Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Post I Never Believed I Had Guts Enough To Write

I have put this post off for awhile.

I pride myself in being able to share almost anything with anyone. Secrets are dangerous things.

I believe wholeheartedly that people - when they discover a weakness that you have secreted away- will use it to hurt you.

This is why I blog, I guess.

Anyone can say almost anything to try to hurt me and I can respond with (nonchalantly), "Oh, yes. I told the world that in a post on September 23, 2005....".

There is no power in something already told.

I have shared my views on relationships and love a few times, but after some soul searching evenings of thought, I need to go deeper here.

And you're coming with me whether you like it or not.

Let me just admit right off that these evenings have been inspired by the news that Voldemort has a girlfriend. He Who Must Not Be Named finally did what I have fully expected him to do. And I did absolutely nothing to stop it.

But, anyway.....

I have battle with my weight for most of my life. But, luckily for me, I have never weathered the injurious torture that many heavy people endure. I have never been teased for it, even in Junior High. I always hung out with the "popular" kids (gag) and I have never lacked for friends.

In High School I took control of my weight with diet and - admittedly now- an unhealthy amount of exercise. Exercise is good, but I would ride my bicycle up huge hills twenty miles plus a day, lift weights in the morning, and usually be participating in a school sport like basketball or long distance running in track. If I did not do all three things on any given day I would cry and worry and obsess.

It was not in any way a healthier lifestyle, although I definitely projected that image from the outside. I was hot. Six feet tall, 150 lbs of pure unadulterated muscle. And I got a lot of attention from boys and men. What it eventually provided me with were knees that will need to be replaced due to the abuse I put them through.

Fast forward to age 25. I was pregnant. About 6 months into it things changed drastically between John and I. All of a sudden I became a mother - no longer a lover. After I had Maya, John went to Alaska for the summer to work and I stayed in Montana for the summer on the ranch. He would call to check on us, ask about the baby, and ask me if I was losing weight. Just imagine his surprise when he came home and.hadn't hadn"t lost hardly any weight.

Things progressed in a downward spiral from there. And, in the middle of it all I had another baby. Thank God for Sophie, but my body and my self esteem began a simultaneous and rapid decline. I believe that John enjoyed attacking me about my weight. In the end he even told me, "Who will want you but me? Your fat ass and two black babies?"

And I believed him.

But oh, don't worry, I pulled myself out from under his hate and ambivalence, moved out, found myself and began working on getting my self esteem back. I thought I had done it until a few nights ago. I had a realizatididn't

I didn't approach Voldemort for a variety of reasons....

  1. He has no kids and would be a great father and I want no other kids because I think it would be terribly unfair to my girls.
  2. I have always been the one to make the first move. It has worked to my advantage, but I wanted to feel what it was like to be pursued.
  3. And ultimately.....I still believe what John pounded into my head. Why would he (or anyone) really want me?

The feminist me shouts, "It's not like that! It's his way of controlling you! You are a beautiful person inside and out and no one looks like a fashion model. You have more to offer than almost anyone out there!"

The logical me whispers in my ear incessantly, "You're a single Mom with a lot of baggage, and let's face it, a fat ass, and this is not what is attractive. You have to admit that there has to be some attraction first before anyone is going to get close enough to learn about you. Jesus Christ, girl, you know how to exercise, just excercise and watch what you eat. You've done it before, just do it again. Quit being such a wimp."

And sadly, as much as I love what the feminist me says, the logical me has it pegged - and I will tell you why.

As a in-shape hot young thing I had my choice (within reason) of relationships or even flings if I wanted them. They were right there waiting for me just to say the word. Men would talk to me, engage me in conversation, flirt, dance, etc.

I haven't had a guy engage me in benign conversation outside of necessity for a very long time. No men just walk up to me and start talking anymore. It's not like I am unapproachable. I am a very social person. I'm not mean, aggressive or rude. I laugh. I tell jokes.

But they will talk to anyone but me.

And it's not like I haven't given it some time. It's been eight years for Christ's sake. I think the "just wait, it comes to you when you're least expecting it" thing is getting a little ridiculous.

Some men are intimdated by my height. But when I was thin, these tiny 5'2" men would make "summiting Everest" comments while learing at my boobs. There is a big differnce in being a 6'0" tall thin woman and a 6'0" tall fat person.

There just is. And it pisses me off.

Don't get me wrong, I don't really want little men learing at my boobs, but the lack of any type of acknowledgement is the hardest to swallow.

I take up more room, but I am invisible.

I have decided to look at this logically. Get out your paper and pencils - seriously - and work through this with me. Remember plotting points on a graph in Algebra class? This is what we are going to do.....

