Here are things I wish I could do. Is losing weight the key to granting these wishes for myself? For some of them yes. But a lot of them require a change in how I feel about myself.
1) Cross my legs. Never have. Isn't it amazing that I've never done such a simple thing? I remember when I was maybe 13, my best friend at the time got thin enough to cross her legs. She started wearing skirts and dressing up nice. I felt left behind. It's such a silly thing, but I would like to do it once in my life.
2) Sit Indian style - This is also hampered by my Perthes, a hip disease I was born with. It was never comfortable to do as a kid, but being obese, I can't do it at all. It's hard to sit on the floor without back support or spreading my legs wide open.
3) Ride a horse. I pity the horse that I try to get on.
4) Go to Knott's or Magic Mountain and not be scared of having to experience the "walk of shame". For those of you who don't know what this is, let me explain. One of the biggest fears I have, is not being able to fit into places. I don't think thin people don't realize that the booths and roller coasters, turn styles, bus seats, so many places can only accommodate so much flesh. They slide on in, walk right through, without any worries. If I don't fit, I have to backtrack, and everyone who sees me knows I didn't fit. It's embarrassing and so hurtful to see the stares or hear the whispers.
I haven't been to Magic Mountain since I was 12. It took me 10 years to get on California Screaming because I was so scared I wouldn't fit. I want to actually have fun at an amusement park, instead of becoming a sideshow attraction there.
5) Not have to be scared of weight limits. This puts a big dent in a lot of activities I'd want to do. My boyfriend and I went on a cruise last year. It was amazing, but I had a horrible time picking excursions to do. I feel bad about missing out on fun stuff to do, but I feel even worse that my weight causes my boyfriend to miss out on those things as well. I tell him to go ahead and get on all the water slides I can't, go zip lining, etc... but he won't do them without me. Biggest miss out of 2011 - not being able to zip line or use a Scubadoo because I exceeded the weight limit.
6) Wear sleeveless shirts and not feel like i'm walking around with hams on my shoulders. I was very brave this past summer and spent a lot of time in a bathing suit. I think it was so hot, I didn't care what others thought of my arms/thighs/general appearance. I wish I could feel that way all the time.
7) Not be afraid to be adventurous in bed. I love my boyfriend and I know he loves aaaaalll of me, but when we make love, being this big makes me feel really shy sometimes. Our sex life is very good, but I know if I truly loved my body, it could be better.
8) Travel abroad. I don't think my obesity is what has been keeping me from traveling, but my fear of not fitting into foreign things makes me wary about travelling.
9) Not cry in fitting rooms. I don't think I haven't cried in fitting rooms ever. First off, not only am I a plus sized woman, but I am a super plus sized woman. I wear a size 28, and although Lane Bryant, Avenue, Torrid, all way they go above and beyond this size, it's rare to find anything cute that fits me. I want to be able to go into a store, put on a dress, or pants, whatever size they maybe, and have something actually fit.
10) To not let being fat be what I solely am. I have always been a middle path type of person. I don't want one single thing to define me, because once it does, my true self ceases to exist.
In my opinion, there are 3 extremes that a fat woman can become. The first is the perpetually scared fat girl.
I don't want to be so scared of people judging me that I don't live my life. The second person I don't want to be the fat activist that shoves images of nude obese women in your face and calls thin women unhealthy. The third person I don't want to be a micro fleece wearing former fatty who thinks Bagel Thins and Slim Fast bars are a satisfying lunch.
I want to be Paula, funny, kinda smart, likes to read, Disney fan, in love with Matty. I wanna be able to eat my double double, mustard fried with extra crispy fries and a chocolate shake. I want to be able to go on a 5 mile walk. I want my weight not to deter me from being the happiest person I can be, but I also want it to flow seamlessly with my personality.