Resolutions Resolved


I’ve never really been much of a fan of the holidays. It isn’t that I dislike the comaradie of the season or the food or decorations or the charity it brings out in so many people or the food or the the trees and presents or the food or those cheesy holiday specials on TV or the food or having time off of school to spend with the family. It’s just… Having so much time to spend with the family. Oh, and the food.

See, my mother is a real health guru. She’s a vegan and works as a personal trainer… the kind of person who makes a spinach and avocado shake first thing in the morning and then does her morning routine. She feels great, and thinks the whole world would feel great too, if they would just follow her example.

My father is a chiropractor. He met my mom after she threw out her back on one of the weight machines at the gym. He’s a really laid back sort of guy, but is really into the whole “holistic lifestyle” movement. My parents’ idea of a “hot date” is spending an afternoon together getting sweaty at the gym. Blech!

And then there is my younger sister, Sonya. She’s just a sophomore in high school, but she’s already playing the dating game pretty hardcore. She’s a bit clumsy and not exactly the brightest tool in the shed, but she is personable and — most importantly — very pretty, so she’s quite popular. Her figure, at least, meets our mother’s approval. I, however…

Well, one look at me and you wouldn’t even think I was really part of this family. I’m… fat. Let’s just be honest here. I find athletic endeavors akin to some kind of cruel torture and would much rather be watching my favorite sci-fi programs on TV or have my face stuffed in a book. And when I see sweets…

“Jayla Johnson, what are you doing? You know these are for the annual school Snowflake Day Bake Sale! You don’t need that!”

…I just can’t resist.

“But Mom… Just one cookie can’t–”

“You may as well get your New Year’s Resolution off to a head start this year! Now then, out of the kitchen! Go on!”

“Pfft! Honestly, how many carbs can your gluten-free vegan cookies have anyway?” I mumble under my breath as I back out of the kitchen, feeling utterly defeated and, once again, terrible about myself.

The holiday season is always like this in my house. I don’t even think my family realizes it, but it is like they take the opportunity to turn the holidays into a way to make sure to poke me about my body image at every possible moment. Merry Snowflake Day and Happy New Year! …No cookies for you.

…And it’s like this every year.

On the morning of Snowflake Day, our family always gathers right after a breakfast of mom’s whole-wheat pancakes with fruit topping (never any syrup) to exchange gifts. Usually the ceremony isn’t that much different than you’d find in any other house. My sister and I like to use bacon-and-eggs wrapping paper on Mom’s gifts just to make her roll her eyes, considering both foods are on her vegan-taboo list, many itchy sweaters that don’t fit and kitchen cutlery that will never be used are removed from boxes, and many pleasant “Oh, I love it, thank you!”‘s are exchanged.

But this year, things went a little differently.

“Dear, do you think we should show Jayla her present now, or after the exchange?”

“Let’s show her now! These can wait a little longer!”

I was perplexed. I just wanted to start tearing into all that wrapping paper. What were they talking about?

I understood as soon as I was led upstairs, into the spare room Mom uses as a workout room. There, in the corner, was a shiny new treadmill.

“Happy Snowflake Day, Jayla! This is for you! It’s a special model that is especially good for beginners!” Mom immediately started gloating. She was certainly far more excited about this gift than I was.

“I, uh… ya, that’s… that’s great, Mom.” It was really hard for me to not hide the disappointment on my face.

“You can spend time working out with your Mom. Real mother-daughter bonding time as you work towards your New Year’s Resolution! It’ll be fun!” my Dad piped in.

“Once you lose some weight, let’s go shopping together with our Snowflake Day money and get some new clothes!” Sonya was quick to offer.

“Ya…” I felt numb. Attacked from all sides. “Thanks… Thanks everyone! This is great!” I said, pulling out that patented itchy-sweater-gift fake smile.

I was able to avoid the treadmill for a short time. The whole “New Year’s Resolution” idea to lose weight had been my family’s idea, and now, I was firmly using that to my advantage, claiming I had until the start of the new year before I really had to use that monstrosity upstairs in Mom’s home gym. Sadly, I couldn’t stop time, and as soon as the new year rolled around, Mom became adamant about my new workout regimen.

“Come on, Jayla! You can do this!”

“Mom… I’m… going to… have a heart attack…”

“No you’re not! You’re doing fine!”

I couldn’t believe my own mother wanted to kill her daughter so thoroughly. All for the crime of being a little chubby. Torture! Torture, I tell you!

I had to get my mind focused on something else. I had to…

I then looked up from the treadmill to the little TV against the wall, and saw her. A big, beautiful, black goddess. She was so round and voluptuous, but completely full of confidence in herself. “Large and in charge, chunky yet funky,” the voice from the TV said. She knew she was beautiful just the way she was. She was so proud. She…

…Wasn’t a she at all!

I clicked off the treadmill and stepped off.

