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Please don’t poke the fat girl

Back in high school, Deirdre Barnes poked my belly on the school bus and giggled. I giggled too because I am ticklish everywhere I have skin.

“Why’d you do that?” I asked, confused.

“You’re so jiggly,” she said. It had never occurred to me that a thin person might not know what rolls of belly flab felt like. I didn’t like being poked. I hadn’t given her permission to feel me up. But I understand her curiosity now. I didn’t know what a thin person’s body felt like either. The closest I’d come to feeling up a six-pack was when I’d grab a Mountain Dew from the fridge.

I still haven’t felt up six-pack abs, but I’m sometimes surprised by how firm my body is becoming. When I but my hands on my sides I can feel solid muscle beneath my thin layer of fat. If I squeeze my thighs, there is extra skin and adipose tissue, but I also feel the ungiving firmness of muscle. My scale says I’m about 30% fat now, which means 70% of me is bone and muscle and water, and you can definitely feel it.

It’s different, but in a good way. I like to imagine I have amazing abs underneath what remains of my belly flab. I know my bones are stronger and denser from lifting weights. And I may have batwings of arm flesh, but I have curvy biceps too. I’ll even let you feel them if you want to. But no poking.

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Danielle • December 20, 2007 at 8:39 am

I am always trying to get my husband to feel my muscles!

It’s a weird feeling, to lose so much weight, and then feel the muscle where once was a huge layer of flab.

I feel up my hip bones daily, because I can’t believe I have them!

Keep up the good work; you inspire me daily!


Erin • December 20, 2007 at 10:23 am

Feeling up the six pack abs is way over rated, but a girl should try it at least once!


MB • December 20, 2007 at 11:22 am

Deirdre was a very bold girl to be poking you like you were some sort of Pillsbury Doughboy.

It is a wonder how the body expands and contracts with weight fluctuataions. I’m always amazed at my colarbones and hip bones when I lose weight and find myself continuously running my fingers over the bones as if they were dug up from a prehistoric place and finally get to see the light of day again. I’m looking forward to unearthing them again in 2008.


Marianne • December 20, 2007 at 12:34 pm

I’m a Brownie leader, and last year one of my girls gave me a hug and asked if I was pregnant. At first, I was shocked and a little offended, but then I realised that she comes from a line of skinny folks, and is young enough that she probably mostly assumes belly=baby.

I miss my formerly-tight body, and can’t wait to get it back and re-experience the feelings you are describing.


Amanda • December 20, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Take two… don’t know what happened to my first post.

What a strange story from your high school days! I cant believe that girl poked your belly, I have never heard of anyone doing that before. I wonder if she reads your blog and I wonder what she would say to you now if she seen you?!?! :)


Amanda • December 20, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Take two… don’t know what happened to my first comment, it didn’t show up properly.

What a strange story from your high school days! I cant believe that girl poked your belly, I have never heard of anyone doing that before. I wonder if she reads your blog and I wonder what she would say to you now if she seen you?!?! :)


Les~ • December 20, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Congrats on your sculpting and muscle tone!


RuralGurl • December 20, 2007 at 5:06 pm

huff, puff, I finally caught up. I’ve been reading your blog since October and now I’m all current. (slow reader).You should have poked Diedre back and said, “so that’s what a sack of bones feels like”. Sorry I have no patience for unfeeling people. Even if she was just ignorantly curious, common sense should have prevailed.

I’m no where near feeling muscles or ribs, but I do have this one hollow near my hip that wasn’t there before. Very cool! Really enjoy your blog, thanks and I’ll keep reading.


TOWR • December 20, 2007 at 8:29 pm

What a hag. I would have poked her in the frigging eye.


Holly • December 20, 2007 at 11:53 pm

Wow tuff stuff from the last couple of comments from the peanut gallery today. I wish we could be allowed to honestly ask those questions that we really don’t understand the answer to. Political Correctness causes us to smugly walk around ignorant of the truth assuming we never hurt anyone, but in actuality hurting many. It doesn’t seem like she was trying to be malicious.

Anyway…my actual response to your comment (before I hit the slush at the end of the comments) was that it is amazing that while your body has been transforming and your thinking of food related things have changed, your true philosophy about life is still the same. I marvel at the complexity of the human body on a regular basis.


Cindy • December 21, 2007 at 6:40 am


This post brings up so many thoughts about how I feel about my body AND how I feel about what I THINK others think about my body—-past and present. Its funny how certain exchanges stay in your mind for years and years, while so many others just slip through. Why did that moment stick? I always wonder if those are the thoughts that mull around in your mind at night, when you’re not looking, and eventually have an impact on your “awake” thinking, too. Can a negative become a positive? I’m mulling again…


Dyan • December 28, 2007 at 9:22 am

My 8 year old stepdaughter loves to tell me that I am fat and then come over and poke at the places where I need to lose weight.

Her mother is an aerobics instructor and gym teacher. She has also taught her daughter that fat people are lazy and eat too much at McDonalds and that tanning is good for her.

And they say stepmothers are evil?


Ash • December 28, 2007 at 10:32 pm

haha, that totally reminds me of my little skinny baby.. He pokes my stomach and is so gleeful about it, it’s kinda embarrassing because now he thinks its fair game to go up to anyone with a tummy and smack it to see it jiggle. And I just want to point out that your fat % scale is probably wrong – You’ve lost a lot of weight, they don’t account for skin.


gtree • January 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm

I’m taking abs classes and every once in a while I’ll look at myself in the mirror to see what new ab muscles are visible (they are still shy but peeking out). Then I’ll yell to my husband to come see them. The funny thing is that he will come see them and get as excited for me as I am (or is he excited for himeself?)


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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