The thing about fat chicks–the round ones and the figure
eight ones and the hourglass ones, the ones shaped like this fruit and the ones
shaped like that other fruit
–is that they all have great tits. The
hourglassed ones lucked out, of course–they have the va va va voom figure
that is supposed to be okay for a fat girl to have (it’s okay to be big, if you
are big in an easily sexualized way!), but big girls have
generally lucked out in the lottery of the boobs. How could they not? Breasts
are made of fat, and we have got plenty of it. Even when they’re not large and
in charge, they are still plump and, arguably, awesomer than most boobs.

What I’m saying, then, is there’s more than one reason to stop hating your fat. As one author said
brilliantly, tits are a fat girl’s ace in the hole.

I used to have a pair of aces, with which I could sweep the
World Series of Poker. Men have always liked my body, at each of the sizes I’ve
been over the years, but overwhelmingly, they liked my breasts the best, and
they told me that, and they showed me that. With their hands and their mouths
they taught me to appreciate my body; I found, however, that it was hard for
me to appreciate some parts. But I never found it difficult to appreciate my
breasts. They showed up at 13, and I was so happy to see them. Hello, friends!
It is very nice to meet you! Friends, meet the world! World, meet my friends!
The world is so glad to know you, and has been ever since.

They made me proportionate: birthing hips balanced by a big
old rack. I felt like they drew attention away from my can, which is enormous
(thank you, big-canned women of my family, and also genetics). Anything that
drew attention away from my ass made me happy–I was so embarrassed of my butt
in high school that I would actually back
out of rooms
for fear that someone would actually notice my butt. As if it
could be missed.

There was no sidling sideways out of rooms to avoid notice
of my boobs. If I could have marched around town topless, swinging sparklers,
trailed by a choir singing "Hallelujah, She’s Got Some Pair of Knockers" and
accompanied by the Funbag Band of trumpets and tambourines, well, I would have
gladly handed over my college money to secure that kind of awesomeness.

What I am saying is that I have always been fond of my
breasts. They have always afforded me a sense of normality, when I was feeling
freakishly outsized; a sense of being worth something in a physical sense when
I was feeling particularly worthless (and I know, and have always known, how
fucked up that is); and a sense of power when dealing with the breast-loving
population of the world. I had something they wanted. It is wonderful to be wanted.

I’m talking about my breasts in the past tense, as if I am
delivering a eulogy. I kind of feel like I am. Here lie my breasts. They were
boobtacular. See, the thing is, as I
might have mentioned earlier, the thing is that breasts are fat. The fact is
that I’m losing fat–104 pounds of it, so far. Much of that fat has dropped my
face and my neck (I have just the one chin!), my shoulders (hello,
collarbones!), my waist and some from my stomach (go away, stomach) and–you
saw this coming, of course–my breasts. My bras are all hooked on the last
hooks, the straps are tightened all the way, and the cups, which used to be
full and overflowing like the Horn of Plenty, are now gaping. They are still
generally firm and perky, woo hoo, but they are noticeably smaller. But any day
now, I expect to be left without breasts, holding only the bags they came in.

It used to be that I would read gastric surgery post-op
and see women talk about how their breasts have shrunk and how their
husbands wouldn’t love them anymore, insert smiley face or an LOL, as if being
neurotic like that was something hilarious, oh ho ho ho. Women talking about
losing their breasts and comparing it to losing their femininity and their
sexuality, and I scoffed. You don’t need breasts to be a woman, was my
scoffing. You don’t need to be so shallow, was my further scoffing. As if I had
forgotten that the breasts are the most highly sexualized part of a woman’s
body (so much so that Janet Jackson’s tit at the Superbowl sparked all that ridiculous
outrage and scandalized howling). As if
I had forgotten that my breasts have been, in a very real way, a part of my
whole body identity–not just sexually, not just as a woman, but as part of
how I see myself, as part of what is important to me to present to the world.

Did I think I was going to be the extra special gastric
bypass patient
, the super beautiful snowflake of the weight loss ecosystem who
got to keep her breasts exactly as they are, cast in resin and forever
evergreen? Did I think I’d get to pick and choose where I lost the weight? That
I could say, "You know, I have never really liked my stomach. Let’s work on
that first, shall we? And then, thighs, it’s your turn! Let’s go!" I
clearly wasn’t thinking clearly, and I’m clearly not all that bright. I am
panicked at the thought of losing my breasts, as if I were Jo in Little Women–my one beauty! Certainly,
I have many other good qualities: I have an excellent personality; I’m a very good
dancer; I can only tell the one knock-knock joke, but knock knock sounds like
"knockers" and then I will burst into tears. Forget the joke telling.

There are options, too. Plastic surgery, I hear, is a
beautiful miracle of science, and as we continue to live in the future (still
without flying cars), we continue to improve upon those medical miracles, and
couldn’t the doctors sculpt me some boobs that look exactly like the real
thing, and not like halved cantaloupes? Because if I got halved cantaloupes,
I’d spend the rest of my life afraid of melon ballers and 14-year-old comic
book geeks, and that is no way to live. I’m not sure fake tits are any way to
live, either. I’ve spent mumble-teen years with my natural boobs; it feels like
a betrayal to turn my back, so to speak, on them. Though it kind of feels like
betrayal that they are going away.

