My Beautiful Belly 

 Elizabeth Hyman

Staff Writer 

At 203 pounds, I’m pretty damn good lookin’. 

Not “for” 203 pounds, I mean at 203 pounds. Whatever you do, don’t pity me. 

As I write this I realized I don’t want to be perceived as “fat,” because I’m not, and, if I was, why the hell does it matter? Fatphobia can happen, but I don’t think “phobia” is a good word. No one is oppressing fat folks, but I’d say most people, ignorant people, are fat-repulsed, ‘cause they were taught nonsense, like all fat is bad or to suck in your tummy when you take a picture (which I stopped doing just last year: I had to re-learn how to pose!!). Nowadays, I’m kind of a health nut, most of my weight is taken up in my muscles since I’ve been working out daily. I started last August and lost over 20 pounds (I know right??), brought my cholesterol down, the whole shebang. The reason I talk about weight this week is that I noticed something in the shower today, something that I used to hate, and I’ll admit I’m still a bit shy about, but felt like talking on nonetheless, ‘cause it makes me feel great to write about every thought that comes into my head…it’s that English major brain. 

Anyway, I got out of the shower the night before last, the night of Valentine’s Day (which was fabulous, we went to dinner and a movie…), and I realized, as I often had, that my belly sticks out farther than my breasts do. As a trans-woman, that’s a little daunting. Maybe I was bloated from the tacos that night, maybe I had gained weight from last week, maybe my stretch marks were going for gold that night, but nonetheless, that’s where my body was, as it has been before. As the water hit me square in the face from the shower-head, I thought about all the reactions I’ve had to my big belly. Shyness being the first one; sometimes I’d ask my fiance to turn around when I change, how stupid is that? She loves my belly, I love my belly, what gives? I guess it’s that age-old “I GOTTA LOOK GOOD OR THEY’LL LEAVE ME” thing that every man, woman and cephalopod have felt since Adam and Eve had a first date…ah, well. I really gotta stop that shit, WE ALL DO! It’s a human thing, for me especially, considering I’ve been so active for the first time in my life, but this was hard! 

There are perks to being on a health kick, sure, like having more energy, bigger muscles and confidence most of all…but, like all things, there are downsides. I’ve had to stop myself from checking calories and nutritional facts. I mean, I still glance at them every once in a while: what has lots of sodium, what has lots of sugar, what has potassium and what has vitamin A, that gets tiring. Another thing is the dreaded scale. Scales can go straight to hell. I check every once in a while ‘cause I like to stay under 215, (at my heaviest I was 227, so I’ve lost quite a bit), and it CAN be good to give it a “looksie” every couple of weeks, but DAMN I hate that thing. Since when did two or three numbers have so much influence over people? I grew up watching “My 600-pound life” with my mom, which I deeply regret having seen now. It didn’t give me any pleasure whatsoever. That show is a fear tactic and an exhibition for everyone. It’s horrendous. Those people deserve privacy, whether they get healthier or not. I just always got scared of being that way after I found out I had slightly high cholesterol, and, being as terrified of death as I am, I put my pedal to the metal at 227, and I got healthier like the dickens. Whether that motivation was a positive or a negative influence, it got me off the couch! You can decide for yourself if there would’ve been a less abrupt way, but I really do feel great nowadays, even my anxiety has gone down, but I STILL have to recognize a big body isn’t a bad body. This belly I have is sexy, and it’s ok to have one. I wanna get my stretch marks painted—I saw that on social media, and it looked charming! I can incorporate my tummy into my style, daily life, all while maintaining my routines and health. No more mirror-staring or stressing over a zipper, it’s all me. Healthy ol’ me. 

I understand some people are pear-shaped, or apple-shaped. 

Me? I’m the best looking eggplant you’ve ever seen.

Categories: featured, Opinions


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