MY UNDERSTANDING OF HOW FAT FEELS NOW
I am 58-years and my understanding of how fat feels now is very different from years past. This understanding has changed a lot over time. I suspect there are a lot of reasons for this.
AS A CHILD
I was born chubby. I have no memory of ever being what society feels is a normal weight. Living in a family where obesity was clearly genetic, there were a lot of hand-me-down feelings around obesity from my mother and others.
In primary school I was teased. I was never the attractive girl boys wanted to be seen with as they are growing up. I attended grades 1 to 6 with the same people and we all went on to Junior High. Being advanced in mathematics, each day I crossed the street and attended the high school for one class a day. I made friends in both schools, many of them were male. Again, I was never pursued as someone the boys wanted to be seen with.
I loved high school and I had great friends. I was in grade 13 before I had my first relationship. In my senior year I recall going to a bar with a friend, a male friend. There we met some of my other friends that did not know him. They assumed this guy I had brought with me was my “boyfriend” and commented. His answer was “Oh my God no, I have better taste than that!” My relationship with this guy is long and complicated. He was one of my favourite people on earth when he passed away a few years ago. He never new I heard him and he never knew my friends later told me what he said. So, he also never knew how that memory stuck with me and causes sadness and hurt still.
In my 20’s another friend told me I dressed well for an overweight person and said he was never embarrassed to be seen with me. I knew how to wear the right clothes! He also never knew what those words meant to me and how they make me feel, even to this day.
ALWAYS FEELING UGLY
I remember my sister dieting to lose weight for her wedding. I felt ugly when I dressed up as part of her wedding party. On the day of my first wedding, at the age of 20, I remember feeling ugly. I do not know how this persistent feeling of ugliness effected my relationships over the years. There were too many relationships and I wonder what I was chasing? Was I looking for someone else to make me feel beautiful. Read Are You Waiting For Someone Else To Raise You Up to understand how this went for me.
When I began Fat and Fit in 2000, I was 38-years-old. I was very overweight by conventional standards and VERY fit. I knew many other woman were out there feeling fat and wanting to feel better. My business boomed. It boomed quickly, because I provided people a friendly, comfortable place to learn to move their bodies safely.
STILL I FELT UGLY. Accomplishment had not helped my understanding of how fat feels.
MY LAST UGLY DIET
I began my last “I am fat and ugly diet” in 2003. I had been working out like a crazy person and running a fitness business. Still I felt fat and ugly. Even acknowledging my fat and fitness with my business name had not changed this feeling! Like most of us, I knew exactly what I needed to do. My food habits needed to change. I was still working out like a crazy person and I was running a doctor’s office full time (I was also a nurse). I had just experienced the death of my husband by suicide (stress) and so when I changed my eating habits, I lost weight.
My loss took me from CRAZY FIT size 2x, down to a crazy fit size 8. I laughingly say this lasted about 30 SECONDS and then the gaining began. My weight settled at a size 10-12 for many years. I had associated SIZE AND POUNDS WITH BEAUTY FOR SO LONG, I finally thought I felt beautiful, for the first time in my life. My weight did influence my understanding of how fat felt, at that time.
I am not going to get into all the reasons why I was a size 8 for about 30 seconds and then started gaining back weight. We all know exactly why that was not a sustainable size for me! The gain was slow, while I was still working out with clients on a regular basis. It came back fast and furious when I became overwhelmed by my inability to cope. BACK I went to feeling less than worthy and ugly. Less WEIGHT had not changed who I was, not one bit! Weight loss was not the link to my self-image that I was searching for. Something else was.
I have participated in many types of therapies over the years. Psychotherapy is all about changing perspective. While I dealt with death, grief, anger and hurt, I also began learning more about myself and how I fit into all of this. This eventually lead to my increase in self-esteem, self-respect and self-love. I was well into my 50’s before I began to change my perspective about my appearance and feel better about my look.
THE FINAL LINK
I have been working to bring traffic to my blog and I have come across a lot of great people doing great work on Instagram. I am also meeting and making new friends. MENTALHEALTHWARRIORSUK helps me and so many others, with the work that she does online. She runs a support group in the UK. She works hard to Stomp out the Stigma of Mental Health. I thank her, as she is an example of how this process and promoting my blog has helped me. It has helped me with a change in my perspective!
Now I see beauty, I see wisdom and I see kindness. I like my smile, I am really excited about my hair turning grey and I have come to love its curliness. Helping others makes me happy too. Teaching about health and wellness makes me feel worthy and provides the brain work I need to help me with my MCI. I stay on track with Progress Not Pounds and understand my recent fat-related diagnosis means being AWARE AND DILIGENT about taking care of myself, but does not require I become A SLAVE TO THE SCALE or buy into the deprivation promoted by a diet industry making BILLIONS.
The other day I commented on a post someone else had put up regarding fat and fat shaming. The reply I received said “fat is just a descriptive.” Those WORDS, once again, changed my understanding of how fat feels now, by summing up for me what I have learned over the years. FAT is just another word, an f-word the world has used to shame people, just ANOTHER ADJECTIVE like plus, big or BEAUTIFUL!
I am Lynne Marie Vella. I am FAT AND FIT, I AM MY OWN PERSON and I AM BEAUTIFUL!!!