There is nothing I can do about it right now. I will have to
watch them go away, and be sad and conflicted and feel strange and odd and did
I mention sad? I will have to invest in good bras, and maybe eventually, good
bras with just a little bit of padding. I will have to hope I don’t look like a
crazy, bottom-heavy Weeble now that I’ve got nothing to balance me out. I will
work on accepting it as a trade-off–the universe gets my tits, and in return
I get my health, running, smaller-sized jeans, to bend at the waist and plant
my palms flat on the floor. But I will keep being glad that Guy is an ass man.

10 Replies to “trade-offs”

  1. Again – wonderful…love everything you write.

    Here’s the great news about the running: a) it is generally fabulous, b) it tones you in an overall way you never imagined, c)your already fantastic ass only stands to become MORE fantastic. My husband is also a tad preoccupied with the hiney region, and much to his (and my!) delight, one day after about 4 months of running, an ass I never knew I had emerged. That was a year ago, and I am still pretty giddy about it. Who knew that was under there the whole time?


  2. Oy, bubbeleh. Also at -105, can I sing that song. My aces are running into the proverbial hole. My DH is definitely a white-meat kinda guy and it has definitely crossed my mind what he’s gonna think about tits more suitable for orgami than pillows. Cos as it stands now, he’s gonna be left holding the bags, as it were.

    I am so not happy about plastics. Given Fred the Hernia, it looks like it’s gonna have to be on the agenda. But having talked with some nurse friends who work in eldercare, we haven’t even heard the worst of it – those saggy bags have a tendency to get all sorts of nasty skin infections and what is euphemistically described as “breakdown” (not the fun Foggy Mountain kind) underneath them as we get older, saggier and hairier.
    This is not a pretty picture.


  3. Aw, the disappearing boobs make me sad. I’m married to a definite breast man. We’re already talking about boob lifts to at least keep my aces perky.

    Luckily he’s also secondarily a hips and ass man so I figure I’ll start doing a lot of squats and lunges and stairs to make my ass so spectacular he won’t notice the missing boobs.

  4. I will have to respectfully disagree with you that all fat girls have great tits. I always felt ripped off that I reached almost 400 pounds and still didn’t have great boobs. It is almost impossible to find a 44A bra. If you were to put my fat boobs on my current body, I would have an hourglass figure, but on my big fat body they were at most man boobs. I think if I do manage to lose my last 20 pounds I will be left with two concave holes on my chest which I can eat ice cream out of.

  5. Can I just say that you are a fabulous writer? This is worthy of publication, seriously.

    I’m in PastaQueen’s boobless camp and was at 280 as well — but I can relate because I, too, shrugged off tales of dwindling breasts after WLS: “Who cares? I never really had any to speak of.”

    Well, I’m mourning them now as I never did before: two empty socks, just like Carol Burnett’s send-ups of aging Hollywood stars.

    On the other hand, my ass, which was enormous before (“pear-shaped” would be kind)? Well, I’m kind of liking it now! Doesn’t look bad (clothed, anyway).

    I do rely on (very) padded bras to balance out my proportions when clothed. Naked? All bets are off!

    I truly love your blog.

  6. Yes, the first thing to go in my weight loss adventure were my D cups. Sigh. Could the fat please start falling off my thighs already?

    My own guy tells me it doesn’t matter and he loves how my body is getting tighter. Let’s hear it for supportive guys.

  7. Girl, I’ve always felt so ripped off. I, too, am a woman who never had big ol’ boobies. No matter how much weight I lose or gain, the breasts stay the same …

    You’re lovely as always.

  8. I’m also cursed with the tiny boobies. They’re big now, but Ds on a 300lb, 5’11” woman still ain’t much.

    I’ve nursed a couple babies and also stretched the girls out with serious weight gain -I cringe to think what they’ll look like when I’m at goal.

    Sigh. Thankfully my husband is an ass man. I’ll ALWAYS have plenty of that!

  9. I’ve had boobs forever, and they’ve always been a presence. Instead of feeling “blessed,” though, I have been inconvenienced. They get in the way! They hurt! They sweat!

    I spent many of my working years hunched over a drafting table, making more maps, graphs, and charts than I can count. Boobs are a nuisance, an obstacle which must be worked around. Normal menstrual cycles, two pregnancies, two breast fed babies, and I went though the normal amount of pain in the tit. For true AGONY, however, nothing matches the mammogram! I dread the yearly torture!

    I’m also bewildered by men’s utmost fascination with the mommy bags. Hubster grabs onto them like they are bread dough to be kneaded enthusiastically. And how about the equisite pain when the man in your life rolls over a boob in bed? “Oh, I didn’t feel anything there.”

    I sure as Hell did!

    I wish the damned things were furnished with Velcro, and we could simply rip them from our chests and HAND them to the man!

    “Here, just give them back when you are finished.”

    That would have been lovely during my breast feeding days, too.

    The idea of a boob job turns me cold, as well. God forbid, I would be puttering along at 85 years of age, and be sporting perky tits!

    No, the plastic surgery I am eagerly anticipating following weight loss is a tummy tuck. I’d LOVE to be rid of this ugly dewlap, and would delight at wearing snazzy, sexy panties!

    Whatever gripes and grumbles I may have at drooping, saggy body parts, though, are nothing, NOTHING compared to the beached-whale image I presented before weight loss surgery.



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