I Have Something to Confess

I have something to confess. It’s actually several things but it boils just down to one thing in the end. And it’s not something that impacts anyone really but myself, though it’s meant to be a foundation for later discussions when the time comes.

This is not going to be a brief one. Double-fist your beverage or snack of choice and settle in.

It’s something I’ve always wanted to discuss but just knew it wasn’t the right time. Then I had an epiphany recently and the last puzzle piece squeezed into place. So many things made sense and I could find a common string to tie all my thoughts together and I wanted to talk about it here before anywhere else.

I’ve never quite felt that my body really belonged anywhere. I don’t mean me as a person but my body in spaces meant to attract people to it. I’ve discovered over the years that I am both too fat for the normie/vanilla crowd and too thin for the FA crowd. Neither have any problem expressing their disappointment.

To their credit, the normies drool over me until the clothes come off. They are often much more polite and reserved about it. We finish up and then they decline another date later. Some are honest and say my body turned them off once they saw it. I’ve never been accused of catfishing or anything.

The FAs are much more demanding, overt, and steamrolling. My desires and enjoyment do not even register as a possibility to them. The other fat people in the community gatekeep fatness; if one does not meet a numerical standard, then they can’t possibly be fat enough to be considered big and beautiful. And if one was that size previously but is no longer, regardless of the reason, they are shunned for hating themselves.

The message here today is not to create factions, judge others, or kink shame. There’s a much longer conversation for another day about the rampant fatphobia in the FA community. Today I am just talking about me and my experience, and the constant message about my body is that it’s always both too much and never enough.

I’m well aware of my reputation. People either love me or hate me and I don’t care either way. I know that it’s due to my high standards for engagement, my advocacy, my commitment to integrity, and my refusal to give in to regressive behavior just for instant gratification. That is to say, if you don’t step up and pay the toll, you don’t get to play. I don’t let you in my space. And that toll is demonstrating you understand I am an actual human first and foremost—because when you do that, you are investing in yourself the same way. It’s not a one-way street.

I don’t owe anyone reasons for why I am the way I am, but I also feel as though if I did share them, I would be misunderstood for simply trying to say that even in these communities, people who actually are or have been fat may still need support and humanity about things related to their fatness that can’t be solved with an orgasm. I’m one of them, but I am rarely granted that consideration at face value.

One of the reasons I feel this way is because the body that I have is the direct result of decades of disordered eating. I used to think it was just a minor thing that bubbled under the current of the rest of my life, just something in the background. But after doing a lot of trauma work this year, I realized that it was not a minor thing at all. It was and is a significant part of my life story.

Content warning from here on out: discussion of eating disorders, body image, and fatphobia, but no graphic descriptions of behaviors.

Gains and losses

It’s not unheard of that a feedist in this community would have had an eating disorder. I know I am not the first and I won’t be the last. But for the few with whom I could connect and empathize, it felt like we had to keep it a secret, even if it wasn’t. I currently do not have any formal diagnoses but after a lot of work with my health care team, it’s not something we’re leaving off the table. I’m still at risk.

When I first drafted this I went into a very long spiel about how and what and everything. But there is no way to tell it in a compact way and it wasn’t working. For all my writing and sharing of thoughts, I am still an intensely private person and I am careful about what I share and why.

I just really want to boil it down to this: I developed binge eating disorder at the age of 12 following a brief but intense period of total upheaval in my life. A number of traumatic things happened in a very short time frame and those things then continued all the way through young adulthood when I left for college. I don’t recall my exact highest weight but it was around 290 pounds at the age of 17. I had always been a slightly thicker kid upthrough my tweens but never The Fat Kid™ until I was 13. I don’t recall exactly what my “starting” weight was at that age (being a child, I was still growing anyway) but I believe I may have doubled it.

I was fortunate that near the end of my teens and the start of young adulthood a number of small but critically important things showed up in my life and changed things drastically. I regained some control and agency and somehow shook off the horror, guilt, and shame I felt about myself and my body—things that a 17-year-old should never have had to face at all. I was able to start loving myself for who and what I was and when I started practicing that self-love and owning the agency I had, weight started coming off on its own.

There was no plan, no goal, no nothing. I honestly didn’t even care if I did lose weight. But the more I chose to invest in myself the more my body changed. I ate what made my body feel good, I moved in a way that it enjoyed when I wanted to move it, and I enriched my life with friends, activities, and education that were fulfilling.

But life is life and trauma kept happening, usually in tsunamis. I no longer binged but I developed orthorexia or something similar to it in my late 20s. My weight then plummeted. According to a BMI chart or a physician I was a “normal” weight but I didn’t feel right. I didn’t look right. I was definitely underweight for what my body needed. I got that under control. I moved to California, put a bit of weight back on that was welcome and a relief… and then a bit more that was not so welcome and a burden to my mental health.

It really wasn’t a lot that I regained. My body hasn’t really changed all that much over the years since the move, but enough for me to notice. I spent time in the gym and put on some muscle after years of only focusing on cardio work and fat loss. In my early 30s, orthorexia came back in full force when I thought keto would be a great idea. It was certainly effective, but I only planned to do it for 8-12 weeks. It turned into almost six months and I had to quit cold turkey when I realized I was on the path to full-blown anorexia.

