Understanding weight loss as a capitalistic industry but also feeling bad about yourself, a love story

cw: body image feels

One of the things that I keep thinking about after my disaster of a consultation besides “will I ever even get top surgery?” is “Maybe she’s right about me being fat.”

I’m telling you this probably because I’m a little too open. But I feel like if it’s in my self-identified ~vocation~ to document and share about my ~trans experience~ I should probably tell you stuff even if it’s hard. Well, it’s not really obligatory but it feels like my instinct.

Having someone touch your unwanted chest and squeeze and poke your fat rolls for several very long minutes is a little more than eye-opening. It’s something that makes me wonder if my girlfriend, the only one who sees me without a shirt or binder, is merely tolerating me. How can I be attractive? I am not.

Note: As I’ve stated before, I do not think fat = unattractive when it comes to people other than myself.

Another Note: My girlfriend has not given me any reason to think she doesn’t think I’m attractive, and this is purely led by internalized bullshit. (I also realize that attractiveness itself is subjective and even if I wasn’t “attractive” I still have value.

It’s something that makes me wonder if I’ll just keep getting bigger my whole life. I haven’t stopped gaining weight for like two years. Every couple weeks is another pound. My torso is marked by having a chest I don’t want, but now it’s also marked by having a torso I don’t want.

This surgeon spent like 40 minutes with me and it has me questioning my life choices. But then I question my questioning, because I know that weight loss is an INDUSTRY that relies on people feeling poorly about themselves in some way. Sure, being overweight might lead to health issues but that’s drastically overstated, and it’s not like you can’t be skinny and unhealthy. There are many, many factors at play.

I haven’t been exercising because I don’t want to wear a binder to the gym. I went about a dozen times late this summer, wearing a sports bra and baggy shirts, but I got obvious looks in the locker room. I was trying to be discreet but it didn’t work. It feels like I can’t go back to the gym until I get top surgery. It feels impossible.

(Nobody approached me or gave me anything but confused/annoyed looks, but it still feels devastating and like something I cannot resolve).

But like, going to the gym is not just beneficial for weight loss. It’s also for feeling better mentally. It’s about getting minerals to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Those are good things. I always feel stronger when I work out even just once. I love myself more when I exercise. And it’s not like the pounds fly off or anything, I just feel more in tune with my body. Right now I just use my body to drive to work or drive to get food. I never use it and LIVE in it.

But like, I know in my heart of hearts that I will be going to the gym driven by the desire to be different. I want to look different than I do. I want people to tell me I look really good, like they did after I had pneumonia and lost 10 pounds because I couldn’t eat. This is undeniable. I both understand this issue intellectually and also feel it because I’ve been raised with this system. I wish the “intellectual” side of it were more powerful in actually affecting how I feel.

So I’m divided. Part of me is super motivated now to start paying attention to my diet and exercise. I would throw on an older binder so it wouldn’t be as tight (they stretch out over time) and just wash it constantly so it didn’t smell like cardio. I’m motivated to pull out my “Lose It!” app and start recording again. Reset my goals.

I’m also of the mind that I’d be a stereotype. Everyone wants to lose weight in January. I’m also of the mind that if I’m driven by the hope I won’t be “fat” anymore, this motivation will lose its power eventually and as I’ve always done, I will fall off the discipline wagon.

I don’t really know what to do. But hating myself and continuing the same behavior isn’t working. It seems like a crapshoot. I can’t really see my eating patterns changing much. I like food. Eating butter is a pastime. (That was a joke but also not).

I’ll keep you posted.

Photo Credit



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