Fat and Sexy: Onward and Upward

Alright. I survived going to the gym for three days a week and as of June I was going four days a week, except for the week I was sick when I didn’t go at all. Four days a week was hard. I really had to push myself to find the motivation to go, but if I can do four day then I can do five days. I even have my routines all planned out, especially since I learned last month that I could skate at one of the local branches of my gym. It means that by Fall when I start up the roller skating fitness class I’ve been taking when it is in session that I’ll be skating as much as 3 times a week and maybe more. Hopefully that will let me see an increase in pounds lost.

Although I did notice that my knee pads (for skating) are fitting me better and better so I must be doing something right and losing inches or something. Now if I could lose the inches in my arms so my elbow pads weren’t so tight. I need a new pair anyway. Also because I noticed my knee pads were fitting better I realized that it was progress and I was able to see it! Small progress, but progress all the same. And I’m starting to see it in my weight lifting as well. I may not ever be able to lift as heavy as I want to lift (squatting my own body weight would be admittedly cool), but I can lift heavier and heavier as I move along.

So yes, progress seems to be happening. Again, not quick enough for my liking, but I think a large part of it is my eating. I struggled for most of June with my portions and getting them under control and sometimes I still slip up, but I remind myself that losing weight is something like 10% exercise and 90% diet and so I keep trying to cut out excessive sweets and large portions. This isn’t to say I deny myself sugar because I simply couldn’t do that completely. I’m not that self sacrificing y’all. But rather swinging through the drive thru for an iced coffee once or twice a week I’m cutting it to maybe once or twice a month. I’m trying to add more lean protein into my diet and seeing if I can learn to like cottage cheese because of it. It’s sort of working, but only if I pair it with some fruit or something. I much prefer yogurt, but I know it can be loaded with sugar.

Overall, I’m finding that I am pretty happy with my progress most of the time. I have bad days just like anyone would, but I also have good days, and sometimes even exceptional days where I’m just really feeling motivated and I might start out on the elliptical, lift weights, and then drive across town to the other branch of the gym so I can skate there. It might seem silly to make the drive, but if I want to succeed then I have to be willing to push myself further and harder and faster. So here I am and there I go.

Do I feel sexier? Not yet. Do I see progress better than I did before? I’m starting to. When will I feel sexy? Who knows. Does my partner find me sexy? Yes. Does that help my outlook on things? Certainly. So while I’m not where I wanna be, I can’t bring myself to order sexy lingerie to wear, or I still have a hard time with my own nudity. I’m getting to sexy. Slowly.

Will sexy be the be all, end all of my journey? Not even close, but it will help. I want to empower others like myself who are overweight and struggle to feel sexy to be comfortable in their own skin, whether that means a gym routine like mine or simply learning to love yourself the way you are. Sexy is, after all, a state of mind.

Fat and Sexy: Changes

Alright, since my last post I’ve done a few things. I got with my mom and she helped me plan out a three month exercise routine that lets me ramp up how much I’m in the gym and exercising. By September I should be exercising 5 days a week, either at the gym or on my skates. Right now, to think about that seems scary…and exhausting. I’m having trouble motivating myself to go three times a week right now. Anyone got any good tips for motivation? But I know if I want to reach my goals I gotta go.

Speaking of goals…I don’t really see the successes when they happen. I have to rely on other people to tell me if I’m losing weight or if I’ve gained muscle or even if my weight lifting is improving, despite the obvious advancement of the number of pounds I’m lifting. My brain lies to me on this front and it gets incredibly frustrating, but small goals completely go right over my head. I’m trying to learn how to keep that from happening, but how do I figure it out when my brain lies to me and tells me the opposite is happening? It is a mystery to me.

Anyway, my fat ass is trying. I have a goal tracker on my phone, I try to drink enough to stay hydrated (I’m terrible at it), and I’ve been monitoring my food portions as well as the amount of sugar and liquid calories that I consume. This means not eating all the chocolate in the house when I’m PMSing and not getting a giant iced coffee when I can get a small and putting less sugar in my coffee and iced tea. Now, that last bit about the sugar in my tea, that’s important y’all cause I grew up in the South and that is the land of BBQ and sweet tea, so that is a hard one to give up. My solution has just been more water, but it certainly isn’t the same.

I don’t know if I’m losing weight, my pants size hasn’t changed, and things feel very static, but my partner and my best friend both keep reminding me that change is a slow process and it is OK if it doesn’t happen overnight and there will be times I plateau out for periods of time. It’s frustrating. I’m not feeling any sexier or more attractive. In fact, I had a meltdown a few weeks ago because I think my stomach is gross and for a while I didn’t want my partner to see it or look at it or touch. It was really difficult for me on a lot of levels because I communicate so much through touch, but them touching me resulted in a couple of mini panic attacks. No fun and it is an issue I’m working my way through.

