In my formative fat years …

July 2, 2010 at 12:05 pm 2 comments

Me as a teenager

I always hear fatties talking about how they were picked on as children, ridiculed as teenagers, and had all-around bad experiences being young and fat. Perhaps I am the exception, but I wasn’t. There are one or two times that I can point out as someone being mean to my face about my weight in my youth. Two times. And while this might be the case, I was not happy-go-lucky. Most of my hate came from within my family. Between my father and I, well, we pretty much had it covered.

I always hated my weight when I was younger. I really started packing on the pounds in middle school, and then it went up from there.

I remember vividly in high school, after I hit about 180 pounds, vowing to myself that I would kill myself if I ever hit 200 pounds. Now, this didn’t happen as I weigh much more than 200 pounds now and am still alive, but that illustrates how I was feeling at the time. Like if I didn’t stop gaining weight, then I wasn’t worth the air.

I wouldn’t allow myself to wear anything without sleeves. Be it dresses or tank tops, it must have sleeves. Why would I do that to myself? I lived in Georgia! It’s too hot not to wear a tank top. My standard wardrobe consisted of big t-shirts and tapered-leg jeans. Hot, right?

Not that I had many other options. Shopping was always a nightmare. Lane Bryant was skewed way too old and lots of places didn’t even carry my size at all. There was no Juniors Plus section. No Torrid. There wasn’t really any place to go at that period in my life. It would have been nice to have options during my formative years. Perhaps having something that actually fit and was cute would have given me more self-confidence, or maybe not, we shall never know.

Sometimes I would stand in front of the mirror after getting ready, and notice something that I thought was the end of the world, muffin top. I would start to outgrow my pants or I would just try to squeeze into a smaller size. When this would happen, I would either react by changing, going as it, or slapping my belly as hard as I could. I guess I thought that it would make my stomach disappear. It never worked though.

Throughout these years, I would wear my pants too tight. Either I didn’t want to admit to myself that they were too tight and go up the next size, or I figured that is what I deserved. It always seemed like they were too big or too small, and I guess I thought too small looked better. Years of this torture on my stomach resulted in a dark ring around my belly. It has mostly faded now, but the hint of it is still there. Scars from childhood I guess.

As most fat teens, I never thought that I ever had a chance with boys. Why would they like me? Looking back, I’m pretty sure I’ve could have scored a date or two. Hindsight, right?

I never really had any fat friends. ALL of my friends were skinnier. You always see “the fat friend” in movies and on TV, but that’s the role I played in my real life. This didn’t help the clothes situation either. They would also want to go to places that I could fit into. 5-7-9 anyone?  How about 16-18-20? This also gave me a complex about letting people borrow my clothes. I never wanted anyone to know how large my clothes actually were. Looking back, I can’t help but shake my head at how ridiculous that sounds.

I was never a big dieter. I hated my weight, but I didn’t really do anything about it. My mother and grandmother dieted a lot and it never seemed to work for them, so I guess I figured, why would it work for me? Sometimes I would get on these kicks where I decided to write down my weight every day. I would try to work out using some of my mom’s tapes, like “Richard Simmon’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies” or Cher’s workout video, a couple of times and then see what happened. Problem being that it would never last more than a week.

I actually did play sports and was active. I played outside all the time, was on the soccer team and in marching band, but I was still fat.

My grandmother still battles with her weight today. She is a “I’m not going to do X until I lose weight,” keeping the skinny jeans, try every diet out there kind of person. She would give my mom weight-loss books and then tell her to give it to me when she was finished. She never really came right out and said anything but it was just slight things like that that would get under my nerves so bad. And still do until this day.

My father was always on me about my weight. He would constantly talk about how I was too big and needed to lose it, how I shouldn’t be eating that, etc. This continued until right before my freshman year in high school. His constant berating had gotten to me and this one fight got to be too much. I locked myself in the bathroom and then we screamed at each other through the door. Through a face full of tears, I finally stood up to my father and told him to stop it. I’ve had to do it a few times since, but that was the first time I told him to not say those things to me anymore. Since then, I’ve has to use such lines as, “I’m happy how I am, please stop bringing it up,” etc.

Course, he was even harder on my mother. My mother was always bigger growing up, and still is. A couple of times, she has lost a bunch of weight, but has always gained it back.

My parents would get into the worst arguments. Screaming and yelling. My father was an alcoholic and he would blame his drinking on my mother’s weight. As he saw it, she gained weight after marriage and the pregnancy to punish him, and so he drank. My mother sought comfort in food because of my father’s drinking. And round and round they went.

Moral of the story to a young girl: Food is comforting and by eating food I was going against the man. Perhaps it isn’t so cut and dry, but it has definitely left me with some food issues. If I have had a bad day or I’m stressed, it is still an easy solution to turn to food.

I have never been the one to eat a whole pizza or eat a ton of candy all the time. I would definitely have food guilt when my friends and I would go to the food court at the mall. “If I order fries, then everyone will just think, ‘Look at that fattie with the fries. That’s why she is fat!'” And I would never order more than my friends did. If I was still hungry, I would suck it up until such time that I was alone and then I would eat freely. My one friend was rail thin and would eat a whole pizza. She ate constantly and never changed. I just didn’t understand it. Why couldn’t I be like that, too? Body envy as a child is normal I think, but metabolism envy? Maybe not.

I know you are probably expecting some moral to the story, some shining pearl of wisdom that will help you accept who you are, but sadly I don’t have one, but I am living proof that you can make things turn around — a teen fattie can become a big beautiful woman.

All I can say is that it’s a really long, hard battle to finally accept your body and who you are, but oh, is it worth it.

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Entry filed under: Diet, Fashion, Fat, Fat bias, Fatastic, Fattie Wisdom, Food, Me!, Shopping. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Is Your Kitchen Making You Fat? Diet Talk is a No-No

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Heather  |  May 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I enjoyed reading what you wrote. But it brought back bad memories of arguing with my parents over my weight. They would fuss about it, but no one ever offered to get off their couch and walk with me. I was 12 for crying out loud! Got down to 200 pounds at 30 years of age and thought I was Marilyn Monroe. Then, after life had thrown some rock-filled snowballs at me, I got an office job and put on 100 pounds! My dad will still try to make comments about my weight. “It’s so easy, but burn more calories than you take in.” Thanks, Einstein. My response now? Hey Dad, drop that cigarette. Isn’t having COPD enough?” Now, all I wanna do is get back to 200 lbs.

    Reply
  • 2. Crystal  |  March 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    You literally wrote that you grew up associating food with comfort. Your thin friend likely doesn’t do that, and just because she eats an entire pizza in a single sitting (and what is your view of constantly, once a week?) doesn’t mean she eats that way constantly. Trust me, there is a reason and it’s simply because she doesn’t eat as much in the long run. One of my friends who is obese has expressed amazement at how much food I can buy, except she’s never seen me eat more than a normal portion, and I keep it in my room for months and months. I also run and bike a lot, whereas she just sits all day, orders an entire pizza to herself because she’s too lazy to cook, and needs two cream cheese packets for one bagel AND one of those giant Costco muffins. But sure, *I* just have a magical metabolism.

    Reply

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