Wednesday, February 17, 2010

When you’re only overweight

Life feels different now that I’m overweight, not the expansive obese girl I’ve always been.  For as long as I can remember I saw the world as “fat” and “not fat”.  I did not understand people who felt overweight because they wanted to lose ten pounds.  They were so thin!  They could shop in department stores!  They didn’t worry about taking up more than their share of the seat on the bus!  I was angered by what I considered vanity.  I lived in a body where I couldn’t shop in the stores, where I organized my life around food, where I felt shame at my body, and yet… I got through it, I dated, I had fun, I lived.  I was so angry that they even considered 10 pounds, when they were thin and I was fat.  But it turns out, I was just angry at myself.

In the process of losing weight I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I’m not close to the finish of my journey, but even at size 12 I feel so different than I did at size 22.  I have always had a zest for life, but now I am overcoming the shame and anger and self-hate that sponsored my eating problems.  To eat less, I had to examine why I was eating too much in the first place.  I ate when I felt nervous, and I felt nervous because I never felt good enough, witty enough, smart enough, pretty enough.  I still have those issues, but I’m actually dealing with them now – rather than simply eating them “away”.

And I don’t eat things away anymore; I don’t have hidden meals of thousands of calories.  Before, I would secretly go to Taco Bell, McDonald’s, In & Out, Old Spaghetti Factory after lunch and eat another huge meal.  I would hide the evidence so no one would find out about my shameful habits, even when my body displayed them for all to see.  It’s taken over two years, but I’ve begun to learn moderation.  I balance my hunger and (mostly) eat apples instead of ice cream.  After binging all of my life, I feel like I’ve finally begun to learn the beginnings of being whole and respecting my body.

The world feels different when your stomach doesn’t enter the room before you do.  I no longer think people are staring at me because I’m fat (and now I wonder if they ever were.)  I used my fat as a shield.  It hid me from my self-disappointment.  I can no longer use the excuse that that awesome person didn’t come and chat me up because I’m fat – and assume that no one wants to be friends with the fat girl.  The world is more real now – I have to stand on my own merits.  The world is also kinder; it’s easier to live in a world where things are manufactured for your mentality and size.  The shops stock clothing that fits me, I don’t feel shameful when I go out to eat by myself, and I’m starting to feel normal in ways I never thought I’d be able to attain.

1 comment:

  1. These are all amazing realizations to have, aren't they? For a while there this summer, I went even further, from just "overweight" to "slender". The differences were just as startling, and enlightening. Keep it up and you will go through those too!

    And in the meantime, enjoy the new perspective you have now. That alone can be excellent motivation.