So I’ve made changes, I’m going to keep making them (hopefully they’ll continue to be good ones) and I’m working on moving forward with accepting my body, despite the setbacks I’ve had. If I’m perfectly honest with myself, one of my big goals is to drop two pants sizes within the next six to eight months and I feel like if I keep up with my routine and my portion control that I can do that. And if I can, that means I will be the smallest I’ve been in years and almost the smallest I was in high school. That I think I’ll be able to see and call progress. Here goes!

Wicked Wednesday – 262 – Blinded (Gorgeous?)

“Hello, Gorgeous.” I looked at my partner, then glanced around wondering if they were talking to me. As we were alone together, it seemed pretty obvious that I was the person being addressed. I just shook my head a little and gave them a hug. I absolutely couldn’t see why they were calling me gorgeous so I dismissed it and moved on.

Instead of being upset or annoyed with me for not acknowledging what they meant as a compliment, they have only kept repeating that same statement to me, sometimes multiple times a day or with slight variations for the last five years. Maybe eventually I’ll get it. I’ll get out of bed one morning and look in the mirror and see what my partner sees. Or there will be some crazy transcendental moment mid-orgasm. I don’t know.

I do know that I’ve never considered myself to even be cute, much less words like beautiful or gorgeous, both of which I am frequently called by my absolute favorite person in the world. Instead I look in the mirror and all I can see are the flaws that make me so human and imperfect and what I see isn’t good enough. It never has been for as long as I can remember. In a world where looks appear to be valued over everything else, I was raised to be the smart one. And it taught me that smart girls/women aren’t pretty. We’re awkward and maybe a little ugly on the outside, but beautiful on the inside (where it counts.) Being fat as well means I feel like I have that hurdle to jump as well, but I can’t jump; no really I broke a bone trying track once.

So here I am, over 30, overweight, and left staring at a reflection that I just don’t see as positive. Granted I no longer see myself as overwhelmingly negative and sometimes I don’t even see myself in a negative light at all. So I might be making tiny steps towards progress if you can call being neutral about one’s own image progress. But that neutrality often leaves me feeling a bit blind, because I don’t really look at myself in a mirror unless I am deliberately searching for whatever flaw I might have, either real or perceived. Often, I wonder what is wrong with me that I can be so conscious of my own appearance that I can’t just relax and see the good things about myself.

Of course, then I tell myself that there is nothing good about my appearance and I move on to something else that nags at me or my self esteem or whatever. I’ve just accepted that I’m never going to be the “pretty one”; instead I’m considered smart and that is supposed to be enough in a society where the female form is supposed to aspire to reach unattainable heights of beauty that I know I will never see. And my partner always comes back to “Hello, Gorgeous.”

wickedwednesday

If you missed last week’s Wicked Wednesday, you can find it here.

The Behavior and Belief of Young Women and Their Sexual Pleasure

This article is based off of a Ted Talk given by Peggy Orenstein regarding how young women see themselves and their sexual experiences and pleasure. The link can be found here.

Understanding consent is a vital part of growing up and dealing with the amount of sexual assault and rape culture in today’s society, particularly on college campuses. Young people must understand the ground rules of consent. This requires open honest discussion about what “yes.” means and what happens afterwards. There is a feeling of entitlement to engage in sexual behavior, but not a feeling of the idea that women could enjoy it.

Many young women describe their earliest sexual encounter as not responsible or enjoyable and often not even reciprocal. One young woman didn’t realize that her smart, strong image didn’t include sex. These young people are engaging in other behaviors like oral sex, instead of traditional penis in vagina sex, because often girls will provide the oral sex in order to avoid a situation that they don’t want to be in or as a form of protection. Young men or boys seldom reciprocate, but will expect a blowjob in lieu of sex.

Because there has always been a shadow cast over the female genitalia where they were made to feel dirty or unclean this creates a feeling of shame that is almost an indoctrination of the evils of female genitals. At the same time they are taught that their genitals are sacred. Studies show that this can lead to many young women removing most or all of their pubic hair, because they feel cleaner, or because they feel it can be humiliating because young guys might be (or are likely to be compared to older men) grossed out and would talk poorly about them. As this trend of shaving has risen is has the trend of labiaplasty in teenage girls. This is not a medically indicated procedure as a rule and can include side effects such as scarring, numbness, and diminished sexual sensation. It can also be problematic simply because it isn’t a part of a young girls sexual knowledge in many cases because, as you’re read more below, young women simply aren’t taught about the anatomy of their genitalia.

