Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Total Truth Tuesday: This one's gonna hurt...

I am your fat friend.

Okay, there I said it. It took me two days to write and 45 minutes to post. It took me 28 years to admit it and say it out loud. I am your fat friend and I'm okay with that.

It's funny because when I was a kid I always pictured myself as the fat sister. I had some adult relatives call me thunder thighs at the age of 8 and the mental image of myself just stuck. I look back at pictures of myself at that age and I was absolutely average sized. I wasn't even a bit pudgy really. I was an average little girl. But, the damage had been done. And, I've lived with that idea of myself my whole life.

Two kids and a complicated medical history later, I'm the heaviest I've ever been. And, no I don't love it. But, so what. I've decided that starting today I am no longer going to hate myself because of a number on the scale or the size of my jeans. It's not worth it. And it's not accomplishing anything. In fact, it hasn't been until recently when I've decided to stop hating myself and start focusing on health that I have actually started losing the weight.

But still, this whole weight thing is bugging me. Not for the obvious reasons though. More because of the way people feel they have the right to talk to you about your weight when you are heavier than average (or actually as heavy as the average American). Last week I was at the doctor with my mom and he was getting her medical history. He asked her about the health of her children to get an idea of issues she might have passed down. She mentioned that I was her daughter and without even so much as a word to me or even having officially met me he said, "Okay, so are they all overweight like her?" And I thought. Really? Is that really how we treat people now? Would he say, "Do they all have bad teeth like her?" or "Do they all have B.O. like her?" Doubtful. But my weight seems to be everybody's business. If I say that it is because of a medical reason, does it seem less despicable to him or others? In fact, it does. But, since I don't feel like investing in a "I'm fat for medical reasons" sign I guess I'll just have to put up with comments like that.

I ended up having an appointment with that same Dr. against my better judgement and he went on and on and on and on about how society will always treat me with contempt and disdain and hatred and prejudice because of "my size". He said I should remember than underneath all of this is a beautiful person. Let me say that again, underneath all of this is a beautiful person. That stung. It really did.

But, you know, regardless of how I feel about my health and my body, I have to remember that this body carried two precious girls and a baby that is already with God. I have to remember that this body is my badge of motherhood. I love it no matter how much I don't always like it. Because, you know, I have two little girls who will be looking to me to figure out their own body images. They deserve to have a mommy who doesn't complain about big thighs or wide hips or baby belly or whatever else she thinks is plaguing her. Because they need to know that these areas are not where their beauty lies. They need to know that, though they should work to keep their bodies healthy, their beauty, their value, their worth all come from some place deeper within themselves. And they'll never know that unless their mom figures it out first.


tal said...

Just for the record, I love your hips and your thighs.

Katy said...

As I read this I really got teary-eyed because it actually hits home for me as well. Growing up I was the middle of three girls, both my older and younger sisters being bean poles and weighing almost nothing. As a young girl, my own sisters used to joke and say stuff to me like "blubber butt" and the like. I recall even through college always feeling like I was too "fat." But now, after having two kids and being almost 29, I look back at those days and long to be that way again. But even more than that, I think to myself, what is good enough for me? Not them, but for me? Is 145 lbs. okay for me? Ever since my two children, I can't seem to shake that "number on a scale" like you said. And I think about it EVERY DAY!!! And your point about being an example for our daughters, well I'm right there with you. And I want you to know that you are a very beautiful and amazingly creative person. And if you're anything like me, that's where I define myself, not in my weight. Love you!!!