“Taking a break already, honey? Let’s see, based on how much you just ran, you just burned 587 calories, so if you keep this up, you can reach goal at–”

I didn’t even listen to my mom as she whipped out her fitness-tracking app on her phone. I didn’t care. This wasn’t my New Year’s Resolution. It never had been. This had been my family’s idea. Get Jayla to lose weight for the new year. I don’t need that to be strong and beautiful. It just took a beautiful, confident Drag Queen to make me realize it!

I ate a slice of leftover apple pie from our holiday feastings, just to spite my family. And it had never tasted so good!

A week later, my mother found me on the sofa, my nose buried in a book, and gave me her patented disappoving stare.

“Jayla, what are you doing?”

“I figured that’s a bit obvious. I’m reading.”

“But it’s Wednesday. And it’s 4:00 p.m. Why aren’t you on the treadmill?”

“I’m not doing that anymore.”

She was exasperated. “It’s barely into the new year! You can’t give up on your resolution already!”

“That was never my New Year’s Resolution. That was your New Year’s Resolution. My New Year’s Resolution is to read more books. I used some of my Christmas money to join an online book club that will send me a new book each week, and I just finished off one of the books I grabbed from the library. I’m on the second now. So far I’m doing pretty good!”

She was stunned. For several moments, there was silence. Then, “But don’t you want to lose weight?”

“Actually, Mom, I’m quite fine being big and beautiful in my own way.”

I’m not sure the thought had ever occured to her. She looked like she was getting a headache. She didn’t say anything after that. Which was fine with me. I couldn’t wait to finish off that chapter, things were getting good!

So good. This year was looking up already!


This was written for the December Monthly Short Story Challenge from the Sims forums, which tasked folks to write a story in 500-1500 words using 1-12 screencaps using the theme “‘Tis the season for…” It is a completely stand-alone story, not using any characters from any of my other works.

I know this is a pretty… odd story for a “holiday” piece, but there are some grains of reality in the story of the “fictional” family. Namely, I actually am a “big girl” that learned to love myself and get over my body issues from the positive image of real Drag Queen Latrice Royale, who appeared on the fourth season of reality TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race. (And a big shoutout to ValoisFulcanelli who provided the catwalk the Sim version of Latrice is struttin’ her stuff on in this story! I’d also like to thank RebornMonster who also built me a catwalk, but with such a limited amount of screenshots that can be used in these challenges, I was unable to use both for this! I appreciate it all the same, though!)

And now I shall end this little holiday nugget with a quote from RuPaul herself: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here?”

Advertisements

About Mastress Alita

I'm a fulltime librarian, a chronic migraineur, a tea addict, and an avid Simmer that writes SimLit and maintains the Stories and Legacies Index, a link directory of SimLit on Wordpress. Though I obviously love cats, I actually don't own one! (Blame my apartment lease for that!) I do have a charming old cockatiel, Kali, that has been my companion for the last seventeen years!
This entry was posted in Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Resolutions Resolved

  1. CitizenErased14 says:

    I love this! And I love the personal story you shared! I am very much in the same boat — a heavy girl always pressured to lose weight (and I WOULD like to, actually… but it’s quite annoying to be reminded over and over again that you’re “fat” and therefore unattractive in society’s eyes… Sorry, rant haha). Your story struck a chord with me, but a good one. Thank you for sharing! <3

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you. ^_^ It certainly was not an easy road by any means to come to terms and be happy and accepting of my body image, precisely because of the rant you bring up! When the people around you and society at large want to drill that “skinny is pretty and what is valued” message into your head at every turn it makes it very difficult, but it can be overcome! I think what is most important is for a person to just love themself, and not feel like they have to be something else because of family/societal pressures. *hugs* Big beautiful ladies unite! <3

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story, Mastress and you are beautiful in your own way. I’ve always been overweight except for 8 years ago when I’d lost 85 pounds in three years. It only took a year and a half to gain it back though. As they say we just have more to love. Your mother in the story means well but only you can make the decided to eat healthier and exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thankfully the mother was part of the “fictionalized” part, my own mom is where I got my big lady genes. ^_~ However my grandparents on my father’s side of the family did tend to throw a lot of supposedly “innocuous” comments like “Look how much weight you and your sister have put on since the last time we visited!” at pretty much every holiday gathering. I’m sure in their mind they thought they “meant well” but for me and my sister, it was just hurtful. I also have a doctor that refuses to treat me anymore for my neurological headache disorder (that is, it’s a problem with my brain nerves just not working right) claiming that she’s done all she can and my entire problem is my own fault because I’m fat (essentially my pain is my fault because I’m overweight; I however know tons of people with Chronic Daily Headache disorder like myself that are very skinny people!) I didn’t even realize it when I wrote it, but I think I was really channeling my frustrations at that doctor into that mother character, hahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bloudwedd says:

    Strong story and even stronger due to the grains of Truth in it! I am overweight too and know that I need to loose weight for my health, but I struggle to make it only about health and not body image…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading! Most people I know fall into that category, actually. I’ve watched my sister struggle with that problem for years; she claims it is “about health” but I can tell her motivations are driven by body image… and she watches an awful lot of those modeling reality TV shows, I notice. It’s really a shame there aren’t more positive plus size role models out there! I think that is what really drew me in to RuPaul’s Drag Race; there are always plus-size “ladies” every season (as well as older ladies, and quite a bit of cultural diversity, too!)

