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I Will Always Have A “FUPA”

What is a "FUPA?" A FUPA is colloquially known as a "fatty upper pubic area." In other words, a FUPA is a jelly roll. A muffin top. And whatever other inane food-related title that people might come up with to label the fatty tissue on the lower abdomen.

My name is Tatiana Maria, and I’ve been morbidly obese for most of my life. Currently I am at a "healthy" weight after losing over 120 pounds. This was made possible by a combination of medication to treat my chronic illnesses, a caloric deficit, and lots and lots of trauma.

What they don't tell you about weight loss

There are a lot of things they don’t tell you about your body after losing weight. In my case, I lost quite a bit of muscle mass along with my fat. I am much weaker these days, and it is annoying. But sometimes I wear my weakness like a badge of honor.

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"Look how small I am - teeheehee," I giggle internally as I struggle to move an average-sized bag of groceries.

The truth is – I wear my smallness as a cloak to hide the emptiness inside. The feelings of inadequacy. The desire to be smaller, and smaller, and smaller - to fit into a waist size 24 pant rather than my comfortable waist size 32 pant.

And I use my smallness to hide the fact that I have a FUPA, and likely always will.

Loose skin remains

Yes, I lost mounds and mounds of myself. The pounds trickled off me, but the FUPA stayed. She is there for many reasons. They don’t often tell you this about weight loss, but the skin that stretches to hold your larger inner self doesn’t just go away when you lose weight. At least, it didn’t for me.

I have loose skin on my arms, neck, thighs, and abdomen. I’ve never given birth to a human child, yet my stomach looks like I have sustained multiple 9-month-long pregnancies. (And in a weird way, maybe I have. I constantly give birth to new versions of myself.)

I am trained to hide my body

I dress myself in strategic ways to hide my FUPA. Flowy skirts. High-waisted oversized pants with tight crop tops. Sometimes my pants slip down to reveal the softness of my tummy, pockmarked with a scrumptious focaccia-texture.

But swimwear is a nightmare. I dread getting naked for others. It’s like my history is etched into my body. Once I strip away the clothes, I can’t hide the fact that I am a very different size now than I used to be. It’s like my dirty little secret.

Even before I lost weight, I was trained to find ways to hide the vastness of my body. "Wear dark colors," they said. "Peplum cuts," they suggested. Anything to hide my FUPA.

I am grateful

What I realize now is that my FUPA is there for a reason. She is simply amazing. She swelled to accommodate me at my highest weights. She holds space for me in case I need to gain weight again.

My FUPA is the after-effect of millions of years of evolution. She is there to ensure that I have a wealth of energy available for any cold, hungry winter that may descend upon me. My ancestors likely lived to create me, because they too had FUPAs to keep them warm and alive during times of famine or food-scarcity.

For that reason, and many more, I am grateful to my FUPA. I strive to accept her more everyday. I don’t have plans to remove her surgically. She is a part of me and always will be. She is dependable. She is mine.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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