Excercise 1

1. Draw the upper right hand quadrant of a graph.
2. Label the perpendicular (the one that points up) line "External Perfection"
3. Label the bottom line "Weight in Pounds"
4. Draw a line of plot points from the top of the perpendicular line of "External Perfection" to the end of the "Weight" line. (It will be a line that runs from the upper left hand side of exercise to the lower right hand side)

Excercise 2

1. Draw the same kind of graph.
2. Label the perpendicular line"Internal Perfection"
3. Label the bottom line "Weight in Pounds"
4. Draw the plot points from the bottom right of the graph to the top right.

Now, combine the two graphs, one over the other. The area that the lines cross is the "sweet spot", the spot where you are at your most attractive. Draw a circle around this point giving it an approximate 20 - 30 pound diameter. This is the "Circle of Dating Acceptance". The farther you fall outside the circle, the crappier it gets, people.

And it's stupid.

The person I am now compared to the person I was then is exponentially better, funnier, kinder, more responsible and accepting than the person I ever could have even imagined being while I resided within the "Circle of Dating Acceptance".

So, here is what it all comes down to. I think I have not lost this weight because I am waiting for that person to come along who would fall in love with me despite my weight. They would prove to me that they would love me the way that I am. Then I could get all perfect and beautiful because I wanted to, not because I had to do it to be considered good enough.

If I lose it now and some guy approaches me with some cheesy line or compliment, I swear to God I will knock him down and kick his teeth out.

If I lose it before I find love, I will never trust that it was realy love at all.

I know I have to lose weight for my health. I know I will be a happier person for it, in a way.

But I just want the world to know right now that when this extra weight comes off, my hope for finding anyone to love comes off with it.

And don't tell me how wrong I am. I am not in the mood right now to believe otherwise.

P.S. -I am going to conquer another of my blogging fears, and that is posting pictures of myself. Granted, these are pictures that I find passable. No horrific angles or crazy double chin action (well, not a lot anyway). I really want people to see where I'm coming from. I don't need to be helped out of bed with a crane or anything.

(Oh, and I don't always wear a sparkly dress and red lipstick. But hey, use your imagination.)


At 10:44 AM, Blogger Ant said...

Y'know, I suspected the blogosphere was being denied a pretty face and I was right. I'm so glad you conquered your fear of personal pic posting... :o)

Personally, I think people get dating and love mixed up far too much. Appearance and how often you get approached by sleazy blokes that are just after the goods, has little to do with the deeper stuff like meeting of minds, hearts, etc.

You've got so much to offer that it makes me kind of mad that you're letting relative strangers affect your self-esteem like that...

If you want to lose weight, do it for yourself. Not anyone else. If you don't want to lose it, don't.

(Sorry, I know you're not in the mood, but my nannying tones are silenced for no man... or woman... :o)

At 1:31 PM, Blogger anika said...

Shari you are beautiful and SO. MUCH. FUN. and you are amazing. Please don't let fuckwits in Seattle (and surrounding area)have any impact on how you see yourself. I absolutely adore you, you know.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Sweetheart, you are freakin beautiful.

Lose weight or don't lose weight, but do whatever you choose for you.

But don't ever lose any bit of you internally because you are a wonderful mother and a wonderful person from what I can see. And don't let anyone take that away. Ever. Because I might march my ass over to the greater Seattle region and beat that person up. Got it. Now I think you need to go take that sweet looking self dancing in your sparkly dress.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger rennratt said...


You are beautiful! I have struggled with my weight for my entire life. Things started looking up when I stopped calling myself FAT. I prefer the word 'sturdy'. As in 'I can hold my own'. I am 5'4" and a size 16.

I understand the frustration. You are going to be ok. Feel free to swing by NC for a little warmth - and bring those gorgeous girls of yours with you.

In case you need to read it from a stranger - Your EX is an IDIOT.

We love you just the way you are. Thank you for sharing.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

The first thought when I saw the first photo was 'nice legs'! Woohoo!

I like what Ant said about dating vs love, and also about losing weight for yourself.

I don't have any extra words of wisdom for you but your post made me sad. I've never been one that guys notice first off or try to chat up so I can't relate to that (or loss thereof) so much.

Don't abandon your feminist voice, it is right too.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger Squishi said...

hA! You just wrote that exact post about me. Well, maybe i'm you're evil twin on the other side of the planet.

Oh, but i don't have kids, i'm 5'2" and i am a "kg" kind of girl, not "lbs".

But still.

You wrote my story.

