hard knock life

You see it in the stitching or the way the logo is clipped near the zipper, and you know it’s a knock-off of a pricey must-have.  It was a good impersonation, but you’re onto them now.  Some people are knock-offs, too, and sometimes I worry I’m one of them.

I diet all day long to find a guy who’ll love me even if I ever get fat.  That’s called fat, passing for thin, and I worry it’s just as bad as Canal Street.

There are women in this world who lipo suck and spit silicone, and I know they do it for confidence.  Because no amount of tit alone makes you desirable; it’s how you wear it.  I diet, and sometimes while I’m busy dieting, I somehow forget to diet.  I eat fries and burgers at 2 am thinking I’ll be better the next day.  Next day is full of hungover and get me an egg and cheese on a roll before I vomit again.  I’m trying really hard to be the thin girl.  I hate myself fat, more than I hate myself stupid. 

Sometimes I put my foot in my mouth and hit replay all night, wishing I’d stayed home.  More often than not, though, instead of my foot, I swallow everything else.  And then I wake up with something worse than guilt: insecurity.  It’s worse, even, than the fact that my jeans which were loose only a month ago now push fat out along the edges.  Oh dear god, I have edges.  Fuck curves; they’re edges.  Lane Bryant’s marketing people are good.

That’s me, me with me fear of fat and insecurity, from a lifetime of being Moose.  Save me the ‘that’s not who you are anymore’ talk.  It is very much who I still am inside, regardless of my size 6 clothing.  I think I’ll always be the fat girl, and you know what, that just has to be alright.  While I’ve grown up into a thin woman, Moose will always be a part of who I am.  And while you might be tempted to say when I realize I’ve outgrown that puffy girl, then I’ll be real, you’re wrong.  Realizing that Moose is who I was, and who I will always fear being again, is who I really am.  That’s real.

We’ve all got our own worries of inadequacy.  “At least you have a personality and depth,” Lea says over the phone.  “I mean, you can always lose weight.  There are people out there devoid of passion and soul, Stephanie.  And you can’t learn that.  There’s no diet for it.”  Yeah, but men don’t want to date passion and soul with a double chin.

Some of my girlfriends ask me to teach them to talk dirty.  I laugh and apologize, “It’s not something you can really teach.  You either feel it or you don’t.” 

“Come on, just a little something…”

And then I share with them, in the back of a taxicab, my latest bedroom vocals. 

“Where do you come up with this stuff?”  Even the cab driver turns his head when I say the words “fill me.”

That’s the thing.  You don’t invent it; you genuinely feel it.  I even know some women who ask me when they should moan.  This isn’t a theorem or periodic table with rules.  You stop worrying, and start really letting yourself enjoy the moment, just as you are.  I get pleasure from expressing myself, and to be honest, I’m worried.  I can’t believe there are women out there who fake things.  But then I look in the mirror.  I’m no different; I just fake thin.

Maybe we’re all knock-offs, spending years trying to pass for the real thing.  We all want to be desired and sought after, but at what price?  I’ve learned my price.  Bottom line, we all want someone to love us for who we really are, whether we’re conservative, soft-spoken, or timid.  And in my case, loud, passionate, and sometimes fat.  And we don’t become the pricey must have, the real deal, until we stop trying to knock ourselves off.  We become valuable when we realize our worth just as we are.



  1. I've never been one to ban trolls from my site, but now, I've had it. The latest offender, has posted under many names, mostly under the name Tom, not to be confused with a consistent poster named Tom. And I've had enough of him. Go play under someone else's bridge asshole.

    "a size 6-I think not-looks like 10, possibly a 12 Poor insecure girl."
    Hope you're proud of that comment. Cause it's the last one you'll be making here.

  2. Some readers need to get some common sense. How can you criticize Stephanie as a person based upon her writing? What makes any of you think that every single sentence refers to her personally and reflects her view rather than a view that she would like to offer for consideration by her readers? It's an unwarranted assumption to think that every view resides in her. Some of the reactions to her list of attributes of men to avoid are absurd, especially given that in the introduction to the list she qualified it as being the product of a poll of her 'chicklets.' Sure, themes in her writing are modulated by the prism of her experiences and perception, but that does not mean that every 'opinion' or 'view' that *your* perception discovers in her writing is actually her 'opinion' or 'view.' Give her the benefit of the doubt and some license to be a writer, presently her avocation but also her preferred vocation.

    I have not met Stephanie and maybe never will, but have had a limited 'interaction' via this blog and can attest to her being a very decent and caring person. She has actually transformed at least one life in a remarkable way. If the story of the transformation is written one day, I am certain every mean critic will feel remorse and shame. She writes well and is inspirational when writing about the very satisfying and accessible pleasures that can be found in life if we would only bother to appreciate them. Just read her lists. Find the one titled 'noctober.' Try to experience half of the sensations and events described in that list and avoid feeling reinvigorated and inspired. It's impossible. Just reading the list is inspirational. Look at her photos from her foreign travels and walks through New York City. She is also an alchemist for pain and sorrow when writing about discovering strength while examining one's dark and unpleasant experiences or fears and insecurities.

