Verbal Remedy AKA Denise

Verbal Remedy AKA Denise
Del Mar, California, The One That's In A State Of Steep Decline
January 18
Much preferred to the alternative.
Born. Grew up. Kept growing up. Started growing older. Still at both the growing up and growing older. Stay tuned.


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JULY 12, 2010 3:40PM

Shiawase-butori: Happy Fat

Rate: 31 Flag

(Note: I told myself I had to post something, because it's been a month. And I told myself I would post something happy if it killed me, because frankly, there's been too much sadness lately. And so, in the tradition begun by beloved Freaky Troll many moons ago...this one's all MEMEMEMEMEME. Although, unfortunately, it lacks cake.) 


April 12.

Ah, that was the day.

One glorious day.

I awakened that morning lying on my side, knees threatening to leave marks on each other. For the previous few weeks I'd been sleeping with a pillow between them to avoid the accidental acquisition of nocturnal black-and-blue owies. (I get bruises just thinking about bruises.) 

I actually had protruding hipbones and a concave belly (at least when I was lying on my back). I had palpable, visible uppper ribs situated smack-dab between my collarbones and bra-stuffers (which were, finally, in a state of absolute proportion to the rest of my body, maybe for the first time ever). 

It had been a full year since I'd seen a photo of myself (taken during a glorious weekend at Pretend Farmer's and AZDavid's Scottsdale digs) that horrified me so thoroughly, I'd cut my rations roughly in half. And I kept that up for a full year.

That glorious day I tried on a pair of size 5 skinny jeans at a nearby outlet mall. I wasn't nutty enough to pay money to bring them home with me (I rather suspected, correctly it turns out, that I would only fit into them for twenty-three minutes, give or take) but I did take a picture.  I wanted a souvenir. 


Sigh. They were awfully cute. The unkempt hair, not so much...

I'd dropped a total of 40 lbs in a year.

It was the skinniest day of my adult life.

Now I had nowhere to go but...back up.

There is a term in the Japanese language I've adored since the first time I heard it, probably a decade ago, from my best friend. She used it a few months after her wedding.


"Happy fat."

It's not a derogatory term; quite the opposite.

A little extra chunk in the trunk (especially on men, but why should they have all the fun?) is a physical trophy of sorts. Strictly speaking, it describes the weight gain associated with newlywedded bliss. But there's no need to be quite that strict. It can also happen without the benefit of bouquets and vows and bad bridesmade dresses.

Shiawase-butori is an outward sign that you've met a special somebody and begun to...settle down.

Cooking commences. Eating out kicks up a notch. Snuggling on the sofa replaces running on the streets. Before you know it, somebody's poking you in the (increasingly soft) stomach, and you're giggling like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

 I'm claiming "shiawase-butori" today. 

There is no conceivable way I could get those itsy bitsy pants up and over my hips now, a bare three months after hitting my Rock Bottom weight. And you know what?  I'm surprisingly OK with that.

The difference isn't huge--8 lbs., more or less.  They're the inevitable result of a full plate (in every sense of the word).

Put that all together with travel and sushi and fried clams and raw oysters and lox benedict and great deli and fresh pasta and good wine and crisp champagne and good cheese and artisanal salami and farmers markets and the county fair (chocolate-covered bacon, funnel cakes, corndogs, ice cream, fried butter, kittens...FRIED BUTTER).

Now, in April I'd have probably agreed with the old adage, "nothing tastes as great as thin feels," but...I made a pretty damned yummy lasagna last night.

So, fine. I won't be bruising myself with my own kneebones, and I'll probably never fit into itty bitty jeans again. But I'm happier than I have been in a long, long time, and I figure that's worth an extra inch on the hips.


Nothing says Friday night with friends like some shrimp and sausage pasta. By the way, O'Really? lied. Her Mr. Wonderful does have a twin brother. That's him.

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You two are darling.


And, size five is too small for a grown woman anyway. So there.
You look great and the two of you look like a VERY happy couple. Congrats!
If that photo doesn't have pure bliss written across both your faces, well then, spank me (going in the mail tomorrow, I promise...)
What a great post. Happy is better..._r
Awww, thanks, Waking. It's certainly too small for THIS grown woman to SUSTAIN, but it was a fun twenty-three minutes.

Roger, you are a gentleman of the highest order. I miss being here and you're one of the many reasons.

'Touche, they say size isn't everything but it is where jeans are concerned...and time ain't on my side... :-P

Thank you, Joan. It really is.
What a lovely post. You are a gorgeous couple...and I love the idea of "happy fat"...fits me to a tee!
You are beautiful, Denise! Inside and out. Congrats on your new honey. And congrats on the weight loss! YOU DID IT!
it's nice to see your happiness! what a cool couple.
Good for you Denise! Here's to fried butter!!!
So happy for you. Promise to post at least once a month ok:)
Good to see you back (and so happy). Glad you got the picture. i too lost 40 lbs in a year and did what everyone tells you to do...get rid of your "fat" clothes. damn it, why did I listen? now I have nothing to wear.
Chica, I swear, you look healthier right now than in the skinny jeans pic. And besides, nothing is as beautiful as happiness. Just beautiful!
See that skinny girl with no ta-tas? She doesn't look healthy... or happy. See that normal girl with the hot bod? She looks gorgeous, fantastic and filled with bliss. I predict you'll maintain her and not slide fully into Shiawase-butori. Actually, I need the term for "unhappy fat," which is what you had before. I know. I really know. I love how you guys look together! the photo and the post and the expression "happy fat." So happy for you and your self-acceptance. You are gorgeous inside and out and deserve the very best.
This is priceless. :) You look so happy and THAT is where the gold is.

I finally found a term for it thanks to you. You two look very happy...I know the look!
awww, look at you two looking at each other- warm fuzzy
I didn't know there was such a thing as happy fat, but I'm down with it. I loved your tags...they're hilarious!
You look fetching.

I'm very happy for you.
Love both pictures and the messy hair ...
Mercy, Denise you look mighty fine (sexy even) in that last picture. Pass that lasagna recipe~
Lovely. I have a little too much of that Shiawase-butori stuff. But I have enjoyed earning all of it. This was a fun little piece. Thank you for sharing it! R
A woman is never lovelier than when she's in love. I'm so happy for you.
A size FIVE???.....Egads girl.....Thats so wee....and life is too short to be without lox and oysters and bubbly and brie and eggs benedict.

Really is.
Shucksy blushes to everybody who came by. Y'all come to San Diego and I'll cook for you. I will not, however, make Fried Butter.
that japanese phrase is loverly, as are you and your adoring guy. the look on each of your faces (in that photo and in person) says "i'm really really lucky to be here with him/her, in fact can't actually even *believe* my incredible good luck." who wouldn't rather have that than a size five ass? mwah mwah.
To be thin and have the man of your dreams...JEALOUS!
Whoa, somehow I missed this. Congratulations on many fronts!

I did take a picture.

Do the OS terms of service have rules against hawtness? Guess not.
You want to see "happy fat?" Come to Oklahoma, where chocolate-covered bacon, funnel cakes, corndogs, ice cream, and fried butter are but an amuse-bouche. (And by the way, your figure is as sleek as your writing style, which I enjoy immeasurably.)
Wonderfully filling piece. Love the final picture and your carefree way of telling a story.