A friend of mine posted this article about “Thin Privilege”, and I clicked the link, just reading my facebook feed like a dutiful friend/artist exhausted of coloring. It was a surprisingly good read, and it touched a part, deep down inside, that I’ve been ignoring.
I’ve been dealing with a lot of body issues lately. Not like you’d expect. Usually, when a girl loses weight, they’re just so excited to be skinnier and get new clothes and stuff. Which I have been. Excited to be down a jean size. Excited my clothes fit better…I have those feelings, but it’s not the only ones that are there. Becoming the skinnier me…it’s taken some getting used to.
Since I started losing weight, back in April, my eyes have been opened to a world of truths. So many people thought I hated myself and my body, and I didn’t realize how plentiful those people were who thought this. The judgement now, once I started shedding pounds, …they don’t feel like they have to hide it…to hide they were judging me as gross, lazy, slow, unhealthy…and so much more.
When I posted my progress (closing in on 40 pounds less now – Thanks, MyFitnessPal and Charles for keeping me company on my journey), there was a surprising amount of people who came out of the woodwork, assuming I hated how I looked before. I have gotten questions like “Don’t you feel less gross now?” or “I bet you get less tired going up stairs, right?” or “Doesn’t eating healthy just feel better?” or “I thought you were gonna have a heart attack.”
Now I KNOW that several of the people who have said these things are chock-full of love and such, but it hurt. These people I care about, and who care about me, thought I was living in this shameful bubble of self-loathing, but I was never that girl. Underneath all my flubber and jiggly bits, I am relatively healthy. I have a thyroid issue, but I don’t hide behind it, as I know I eat horribly and I don’t exercise. But down 30+ pounds I STILL EAT HORRIBLY…I just eat less…and I still barely exercise.
I was talking to a friend just a day or two ago about fat-shaming and how it affected her life. She’s slimmer than me, even at my current weight, and far more active. She had these friends, an elderly couple from Syria, who she would visit and take shopping and the like. But each time, the woman would look her over and point out stuff like “You look less like a cow today than yesterday”…and she finally had it “up to here” and severed ties. The woman followed her as she left, but my friend was done. Done being judged. Done having her flaws pointed out to her.
It’s not like we don’t know we don’t conform to the standard of beauty, but she’s one of the most beautiful people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. She’s kind and thoughtful. Her smile and laugh could light up a room, and she has a way of making you feel like you belong. She didn’t deserve the way she was treated.
It’s just…seriously fucked up. But I’m kind of glad it happened this way to me. It really opened my eyes.
The screwiest part of all of this is the fact I kind of miss fatter me. I’ve been big for a long time. I haven’t been not considered a ‘plus size’ since the sixth grade. I’ve always been comfortable with me, just as I am and as I was, haters be damned. But I knew that girl, for all the ‘flaws’. I know what stresses and life choices made me go from a bean pole to a curvy girl. But as I saw it, she was me. I lived my life to be happy, and this was the result, and I was and AM comfortable with that.
I started losing weight so I can improve my chances to have kids and those kids will have better health as a result of me taking better care of myself while they’re along for the ride. Not because I hated myself. Not for any of the reasons people assumed. Why no one assumed I would do something for someone other than myself is beyond me, but I guess we’re all conditioned to believe that we all hate ourselves and want desperately to be have that supermodel body.
I don’t plan on quitting the weight loss journey. I will get used to the new me. I will get to know this girl as I knew the one who was there in April. But know I love myself. I’m healthy. I’m motivated. I have goals. I don’t think I’m gross. I think I am fabulous. I am actually sort of vain. I check myself out in the mirror and say “how you doin?” channeling my best Matt Leblanc.
I think I shall end this rant here. I have vented sufficiently.
You can’t kill me…you can only make me stronger…unless you offer me cupcakes…full of poison. Then you’ll get me. I cannot resist cupcakes. Less I’m out of calories for the day.