A psychologist at the University of Michigan posited the idea of intimate justice has political and personal effects on both partners. This theory raises issues about inequality, health, and violence among other thing. So who is entitled to engage and enjoy a sexual experience? The speaker kept coming back to the idea that the earliest sexual experiences they have aren’t things to “get over.” Women will use their sexual experiences to say that if their male partner is satisfied then so are they. Young men judged good sex on their own orgasms.

If sexual encounters are defined by young women with the words depressing, humiliating or degrading, and in almost 30% of sexual encounters women report pain during it, what does that say about the education for young women and men when it comes to sex ed? We can and should be doing better to provide education for these young people so they can go into their future and be able to make informed decisions, regarding consent, sexual activity, and help them define the parameters of that sexual encounter in a way that allows both partners to receive pleasure from the act. This is something that is important for a person’s entire life, not just as randy college students finding out who they are from a sexual standpoint.

Wanting your partner to be happy is not a bad thing or feel close to them, but there are many other ways to experience sexual pleasure or to enrich a relationship such as intimate touch or simple cuddling. An orgasm isn’t the only measure of happiness and the absence of pain should not be the bar for your own sexual happiness as a woman. Instead she should be able to have a pain free consenting encounter that gives her and her partner pleasure, that may or may not include orgasm.

“Parents of female children go right from navel to knees” and often skip explaining their genitals to them. It again, goes back to being ashamed of the female sex. And when sex education comes into play, boys are told about erections and ejaculation, where girls aren’t taught about how their sex organs work, but instead about periods and unplanned pregnancy; the idea of the vulva or clitoris is never mentioned. I know when I was a child that was the stereotype that I was taught. And it created something of a “psychological clitoraldectemy.” Not knowing how one’s sexual organs function is a problem and it can mean that many girls and young women don’t begin to learn their bodies or masturbate in a healthy way. This is a problem in their adult life, when these young women realize they have no idea what they want from sex or how they get pleasure from sex. I feel like this is part of why many young women say that hey are satisfied if their (typically male) partner reaches orgasm

In same sex encounters there is no orgasm gap and that is a liberating feeling that lets them work out their own scenarios of intercourse that don’t necessarily fall inside the norm. This gives gay girls a wholly different perspective on their sexuality and not having sexual intercourse for the reason of shedding their virginity. Some of them define their loss of virginity by achieving their first partnered orgasm.

Thinking of sex as something organic and not rushing towards a goal means that thing like intimacy, sensual touch, a pool of experiences of desire and touch and arousal. Sex must be talked about and normalized into everyday life in order to make those things OK. A study from a both a Dutch and American university had wildly varying results because the Dutch students were taught from an early age about sex and pleasure. American parents framed such conversations as risky or dangerous behavior. The Dutch children were taught more about consent and responsibility and enjoying themselves. The conclusion drawn here is simply that being more open and forthcoming about sex and sexuality with your children is going to lead to (gasp) them being more responsible and get more enjoyment out of sex. It needs to become far less of a taboo topic.

Hopefully, eventually a young girl can see her sexuality and revel in her sensuality instead of being afraid of the risks of sex, such as disease or violence, not to mention unwanted pregnancy. These girls have a voice and should be demanding that intimate justice for their own lives. Making the entire country more aware or sex positive could lead to better protections for assault victims and a happier, healthier sexual culture where young women or men aren’t afraid to come forth about what they need or want regarding their sexuality.

KOTW 5/16-5/31 – Crawling

Crawling. A baby’s first method of movement towards the process of walking upright. Something done by young children who just don’t want to walk or are playing pretend. How is crawling sexy when that is all that comes to mind for me?

To be honest, its not. I’ve tried to understand. I’ve even tried to slink across the floor myself but I just looked silly and awkward. I lack the innate grace, it seems, for an adult to look good crawling. I also hate being on my hands and knees because I find it uncomfortable at best. At its worst it could be used as an actual form of punishment for me in my relationship (no one tell Sir that, OK.)

I can’t even pretend to understand this kink. I was going to write a story about it instead of sharing my ramblings, but I couldn’t get past the first few lines. Hell, I understand it so little even this pseudo rant is difficult for me to write. I feel like Bart Simpson here, “I will not write about crawling.” “I will not write about crawling.” But here I am, left wondering what I can say that would be of any use to any one who reads this.

