back fat (and giveaway winners!)

I noticed it when I was pivoting sexily to admire myself in the mirror over my shoulder. Bear had caught me– sometimes he sort of snatches me out of the air as I go by– and we happened to be in front of a mirror, and I turned, to see the perfect snapshot of us. My big, muscular man with the sweet face, his hands on my waist, and me, sensual in my jeans and bra, halfway through a transformation.

And there it was.

A generous roll. Soft and buttery and creamy and smooth. It sat just above Bear’s hand, just above my waist.

Back fat.


I quickly straightened. “You look amazing, honey,” I said, using diversionary tactics.

You look amazing.”

Hmm. Do I?


I thought suddenly of this wedding show I watched for about one minute, on an evening a couple months before our wedding when Bear and I thought it would be funny to watch some popular wedding shows. The wedding planner/stylist/ whatever that obnoxious character who’s in-the-know on  reality TV is/spiritual guide was tugging the bride into her gown. She was turning her, examining her body from every angle. She was pinching her back, going, “See this? This is about an inch of back fat. This will have to go. This is not allowed to happen, right here. We do NOT like back fat! A bride does NOT have back fat. Not in a gown like this, honey.”

The bride was nodding apologetically.

We need to lose ten pounds before the wedding,” her trainer/ slave driver/ life coach was saying.

The bride was nodding agreement.

“Good. We have a lot of work to do.”

Do I have a lot of work to do?

Where did the back fat come from? I don’t remember it. It doesn’t look familiar. But suddenly– “Hey, can you go turn the music back on?” I said. “The playlist ended.”

Bear, who does favors naturally, left the room to do that.

I turned, frantic, craning to see over my shoulder, grabbing at my own back. I was horribly contorted (to the extent that my unflexible body would allow). There’s more of it! It’s everywhere! I could pinch an inch of back fat by the squishy place where my upper arm connects with my torso. There was some around my shoulder blades. How did I not know about this? It’s like suddenly noticing the incredibly long hair on your jaw that must have been growing for, say, three years. You think, How did I let this happen? And then you run for the tweezers. But this! There aren’t any tweezers for this! It’s a chronic condition! This is going to be my life!

I started to notice it incessantly. When I sat down, I could feel the fat lap over the low back of the chair. Just a little bit, but it was lapping.

Why is my skin so loose?

The world seemed cruel. Just when the back pimples of my youth finally surrendered, and I may have stood a chance at wearing something backless and striking– this.

But there was hope. If I stood up straight, it wasn’t obvious. It was only when I moved. When I turned or leaned or sat against a low-backed chair. But what if one of those things needed to happen while I was wearing the striking backless dress of my fantasies? WHAT IF?

A few days went by. Bear did not say anything about the back fat. Had he not noticed? Or, worse, had he ALWAYS noticed? I kept reaching around to grab my fat. To see if it was really there.

It was.

But then a funny thing happened. I stopped noticing so much. After all, most of the time, I couldn’t see it. Out of sight, out of mind. My back fat stopped being my go-to obsession and felt more like a place I’d been a while ago, with kinda funky scenery, but not much to do.

The other day, Bear and I ended up in front of the mirror again– I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame, and he tends to follow me over — and I twisted automatically into my sexy mirror pose. And there it was– that plump, delicious-looking roll. There was another, smaller one above it. I caught myself just as I was about to straighten defensively. I held the pose. I am totally sexy.

When I looked away from the roll(s), I thought my butt looked great. And my thighs. And other places that I like to be full of fat. And I thought that maybe it was OK for the back fat to be there, too. It’s a small price to pay. And anyway, it’s sort of unfair to ask the fat to pick and choose, isn’t it?

“You have the best butt ever,” said Bear.

“You too!” I said. He really does.


*  *  *

What about you? Back fat?

Unroast: Today I love the way I look in a vest.

So these are our Sneakpeeq giveaway winners! YAY! You guys are good at luck!

