Can I be honest about something? I should warn you, this may come as a shocker to most of you, I am fat. Growing up, I was always the chubby kid that couldn’t keep up in gym class and would hide behind trees during the mile. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to run with the kids, I just couldn’t. My chubby little legs couldn’t carry my chubby little body. I can remember having to wear sweatpants for several months while I was in between sizes at the local Walmart.
Talk about embarrassing.
Middle school was rough. I remember being made fun of for wearing my jeans above my belly button, and all I could think about was how to sneak away from the people laughing at me. I had no idea there were pants made to sit below the belly button, probably because they didn’t come in my size. High School was a whole different ball park. I moved from a tiny town to the biggest town I had ever been to, and immediately started at a huge school. Overwhelmed does not even come close to describing how I feel. I wasn’t outwardly made fun of there, but I never found one group that I fit in to. I wandered back and forth between groups, trying to squeeze my large body into a place of belonging. All of this is to say, I’ve always been fat.
Now, most people don’t mind giving advice to fat people.
“Eat less sugar.”
“Work out more.”
“There is always surgery!”
I’ve heard it all. You see, what most people don’t understand is I didn’t choose to be fat. Wow, mind blowing. Most people see me and think wow, why doesn’t that girl just stop eating so much, wouldn’t that solve her problems? Yes, it would. But it isn’t that easy. Most people see food as fuel, I see food as comfort. In the hard times of my life, I have turned to food, and while that is as unhealthy as I can get, I couldn’t seem to find any other comfort. I don’t choose to eat a bag of potato chips in one sitting, or a dozen donuts, but I can, and sometimes I do. I could go on and on about this topic, but most of you aren’t therapists, and a lot of this is pretty private. My point is, not all fat people sit down and decide to be fat. We don’t think to ourselves in the morning, hmm..I think I’ll eat 7000 calories today, but it happens. This is a very touchy topic, and I know a lot of you will disagree. In fact typing this out is bringing tears to my eyes, because I know the hate I will receive after posting this. Fat shaming is real and I deal with it every day, even as an adult. Most days work is awful, and most guys I interact with have some rude comment to make towards my massive body.
Believe, me I know I am repulsive.
I don’t know that I agree with shoving body positivity down people’s throats, because I wouldn’t wish anyone to deal with the mental turmoil I deal with everyday, but a little empathy would be nice. Every day I am taunted and teased, as a 26 year old woman, and my main goal in losing weight is to stop the hate comments.
I’m tired of being the fat friend.
I’m tired of being the ugly friend.
Most importantly, I’m tired of being ashamed of who I am, just because I am fat.
I tug at my shirts all day, I layer leggings under all my dresses so my fat legs don’t draw more attention to me. On Sundays I prefer to hid behind the keyboard because in my mind people can’t see me. My fat had defined me, and I feel it always will.
I am once again on a diet, and so far it is going well. Usually I don’t announce it but this time I felt I needed to. Embarrassment is hard, so if I fail this time, knowing this is out in the world will embarrass me enough to hopefully, jump back on the diet train. It’s not the portion control that is hard, or the eating of healthy foods. I can count calories till the cows come home and calculate my macros with the best of them. But it’s in the sad moments, the dark moments when the cravings come. The overwhelming urge to eat consumes my mind and I can think of nothing else. Most people don’t understand this, but I know someone out there will. The hate every day tears me down and some days it’s too much. I cry in the bathroom, or hide in my car to get away from them. I feel the stares as I walk through the store. I hid from cameras and avoid going to people’s houses. I live in a constant state of self-hate and embarrassment.
I guess what I’m saying is, the next time you see an insanely large person, like myself, don’t make fun of us. A lot of us didn’t mean for this to happen, and we do try to reverse it. Getting fat is easy, especially when you add mental illness into the picture.
I hope that this diet will last, and in a few years I’ll be down to a healthy weight, but the little voice in my head tells me that I will fail again. That I will never find the husband I long for. That I will eventually end up alone in an apartment covered in cat hair and chocolate. And most of that might be true, but for now I will give it my best effort to become my best self. So please, stop making fun of fat people. We need love too.