a fuck???????
My body is fine.
I was asked the other day when I feel the sexiest and the only thing I could think of is how I feel immediately after I get out the shower. But even that isn’t “sexy,” I just feel good. Now that I no longer consider cis men’s opinions/gaze, the desire or concept of “sexiness” is …idk, I just don’t even consider it because also, who cares? This means, for the first time in my life, thinking about my body as …a body?? That exists, that functions (or doesn’t), that can be comfortable (and safe!). Not what needs to be toned or inflated, “snatched” or supple. This means having the opportunity to think about how I want to adorn my body FOR ME. Or for femmes. Or for other queers lol Not for cishet men (side note: there is a certain allure to people who are not men that cis men just don’t inspire nor appreciate. There is a certain attractiveness that is hella gay and only appreciated by other gays lol I want that).
This has meant wearing things that feel flowy and comfy and playful. I’m not really sure what my style is at this point, so I just buy shit and see how it hits. I’ve found myself really into pajamas that make me feel like Beth Boland from Good Girls and lots of loose, one-pieces with no bra.
And this has meant not shaving my legs or pits or vagina (although the former is the only new addition to the equation). My legs have never been this hairy and it’s enjoyable AS FUCK to use them as a deterrent lmao And, also, why the fuck do we shave? What a nightmare.
The takeaway here is: divesting from cis men has, and continues to, shift my perspective on all the things that matter. Fuck ‘em. And s/o to those extra 30lbs.