Weighty matters

images[6]This is the post that has me stuck. This is the post I need to write to get unstuck.

I don’t want to. I’d rather do other un-fun things like shave my legs and file my taxes.    

But I’ve grown tired of existing in this stand-still place.

So, here goes nothing. Or possibly everything.

My body.

My body has served me well for the past 49 years. That’s almost five decades. Half a century. I’ve been around as long as soft contact lenses, Astroturf and the Pillsbury Doughboy, folks.

Growing up, I was of average weight. I was thick and muscular. I had a softball player’s physique.

Thanks to a steady diet of cafeteria food, late night snacking and beer, I put on the freshman 15 in college and held onto it for the next four years.

I went through a weird girly phase post-college. It was like I had been abducted by aliens. I started growing and painting my fingernails. I had long hair. I lost weight. I was skinny. I wore dresses and heels and lacy thigh-high nylons from Victoria’s Secret.

I got married.

I came out.

I got divorced.

I started to put the weight back on.

images[2]

That’s me … under the covers.

I went from Sporty Lesbian (the sixth and lesser known Spice Girl) to soft butch to butch. And with each transition, I added weight.

The weight was my armor. It protected me from the world. It insulated me from myself.

Everything bounced off my armor. The stares, the sirs, the disapproval, real and imagined.

I don’t need the extra weight anymore. It has served its purpose. It is weighing me down. It is stopping me from living my best butch life.

I want to be lighter for a variety of reasons. To be healthier and to have more energy and to move more easily through this world. To look that good in a tucked in flannel shirt and big ol’ silver belt buckle. To wear baggy jeans that feel like home. To swagger a little harder and a little longer.  

But also to complete my butch vision for myself that I will draw with straight lines and sharp angles.

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24 responses to “Weighty matters

  1. You got this… 🙂 what’s your email btw.

  2. You can do anything you put your mind to. If you focus on being healthy by changing what you eat, when and how much, managing stress, and doing some form of exercise…you’re body will transform itself. Establish the new norm. Remember: you are a superhero. 🙂

    “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
    ― A.A. Milne

    • Thanks, Jill. You’re the best. I know I can. It’s just a matter of doing it. The blog post was the first step. And a big one at that. How can I not succeed with so many people rooting for me.

  3. You go, Butch. You got this. That idea of the weight as armor really resonates with me. PM me on Twitter if you want to go the buddy route. I’m a great cheerleader and am happy to be the out-of-sight booster for a fellow butch on a mission. Peace.

  4. Hey there! When I came out as trans in April my go-to for comfort became food. Now I am basically where you are now…Ready to see myself for who I really am. We don’t need to hide, at least I think I can give that up, behind the pounds that once ‘protected’ us.
    We live relatively close. Perhaps we could walk a trail on a reg basis.
    Thanks, jill, for for your comment. You ARE the best.

  5. You can do it! Besides good health is always a plus ^_^

  6. I also resonate with the idea of hiding behind extra weight in a body that did not resemble the real me. I congratulate you on taking the first step and declaring your intent. You are an inspiration, and I will follow your example (since the “real me” seems to be trying to cover up again).

  7. I wish you luck. It took me 2 years. I used to pretend that if I ate cake of any kind I’d go into apoplectic shock. I still cant look at cheesecake without seeing oxygen tents.
    Jean-Paul

    • Well, there’s one way to do it. Glad to hear you were successful. Maybe I could pretend that if I ate cake my collection of Melissa Etheridge CDs would burst into flames.

  8. At the risk of sounding like a paid shill for Weight Watchers, all I can say is that losing weight is hard, and keeping it off is harder and doesn’t have the clear reward that losing weight has. The most unfair thing is that once you lose weight, you have to eat to maintain a low weight (not eat to maintain your old weight).
    I needed to accept that I had to change how I ate not just to lose weight, but that I had to find a way to eat that I could keep doing (essentially forever) or the weight would come back on. For me that is a predominantly vegetarian (some fish) Mediteranean kind of diet and very little alcohol (beer is good because I can nurse it and it fills me up) and very few sweets. Lots of fruit and fresh vegetables. A lot less bread and butter.
    I find it easier to give certain things up than to be moderate about them – so I don’t eat anything deep fried (french fries), muffins, Girl Scout cookies, or anything smothered in cheese (nachos or lasagna). They just trigger binging. You will need to experiment for what works for you – and then keep doing it after you hit a weight that seems right for you.

    • First Oprah and now you with the whole Weight Watchers thing. Glad to hear beer doesn’t have to be off limits. Thanks for the advice!

      • There are many things that I despise about Weight Watchers – it is relentlessly and cheerfully heterosexist and suburban soccer momish – it just happens that I can make the program work for me.
        There is nothing even close to a butch or genderqueer or trans masculine person anywhere in their world. We are all just trying to fit into a m-f-king dress….(prom, graduation, wedding, or mother of the bride).

      • Like they sing in the Facts of Life theme song: You take the good, you take the bad … If WW works for you, so be it. I know it is always ranked as one of the top diets to lose weight and keep it off. Kudos to you for sticking with it.

  9. Good luck! I too have written about my food and weight issues and it does bring it into the world a little more.

  10. Rae, You can do this! 👍 No need for armor anymore. You are sooooo loved by sooooo many. Find the best practices that work for you – diet, mindful eating, moving (I’m not crazy about the word “exercise,”, affirmations, even meditation. Whatever your choices, always talk kindly to yourself. I’m here rooting for you.

  11. I’m on this path, too…started a few months ago. It’s a tough fight, but like anything else, you have to start somewhere, and this is a big first step you’ve made. Congrats, and maybe we can compare notes along the way. Safety in numbers and all that.

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