I could drink more and tolerate pain better
In some ways, being fat made me tougher and more resilient. The extra bulk meant I rarely got cold, had a high threshold for certain kinds of pain, and held my liquor like a pro. Now that I'm thin I shiver when the temperature drops, beg for mercy when I so much as see a tattoo gun, and catch a buzz from a thimbleful of liquor. Thankfully, I’m mentally and emotionally tougher than I once was -- a girl's gotta compensate somehow, y'know?
Other people left me alone
As a kid, I was relentlessly judged, bullied, and often beaten up for being big. As I got older, folks continued to judge me for my weight, but they rarely said -- or did -- anything about it. Weirdly, people seem to judge me to my face a lot more since I lost my weight. Rarely does a day pass without someone commenting on anything from my boots ("You’d look nicer in heels") and my body ("Wow, you really are big-boned, huh?"), to the way I talk ("Cursing is such a turnoff") and what color I wear ("Black? Again?"). For the most part it doesn't bother me. Sometimes it makes me mad enough to spit. ("Ugh! Spitting is SO unladylike!")
Do I really wish I could go back to weighing more than 300lb? No, probably not. But I still consider myself extremely lucky, because my perspective was developed in the context of being a fat woman. Now I'm able to bring that perspective to my work, where I can help others accept themselves, no matter what they weigh or how far they are from their goals.
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Kelly Coffey is a trainer and writer. Follow Coffey on Facebook. Women can hit her free online workshop, "Why We Sabotage Ourselves (with Food) (and What We Can Do About It)."