Watch Out For The Big Girl: Thoughts???

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The other night a friend of mine invited me to a last minute gathering at his apartment. It was a snowy Saturday and I had been inside all day, so I decided to venture out. It was a relaxed atmosphere, we had dinner, played games and had a lot of fun.

At one point I stepped outside to use my phone and when I came back into the apartment, a guy I didn’t know had hooked his iPod up to my friends stereo system and was playing DJ. Everyone was up dancing in the living room (a clear sign that we’d all had too much wine). The makeshift DJ was playing all types of music and I too had a bit of wine in my system, so I made my way into the living room and joined in.

That’s when he yelled “awwww YEAH!” and switched the song to this:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHQee6EqHIo]

I found it offensive… It made me not want to dance anymore, so I stopped. Like– why did he have to play that song the minute I started dancing? I wasn’t going to start bouncing people out of the room with my hips or anything….

I’ll open this up for discussion… What are YOUR thoughts???

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A New Years Kiss Gone Wrong (Part Four)

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If Jeremy was going to play dumb, I really couldn’t push things much further, so I planned to take Mayas party as my opportunity to make a final assessment of everything and then I would move forward… or move on.

The ensemble for the evening was: a magenta mini-skirt with a black halter. I opted for black tights (because it was like, 2 degrees in New York City) black heels and I carried every else I needed in a sparkly black clutch.

I arrived more than fashionably late, so by the time I checked my coat and made my way into the venue everyone was already there; including Jeremy. I made my way to Maya’s table and she handed me a flute of champagne. We toasted, posed for a few pictures and then I made my way around to greet everyone else.

The DJ was awesome and I jumped right onto the main dance floor with some friends that were there. As the night went on I danced with everyone, everyone… except Jeremy. Either I was crazy or he was avoiding me. But why was Jeremy avoiding me? This was the same Jeremy who, on many occasions would sweep me up in my kitchen and slow dance with me for no reason. Or who would play songs on my computer and sing them to me in my bedroom. So for us, dancing together was nothing new… but maybe since Maya was there, things were new, or at least different? I started to get an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach, so I had some more champagne and spent the rest of the night on the dance floor.

The night was drawing to a close and I had danced until my hair fell flat and I had to put it in a ponytail. This was it… he had avoided me, given all his attention to her and that was more than I could handle. Who cares if Maya was the birthday girl… if he had a real interest in me he would not have felt the need to be by her side the majority of the night. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t realize I had stopped dancing until bodies began to bump and push me. I took a few steps to the side and leaned against the wall.

Suddenly Jeremy was standing in front of me. He placed his palms on the wall behind me just over each of my shoulders… as if by instinct I hooked my hands onto his arms. His face was inches from mine.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hey.”

Why did this feel so wrong?

I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until his lips touched mine. The kiss was quick but it kick-started my breathing again. He kissed me again (what is with him and the double kiss??) Anyway, I couldn’t even enjoy the moment because I kept wondering if Maya could see us. I pushed him away.

“This is crazy,” I said.

I ducked under his arms, made my way off the dance floor, collected my coat and left. There was a 24 hour grocery store across the street and I decided to go inside. 20 minutes later I emerged with everything I’d need for the pity party breakfast I was planning to have the next morning.

I had been on the corner stomping my feet for warmth and trying to hail a taxi for a few minutes when a car pulled up beside me. It was Charlotte, Jeremy’s friend.

“Girl, get in… its freezing!”

I jumped in the car with a million thanks.

“No problem,” Charlotte replied. “I was just getting my car from the parking garage… I’m going to swing back to the club and pick up my boyfriend and Jeremy. Then I can drop you off at your place… Jeremy is really drunk!”

Jeremy? Seriously? Before I could protest, Charlotte’s boyfriend swung the car door open and began to push Jeremy’s limp body into the back seat.

CeCe!” Jeremy slurred.

I turned to Charlotte, “I just left like, 45 minutes ago and he was fine… how did he get this wasted?”

Charlotte just shrugged.

The ride home was pretty quiet, until Charlotte pulled up to my apartment. That’s when Jeremy mumbled “You knoooow… I’m in love with CeCeeee! Buut… she… doesn’t like me anymoooore!”

I didn’t even bother responding. I just thanked Charlotte for the ride and made my way into my apartment. I got inside, put away my groceries and took a long, hot shower. As I climbed into bed, Jeremy’s drunken words were still echoing in my head.

I’m in love with CeCe… She doesn’t like me anymore…

I didn’t know how much of what he said was true and that went for both statements.

I wasn’t sure if he was in love with me.

