The Secret Life of Arse

Oh kids, I have been such a slackarse. I was so crushed when I deleted that last entry by mistake, I had SLAVED over it, man! I can't even remember what I was writing about.

I think it was about the wee tiny differences you notice that help you keep going when the scales aren't being nice. Like trying on my sister's diamond ring. When she bought it in 2001, I could only jam it onto my pinky finger. Now I can wear it on my middle finger, just like she does.

It brought tears to my eyes! Seriously! I used to say "I guess I just wasn't made for jewellery", never believing things could ever change. Now I am sneaking into my sisters room trying on all her rings and bracelets and whatnot.

I have this issue that I wanted to ask you all about. As you all know, I'm living in this new country and these days I am squeezing my arse into a size 18 from the 'normal shops'. So I'm a big lass, but I'm not quite the wide load I used to be.

Has anyone ever lost a stack of weight and felt like it was some dirty secret? No one here has to know I used to be huge unless I tell them. So if they don't know, they don't understand why I am all paranoid about my body and looks because they don't know about the decades of misery that came before. They don't have the context, you see.

Yesterday I was sitting with some colleagues at lunch, talking about exercise. One chick said she wanted to try Body Pump classes, and I piped up to say how brilliant Pump is. Then I said I'd been doing it on and off for two years.

Here's the thing, I then felt the need to mention I'd lost a stack of weight. Why? Because my paranoia kicked in and I assumed they were all thinking, "She's been doing weights two years and she still looks like THAT?". So I felt this panicky need to explain my current size, how far I've come and to make it clear I am still trying to lose more.

Does anyone else do this? Why can't I just be out and proud about the way I look now, instead of feeling like I need to explain away my supposed freakiness?

And I can't even bring myself to say how much I've really lost. I usually say to the UK crowd that it was about 5 or 6 stone, when it's actually closer to 10. I get so worked up, thinking if I told them that I was seriously obese, would they look at me differently? Would they think I was some gluttonous weirdo?

I know personally that I don't look at fat people and think that. But to non-fat people, it's hard for them to fathom getting to that size. An example — at a friend's house a few months ago. These are all brand-new Brit friends who know very little about my past. We were looking at old holiday photos and my friend's brother was in one. At the time he was a really big guy, around 150 kilos.

"How can anyone weigh 150 kilos? How is that physically possible?" said another friend.

"Wow… That's like two and half of me," said another.

They weren't being mean or judgemental, they were just genuinely awed that it was possible. Meanwhile, I looked over at my sister and we exchanged a funny look. It was strange and uncomfortable. I felt like saying, "Well I used to be nearly 160", but I couldn't bring myself to pipe up. What would they think? "How could she let herself get that big? Holy shit!".

It's funny to have such a huge (excuse pun) part of your life a total secret. It's now three months later, and one of the friends from that afternoon is slowly turning into More Than A Friend. It's all very lovely and shiny and new, but inside I am brickin' it, as they say over here. I may be a lot smaller now, but I am more neurotic than ever about my body. I hate the shape of my boobs. My stomach is so big and flabby, same with my arms. I look fine with my clothes on, but underneath it's a disaster.

So as you can imagine, I am terrifed of things going further. He may just well be the most sweet and gorgeous guy I've ever met, who could possibly be very understanding about my Issues. But you know if it ever comes to me taking off gear, there will be soft lighting, and I will be rambling on. I will be feeling the need to EXPLAIN why my body is such a wreck and REASSURE that efforts are being made to rectify that. Then I will probably feel the need to outline my gym timetable, nutritionally-sound eating habits and highest squat weight, just so he knows I am aware of the problem!

