In an interview in 2008, Neal Conan asked Carrie Fisher on “Talk of the Nation” why she wrote “Wishful Drinking,” a memoir about her experience with manic depression, addiction and ECT, particularly given its stigma. She answered: “The thing about telling it is, if I make it a secret, it has enormous power. Then I have to be scared. ‘Will they find out?’ And I’m, like, ‘If you find it out about me, I’ve already got there first, so you’re gonna hear my version.’”
Google my name and it’s easy to find me and my 300-pound truth. I put it out there willingly in 2005, hoping to find kindred spirits, people who were on a path to embracing their own truth about weight. With more than 1.5 million page hits since 2005, clearly there are more than a few of us out there seeking that truth.
I don’t mind telling you I was 300 pounds. You get it. It’s not so easy telling someone with whom you’re out on a first date and you’re ordering a salad and he’s ordering wings with blue cheese dressing and he jokingly says, “New Year’s resolution?” and I say, “Well, kinda.”
The story of me isn’t an easy story to digest, so to speak. It’s one thing to say, “I weighed 300 pounds seven years ago.” It’s quite another to say, “My weight impacts my life every day.” Some women seek tall, dark and handsome. Me? I seek someone who won’t eat Doritos in front of me.
In Pittsburgh, we call it “nebbing.” When you want to find out about someone, you neb. I have one of the nebbiest neighbors ever. He’s forever watching my house. There isn’t a light that goes on or goes off that he doesn’t know about. He’s harmless enough, but it’s a little unnerving having your every move observed.
That’s kind of how it feels when I meet someone new and they find out my name. They’re gonna neb. Heck, I do it, too! But I prefer he hear my weighty truth from my lips and not from a photo of 300-pound me in a purple dress contrasted with the me he has just met. Yes, my blog is my truth and my voice, but for someone who isn’t accustomed to reading weight loss blogs, my blog can be a lot of truth to take in without some prior warning.
While I don’t consider obesity a character flaw, many in this world do, especially the judgy mcjudgers who tease, roll their eyes, and all out hate fat people. So there’s an added chance of judgment I have to take when the “So tell me about yourself” convo starts.
A few years ago, I met someone who, after a few dates, asked me straight up about loose skin. “Do you have any?” was his exact question. My response? “You’ll never find out,” and I kicked him out.
Now while that sounds all bold and Go Me, in truth it was embarrassing and it made me wonder how many other men would wonder the same thing.
It wasn’t long after that that I met C and we dated for about 18 months. My truth became a part of our relationship, an almost non-entity except that he didn’t eat Doritos in front of me. Now that I’m single once more, I’m wondering if I have it in me to, as I wrote in 2011, “…roll my eyes back and throw it out there again,” a reference to that the scene in Bull Durham when Nuke is on the mound wearing Annie Savoy’s garter and he rolls his eyes back and pitches the ball.
My choices are either stay in and hide or get out there and try. I choose to try. After all, I was who I was and I am who I am and the guy up to bat has a number of options of what to do with that curve ball. If it’s to inquire about loose skin, then he isn’t worthy. If it’s to stick around, then I’ll explain the part about the Doritos.