I’ve been losing weight for about 2 months now, and over the last three weeks or so, I’ve been noticing them: my fellow Recovering Fat Girls* (RFGs).
We spot each other on the way to work in the morning and home in the evening. We see each other shopping at the grocery store. We catch glimpses of each other aggressively crossing the street so we don’t have to break our stride and risk burning one fewer calorie. How is it possible that we have this silent knowledge of each other? It’s not totally clear, but an RFG knows an RFG when she sees one, with or without the presence of work-out clothes.
The proper conduct when encountering your sister RFG in the wild is with reserved friendliness. Typically, there’s a quick second of eye contact, followed by mutually perceived recognition that the other is an RFG, and then a closed-mouth but warm smile of understanding with an undercurrent of support for the other’s place in the struggle. Then, we pass by each other and go about our day, likely to forget that moment until we come across the next RFG.
It may seem like a typical exchange with any old stranger, but there’s something different in the RFG acknowledgement ritual. The shared look and smile aren’t just reflexes to escape the momentary awkwardness of passing by a stranger; there are messages in the RFG version. When I see a sister RFG, my eyes are saying, “I see you, girlfriend. You’re working it out. Wherever you’re going right now, you’ll be going there with a lot more speed and confidence at this time next week.” My smile is saying, “I understand you. I support you. I am you.” At the same time, my sister RFG is saying the same to me, all without saying anything at all.
We’re everywhere, ladies. And you know what that means? It means we’re not alone.
To all my sister RFGs out there reading this right now, I see you. You’re working it out. Wherever you’re trying to go, you’re GOING to get there. I support you because I know you. I know you because I understand you. I understand you because I am you.
And sisters, we got this.
*I don’t have these moments in public with the Recovering Fat Dudes, but brothers, you also have my support!