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14 thoughts on “The Secret Life of Arse

  1. Girl, if a guy wants to go that far more often than not that won’t matter. Just keep working on improving yourself, inside and out and if something happens, then it happens. Don’t sweat what you don’t know for sure is going to happen or not. And if it helps and you feel that you’re getting closer sit down with him and explain where you were at, where you’re at now and what the end result is that you’re looking for. I’m sure if he really likes you then he’ll have a better understading of you and your feelings and then you can see where it takes you. Intimacy is delicious and you shouldn’t let the fact that you have some cellulite or a few ripples on your body get in the way of enjoying yourself and letting your partner enjoy your body as well. Keep up the great job!

  2. Ah, you are a precious darling girl! I have felt exactly the same way; like I have secret fat past. I switched jobs when I lost about 75 pounds (US) and all of a sudden there was this whole bunch of folks who never knew me when I was fat! I did, however, take pride in telling them about it, because it is a FABULOUS accomplishment, and explains why I say no to lots of the gooey garbage and food crap.

    And maybe your fella likes you just the way you are, like Hugh Grant likes the Natalie character in Love, Actually. If things progress, just do it by candlelight. Everyone looks lovely in candlelight.

  3. I’m going to be a little snarky here and put in that if a guy will only like you once you lose the extra weight, then he’s not worth worrying about, regardless of how cute. This isn’t coming from a bitter fat girl (although I am definitely fat), it’s coming from a fat girl who lost weight a few years ago (110 pounds US) and suddenly got a lot of attention from people who’d never given me the time of day when I was fat. The first few dates I went on actually had the temerity to ask when the little pooch on my stomach was scheduled to go, too, which just enhanced the anxiety I was already feeling about it. I know now that I should have kicked them right to the curb immediately instead of letting them make me feel badly about myself but hindsight’s always 20/20. Love yourself first, no matter how tough it is some days, and then you’ll find the man that you can love (and who will love you no matter your size).

    (Sorry for the preachiness, it’s just one of my favorite topics!)

  4. Hi DG,
    First of all, you are doing so well – hats off to you! I just wanted to comment on the “taking the clothes off” part. Here’s my take on it. Sooner or later, someone will have to see you with your clothes off. The alternative is to be lonely forever, and that’s not desirable or realistic. So, if the guy is interested in you, just go for it… as someone else stated, if he is into you and wants to have a physical relationship, go ahead and take the plunge. It’s bound to happen sooner or later, so why not let it be sooner? You’re lovely, and you deserve some TLC. Take care and keep us posted

  5. you guys are so kind with your comments, thanks so much 🙂

    i guess i should clarify, i know he doesn’t have a problem with how i look, it’s just my issues that are the problem… i just wonder if i will ever get to a point where i can stop being so 1000% hyperaware of my body… and not just in terms of Bedroom Shenannigans. I just wish I could reach a point where I didn’t feel like I was a brain being carted through life in some soft of rickety, lumpy, awkward bumbling machine.. hehe.

  6. Speaking of myself, the one benefit to being a plus-sized girl even when I’m thin is that I don’t “otherwise look normal” (as some of my friends put it) so I don’t attract men that want petite women with flat stomachs. I attract men who want a fleshy girl who will fulfill their sensualist fantasies.

    I’d wager that any guy who would be attracted to you would be thinking the same thing. He’s not going to be remotely focused on whether or not you have a saggy stomach or arms, he is going to be thinking about how it feels when he holds you in his arms, and …. um, other things.

    In other words, his goals do not remotely match what you think his goals are. He’s looking for substance, and you think he wants a bit of arm candy to show off to his friends. What he’s attracted to is your pretty face and nice smile (or cute ears, or whatever), not dressing you up in a bikini like some sort of living doll.

    This is going to sound weird, but if it helps, try to think of him as a blind man. He’ll only know you by the feel of you, and as any sensualist will tell you, it feels great to hold a girl who is a little fleshy.

    That isn’t to say that looks aren’t important to him, because I’m sure they are, but he gets that from your face, your smile, the way you laugh, your confidence, how funny you are, and so on.

