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Big Beautiful Dreamer

ridiculously contented
Feb 26, 2006
~BHM, ~BBW, ~~WG. After quitting drinking, Dylan is surprised to find weight gain rather than loss.

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One of the benefits I had expected from finally quitting drinking was that I would lose weight. After all, I had been pouring thousands of calories a day down my throat, and beer, wine, and vodka all relied on starches to work their alchemy. I wasn’t blind – I could see that my face had gotten unpleasantly puffy, and I had watched my waistline steadily expand with my drinking habit.

Habit, hell. I had tried to go without before, for brief periods. I wouldn’t drink for a month – for a week – just for tonight. I couldn’t even make it through one stinking night without booze. And drinking had long since stopped being entertaining. There was no pleasure in the taste, no joy or sense of celebration in the ritual – just a staggering number of empties in the recycling and the switching off of desperation as the first hit from bottle or glass lit up my brain and calmed my jitters. I was sick of waking up headachey and cross, sick of too many evenings ending in a slurred blur or a trip to the toilet, sick of waking up at 3 a.m. to pee and then lying awake the rest of the night as my brain yammered away on the guilt channel.

The bottom line had come one evening at home. I had taken another beer from the fridge, dimly thinking that the cardboard carrier should not already be empty, and was headed back to the living room and the television, where I was binge-watching the latest season of Orange is the New Black. Three steps in, the warning system from my gut strongly advised me to change course. I turned around, which is harder than it looks, and staggered back, reaching the sink just in time to barf up most of the night’s beer. It flashed through my mind like a neon sign in a bar that I was puking the poison out of my system while fully intending to put more poison right back in.

When I finished heaving, I poured the beer down the sink, followed by a bottle of wine and the half bottle of vodka from my freezer. Followed, for good measure, by the NyQuil. I was done.

I won’t bore you with the details of recovery. There were ups and downs, the famous “pink cloud,” and the wrestling with the realization that never again meant never again.

And it’s true that after a while I could see the physical effects of not drinking. My face no longer looked puffy and pasty, and I felt bloated far less often. But my body still craved sugar, and I kept finding excuses to treat myself as a reward for staying off the alcohol. So that even as the color returned to my cheeks, my jeans, rather than becoming gratifyingly loose, seemed in fact to shrink.

At the ninety-day mark, I had added twelve pounds to the thirty extra I was dragging around; after six months, I was up a cool twenty-five. After a year – an entire three hundred sixty-five days without alcohol – I had packed on forty-five. For those keeping score at home, that’s seventy-five pounds. As noted, they weren’t going to my face, not any more, which meant that they were all going right to my ballooning gut. My waistline was swelling seemingly by the day, and I looked like I was hiding a basketball under my shirt.

So after dressing up for the sober Christmas party I was heading to, I wasn’t feeling quite as celebratory as I should have. I knew that I would be called up to the stage for applause for passing the one-year mark, and all I could think is that everyone else would see how little I had my life together, how I was still a loser, just a dry loser.

I made it through my moment in the spotlight, but only because the view allowed me to notice a woman with chestnut hair and a little bit of a cushion to her figure. After I lumbered down off the stage, I threaded through the crowd to find her, and we went out into the hall and got to talking.

“I’ve been looking at you all evening,” she confessed, “but I didn’t have the courage to say hello.”

“Am I so scary?” I asked, lightly.

She blushed and looked down. “You’re so … handsome.”

I coughed. “You must mean two other guys.” I patted my swollen belly. “I’m…”

She smiled. “Well, so am I.”She ran a hand down her dress. “I thought I would lose weight when I quit. But I keep rewarding myself for not drinking, and somehow bell pepper strips just aren’t very exciting as a reward.”She made a face. “I’ve actually gained twenty pounds. Seems like I thought I would be getting my life together. So now I’m sober – but I’m fat.”

She blushed again. “The truth is, I’ve always found bigger guys more attractive.”

Bigger. That sounded a lot better than fat loser.
As the evening wound down, I discovered that we had spent the last two hours standing in the hall talking. My feet and back were sore. I couldn’t wait to get home and stretch out. But not before exchanging contact information and promising more time together soon.

Debbie, as it turned out, loved to cook and bake (“that’s one reason I’m gaining weight – I don’t have anyone to share my goodies with”) and, working as a 911 dispatcher, was on duty over Christmas – she had the day shift Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She invited me over for “a real Christmas dinner,” which sounded good to me. I worked nights in a lab, processing urine samples (whee), and couldn’t afford to travel across the country. I’d phone my folks, that was all.

In the three weeks between, we had three dates, or rather, three weekends of living together and acting like a couple. I could hardly wait for Dec. 24.

When I got to her apartment, she shooed me into the bedroom to watch television, warning me to stay out of the kitchen – so that by 1:00, I was starving as well as tantalized by the good smells.

Holy crap. Every inch of the counter was filled with dishes. Turkey and stuffing. Succotash. Sweet potatoes. Creamed onions. Sweet peas. Crescent rolls and popovers. Squash casserole. Pumpkin pie and a three-layer red velvet cake.

We settled in, plates on TV trays, to watch a COPS marathon. Debbie ate, but she also put herself in charge of making sure my plate stayed filled. After more than an hour, I feebly raised a hand.

“Stop,” I grunted. “I’m – hic – stuffed.” I laid a hand cautiously on my gorged and swollen belly, which was tight as a drum and achingly heavy. I desperately wanted to burp but couldn’t trust that it would produce only air.