Winners ($25 gift certificate) : Leslie K and Carol A

Runners Up ($10 gift certificate): Twyla, Diana, Melanie, Nancy, and Joceline

Sneakpeeq will send you your prizes soon! Thanks for participating, everyone (anyone who participated got an automatic discount off their next purchase)! I sound bubbly!

P.S. Also, I did a list of things I don’t understand about women for the Frisky. Some of you may remember how I like to do these lists occasionally.

P.P.S. My editor added some stuff, to make me funnier or perkier.  Bear would NOT point out a hair on my chin. I would be shocked if he noticed.

P.P.P.S. I just found this post about back fat, by Emily over at XOJane. I continue to love her and wish she would email me back. She also compares her back fat to something delicious. So apparently I’m not that original.


Kate on January 18th 2012 in body, weight

30 Responses to “back fat (and giveaway winners!)”

  1. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    oh dear lord…this reminded me of my friend fawn, whom i refer to as the slutty goddess…she likes to wear corsets for “special occasions.” she’s a hot 53 with ample everything…anyway, she put a new one on for…uh…the “special occasion” and was so pleased with the slimming results around the torso, the pushing up of her boobs…but where did the fat go, she wondered? ahhhhh…it was graciously and bodaciously sitting on top, of the back of the corset…she said it was like having boobies front and back…and apparently “he” didn’t mind at all…:) you’re so funny!

  2. Elena responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Oh dear Kate! How I know that feeling! Hanging on the wall, right opposite to my bedside table and the chair where always lay on the clothes picked for the next day, there’s an evil mirror. Since my boyfriend does not have to wake up as early as I do every morning, I leave everything prepared so I don’t go walking and making noises up and down the room in the semi-darkness of dawn. Yet every time I start dressing up, it doesn’t matter how cold it is in the room, I can’t help taking a hard long look at my self as I get out of my pijamas. Sometimes I think I look great, some others I can see or make up just all kind of wrongs in my body…Sometimes I really get upset about it, and tend to check my self over and over. But lately I’m starting to take things easier, “it’s just today” I say to myself, “tomorrow you’ll see yourself pretty again” : )

    Nice to hear someone else feels kind of the same way some time! It feels somewhere between crazy and stupid when you think you’re the only one with these kind of thoughts. I guess it is just natural after all


  3. T.K responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    so…. when is the next giveaway? :)

  4. Kate responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    I’m not sure! I felt a little cheesy, doing so many in a row…But maybe I’ll reach out to someone. Any suggestions? What kind of stuff do you like?

  5. zoe (and the beatles) responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    oh, back fat. i never noticed it and when i did take the time to investigate, i didn’t have any. but then i started eating again and well, fat came back. my back fat came back. it’s a weird thing to come around to. i pinch it a lot. twist in front of the mirror and watch it fold in on itself a lot. it’s gotten to this point though where i just kind of shrug and ‘eh, whatever’ it and move the fuck on. i can’t keep hating my body as it is because it didn’t do anything to me (very much I did something to IT). that and back fat doesn’t dictate my worth as a human being.

  6. Melanie responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I am really trying to accept my belly. It’s a day by day growth thing, but I’m getting better about it. I love that Bear said you have the best butt ever. I have a complimentary boyfriend. I never thought it mattered what words escaped another person’s mouth until I was talking about a boob job and Rich said, “But you have amazing boobs.” I almost cried. It’s nice to be appreciated. Sometimes when we can’t do it ourselves, someone else has to do it for us.

  7. Sarah responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    This is kinda random, but I just google-image-searched ‘back fat’ and this popped up.

    Makes me sick. SICK. That would be an effing Victoria’s Secret model. Complete bee-ess.

  8. Kate responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Dear god!

  9. Sarah responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    I know. It seems like a sick joke or something. Just move proof that we need more blogs like yours.

  10. Rebecca responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Please get that dress and wear the hell out of it!


  11. Sooz responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Oh my gosh…I have back fat…well…EVERYWHERE! There are rolls and rolls of roundness. And this despite having recently losing some weight! I always kid that when I stop moving….my skin still continues jiggling. it’s pretty funny actually. Thanks for another superb post. :)

  12. Brigid responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    I actually kind of like my back fat. Admittedly, I don’t have enough of it to be shamed in everyday situations — but I’m pretty sure that wedding show slave driver would be appalled. Anyway, I think it helps give my back a shape, you know? Like how layering gives my hair “a shape,” so it’s not just a massive triangular curtain.