And honestly, I wasn’t sure if I liked him anymore.

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Large(girl) Lessons: The “Pity Pretty”

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Good morning class!

I am so excited about a new segment on TBGB called “Large(girl) Lessons”. Unlike “A Big Girl Rant” which is a segment mostly venting and complaining, these entries are meant to educate.

Today we will learn about something that is a subtle nuisance to PSP’s everywhere: The “Pity Pretty”.


Word/Expression:
Pity Pretty

Definition: When someone gives you a compliment out of obligation.

Origin: My sister, Denise, coined the term when she came to New York to visit me one summer and a flamboyant gay man saw me, stopped dead in his tracks and started singing/yelling/snapping about how “GORGEOUS!” I was. Before I could even say “thank you” he turned his head sharply towards Denise (who is much smaller than me and super cute) and gave her the “once over”.

“You’re pretty too,” He said flatly. And with that, he was out the door.

Awww man!” Denise said, “He just gave me a ‘Pity Pretty’!”

… and thus the phrase was born!

Now class, anyone (male or female, fat or skinny) can be the victim of a Pity Pretty, I mean– we’ve all been there when a friend gets attention for a fabulous outfit or haircut and then the gushing party quickly looks for something nice to say about us. That is a Pity Pretty!

But for a PSP the Pity Pretty often comes when someone gives us a compliment because it makes them feel better about themselves or makes them feel they’ve done a good deed.

Like when someone says “Well aren’t you gorgeous” and as they pat themselves on the back, their inner monologue is: I’m going to take the time to tell this overweight girl how beautiful she is because I’m willing to bet that people rarely think of her as attractive or ever bother to tell her so… So I will tell her! Because I always have been someone who can truly see beauty in any shape or size! I’ll probably make her day… or her week!

Is this making sense?

Class, I really want you to get this… so I’ll give you a few examples.

Example A:

The first time I got a Plus Size Pity Pretty I was 16 years old. I was away at vocal camp and ended up having a conversation with an openly gay 18 year old boy. We were having one of those “deep” teenage talks, and the subject turned to beauty.

“I guess I’m the type of person,” he said. “Who sees beauty in everything… I tend to think there can be beauty everywhere, even in things that are unattractive…” He swept his long hair away from his face dramatically as he continued, “…like you… I think you are beautiful.”

He gave me a smile that was so self-gratifying, it was almost as if he didn’t realize I was still there. In focusing solely on how open he was to see beauty in ugly things, he failed to realize what he was saying about me.

My heart sank.

Then out of nowhere came courage I didn’t know I had, I looked him square in the face and said,

“So… I’m unattractive?”

“Well— Er– No– What I meant was– You’re Just….” He stammered on for a few moments until I rolled my eyes and changed the subject.

Example B:

I was in college and I went to a gay bar for karaoke with some friends. I was standing near the bar when a guy swiveled around on his bar stool pointed at me and said “YOU are gorgeous…”

“Thanks,” I said casually.

He took my hand.

“No… listen to me you are a really pretty girl! You need to know that!”

“Okay,” I said.

“I don’t care what anyone else says… You. Are. Fabulous!!”

I pulled my hand away and walked outside. Before I knew it my eyes were stinging and my throat was tight, I took deep breaths to keep the tears from falling. He had said so many “nice” things but what stuck out to me was “I don’t care what anyone else says…” What exactly do “they” say… I wondered.

Before you start to assume that Pity Pretty’s only come from gay men, I give you…

Example C:

After a wonderful date at the movies and a walk along Central Park, I let Benjamin come upstairs for a glass of wine. He leaned against the doorway of my kitchen as I opened a bottle of Riesling.

“You know, you really are a beautiful girl,” he said.

I looked at him, smiled and turned around to grab two glasses from the cabinet. I guess my silent-yet-gracious reception of his compliment wasn’t enough, because he then said.

“What? You’ve never had a man tell you that you were beautiful?”

I turned around and he had a proud smirk on his face, as if he had done me a great favor. Little did he know that I’ve had men telling me I was beautiful since the day I was born… starting with my Father.

I’ve always had enough people building me up, that I was rarely shaken when people tried to tear me down. Am I insecure? Absolutely! but any body image issues I have don’t come from other people… they come from me! I am my own worst critic, but no matter how hard I am on myself if I take a step outside of my apartment and I am met with intense opposition.

You see class, I know I am one of many Plus Size Princesses who don’t go a single day in New York City with out an approving glance, double take or positive remark from someone. I know people find me attractive, I know that people think I’m beautiful, I know there are men that want me.