    I get the “how could people weight that much?!” anxiety all the time. I weight a lot compared to other women who look like me and I am constantly amazed when I see women who look really large to me but they weigh 50 pounds less. My friends always guess me at at least 60 pounds under my true weight, and this is after I tell them that I weigh more than the average person.

    I have been in the situation more than once (although not recently!) where a boyfriend has tried to pick me up, thinking I weigh much less, and I have to practically push him down to get him to relent.

    It can be crippling to have that sort of anxiety, and can even prevent you from achieving all of your goals. All I can say at this point is that I empathize and understand. I still haven’t quite figured it out myself.

    Good luck! You are lovely, witty, and funny, and that guy probably knows he’d be lucky to have a shot with you!

  7. I was just thinking about this today, about how I “read” my body. I know that under my clothes I have a roadmap of stretchmarks scarred into me, and I was thinking about how literally they are evidence of growth, but that I, having gone through what I have to lose the weight that has left them behind, can see them as a metaphor for growth like, “this is what I’ve been through. This is what I’ve accomplished.”

    It does get easier, the whole hyper-self-awareness, fear of revealing your body when intimate thing. Good luck to you!

  8. I understand perfectly what you mean.
    And that is what its always about, its how we feel about our self and not what others will feel or think about us.

    I feel the same about the thought to take off my clothes infront of someone. Ive now lost over 20 kg. I want to loose totaly 60 kg so I have alot to go.

    Im worried though that my skin wont go back and I will have alot of it when Im done. That irritates me that I let it go so far so I might have damaged myself so much.

    Good luck with the guy. I used to be with a Brit they are the cutest. You will have a great time.

  9. If it’s any consolation, I don’t think you need to have lost a whole hill of weight to be jittery about the gettin’ nekkid. Everyone has issues about their body, and I imagine that in your case, that is just magnified (no pun intended).

    As to whether you will ever stop fretting about it – in my experience, diet/body related matters can be like an evil voice in your head, that doesn’t really shut up ever, but you can learn to drown it out with common sense and, well, just Other Stuff really. Like good TV and friends. And then the voice gets smaller and weedier, till you almost don’t notice it’s there.

    It’s not a problem as such, just something you’re dealing with – think of it that way!

  10. Hey, don’t worry about taking off your clothes in front of this guy. If it gets that far, then he’ll probably just be amazed that you’re actually taking off your clothes and letting him be with you. I’m personally on a weight loss quest and I have a boyfriend. Guys are seriously just glad to have you around, and thinking that you like them. Don’t worry about others finding out about the “inner fat girl” and how she used to be on the outside. People who know you won’t somehow start thinking you’re some kind of bizarro just because you lost weight, and hey, at least you’re not there anymore, and you’re working hard to succeed. (As they know me on my site) Broan.

  11. Thank you for writing this, it’s exactly how I feel sometimes. I lost 50 pounds before starting grad school, so all the people who I’ve met in school, including my boyfriend, have no idea how much bigger I was. I’ve told the boy that I used to be bigger, but he’s only seen pictures of me from 20 pounds heavier. The pictures of me at my highest weight are hidden away, I feel like I’m pretending that I was never that big.

    Good luck with your boy, I hope he turns out to be as much of a sweetie as mine.

  12. Hey sweetie, Perhaps, like me, you need to do some work on your mind as well as your physical appearance. You need to start thinking and acting like the thin person you will soon be and maybe you need some help to be able to do that. The phrase, ‘Fake it till you make it’ comes to mind. You’ll be fine mate. You are an exceptional character and your kind soul will always shine through. Just make sure that you don’t settle for anybody less than you deserve. NJ

  13. Hey, I used to be about a size 22, am now hovering between a 16/18 – UK sizes – I need to lose more weight, but am currently taking a break. When I went to my new job I didn’t tell anyone about my prior weight, but then somehow it just came out in conversation. People were really shocked and seemed quite amazed… so I don’t think you should hide it. It’s a massive accomplishment for you and you should be proud of it. Take care and keep up the good work, Nosher.