    She is an exceptionally attractive person simply on account of the qualities described above. Moreover, none of her photos that I have seen would permit one to come to the conclusion that she's a size 10 or 12. However, even if she were a size 10 or 12, she would still look very attractive. Women that can 'measure' one's weight to an accuracy of 5% simply by looking at one's picture say she is presently a size 6 *or less.* If they are wrong, I really do not care; they have always been right in the past.

    Finally, there are several photos that she has posted on this blog that a woman with even a slight insecurity about her appearance would not have posted. I respect her greatly for that. She is not fake. I will not point out the photos because it would do a small number of you well to take the time to read through this blog and grow into sentient beings. The rest of us do not need proof that she is neither fake nor insecure.

    P.S. I cannot wait for my next trip in a week or two. My comments have been so lengthy recently that I feel that I am abusing this blog as much as the mean commentators.

  3. Sometimes I think you are me reincarnated… except… I'm not dead yet!

    In time we learn that what was important to us when we were in our 20's and 30's, we don't care about anymore. A new attitude forms and it's really not important anymore to impress with designer labels, liposuction or the latest hairstyle, because we suddenly realize.. nobody cares. They don't go home and and say "wow, did you see the Versace x was wearing?" Personally, I can't tell a Versace from a Donna Karan…well, maybe just a little. Body image is important to some extent, and we shouldn't let ourselves go because we don't need the health issues, but we do stop obsessing about it. It becomes all about you and what's in your head because you're worth it!

    I've been working out 4 times a week for over 3 years, I weight train and I run. I don't do it because I'm striving for a perfect body image or to impress my friends. I do it for ME and for good health, and when your mind begins sailing on this track, you not only feel better about yourself, but it shows and it gets noticed.

    Once again Stephanie, great read! Thank you for your honesty and expression. Those who don't see this and feel the desire to respond with rude and negative comments designed only to be hurtful, are either envious of your talents or truly miserable mofo's. There's a difference between expressing an opinion and throwing a jab.

  4. Isn't it silly how body image can be? I'm referring to mine, not yours… I'm 5'10", 135, and a size 6, and I have trouble not feeling fat.

    Some days it seems completely unreasonable that I am anything but acceptable. But other days it doesn't.

    And of course, of course, in the back of my mind I know the entire time it's all ridiculous.

  5. Stephanie, we are all changing, all the time. I don't think I was an interesting person until well into my 30's. I'm not worried about turning back into a jerk (although it might happen)! So don't worry that you are condemned to return to your old self.

    You have a great wit and style. You are going to do just fine!

  6. re: The Dirty Talkin'

    Like the booty, some girls either got it or they don't.

  7. I have met Stephanie on a few occasions, and testify that she is definitely a size 6. Very hot! However, if she feels like a fat person that is her core because of all the tribulations she had as a child etc. I, too, was once heavier than I am now. Now, I am 5'10", 162 lbs. and also feel like a fat person. It was who we were and that created our thinking, conditioning. We will always think like a fat person. But, the reality is when people see us, they think we are in great shape etc. These accolades serve to reinforce, or overcome our natural propensity to gain weight because we would rather watch our diet, keep in good shape, eat right, get the accolades and truly feel better about ourselves..and that is the bottom line. Feeling good about one's self gives one more confidence and reward than the feeling of low self-esteem. The choice is ours. It is a value system. Life is not perfect and we should do the best we can to find out what will make us happier. It is O.K. to eat the burger and fries at 2 a.m. but just not every night. It comes down to, how we truly feel about ourselves, and what we really want with our life for the big picture.

  8. Why, why why? It's so crazy. What feeds this pervasive potential illness that a lot of people have (men and women) regarding their bodies? I know, I know…the media, advertising, blah blah. Maybe so. Certainly, enough studies have been conducted to show the validity of that. It's quite tragic, though, whatever it is. Then we have the progression, or more accurately, the deterioration into eating disorders which is the culmination of tragedy. I don't know what the answers are–perhaps they are all personal and taylor-made for each individual. I was a bit sad reading this post; it reminded me of my struggle w/depression and lack of overall happiness despite of all the good things in my life. I cannot find an answer for THAT, either. Anyway, getting lost here in a long post…strength and courage to you.

  9. Lea is completely right on and I'll add to that. Looks may attract a person physically, but if there is nothing else besides what they look like (i.e. passion, soul, intelligence, etc.) then it just won't work and it will end as quickly as it started.

    Everyone does have their own insecurities. Usually, we look down upon ourselves a lot worse than other people do. Also, many times we do not believe the people when they tell us how good we look or how intelligent we are because of these insecurities.