Now, I’m not asking you to put an end to your compliments, but make sure they’re coming from a genuine place. When a girl is big, it doesn’t automatically mean her self esteem is zero. Be mindful of what you say and how you say it because in your quest for kindness you may end up doing more harm than good.

Class dismissed!

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A New Year’s Kiss Gone Wrong (Part Three)

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I ignored his text message.

I didn’t know how to answer such a simple, yet overwhelming question. The way Maya acted, the intensity of her anger, it all had me quite convinced that there was something between her and Jeremy. So, No– I wasn’t okay.

I had let my guard down and now I was hurting. I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t eat and I developed a habit of bursting into tears at random times. I went through my days consumed with the situation. Why couldn’t anything be easy? Why cant things just fall into place? I also began to have a lot of body anxiety because Maya is skinny. I started feeling like I was crazy to think Jeremy would choose me over her, despite my previous discoveries about what he’s attracted to. This went on for three days, until I slowly began to snap out of it. I went to my favorite yoga class, I started putting together extra-cute outfits for work… anything to make me feel better.

Then I got a text message from Jeremy:

“Are you going to Maya’s party on Sat?”

I completely forgot! Maya’s birthday was in two days… this was going to be tough because, despite all the recent confusion surrounding Jeremy, Maya and I are friends! I don’t dislike her at all, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to face a potential repeat of the last time the three of us were together. Somehow between me sending him a text saying I wasn’t sure if I was going, and Jeremy trying to convince me that “we should go”, we ended up making plans for him to come over to my apartment later that night.

My plan was to let him have the floor in the hopes that he would explain what was going on with him and Maya (and him and me for that matter). But that didn’t happen. He talked about everything and nothing… I could feel the frustration brewing inside of me until I blurted out:

“What happened the other night?”

He looked at me blankly.

“Why was Maya so upset?” I continued.

“I don’t know,” he said. “…I was just trying to talk to you.”

I wanted to punch him, but I pressed on.

“She seemed really upset, though…”

“Yeah– I don’t know what her problem was. I was trying to be nice to her, but she seemed like she was in a mood.” And with that, he shrugged and changed the subject.

I didn’t have the energy to steer the conversation back, and doing so would only make me look like a jealous brat, so I let it die. I was sure that my instincts were correct, but since he was going to pretend that he wasn’t involved with her, I’d just have to go along with it.

I was going to have to take things one step at a time and step one would be to toss my body anxiety aside, pull it together and go to Maya’s birthday….

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I Relapsed on Mexican Food: The Craziest Diet I’ve Ever Tried (Part Three)

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I stepped off the plane at LAX, pulled my over sized sunglasses down over my eyes and began to maneuver my Diane Von Furstenberg luggage through the terminal. I was in California for a family reunion, and I was stoked! I was also nervous, since this would be my first time traveling while doing the WMP (Weight Management Program).

I stepped out into the warm California air and a few minutes later my parents and sisters pulled up in the car. After five sets of hugs and kisses, my Dad grabbed my luggage and put it in the trunk while the rest of us piled back into the car. As we pulled out into the stream of traffic, my Dad adjusted the rear view mirror onto me.

“You’re looking good,” he said.

“Thank You,” I replied, beaming.

My Dad could be a man of few words, but they were always the right ones. Although my weight has been something I struggled with since forever, my Dad has never told me I was anything but beautiful, no matter what my size was. But of course it was especially exciting to hear that from him this time around since I had lost exactly 41 pounds since the last time he’d seen me… he noticed!

Later as we sat by the pool, my Mom and sisters asked for more detail. I think they were shocked by my response.

“So! Tell me about your weight loss system,” My mom asked.

Augh! I dunno,” I groaned, shielding my eyes from the sun. “I’m thinking about quiting…”

Before I could stop myself it all spilled out… I began to explain to them that while I got thinner, so did my wallet… and my patience.

The WMP was expensive and insurance didn’t cover a cent of it. Between the weekly meetings, the food and the doctors visits, I was shelling out $300+ per month. As a soon-to-be college graduate who wasn’t sure what the New York City job market held for her, I didn’t know how much longer I could maintain.

I was also beginning to resent the actual meetings. This is going to sound horrible but– attending the WMP meetings made me feel like I had been banished to the “geek table” in the school cafeteria. I wasn’t loosing weight with vibrant, sociable, interesting women who just happened to be overweight. I was loosing weight with elderly, needy women who appeared to have little interaction with others outside of our meetings. They would talk about the most random, non-weight related things and I often felt like I was wasting my time sitting through their rants.

“Celeste, despite the people in you’re group, you’ve made a lot of progress. You’re weight loss speaks for its self. I’d hate to see you throw that away.”

