10 Pounds

1. I once read that couples that gained weight together were the happier. Matching muffin tops and soft bellies to match softened hearts and overflowing affection. What lovely little price to pay for such happiness. 

2. "I don't need a man to tell me I'm beautiful or wonderful or amazing. I know that already. Damn right I am. I need a man who can keep up with me, who can handle me, my determination, and my goals. I don't need a man to tell me what to do or help me find myself. I know who I am and what I want in life"

Sometimes it surprises me how someone so young can have so much confidence and sureness in themselves. I envy that. 

3. The heaviest I've ever been was 195 pounds. I was a college freshman with new friends and new experiences. I didn't even noticed I had gained my "freshman 15". I was too busy living. Then someone pointed it out, mentioned it in passing and I spent the next two years fixated on shedding the weight. I just went through a tough, erratic, amazing year and all you feel is noteworthy is my weight gain. 

4. Nearly every night, during our usual video call, I point out my double chin, flabby arms or soft stomach and I pout with glassy eyes. You've heard it a thousand times. But every single time, you sigh and answer with "I love you" and a smile. And that's all I need. A little affirmation with a side of fries. 

5. Here's to posting a photo even if your double chin is in full view because your smile is genuine. Here's to jiggly thighs, flabby arms, hairy legs, and stubby fingers for doing their job despite constant criticism. Here's to having such a good time that you forget to pose on your 'good side'. Here's to forgetting to give a damn. 

6. How to lose 10 pounds in 3 days. Intermittent fasting for weight loss. How to lose 20 pounds in a month. Melt fat away. Exercises to get ride of double chin. Beach body workout. Military diet. Miracle soup diet. Thinspo. It's amazing how many secrets and insecurities are tucked away in our search history.  

7. Part of me is nervous about being home because I know my weight gain is going to be thrown into the spotlight eventually. People are going to use concern about my health and well-being to bash my body and claim they know exactly what is best for me. Snide comments, backhanded compliments, and unsolicited opinions. Ahhh, childhood memories. 

8. 'Slim thick' is in. Large breasts, thick thighs, and round bubble butt paired with a perfectly flat stomach, toned arms, and a tiny waist. Thick in the right places. Not skinny and not fat, a perfect, unattainable medium. 

9. My brother weighs 250 pounds and for most of his teens, he has been criticized, bullied, and mocked for being as big as he is. My brother loves to dance. He blasts Korean pop music and can't help but wiggle to the beat. One year, my brother insisted on joining a summer dance class then another the next year. He was surrounded by petite, lean dancers nearly half his size and he outdanced them all. His weight continues to fluctuate but his spirit and his love for dancing hasn't. 

10. Yes, I've gained 10 pounds. What else has changed about me? Everything else that matters hasn't.