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Mr Phledge. March 1, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, blood, family, fat, phlegm.
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I debated posting this because I have not yet decided whether to tell Mr Phledge about this blog, but I think this is something I’d like to write about and if I do someday tell him where to find me online I will have already deleted the post.

When Mr Phledge and I met in 2003 I was quite a bit slimmer and definitely more fit.  One of our first big dates was a backcountry trip to Butano State Park in California, and I had no problems hiking around like a pro.  Today, I am not so fit, and I have been expanding physically since I got into school.  Well, shit, you sit in a chair for eight hours a day, five days a week, not including time spent studying on one’s own, and see how fit you stay!  I digress.  We had a Talk about my body a few weeks ago.  In particular, Mr Phledge was expressing his dismay that I was “not taking care of myself.”  When I asked him to clarify what he meant–for example, have I started forgetting to brush my teeth again?–he said that he was surprised that I didn’t realize how much weight I have gained since we got married.

Sigh.  I hate it when work follows me home.

I very calmly told him that I was well aware of my body size, and asked him if he found me sexually unattractive because of it.  He said, “No, not yet, but you know how visual men are.”  WTF?  What the fucking fuck?  “Well, how big do you think you’re gonna get?”  It is testament to my profound patience and great love for this man that I did not sit on him right then.  And yet, there is a gift in this, because for the first time in my life I was genuinely able to say the following:  “I do not know what my body will do, but I love it all the same, and if you cannot do so then perhaps we have been mismatched.  What I can tell you, without any doubt, is that I will never subject myself to a diet again, for any reason, including you.”

Okay, three weeks and some makeup sex later, that phrase still takes my breath away.  I cannot believe how far I’ve come in accepting my own body.  Just last summer I was still counting calories, y’all.  Anyway, he was appropriately chastened and begged forgiveness and understanding, that he realizes he still has some fat discrimination, that he really does love me and wants the best for me.  I told him that I know full well that I have not been treating my body well lately–a fact I can shove off to my extreme stress and bizarre schedule–but that I will try to treat myself better and in doing so will feel sexier.  We both came to the agreement that the physical attributes of my body–weight, height, bump in my nose, crooked tooth, occasional pimples–are not up for discussion again.

Also, “You know how olfactory I am, right?  Shower every day.”

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Comments»

1. sweetmachine - March 1, 2008

Oh wow. I am sort of chilled that you had to have that conversation, but you are so fierce for saying that. Picture me pumping my fist in support.

2. Denise - March 1, 2008

Wow, Phledge. ROCK ON!!!! That you showed such courageous self-love in the face of so much ick is damn inspiring. I’m glad it turned into a teachable moment for the mister.

3. wellroundedtype2 - March 1, 2008

You are awesome in the way you handled this situation. And I am so glad you are becoming a doctor.
Marriage definitely requires those moments — you don’t really know where the other person’s mines are burried (or your own, sometimes).
He sounds like he’s worth hanging in there for.

4. dudetteabides - March 1, 2008

Phledge, that was PHENOMENAL. What an amazing and incredible response in the face of not only fatphobia, but that from your partner. I am so relieved that he got the message! Keep the self-love very visible, and I think it will leech onto him for the long run.

5. phledge - March 1, 2008

Okay, before y’all get the idea that I was standing tall like a 260-pound Wonder Woman, I should say that I was sitting in a chair quivering like a rabbit nose with tears welling up. I could barely breathe and my heart was pounding so loud I’m sure we could both hear it.

But thanks for the vote of confidence–I haven’t had any negative comments from Mr Phledge since that incident, and I assure you that were I to receive that kind of feedback again there will be third-party intervention. First a counselor, then a lawyer.

6. avyaya - March 2, 2008

Cant do anything but support ur views.

Nice post.

7. Green Tri Girl - March 2, 2008

Wow. Good for you, and I hope it really made him reconsider the way he interacts with your body.

8. fatgirlonadate - May 13, 2008

Hey, I’m way late on finding this post, but I just wanted to say that you’re amazing. This is exactly the kind I thing I have absolutely no ability to handle – not just about fat issues, but more generally in relationships. I don’t know how to forgive something like that.


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