Hello. I am your token fat friend. You know, the one that used to go home alone after a night of dancing while everyone else is hooking up. The one that shopped at Lane Bryant as soon as the store opened in my sad little mall in the 80s. I am the one that although I "have such a pretty face” felt insecure and gross the majority of my life. I am also...you.
I am guessing we all feel like this at some point in our lives. We feel inferior to our friends and most strangers. We feel too fat, too tall, too short, too booby, not booby enough, too hippy, not smart enough, not creative enough - it’s ridiculous. And it needs to stop.
We are so critical of ourselves.
Growing up was hard. As a tall woman, I hit 5’9” in the 7th grade. And I was overweight. Not obese but definitely large. Fortunately, I was proportionate. But you can only imagine a 13-year-old girl with glasses being just as round as she was tall. Not great and definitely not cute. None of my jeans were long enough and my belly hung over the waistband, I had acne and because I didn’t really fit in the desks at school, I slumped. My breasts came in fast and large but again, proportionately, they matched my body.
Thankfully, I had wonderful parents who loved me very much. My mom constantly told me to “stand up straight” when I walked. I especially loved it when she did in the mall. Ok, to be fair and honest, she did whisper it to me when we were in public. And to be even fairer, I’m really glad she did. I am proud to be tall and have really good posture.
The smallest I have ever worn is a size 12. I was in my 20s and I was hot. Haha! Imagine Marilyn Monroe (ok, not that hot but I had something going on). I had a waist and curves and don’t forget the really long legs. And since my mom told me to stand up straight, it appeared I had confidence. Since then, my size goes up and down as everyone’s does. Right now, I am a solid size 18. I mean, I fill UP my new swimming suit.
Some days I am okay with the fact that I am a big girl. I embrace it and honestly, I don’t even notice it. Other days, I wish I could walk around without wearing a bra.
I don’t know why there are some of us that no matter what we eat or drink, we will always struggle to lose weight. And then there are those that struggle to gain weight. Some of us are athletic while others (me) hate to do any kind of physical activity. I know… the height was a complete waste on me. But I have tried several forms of activity. Yoga, baseball, basketball, running, walking, tennis, gyms, aerobics, personal training and yes, even golf. But nothing inspired me. Nothing gave me a high or a feeling of “I love this!” Sure, I felt better when I exercised but not long enough to actually go back over and over again.
So I would stop. And a few months or years would go by and I would try something else. Telling myself it would be different this time. It never was.
Diets - oh yes. Let’s talk about diets and programs. I started Weight Watchers the first time when I was 10 years old. Did that sink in? 10 years old!
I have tried Jenny Craig, cabbage soup, paleo, Ideal Protein, pills, juicing, shakes, Weight Watchers again and of course, starvation. I never got into throwing up because I just couldn’t handle it. But these, for me, were short-lived. Some worked and I even managed to walk around without wearing a bra several times. It was great! Everything I imagined it to be!
But then the weight would slowly creep back on - actually, it felt like it happened overnight. Why did it take months to lose 15 pounds but then one meal to put it all back on?
Body image is hard. We all struggle and again, we are all so critical of ourselves. We all want to lose, gain or change our bodies. And why? Because society tells us we have to look a certain way?
Most of us, at times, feel insecure. Anxious. Uncomfortable. Confidence is not easy and it certainly doesn’t last. But I do believe we are all beautiful. Could you image a world where we all looked the same? How boring that would be!
And that’s what I think about myself. I am not meant to be a size 6. I was not placed on this earth to run marathons. I have a different purpose. And maybe that purpose is to tell others that being yourself is amazing and wonderful and beautiful. Because it is. Pudgy or not.
So go - enjoy that bowl of ice cream. Enjoy your salad with a few extra croutons. Enjoy your life. Feel comfortable in your skin. And if you really don’t, then find some help. Change it. You have time. Be happy. Be healthy. Be you.