Identity Crisis

Back in July, my friend jibbi posted a thing to her tumblr that struck a chord with me.

Even though I’m not a runner (high-impact activities may exacerbate my spinal condition), one of my first thoughts about the the “Too Fat To Run” website/campaign was that I’d look either insulting or ironic in a Too Fat To Run t-shirt, because I’m no longer obese.

Finally, finally, I look at myself and I look at others and I feel normal.


I still have my moments (and there are many of them) of being frustrated about that paunchy upper belly, or the lower abdominal fat that seriously does run in my family, or my upper-arm batwings or my thighs or any of a number of body shape indignities. On the other hand, I also have my moments in the Fitness Center when I look at myself in the mirror and see definition in my shoulders and biceps, and I realize that the borderline obese lady on the other side of the classroom is in a completely different world than I am right now. Still, I don’t feel like I’m in the same league as the instructor, or the ultra-skinny-minnies who also frequent the fitness classes.

I’m in-between.

I no longer identify as a “fat person,” as I have my entire life. That’s a sea change right there. That’s a huge win. It’s not the numbers on the scale that made that mental flip happen — although, I can’t lie, it does feel good to be within the “normal” weight range for my height. It’s not the tags on my clothes, either — although, again, it feels good to be in the lowest size I’ve ever comfortably been as an adult. (I think I sausaged myself into some size 12 jeans in high school, but we didn’t have a term for “muffin top” back then.)

So, what was it? When did this mental flip happen?

I can’t put my finger on it, any more than I can identify the exact moment when I deconverted from religion. I just know that, one day, it occurred to me that I was seeing things from the other side.

Granted, I still have bad days — sometimes several in a row. I still have moments of frumpiness. Overall, though, in the grand scheme of things, I no longer look at myself in the mirror in the morning and see a big fat fatty, fatty boombalatty. Instead, I see a middle-aged mom who’s healthier now than she was in her supposed prime.

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