      Like

  4. rebornmonster says:

    EEEk! I’ve been so excited to read what this was about since you mentioned that you were using a drag queen in it. :D

    This isn’t quite what I expected – but it’s really nice. Definitely heartfelt and genuine feeling. Your sense of humor is definitely there – I couldn’t help laughing at the “Merry Snowflake Day and Happy New Year! …No cookies for you.” bit.

    I think families mean well – but the counter-points of all the celebratory food and diet resolutions around the holidays can be a real downer. Besides – I’ve never understood why being thin and pretty has to be a person’s number one priority for “bettering themselves”. :grumble: Like there aren’t more interesting things in the world than whether some strangers think you’re attractive or not. :P

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaha! Well, maybe someday I can do something a bit more… “normal” featuring a Drag Queen character. ^_^

      Actually, I couldn’t come up with an idea for a short story for the holidays all month — usually I do side stories using characters from Cat Chronicles or Yandere Diaries, but the timing was such that Yandere Diaries had just finished having Snowflake Day in the main story not that long ago, and Cat Chronicles is going to have Snowflake Day approaching very soon and I’d rather feature it in the main story, so I needed something completely fresh. It was actually on “Treat Day” at work where it came to me, and it is exactly what you are describing that made me think of it: hearing a bunch of coworkers talking about how it was fine to gorge on all the holiday goodies now because they’d start up the New Years diets! It got me thinking to how much I think it is silly how everyone always makes that their resolution, like it is some sort of obligation… and then it just kinda turned into a “body positive” piece with my true-to-life experiece with Latrice Royale kinda getting thrown into the mix. ^_^;;

      I completely agree, I’ve never understood either about why thinness is such a high priority of betterness for so many people. Once I decided to accept my body image for what it is, I found my friendships much deeper (if someone doesn’t want to befriend me based on my looks, I figure they aren’t really worth my time anyway) and I’ve started to focus on bettering myself in ways that I think are far more meaningful to me, like thinking more positively (I’ve been a “glass half empty thinker” for a very long time, so this has been quite an undertaking… but a very fulfilling one!)

      Like

  5. Jes2G says:

    LOVE!! This was great.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cathytea says:

    Amen! Love this story–beautiful job. Go, Jayla!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. sabreene says:

    What a great story! Something I can definitely relate to! (And still struggle with even in my 40’s, lol!) Thank you so much for sharing something personal — it means a lot! <3

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, sadly I think it only gets harder as we get older. ^_^;; I actually used to be pretty small in my teens, then suddenly about my mid-20s onward I just… well… became large and in charge, chunky yet funky! Yes~

      Thank you for reading, Sabreene!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. raerei says:

    Such a good story, I’m so glad she (and you) got confidence from RuPaul! That is a great TV show.
    It is awful being told you fail at being human when it’s something that would make you miserable to change. I’m reminded of Sabreene’s story last month: Transformation – where the protagonist went the opposite way as yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I loved that story! That’s exactly what I mean… how many people feel pressured to change who they are because either someone close to them makes underhanded comments about it or just society at large leaves that perception that you have to be something you aren’t. If Jayla didn’t see Latrice and change her view, she very well could have ended up like the protagonist of “Transformation”! (Only less oblivious and more outwardly miserably, probably).

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That treadmill reminded me that I need to get back to the gym! XD Great story, and Jayla is still working out, just with her mind! Books > Gym any day of the week!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This was a wonderful story with an awesome message! Everyone should love themselves no matter the size, gender, or color. Everyone is beautiful and I’m so glad you found the confidence in yourself too! I’m glad you shared this personal piece with us. Body shaming is a no! Thank you for telling us this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. charliimai says:

    Wish there was a love button what a great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I really enjoyed this one because I’m strongly for body positivity (I recently made a clean break from the doctor that was body-shaming me, and it feels SO GOOD!)

      At the moment I’m all ajitter because I’m actually going to get to meet Latrice Royale tomorrow! She made such a positive impact on my life, I can’t wait!

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliimai says:

        I adore Latrice “Ms Large and In Charge” . I’m so excited for you!!!! This story is a fantastic one. I too have struggled with weight issues all my life even when me and my sister were the same size, wearing each others clothes I was still called the fat one. I decided not to dwell on my size and just distance myself from those people in my life that saw only my weight and felt the need to lecture me. I am better off for it. Positivity is the Key!! whether your trying to lose weight or are happy the way you are. Negative comments only succeed in making things harder and you miserable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is fantastic Charliimai! I agree; anyone so superficial as to “judge the book” based on its girth probably isn’t the sort of individual I’d want to keep in my social circles anyway!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. And sometimes dreams come true! Here it is, eight months after I wrote this story, and I actually got the opportunity to meet Latrice Royale! She put on an amazing show, lip-synced such an inspiring song, and is just an all-around gracious and sweet individual! I even got a photo with her! I had an amazing time!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s