Maybe the idea of watching your guy or girl crawl across the floor to you is really hot and it turns you on. Maybe you like to make your submissive crawl because it puts them further into that head space that they (and you) might want them to be in. Whatever the reason behind it; why it turns you on, can someone please explain it to me?

Fat and Sexy – Struggles

So I’d been doing better and feeling better for a while. I really had. But I started slacking for various reasons, none of which were good, and while I’m holding at a size 24, I still want to be smaller, healthier, and yes, sexier. Recently I was in physical therapy for some knee pain and while I’ve not been given any restrictions on what I can and can’t do, I’m still not DOING anything.

Which is making me feel awful and very, very much not sexy. My gym routine has basically become non-existent and that fitness class only has two more sessions before it goes on hiatus for the summer, which means if I want to stay in shape over the summer I have to hit the gym or skate outdoors. And I have to get back to watching what I eat because especially lately, I feel like my appetite has been out of control. I’m at a point where things are really getting hard for me and it all started when I quit going to the gym. To make it worse I had gained back some weight. Not much. Just enough to make me frustrated with myself, to feel like I was worthless.

So it looks like I need to do several things. Re-evaluate my goals to start with and see what I can do to help them along over the coming months. And my goals are simple things like the gym and skating and eating better. I can do all those things. I’ve done all those things. So I’m going to do them again. In fact, by the time you read this post, I should have been doing them again for at least a few weeks. Feel free to tweet at me and ask. Accountability is a good thing.

At this point though, I haven’t cried or shied away from the mirror too much. I’m trying to be more honest with myself about my body, what it looks like. And what it might look like after I lose weight when I realize that I still don’t like the way I look, which might happen. I’m also trying to handle the fact that I gained some weight back in a reasonable fashion. Yes, my immediate response was to be upset and I still find it bothersome that I slipped off the wagon so to speak, but is less than 10 pounds really that big of a deal? I mean it shouldn’t be and to a lot of people it probably isn’t. But to me I’m having to consciously make the decision to not let it be a big deal or I will obsess over it and only make myself miserable.

Right now, I know my strengths, my weakness, my failures. I also know my plans, my goals, and my reality. So it is time for me to get my shit together, turn all those negative things to dust and take the positive things and run with them. Well, not actually run because I’d have two black eyes…but you know what I mean I hope. I may be struggling right now, but there is always tomorrow and another chance to be better.

Fat and Sexy – Moving Forward

In my first fat and sexy post I indicated that I could be fat and sexy at the same time. And I knew that was true, but what I hadn’t realized was how little I really believed in the idea that fat and sexy go together. That was especially true when my clothes came off. Dressed I can wear clothing like armor and in the right outfit I can forget that I’m fat, I can be sexy. If I was feeling really down on my body I would try harder than usual to keep it covered, even from my partner. Staying dressed all day, changing quickly in the dark bedroom, diving under blankets at bedtime so I couldn’t be seen, so my fat was hidden. Never mind that they have already seen me naked more times than I can count. Sometimes bad days are bad days I guess.

More exercise has helped and I continue to be motivated to exercise because I’m trying to reach goals that I set for myself. Being stronger is one of my big goals. Being smaller or skinnier is, to an extent, a lesser goal, but a goal nonetheless. I want to be able to wear cute clothes and not have to shop in the men’s department for t-shirts. And I’m getting there, slowly.

But recently, I had a huge revelation. My partner and I were cuddling in bed after sex (Yes, fat people have sex too) and they were holding me tightly against them, just where I like to be, and said to me,”You’re beautiful and I love you.” Now this may seem incredibly insignificant to most people. It is something a lover would say. It is something that mine has often said to me over the years we have been together. For the longest time I never believed hearing that I was beautiful or gorgeous was the truth. I would heavily discount those words as nothing more than words. I couldn’t understand how they could possibly apply to me. Yet, for whatever reason, that night, no different from any of the other times we’ve shared a bed or cuddled or made love, I actually believed them. My partner said something to me that for years I’ve struggled to accept and finally it seems to have sunk into my head.

Just because I’m fat doesn’t automatically make me ugly, unworthy, or undesirable. It just means I’m fat. And obviously people see that. But what people don’t see is the truth that my partner is teaching me. They’re not saying I’m beautiful because I’m fat, they’re not putting qualifiers on the idea that being thinner would make me more beautiful; they are simply telling me what they see when they look at me.

And if what my partner sees is beauty, then who am I to contradict them and disbelieve them. I know what I look like in my own eyes and I will probably always struggle with that, but I can never tell what someone else will see when they look at me. And I need to learn to let those insecurities go and trust the person who loves me most. I think having it sink into my head that they honestly find me beautiful is the first step to making that change. So here I am.