“We’ll take… a break,” Debbie said, and sank back on to the sofa. She was puffing herself, and her face was appealingly flushed. Her top seemed a little more snug than before, and the elastic waist of her khakis was stretched.

My jeans, meanwhile, were digging cruelly into my belly, which could do without the pressure. Moving in slow motion, stuffed stupid, I fumbled until I managed to undo the button. I hiccupped and the zipper slid halfway down. Unthinkingly, I slid my hand down the waistband of my boxers, trying to ease the pressure.

While the television murmured, I took stock. I was full up to the top of my throat. I could feel my heart thumping in my ears, and I could breathe only shallowly. Inhaling causes the belly to swell, and my midriff was distended so tautly that each breath caused actual discomfort. Holy crap. I had eaten so much I was too full to breathe. My sides felt pulled and stretched, and as I dropped my gaze I realized that not all of that could be dinner. Some of the gigantic swell had to be bloating from digestion. I would not die, and in a couple of hours I might even feel human again.

“I’m … gonna … change,” Debbie mumbled and slowly hauled herself up. She had eaten so much that her tummy was distended, a round and rosy bulge tight against her trousers. In slow motion she plodded into the bedroom, coming out in an oversize shirt and loose sweats. She carried a much bigger pair of sweats for me.

“A friend said they were great for cleaning,” she said, “so I picked some up at Goodwill but never got round to turning them into rags.”

It took me three – three! – tries, but I finally levered myself upright. I was so full that I felt as though my overloaded and sloshing belly was weighing me down. I grabbed the sweats and staggered to the bedroom. I slipped off my shoes, not bothering with socks, and wrestled with my pants and boxers until they got past thigh level, at which they finally slid to the floor. I had to sit on the bed, and debated between bending over to pull up the pants and raising my legs to put them on.

Before dressing, though, I could not resist lumbering into the bathroom. I lifted my shirt, then tugged it off and laid it on the counter.

Sober, check. But.

My face, far from being pasty, was flushed. My features weren’t flabby, but my face had filled out, and I had acquired the beginnings of a second chin.
My chest flabbed, pecs lying softly on the skin under it where a line of perspiration lay. My ribcage had not been the widest part of me for some time. Instead, a spare tire swelled out from the top part of my midriff, with the normally flabbed second spare tire now inflated and gorged. I poked at it. Painfully tight, itching even, with no give at all. I felt as though I might pop if I took too deep a breath.

After several long seconds, I pulled the shirt back on – why was it so tight? – and galumphed into the sweats.

My bloated gut felt better with less pressure on it, but I was still so achingly full that I could not imagine ever feeling like eating again. Debbie knocked and came in.

“Nap time?”

Nap time. It took some huffing and puffing to get into bed and to slowly turn onto our sides, but we managed. With the TV on low in the background, we drifted off.

After we woke, it seemed the most natural thing in the world to make love, which we did languidly, and I, at least, was enjoying the pressure of her tummy on mine, which was still full but not as painful.

Sex whets the appetite. That’s my excuse for downing no less than half a pumpkin pie and two big slices of cake. Afterward, sated again, I slept alongside Debbie for an hour again before we repaired to the bedroom.

When I woke, it was the first Christmas morning that I had greeted free of a hangover in years. My time in the bathroom was epic, and Debbie provided waffles and microwave bacon before scooting off for work. I fed myself an insanely good turkey, cranberry, and cold stuffing sandwich (OK, three) and a slice of pie. Never mind how large.

Debbie was home by 3:30, and we exchanged gifts. Wonderful woman! She’d given me clothing in sizes that fit. I had gone with jewelry and a dessert cookbook, and we amused ourselves flipping through it.

When I was ready to phone my family, a text message from my sister instructed me to Skype. Groaning, I availed myself of Debbie’s computer, while she went to take a shower. My family was very supportive of my sobriety, and I could see the relief in their faces when they encountered a sober Dylan on the afternoon of Christmas day. I felt a pang of guilt. I apologized, not for the first time, for all the headaches I had caused.

Finally, my mom touched on the subject.

“You look… well…”

Dad jumped in. “Putting on some weight, son.”

I sighed. “Yeah, I am.” There was an awkward pause. I decided to grab the bull by the horns. “I guess now that I’m not drinking, I kind of got into the habit of rewarding myself with stuff that isn’t alcohol. And…” I gestured around. “You can see I’m not at home. I’ve been dating, and Debbie says she likes guys who are bigger.”

With that, the spotlight was beautifully shifted. By clamorous demand, Debbie joined the conversation, and my interrogation was over, at least for now.

As for me, I was in a relationship, and sober to boot. I wasn’t sabotaging it by lying to my partner, hiding booze from my partner, and putting my partner last. I wasn’t engaging in selfish behavior to feed my alcohol demons. I wasn’t beating myself up with guilt – not even over gaining weight! Because Debbie loved me. As I was. We were both being honest with each other, and that was refreshing.

Long story short, 300 Favorite Desserts was the last Christmas gift I gave Debbie, my girlfriend. A year later, Debbie had baked her way through the book, I was toting 375 pounds, and Debbie clocked in at a gorgeous 250.

I love looking through the wedding album. She was in an off the shoulder cream dress that flowed, Grecian style, from the wrap-like top that bared plumply soft, milky white shoulders and hugged her ripe breasts. The floaty fabric skimmed what I knew to be a grabbably cushioned middle, one that I loved to fondle and grab and massage in bed. The dress floated over her ripely curved hips and luscious backside, stopping at her knees and displaying calves that were works of art, rounding beautifully to neatly tailored ankles.

We were two years sober, a lot bigger, and things would only get better.

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