    I like that I have soft curves on either side of my lower spine, easing the transition into my butt, making a pleasing contrast with the flatter area of my spine. (This is hard to describe! I hope someone else understands what I’m talking about.) I also like the dimples that show up when I move my shoulders in certain ways, even though the fat over my shoulder blades isn’t obvious otherwise.

  13. Angela responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Love the list. Kind of hate my back fat. Working on my negative feelings about a very functional part of my body.

  14. Mandy responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    This is the reason I don’t buy from fashion designers (well, that and a little issue with money)–they seem to have the totally fucked up idea that women should change themselves into walking clotheshangers to make the clothing look good, not design clothing to make a woman look good. God, but this pisses me off!

    (Please pardon my Anglo-Saxon, but sometimes ya just gott cuss!)

  15. Diana responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    I won?! I feel pinch-me lucky. Thank you!!

    As to back fat, yes, sigh, I have my share tucked right under my bra strap. It’s like having a muffin top in the wrong place.

    I remember my flat tummy before babies. Most women call theirs a Pooh Tummy, a Third Boob or The Bane Of Their Existence. Spanx makes mine manageable.

    My husband is also complimentary about my backside, saying it is modeled after the likeness of naked porcelain statues of my ancestral Italian cousins seen all over Europe. I giggle and protest, but I also like to hear it.

    Secretly, I want to be one of those 50+ women who can wear hip-hugger jeans and rock a flat belly and a sexy back-fat free back. But, that would take a serious daily 5 am gym commitment and going cold-turkey on my M&M habit.

  16. melissa responded on 18 Jan 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Yup, I’ve got a bit of it too! But like you said, “out of sight, out of mind” :)

    It’s pretty clear that no one else gives a crap about my back fat, so I guess I shouldn’t either.

  17. Another Kate responded on 19 Jan 2012 at 12:25 am #

    For a lot of women, a lot of the time, “back fat” is actually migrated breast tissue from wearing badly fitted bras. Yes, even if it’s halfway down your back. This is reversible. Not that there’s anything wrong with anyone’s body, but this makes for easier/better fitting clothes and often greater comfort.

    Most women wear a cup size too small and a band size too large, because the bra measuring system where you add 4-5 inches to your underbust/ribcage measurement to get your band size is straight up wrong. Your band size is more or less exactly your underbust measurement, maybe an inch more. Band sizes start well below 32, and cups go far above DD (which is NOT “huge”). If you find bras uncomfortable, it’s because you’re in the wrong size or style, period.

    I don’t want to write the world’s longest comment, so
    if anyone’s interested, the below links are super helpful. I was wearing 36dd for years and am actually a 30h. My mom was wearing a 34b and is actually a 30dd. Wearing the right bra size has made a huge difference in my life and relationship with my body.

    This is about “armpit fat” and “back fat”, often migrated breast tissue. The site also has a lot of great fitting tips.


  18. Twyla responded on 19 Jan 2012 at 4:21 am #

    Yay! Thanks for the gift certificate!

    And I love the way my back looks when I bend backwards. Two or three little creases along my side. I think it’s sexy.

  19. Lynn responded on 19 Jan 2012 at 7:45 am #

    I’m getting married this September and have been looking at wedding gowns, so I have recently become reacquainted with my back fat. It’s true, I don’t think about it much, until I am confronted by it in a mirror…..

  20. Lynn responded on 19 Jan 2012 at 7:46 am #

    P.S. I did choose a dress, and I look amazing in it back fat or no back fat :)

  21. T.K responded on 19 Jan 2012 at 9:24 am #


    I see your point. I just want one more chance :) . Personally, I think clothes and jewlery are great. Especially the fun kind. But you can always get more creative and raffle off books (maybe books that have positive self image themes?) or home decor. Or…you can do a cake giveaway. It can be either in the form of a gift certificate or a coupon like the way groupon does it for food. Maybe you can work something out with a bakery/restuarant?

