I just have to let this out there, so bear with me.
Being fat is hard. As a person who has lived being fat her whole life, I can personally attest. Being fat is in its own category. You are discriminated not by some, but discriminated by all despite your sex, age, race, etc., whether intentionally or unintentionally. By nature, you stand out. In society, you really stand out. You are taught from a very young age being fat is bad. Being fat is wrong, and you should be ashamed about it, and fix it. You are taught if you are fat, you need to compensate for it somehow (“She’s fat, but she has pretty face. He’s fat, but he’s funny.” ) You are taught you don’t matter as much. You are taught you can be made fun of with no repercussions. You are taught that there is something wrong with you.
For me being fat was never being comfortable in my own skin. Constantly worried about standing out. About feeling “too big” in every room. Being fat was fearing pool parties or being invited to water park. Being fat was about fearing a chair couldn’t hold me, or I wouldn’t fit on a seat or in a booth. About being afraid to eat anything other than salad in front of people (cause if you’re eating a salad, people can’t say you’re not trying right?” )Being fat meant crying after shopping with friends at the mall because you couldn’t fit into the same stores they were all shopping at. Being fat meant countless days crying in the dressing room when I went back to stores for bigger girls with just my mom. Being fat was the fear of standing out in photos, or having photos taken of me at all. Being fat meant being never noticed by a boy, ever and praying it stayed that way because you were “too fat” anyways. Being fat was going to nutritionist after nutritionist, and never finding something that stuck, or worked. Being fat to me was being a failure. Being fat to me was every single birthday when I blew out my birthday candles on my cake wishing in my head “I wish I was skinny”.Being fat to me used to be “waiting until I was skinny” for my life to start.
I’ll tell you what else is hard. Losing the weight. For one thing people look at overweight people immediately judge them. They mockingly say “Geez, why don’t they just lay off the cheeseburgers and fast food” not knowing the struggle that person they have never met is going through. “Just eat less, and workout,” as if they know your individual body composition and what works for you. Maybe that fat person whose expense you just laughed at just lost a family member and gained weight from depression. Or maybe they got injured. Or maybe they can look at a fat person and not know that just before you saw them they had has just finished their first week of weight watchers, or lost 10 pounds already and have 50 to go. That they are in the beginning or middle of their journeys. They don’t know that they are actually really trying. Or they don’t know they just binged ate because they starved themselves all day because they’ve been made to feel they don’t deserve to eat.
Losing weight is hard when you look around and see thin people eating junk food without gaining weight and receiving no judgments or health lessons while they do. Losing weight is hard when every exercise video you put on only features people working out with six packs. Losing weight is hard when you’ve tried every diet including starving yourself, and nothing seems to work. Losing weight is hard when you have disease, or health issues that prevent you from losing or make it harder to do so. Losing weight is hard when people judge you who don’t know your story. Losing weight is hard when the world mocks you for trying, like when you see people take pictures of overweight people at the gym, and make internet memes out of them. Losing weight is hard when you’re treated as less of a human being for the number you are on a scale.
So for my fellow fat people. Let me tell you something I learned. Not everyone in the world is going to love you. Not every person in the world is going treat you right. People will mock you to your face, they’ll mock you in photos on the internet. Many people will treat you differently or without respect. But none of that matters. Yes it doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day the people making fun of you are dealing with their own insecurities that are rooted in something much deeper and harder to change than their outward appearance.
I’ll repeat. It doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you. It doesn’t matter if the world judges you, (let em!). It doesn’t even matter what close friends, significant others, or family thinks of you either. The only person you need to worry about is yourself. You need to love yourself. You need to respect yourself. You need not to judge yourself. You need to take care of yourself. You need to treat yourself right. Because nobody else is going to do it for you. And once you start loving yourself, you’ve won half the battle.
So if you’re out there trying to lose weight, don’t let other people’s negativity and ignorance bring you down. Don’t let it discourage you. Instead, use it a fuel for a fire and don’t let it burn out. Don’t do it for anyone else other than for yourself and to make yourself feel better and to get healthier. Do it because you love yourself.
In my own weight loss journey, I have found it is not just about losing the weight, but its about finding myself and finding comfort in my own skin. I’ve stopped “waiting until I was skinny” to enjoy and love my life. Are there still days I cry in the dressing room, or feel judged if I don’t eat a salad in front of people? Absolutely. But I am getting better. This year on my birthday ,my candle wish was for “student loan forgiveness”. I am no where near where I started on the inside mentally as much as I am not where I started in my outward appearance and hell I think that is a greater achievement.
Thanks for reading and for all the support I am so lucky to receive from so many people, love you all!