I had never received the back handed compliment of “oh she has such a pretty face” until recently. That was a compliment reserved for fat women. I did not consider myself fat at all. I would describe myself as overweight but never fat. As long as I could still purchase clothing out of regular department stores I did not believe myself to be obese. Even when I was hospitalized last year and the doctor’s notes said “…obese, 42yrs old female” it did not truly register. However, once my vanity was attacked it hit home.
Like Rosie O’Donnell said, fat people live in denial. That is a truth. Sometimes I see myself in the mirror and wonder how did it get to be this. I am 5’4″. I weigh 210lbs. Euphemisms like “thick”,” full figured”, and ” healthy” only mask what I know to be the truth. This body that I live in is well on its way to diabetes and hypertension. Thankfully in this moment I do not have any of those diseases but it is just a matter of when not if.
Being overweight has effected my self esteem, my sense of self worth, my self love. It feels like a self inflicted punishment. When I think back to when I was slim and feeling good it almost brings me to tears. I start asking myself how did I let it get this out of hand? Why didn’t I just get up from the table? Stop eating at fast food restaurants? Continue to exercise? I am not a fat person who does not know how I got fat. I know exactly what I did, which I think makes it all the worse.
My family harps on me about my weight. I look at them all of whom are overweight and say to myself, really? Mirror anyone? They can not stop reminding me of how I used to look. As if that is going to magically make this weight melt away or if it is supposed to inspire me. It does the opposite. I begin to feel overwhelmed and worthless. I feel like I must have peaked somewhere in my early thirties when I was still slim.
The heavier I became the more crap I accepted from the men I dated. I no longer felt that should be respected or loved entirely. Glad that they were in life was enough. Trust me, when you do not love you no one else does either. I stayed with a man who told me that he did not usually date “big girls”. So I sat wondering should I feel special that you chose me? I found myself always trying to overcompensate for not being thin, for not being his ideal of beauty. In reality I was showing him that my love was not worth it because it did not come in a perfect size 4, 6 or 8. I was depleted walking out of that one.
Not being one of the more attractive women in the room has caused me to develop other traits. I figured out that I am a good business woman, that I am funny, smart and creative. Being overweight pushed me to develop in areas not associated with my vanity. It has given my a voice that I might not have found when I thought I was beautiful.
So now at this juncture I am ready to lose the weight. I mean do what is necessary to get to where I feel comfortable in my skin. This is not simply about my vanity but about my life, my health and my self love. So, I am inviting you on this journey with me. Come along.