That is all very difficult to talk about. Eating disorders affect more fat people (and men!) than thin people, but time and time again the messaging I received especially as a teenager was simply to lose weight. There was no help, no one to point out “Hey, this is not a healthy relationship with food, are you okay? Is something wrong?” Because I simply wasn’t the size or shape society expected and so of course I owed this to them. I did this all entirely by myself without even understanding what I was processing and working through, just because of course a fat person should be working on a way to be less fat.

Things are much better now and I’ve really pushed myself the past few months in therapy to get to the bottom of these things and really pick them apart. In doing so I’ve been able to start putting together some thoughts and discussions that I’ve always felt and often discussed with close friends in private.

So, then how did you come about feedism…?

I know it may seem obvious: a fat girl gets fatter because she’s so traumatized that the only good thing she has in her life is food, therefore, welcome to sexuality! But that really isn’t how it worked for me and I sincerely don’t think they’re connected.

I didn’t start getting into feedism until the binge eating stopped and I had a much better handle on how to care for myself and started seeing results. My kinks always started with body inflation and while I knew feedism and fat appreciation had a big overlap. I think it was just too much for me while I was living the nightmare version of it in my real life. And I simply just didn’t feel attractive in any way. Once I was able to embrace that, I think that’s when it became safer for me to explore and enjoy. It wasn’t instant and it took a long time. And anyone who has ever played with me in that space knows that I don’t just do it with anyone and my limits are non-negotiable, just as I would respect theirs.

Me at my larger sizes were the direct result of intense trauma, abuse, and neglect. I ended up as heavy as I did because of fatphobia. I got regular checkups, had close relationships with teachers and social workers in my life, and not a single one of them ever realized that there may have been something wrong beyond just “willpower.”

There is no way, under any circumstances, I would ever willingly return to it. It’s not what I want. But I do struggle all the time with the constant messaging and pressure from others, even when it’s not directed at me. Knowing that I do know what real-life fatphobia feels like, both external and internal. Knowing that my weight loss wasn’t from self-hatred but self-love. Knowing that just because I fit into a straight size now does not mean my body is meant for the clothes and trust me, it’s just as much of a struggle, sometimes even more now, to style and dress myself because of all the baggage that comes with it.

The moral of the story…

These are very real things that affect me and I know I am not alone in this. There are longer conversations to have about the community at large and those will come in time, but I just felt the need to start saying some things out loud now, hoping it will resonate with others who may feel just as reserved about it or that they can’t share this side of themselves in this community.

I have to admit that one of the reasons I never felt ready to discuss some of this was that I often feel I’d end up trying to prove myself when I know I don’t have to. In FA-land, before and after pictures can be quite exciting and arousing for some. I know I enjoy them myself from time to time. But there’s something different about knowing I am only perceived one way and having to show that yes, I was bigger and no, I don’t owe my size or fatness to anyone or have to earn my place in this community just because I’m not as large as other people and don’t want to be.

Because outside of FA-land, in diet-culture-disordered-eating-breeding-ground-land, before and after pictures are harmful. They really are. And so I’ve just refused to show any of that, both for my mental health and personal safety.

But it’s hard, you know. It’s hard to explain that I both love myself and my body for what it is but then also still have to say in the same breath that it is constant work and a constant struggle. Self-love doesn’t cure the impacts of trauma. It helps and it’s a tool to use in the hard times but the secret is that our triggers and wounds never go away, we just learn how to manage the control they have of our lives.

I’m in one of those periods now. To put it lightly, this year has sucked a big one. I’ve been getting clotheslined by new traumas every time I stand up for the past 8-9 months, while also processing old ones. Fortunately, while there is still a mild urge to throw a wrench in my relationship with food and my body, I haven’t actually followed through. I’m finally coming to a place where I know I’m truly healing that part of me because I realized I don’t really want to give in to that dysfunction. It’s actually improved a lot with the way I feel and move in the FA spaces. I have a right to be here, exactly as I am. I’ve always known that consciously but now I own it in a different way.

I think I had to do this—essentially come out about it—in order to do that. So here it is.

It probably doesn’t make a lot of sense and if it doesn’t to you, that’s okay. Be thankful you’ve never had to deal with it. If it’s something that resonates with you, that’s what I put it out here for and I hope it can make you feel less alone.

This won’t be the last time I talk about this. It’s a foundation for other topics later. But I just had to share that as it was. I’m a non-gaining feedee with a history of disordered eating who has had unintentional massive weight loss who doesn’t want it back and still somehow manages to love her body as it is more days than not and knows she’s not the only one. It’s a mouthful (not the sexy kind) but that’s me.

If that doesn’t sit right with you, ask yourself why, because that’s a you problem.

THE END… for now

Thank you for reading. If any of this resonated and you need someone to talk to, my contact page is always open. I’ve been working on some delicious things during NaNoWriMo and I can’t wait to share them!

Thank you for reading my post today! If you enjoyed it, you may also be interested in my erotica or even a commission.

1 thought on “I Have Something to Confess

  1. Pingback: FAQ: Why I’m Not A Gainer | Lora Dayton

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