Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: The “$100 for 100 Pounds” Deal.

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They say people will do anything for money. I mean, Fear Factor was seriously a show of four people who did crazy stunts and ate a disgusting concoction of critters just to win $50,000, so the idea of doing anything for money isn’t a surprise.

Hi, my name is Liz, and my grandfather once made a deal with my sister and me.

Since childhood, my sister and I have been on the more chubbier side. We honestly loved to eat; we still do. We stayed fat for most of our lives, but when we both reached the age where fat wasn’t considered “cute” anymore (in this universe, it’s 12 for me, 16 for my sister), my grandfather made a deal regarding weight loss one day at a family gathering at my aunt’s house in Staten Island, NY.

I’ll give you $100 if you are able to lose 100 pounds.

We all pretty much laughed it off. Even me. Which is why I never did it.

At the time it was said, I was young, and thought nothing of it. My grandfather wouldn’t stoop so low just to have his grandchildren lose weight during the years where they aren’t even fully developed? I was 12-years-old, whose to say my body was going to stay the way it was? Same for my 16-year-old sister.

But, my sister took on the task of losing 100 pounds, and in 2013, nearly 8 years later, she got that $100 from my grandfather.

I’m not mad at her for taking that money, nor losing that weight. I’m not even mad at my grandfather, who was once known for making a joke here and there, putting up the deal in the first place.

I’m mad that weight loss got rewarded in the form of compensation. 

At 25, I wished I voiced out my concern about this ridiculous betting of weight loss like it’s some damn horse race. I wished I was able to express to my family, who praised this achievement, that you are making a 19-year-old girl who gained 30 pounds since graduating high-school like she was an ugly piece of shit for gaining weight. Where were my comments about “how good I look?”

To now understand that the offer of that $100, currency, a form of greed that everyone wants to have a lot of, could be linked to something like losing weight is so unhealthy and dangerous, and I’m glad I never tried it, nor will I ever take anyone seriously if they offered me money to lose weight.

My fat is not your betting table, and rewarding weight loss with a fucking prize isn’t either.

It’s taken me a long time to remind myself that fat is not ugly and losing it (whether it’s my choice or not) does not make me any prettier than I wasn’t already before. Although my grandfather isn’t here with me today, nor I will ever get the chance to explain how it felt like when we rewarded my sister for the weight she lost, he was a good man, he loved me, and he is a man that sticks to his word. But, I wish I was able to tell him, at 25, that we are beautiful for being ourselves, looking like this, and no amount of money should encourage us to do something that insinuates that our current form of fatness isn’t rewarding worthy in the first place.

I never got my $100 for losing 100 pounds, but I did find some self-love for my body along instead. That’s truly the reward here. 

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