Dear DietBet,

Apon this, my weigh-out for my first ever DietBet, I want to say thank you.

I’ve been all kinds of variants of fat forever. From my days as a “solid” Kindergartener, to a “chunky” pre-teen, to an “overweight” teen and straight through to a super-fat adult (present), I have always been classified as bigger than I should be. See also: childhood picture of me totally not fat, not shown. This really hits a lot of points for me lately, as I raise my own daughter. She’s petite. She’s leggy. She’s slender. And I do not tell her. Because she’s 3. And at 3, you have traits—you are not defined. I don’t tell her she IS anything. (Ok, full disclosure, I do, but I’m making a conscious effort not to) I tell her she has done something clever, that her hair looks nice that way, that I see how hard she has worked, that sometimes things are hard, and that I love her as big as space*.

*We’re on a geography kick “Where does we live?” (I name our city) “Where’s (city)?” (State) “Where’s (state)?” Etc all the way out through continents, Earth, solar system and galaxy, to space. “Where’s space?” Space is EVERYWHERE. “Oh. Dat’s big. Like a hundred big.” Which has evolved into the most saccharine-y nauseatingly adorable mommy-daughter I-love-you’s that ever there were. I love you as big as (city). Well, I love YOU as big as (state)! Etc. D’awww. It’s okay, I can actually HEAR you rolling your eyes from here.

So, anyway. I’m fat, my kid isn’t, and I don’t talk to her about being fat or dieting.

I have always been told I am too much, always.

My grandmother made matching frilly clothes for my slender cousin and I, born 3 months apart. Hers were purple and “so dainty!” Mine were pink. I noticed the distinction at three, four, five.  When grown-ups picked me up or swung me around as an average-sized 3-5 year-old, they would always comment “Oof! She sure is solid!” I noticed.

In junior high I was probably about 5-10 pounds heavier than the other girls my age. I was obviously teased relentlessly. 11-14 year olds are by far the worst part of humanity, without exception. Myself included. You too. They’re awful, awful, terrible mean little people. John Mulaney does a bit about 13 year olds being the meanest people IN THE WORLD. It’s pretty good. Watch it.


And of course, in highschool, I was over-extended with school, work, extra-curriculars, in charge of 3 younger siblings, and a social life. I ate a lot of crap food, a lot of car-meals and catch-as-catch-can meals. Also, at 16, there is not a lot to do with your friends, so we went to dinner, to movies (snacks!), to friend’s houses (snacks!) and hung out at coffee shops and all-night diners. Fat. Steadily growing fat. If I wasn’t aware I was fat, there was always someone ready to tell me. Classmates to family.

College. I only THOUGHT I was over extended in highschool. Add in freedom and frequent drinking, a crash course in new, fascinating ED, no money AT ALL (hello, dollar menu!), and men—a compounding problem compounded.

And, so I lose interest in detailing my history of weight issues here, but suffice to say that I have always been fat and people in my life have made sure that I was aware of it. Even if, say, I was really not all that fat and blissfully unaware and happy. Even if I was actively dieting and working out. Even if I lost weight and showed progress. Maybe especially when I had successes. I can point a finger directly to my father, a man terrified of being fat, a man who naturally leans toward plump, a man who hates other people to succeed. I mean, he’s better than he was as we both get older, but there are some chapters of my childhood that read like a Lifetime movie. And that isn’t the point. The point is that my family and friends have seen me get fatter as the years pass. They’ve seen me diet and fail. They’ve seen me try and give up. They’ve been as helpful as they can be, which either means ignoring my efforts to be polite (or because they’re uncomfortable, more often than not I think) or offering the WORST advice in the world. It comes from a good place and all, but one yahoo news blurb or Wikipedia article does not a nutritionist make. (“It’s called Outside-In Living, Kimmy, and I have bought TWO books on it!”)

So, with all of that, I am so grateful to have found this site. I am so grateful that I have been able to blog here honestly and introspectively. I do not have this liberty in a forum where I know people in real lifesies. I mean, I could, but I absolutely will not. I don’t have enough life left for the unending thin-splanations and cries of ‘but you’re not fat!’. I also don’t have the patience.

But here? Here I have found a network of people who are—in some way—in the same boat. A network of encouragement and positivity and helping hands and constant acknowledgement of the struggles—people saying “Yes! Me too!” to my silly irritations and frustrations and pitfalls. And that has made all the difference. That has made this experience a WILDLY different experience than I’ve ever had before. I’m finding success without self-hate and I’m finding a will to keep working where I would, previously, have quit.

So, an open thank you to DietBet, and all of you, my little DietBet family. Y’all are great. Group hug!

Now, let’s celebrate with 25 burpees.