I made a terrible faux pas today.
I got an email today from my boss, John. (not his real name of course.) It simply said that our company was giving out jackets to all of their employees at the Company Outing this year, and asked for us to get back to him with a spreadsheet of all of the employees at our site and what size jacket to order. At the bottom of the email was a forward from the HR director, with a size chart.
I stared at the size chart for what felt like a long amount of time. Really what I was doing was trying to rationalize myself down to a smaller size. "Self, this isn't a jacket that you're going to wear in the winter. Get the smaller size." Finally I decided that this was stupid...I should order the size that is comfortable and emailed him back. "John, since it's just me at ____ Senior Housing, please put me down for a size 2X." -"Crafty Mama"
Then, I realized in horror that I had just hit "reply all." And every manager in his portfolio now knows that I wear a size 2X. (And oh yes, I'm aware that I just published this on the internet. There's a point to this, I promise I'm getting there.) I was embarrassed and yes, ashamed. I called my husband and told him what I had done and he was very soothing. I felt better after I hung up.
Then I got to thinking. And started to get angry. Why should I be embarrassed??? I looked at the list of managers on the CC. They're all people that I know in real life. Every single one of them has seen me. They know that I am fat, so the sizing isn't some huge surprise. Why's Crafty Mama getting such a huge jacket?
WHOA! Don't bust a nut over the fact that I just called myself fat. I don't mean it in a derogatory manner. It's really the only word out there that I am comfortable with in defining myself. It's a no-bullshit, straight to the point term.. I'm simply calling it what it is. This is not shocking to me. It's not like I don't know....I DO know. I am tired of feeling ashamed, and embarrassed.
I finally get to the point where if I am hot I will wear something without sleeves. My office has a broken heating system right now, so today it was eighty degrees in there. Without a window. I wore a dress to work yesterday and I SHOWED MY ARMS. Five years ago, I can remember apologizing to people for showing my bare arms. Apologizing. This is unacceptable.
I am tired of it being OK to bash overweight people. I want to take that guy that owns Abercrombie and Fitch and punch him in the face. You don't want fat chicks wearing your clothes? We don't want to wear them anyway, your overpriced, hyped, boring hipster clothes. I'm happy to keep my money, and I'm thrilled to check out H+M's new plus size line. Fat people are just that, PEOPLE. We are PEOPLE FIRST. I am defined by many things. I am a woman, a mother, a daughter. I am a manager, a business professional. I knit. I cook. I soothe children. I love libraries. I adore adopted shelter pets. I am me. I may be fat, but my fat doesn't define who I am. Am I healthy? Not as much as I could be. But mental health walks hand-in-hand with physical, and I am done beating myself up and wishing myself a smaller size. I am a size 2X. I'm over it, and the rest of the world should be too.