Muffin Top and All: Being Size 12 in a Seemingly Bird Boned Community

“Ew. Delete it. I look fat.”

– Me, after almost every picture taken of me

When I was a junior in high school, I took a pre-calculus class from a hilarious teacher. (Who was also my swim coach.) For the final exam, he had 2 rules:

1 You may bring one 3 x 5 card of notes for the exam.

2 You may also write whatever you like on your own skin.

For some people, this was a joke. Me? I decided to run with it.

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That’s me, in the center, at age 17.

I stayed up all night writing complex math formulas all over my body…. my hands, my arms, my legs, my feet…. and when I ran out of room, I put some on my stomach.

During the test the next day, I needed to peek at my stomach. Well, being 5′ 10″ and resembling a viking more than a fairy, I was quite self-conscious, but I lifted my shirt to have a peek.

The boy who sat next to me (his name was Robbie) decided to look over and say “EW! No one wants to see that!”

16 year old me flipped him the bird and moved on with my test. 31 year old apparently remembers that incident in perfect detail.

I’ve never been small. I’ve always been tall, and broad, and sometimes I’ve even been chubby. (I don’t think I’ve ever been truly fat, but that word is truly subjective.) I’ve been both proud and self-conscious my whole life – aware that I tower over most men, and that wearing high heels is less of a fashion choice, and more of an “am I okay with everyone starting at me today” choice. (5′ 10″ + 4 inch heels mean 6′ 2″. Yay.) Proud that I am strong, and capable, and able to do many things smaller, daintier women couldn’t.

I don’t think I was EVER a size 0. Here’s me…. size 12.

Even now – it’s a two edged sword. I’m a tall, size 12, freckled giantess with some serious curves. I couldn’t hide my gender if I tried. In my daily life, I feel confident, happy, beautiful.

Well, this summer, Norman and I will be posting many, many pictures on Instagram and Facebook of our travels around BC. And while I am stoked, I am nervous.

You see, most young couples who live in an RV or Van and post on Instagram? They’re vegan and size 0, and not into makeup. (Easy to do when you don’t rely on bronzer every day to prevent a double chin from certain angles….)

So…. I guess I get to be the token plus size girl in that community.

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And here’s the thing… I love food. I’m never going to not love food. EVER.

And after a lot of apprehension, and fear of Robbie-like internet hate (it’s there! Go on any plus-size instagram page, and you’ll see it), I’ve just decided to go with it.

The thing is, size 12, 14, 16, or 26 girls don’t need to feel left out. You want to move into a tiny house with your bad self? Or travel the world with fabulous hats? Or go backpacking? GURL. Do it. So I’m going to post lots of pictures where I maybe look less than ideal. Where the angle is bad. Where I feel like my thighs look thick.

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This is one of my wedding photos. You know what I thought when I saw it? “EW! My arms look huge!!!”

And I’m going to rock it. And flip all the Robbies of the world a virtual middle finger as I live my crazy, ridiculous, awesome life. Muffin top and all.