  22. Kate responded on 19 Jan 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    LOL! I JUST wrote to some places about cake. That was my thought, too! Yay!

  23. Val responded on 20 Jan 2012 at 12:52 am #

    I told my mother that when I’m shaking rugs, the flab on my arms keeps going after the rug has stopped.

    She laughed.

    I told her it wasn’t funny. Mother! This is terrible.

    She laughed harder.

    Well, fine.

    Actually, what is luxurious or inviting about bones?


    Though I like the way my clothes look when I’m thinner, I don’t actually mind the way a few more pounds feels.

    That little bit of softness here and there feels wonderful, like expensive velvet.

    Life. Kate, it finds us where it does. love, Val

  24. April responded on 23 Jan 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Oh, back fat. I had briefly heard the term somewhere….I think on some message board that ask what your least favorite place was for fat. Some women said “I hate back fat!” I had never even considered it, and then my world came crashing down when I realized how much fat I had back there. Ok, “world came crashing down” is a bit dramatic. But still, this was maybe a few months before my WEDDING. I tried the entire winter and spring leading up to my wedding to lose weight and I was a complete failure. I didn’t start losing until a few months ago when I went to the doctor. But that isn’t the point.
    The point is that I noticed it, for the first time in my life, at the worst possible time in my life. Why couldn’t I have the back fat realization AFTER my wedding? No matter what I did, nothing could help it. I had to wear my wedding dress and it HAD to be strapless because that’s all they sell anymore and I couldn’t afford to fix it to make it better. I don’t wear strapless, but I sucked it up and did it for my wedding.
    There are some wedding photos that I detest because I notice that roll slightly hanging over my dress in the back. There was nothing for it….the longline bra I wore and the corset back had sucked me up so much I ballooned out the top. I regret the dress I bought, partly because of the back fat. But what’s the use in regret?

  25. Eat the Damn Cake » nice to meet you, rebel body responded on 01 Mar 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    [...] now there are folds in shocking places and I am pliant in ways I wasn’t before, and in yoga, sweating and miserable and definitely [...]

  26. Eat the Damn Cake » what the hell is success, anyway? responded on 23 Mar 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    [...] funny thing has been happening, recently, though. Sort of like when I felt good instead of bad about gaining weight. I’ve been feeling happier. Not all the time, of course. That would be excessive. But in [...]

  27. Eat the Damn Cake » ballerina vs fat responded on 24 Jul 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    [...] fat. About plumpness. There is something sensual and basic and inescapable about it. Something faintly delicious. And I catch myself appreciating it without meaning [...]

  28. Eat the Damn Cake » The utter despair of shopping at Macy’s responded on 23 Oct 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    [...] The first pencil skirt was shockingly translucent. The line of my underwear looked like a vein crawling across my butt, and above the waistline, my stomach, doughy and pale, pooched out. The double mirrors, angled cruelly, gave me an explicit rundown of what was going wrong in the back. [...]

  29. Bounteous responded on 06 Apr 2013 at 5:22 am #

    I have always considered back fat to be one of the terrors of modern women but it is so rarely talked about. As ‘Another Kate’ above says, it is mostly due to the wrong size bra. That thought should be a huge relief to most women because the realisation one is wearing the wrong size bra is hardly the worst thing in the world, but back fat sends a feeling of dread.
    The biggest issue in my mind is that, because it is literally behind you, you cannot see it. Now maybe there is an advantage to out of sight, out of mind, but when the realisation dawns it can be shocking. None of us want to think other people think we are fat but we cannot see it. So as so many readers say, make sure your bra fits and much of the time the problem will fade away

  30. Eat the Damn Cake » i think i finally don’t care as much about the way i look responded on 03 Oct 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    [...] on my side. It is a new addition. My skin is looser now, around the middle, more pliable, softer. It feels nice to touch. It looks—well, whatever. I’m not thrilled about how it looks. My midwife said, “Yes, it will [...]