It's March, and what a crazy month it's been. I've had some health issues which combined with other things means I am no longer planning to leave Chicago. That's right, I spoke to the smoke monster and I'm not leaving this island.

Oh, well. I'll make the most of it. My self-owned business, my night job, has been requiring tons of my time lately. I've also been writing a project you'll never see, it's just for me. However, I've been productive: the latest chapters of Secret Desires and Love On the Run are up as well as a new short story The Break-Up are here and on literotica

My secret? Insomnia, coffee, and 8 days without cigarettes giving me nervous energy and a need for distraction. I have smokes now, but still the need to create. And I still have insomnia. I won't sleep at all tonight. Oh, well, more writing time.

The Literotica Earth Day contest is coming up, and it so happens I had an idea rattling around in my head for a few years that would be perfect. It comes from a few places of origin: my own love of hiking, the desert, and backwoods camping, and two stories I read with good plots and improper execution. One was a great story about a woman camping alone, pursued by a rough 'n' tumble kind of guy, but my problem was the sex seemed to be too close to rape. Eep. The second was a grrrrrrrreat novel, virtually perfect, but the character was described as 5'10" and 170lbs and fat. As a woman who's 5'10" the weight range cited as healthy for us is 140-170lbs, so 170 is not fat. For reference, here is a picture of me at 167lbs:

Yeah, would you call that fat? Nope. These days I'm 190 and yeah, at this weight some people would call me fat, some call me average. I call me me. 

So the author was wrong, 5'10" and 170lbs is a size 8/10 depending on bone structure, not fat. But let's say the author just had a typo, and meant 190. What does it feel like to be a size 14/16 and overweight? Frustrating. I'm not self-conscious and I don't think of myself as fat. However I feel out of shape. My endurance and stamina are not what I want them to be, but when I dress in clothes that fit properly, damn I am a sexy beast.

Okay, I have more self confidence than the average bear, but part of it is my body has been at multiple points. I reached my current full height at age 11 and at the time I weight 115. I was poor and malnourished and looked awful. At 13 I moved in with my father who decided to fatten me up. I got to 180 and for the first time in my life was overweight. As a teenager it felt weird, so I became a sports and exercise nut. I ran 3 miles a day, worked out in the school gym on my free period as well as gym, and played sports after school. I got to 150, a lot of it muscle. I looked fantastic but more importantly I felt fantastic.
Then in college time to exercise evaporated and i went back down to 130lbs, a size 4. Well, it got me a modeling contract which I did for a while but realized was too stupid  way to make money. Then I met my future husband (now ex-husband) and long story short, with our lifestyle I got up to a whopping 250lbs, a size 24/26. The thing was, at the time we were swingers, and I had my share of fun with chubby chasers. Up to that point, at every weight, I'd been somebody's type and always felt attractive. For reference, this is what 5'10" and 250lbs looks like:

After the divorce, depression got me back to 160 for a while. Recently, health issues have had me up to my current 190. I still feel attractive, but I know the world doesn't agree. So what is it like to be 20-30lbs overweight? You're invisible. Truly. I am not big enough for the chubby chasers and not small enough for the guys who like average/athletic/slim girls. I'm in no-man's land.

I've been here for 3 years and in that time dating is a challenge. Much like being a guy, I really have to work at it. But nobody stares, or makes comments (except online, but no matter who you are somebody will call you fat online). here's a picture of me at 190 posing with my friends Ken and Carma at Carma's sister's wedding (it was a costume wedding, very awesome):

See what I mean? Ignore Ken as a transvestite clown, but if it were just me and Carma, you'd never even look at me. That's what being invisible means: as long as any other woman closer to a healthy weight or closer to fat is near me, i'm chewing the scenery. By contrast, here's a pic of me at my current weight with my big brother, no other woman in shot:

See Theoretically more attractive since there's no other woman in shot, and my brother hates having his picture taken so he makes dumb faces thinking I'll never post them. Ha! Frankly, I'm okay with being invisible. I work 3 jobs and really haven't had the time to date until recently, so now it's time to get my weight back down. But at this weight I never feel ashamed, no one laughs at me, that's not how the world works.

So I wanted to write about a woman as overweight as I am, which is overweight but not obese, and do it right. The strange result is a story very much tied to Earth Day, and for once I'm writing a story that's not a deep examination of gender roles, but an examination on how we see ourselves. The problem is, much as my invisibility is determined by people around us, how we view ourselves is always shaded by others. Stories where an overweight woman suddenly sees herself as beautiful because some hot guy desires her piss me off. Before anyone else is going to love you, you have to love yourself.

I'll post the result on Literotica when it's finished and you'll see what I mean. Until then, happy reading!