“I know, Mom, but you don’t understand– these meetings can be painful. Anyway, I’ll figure it out… I mean I brought a whole bunch of food boxes and shakes…”

(the foods don’t need to be frozen, so they travel well)

“…and I only plan of eating ‘out of the box’ once a day during the seven days I’m here!” With that I closed my eyes and leaned back onto my beach chair.

I skipped dinner that night and opted for a shake an entree and an energy bar. But the next day, after a family brunch, instead of switching back to my prescribed foods for dinner, I went to have Mexican food with my cousins.

Chips… Salsa… Guacamole… ChimichangasRefried Beans… Rice…. Cheese…. Sour Cream… and Chocolate Mousse for dessert!!!

That was the meal that did me in.

For the rest of my trip, my precious prescribed foods lay abandoned with only my Diane Von Furstenberg suitcase to keep them company. Not only did I begin to eat what was on the menu for the reunion (barbeque, potato salad, rolls, cakes, pies etc.) I went to restaurants like In n’ Out, Rosco’s Chicken and Waffles and Del Taco! I didn’t want to be left out of any fun, and I hadn’t had real food in so long… I lost my mind!

It took a 6 day binge to ruin everything.

By the time I got back to New York, I just could not get back on track. I was working out, I was eating the leftover prescribed foods, but my drive to stay in the program was gone. I could use that $300+ for so many other things.

My weight loss counselor called to check in on me. I ignored the call and deleted the message. I convinced myself that I could do it alone. Months later, I had gained the weight back (and then some).

This all happened about a year ago. Now its January… 15 days into 2009 and I’ve lost eight pounds on my own since New Years. The funny thing is that a small part of me thought that my friends might become my new support group. Of course that never happened because they’re all model types who didn’t want to offend me by bringing up my weight. I guess when it comes to weight loss, they’d never understand me like the old ladies at the WMP.

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A New Years Kiss Gone Wrong (Part Two)

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On January 1st, I woke up at 1:30pm in a champagne induced fog.

I stretched my legs under my down comforter, fully prepared to curl up for a few more minutes, when suddenly the events of the night before came flooding back. Instinctively I touched my fingertips to my mouth– wow, Jeremy kissed me last night.

I was lying in bed replaying everything that happened when my phone chimed. I had a text message… from Jeremy:

“I just wanted to tell you how much I love you.”

I smiled to myself and rolled out of bed. We had New Years Day dinner plans with some friends and I had only a few hours to pull myself together….

I was running late for dinner and Maya offered to give me a ride to the restaurant. Since the kiss happened while she was in the room, it was nice to know that nothing was going on between her and Jeremy. As we pulled up to the restaurant we realized there were no open parking spaces so we’d have to drive around for a while. Jeremy came up to the car, leaned through the passenger side window and gave me a long kiss on the cheek. Of course, his affection in front of Maya reassured me that nothing was going on between them.

“I’ll ride with you guys to look for a space” he said, jumping into the back seat.

As we chatted about our day, he leaned forward and wrapped himself around my car seat until his hands were around my waist… his fingers slipped into mine.

He’s doing all of this in front of Maya, I thought to myself. This really means they’re just friends! I was so silly to think anything else!

We found a parking space and it was at that moment that I realized something was wrong. Maya hadn’t said anything the whole time we were in the car. She jerked the car into park, jumped out of the car and slammed the door. Before I knew it, she was bolting down the street toward the restaurant.

Then the unthinkable happened:

Jeremy swung his car door open, “MAYA!!”, he yelled and ran down the street after her.

He yelled her name.

He chased her down the street.

He left me by the car.

My mind was racing; How could Maya get that upset during a five minute car ride?? The only thing noteworthy that happened was Jeremy’s affection towards me… But why would his actions towards me make her upset like that unless… there was something going on between them!

It took me a few seconds to recover, but I composed myself and casually walked into the restaurant. By this time our party was being seated. My face was so hot… I knew I had to get out of there.

I sent an SOS text message to my friend Andrew who immediately called my phone giving me an excuse to leave.

“Listen– Um my friend needs me,” I lied. “I have to go”.

As I rushed out of the restaurant, Jeremy grabbed my hand– “You’re leaving?”

“Yeah,” I mumbled. I couldn’t look him in the eyes. “I- I can’t be here right now.”

I walked out into the cold without any real destination. As I walked along Central Park West, I saw a bus that I knew would take me home. I hopped on it, and by the time I walked into my apartment and slipped out of my coat, I had a text message from Jeremy:

“Are you Okay?”

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