And I think you look lovely. Stuff men. You be happy with yourself and improve yourself if YOU want to, don't do anything to change for anyone else.... you're beautiful just the way you are.

Tall, but beautiful :)

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Amy said...


This is my story, too. Almost exactly. I'm not sure what the turning point will be for me to start losing and getting a grip, but I totally agree with wanting someone to want me and THEN if I lose weight it'll be even better.

I agree about no one talks to me now, either. I was social, I was funny, I was well-liked, too. And now, people seem to only notice what is on the outside.

Thanks for telling our story!

Beautiful pictures, by the way!

At 9:01 AM, Blogger said...


Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You are brave, and I have a newfound respect for the person you are. You've given us clues along the way to how amazing you are, but this proved it that much more.

I have to say that I think that you'll find love, regardless of how you look or don't look. You seem to me to be a person with a lot of love to give, and that's important and an accomplishment in and of itself.

And, you should know that you're not alone. I've noticed that people look at me much differently than they used to. I know I've gained weight. And so help me, if my husband EVER says anything like what you've endured, I'd be in a lawyer's office so quickly he wouldn't know what hit him. I'm ready to start making changes, but I'm not making them for anyone else. I have to make the choice for myself, and so do you.

I wish you the best of luck in all you do, as long as you focus on what makes you and your girls happy. (And, while we're at it, cross your fingers for me!)


At 10:29 AM, Blogger Janie said...

Yowsa! You are one hot mama!! Thank you for being honest. You are so wise and inspirational. I can't wait to play with you again!!

At 7:29 AM, Blogger Grafxgurl said...

He shoul dbe thanking God for having a wife like you.. so many people are alone in this world.. praying for a partner.... i know because i was one of those people.. i recently got married.. and my husband told me how terrible it feels to be alone....

your guy should really not take you for granted...he's gonna lose a good thing.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Omnibus Driver said...

Darlin' you're gorgeous just as you are. Want to meet great guys? Go to a blogmeet. In fact, go to lots of blogmeets. They'll already have fallen in love with your writing!

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

Hey that's YOU!!!
Why didn't you tell me you were showing you on here?!

You're cuuuuuuuuuute, and even though it's not the best shot, you look to have really nice legs.
Jerk likey.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger tiff said...

I am so late to this party...but like the other wanted to thank you for writing my story. Not the divorce part (for now, eh? :>) but all the rest.

I mourn my old body, and want it back, but I guess I don't want it so badly as to starve myself and work out 3 hours a day anymore. Maybe one day I will find a way to recapture the old me in a healthy way. Until then, I work on the rest of me.

At 8:37 PM, Blogger shayze said...

Wow! Reading this felt just like reading my own thoughts, finally written out. Thanks for giving that voice to all of us women out there who aren't the ideal size!

At 9:32 AM, Blogger trinamick said...

Just getting caught up on your blog, but I gotta say - that loser had it all wrong. Who WOULDN'T want you with a little junk in the trunk and two beautiful daughters? It's not weight that makes the difference, it's a good heart that any decent human being is looking for.

I met a lady the other day who married her boyfriend AFTER he had a serious accident and was paralyzed from the chest down. They couldn't have kids or do anything else, but she loved him for who he was, not what he looked like. They were happily married for 60 years. How cool is that?

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Shallow Water said...

Been lurking around your blog for a while and this is my favorite post, which is no small flattery. Most bloggers raise the curtain on their lives, but rarely allow you backstage to see the rigging. Well done.

I've also watched the comments arrive, and they are, for the most part, collusive. They are burdened with compassion and blinded by affection for you. I am only blinded.

I am no Fitzwilliam Darcy. I am middle-aged, balding, and a lot softer than I would like. My financial prospects are poor and my romatic prospects poorer still. I drive a mini-van. And despite all of this, your weight would preclude ME from asking YOU out.

Feminists insist that I have been poisoned by the media's portrayal of idealized women. I don't think so. I have seen first hand the toll that time takes on the bodies of both sexes, and frankly, I'm ok with it. The bellies, the boobs, the bumpy asses, we all suffer the ravages of gravity and dimished hunting/gathering. But I have fantasized over too many average-sized, middle-aged soccer moms to deny their appeal. So why not you? Honestly, I'm guessing about 20 pounds. That and the fact that you would probably give me that "I know what you're thinking, you sad little pervert" look. That wrecks the fantasy for me.

Trust your instincts on this one. You'll be lying on your deathbed whispering "what the fuck was I thinking? Twenty pounds...".

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fell in love with you when you at this size. Screw love, go for the happiness.-E

At 12:15 AM, Blogger eda said...





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