    I also agree with Maria. As you get older, things that seemed important aren't just as important anymore. Life isn't about labels or showing off status symbols. It is about experiences. Granted I am only 31, but I when I was younger I used to think it was about what you had (clothes, car, etc). Now, I would rather spend my money on a vacation or trip because of the experience and the memories. Those last a lifetime, while clothes may go out of style the next year.

  10. Dieting is "fat, passing for thin." A pricey knock-off. Brilliant! I always love reading your posts.

  11. but funny though that you ban someone from this board for making a comment on your weight. Your sensitive spot, ok. But then you´re fucked up enough (and I mean that in a good way, I´d do the same) to post the "incident"!!!Like: Oh God, this jerk said I´m a size 12, I banned him, but look what he said, poor me, attention freak! VERY entertaining, thank you.

  12. I have never thought of it as "fat, passing for thin" but it makes SO much sense that way.

    Yep, I totally resemble that description. So terrified of becoming "REALLY fat, passing for fat" that I became addicted to diet pills. You know, the ones you were so shocked to find sold online? Yep, that was no surprise to me.

    Kudos for your courage to express your weight issues!

  13. It's all about perspective. Or karma. I've never been fat and I've never had to work for it—but I've been punished for that with B-minus cup ta-tas. Attributes always balance out. Those who seem to have it all are the real knock-offs. If you want to talk surface, I'd say your red hair defines you more than your ass. Some people would probably kill for your hair, you'd probably kill for Gisele's body. People always want what the other guy has. That doesn't make it better, I'm just saying… And chances are, even if you were really thin, you would find something else to be unhappy with. not because you're bad, but because it's human nature.

    I agree with (the real) Tom (glad you're back T, turning on SK didn't seem like you), experiences are so much more valuable than things and appearances. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the obvious. Guys like girls who HAVE A LIFE. And they don't want to bang a body that's the equivalent of a 13-year-old boy. Paris Hilton should not be our guide. (Like Dolly Parton said, it takes a lot of money to look this cheap.) I was at a party once and Paris was there…and men were NOT crowded around her. Probably because SHE'S BORING. Now go buy US weekly and look at Pamela Anderson's cellulite. Then look at it this way: when you diet too much, your hair falls out, your skin doesn't glow, you get bad breath and you're so irritable that it's no fun to be around you. Now that's ugly! It's. not. worth. it. So have a cupcake, keep talking dirty, being enthusiastic, and if you must, be like blanche dubois and use candlelight (very forgiving!).

  14. Fat Smat
    The really hot women have a beauty that comes from within and is not defined by
    dress size.

  15. after the banishing of the inconsiderate bastard that commented on your dress size i hesitate to ask this, but any chance you would share any excerpts from your latest bedroom vocals. i wont bore you with the details, but it might aid me in a discussion i recently had with my girlfriend about dirty talk.

    if not, no big deal, but our dispute centered around what constituted "dirty talk", and my definition of it was far different than hers (and consequently she told me that only guys would consider my version dirty talk, girls would be repulsed).

    i disagree with her, but could use some real world examples.

  16. "Yeah, but men don't want to date passion and soul with a double chin."

    Real men want to date women that challenge them. Real men want passion and verve. Your dress size is never the issue to a real man. Never.

  17. This is one of those topics that is very close to my heart, because I've struggled with my weight and have been on both sides of the spectrum ("thin" and "fat") and have always felt similar to what you feel.

    The strangest part is that I'm with someone who I'll spend the rest of my life with and who loves me regardless of whether I ever lose those 30 pounds that I feel I need to, yet I'm still bothered by what other people, most often strangers, think of me. I hate it, and it makes me feel weak and shallow, and I can't figure out why I care. Maybe I'm afraid people look at me and think "Ick" or "She's lazy and not very put-together" or "She really shouldn't be eating that", and I don't want them to see a me that's anything but pleasing to the eye. I'm intelligent enough to know better, and know that the people who I want to associate with wouldn't care whether I was a size 4 or a size 14, but there's that insecure part of me that wants to be accepted by everyone. Silly, isn't it?

  18. This is a strange thing – ALL women have such a hard time being happy in their own skin.

    I've always felt fat because my mom and sister are so damn thin. But my sister recently opened up to me about how she feels about being so thin. She calls it 'painfully thin' – she has to take medicine now to keep weight on her and she can't fit into adult clothing. She cries about it all the time and thinks she looks like a little kid and that no one is going to want to date her.

    And sick sick sick – I still wanted to trade places with her. All I can think about is how nice it would be to have that space between your thighs and be able to wear shorts in the summer and have them stay perfectly in place instead of riding up.

    We women still have a lot of work to do.

  19. Hi. I am a frequent reader of your site, and was just an hour ago reading a post on a recent movie date you just had. As usual, my connection was interrupted and when I went to finish my read, the post was gone! What happened?

    PS. I enjoy your blog immensly.

  20. By the by, this post is A LOT like one of the L.A. episodes of Sex and The City – with the fake Fendi's. Remember, "My marriage is a fake fendi!!."?

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