I like to watch documentaries on various subjects and today I watched one about morbidly obese people in Great Britain. Even though it was very informative, talking about a lot of issues people don’t normally think about because we just take them for granted, the part that really touched me was when one of the women interviewed said what is quoted on the title of this post.
Honestly, I was so shocked at some of the things she said people say to her!!! This poor woman is morbidly obese, needs a walker to help her walk and has to rely on her husbands help to get over common daily tasks such as dressing herself, taking a bath or cooking. And if that wasn’t enough she still has to deal with people coming over to her in the middle of the street telling her she’s a “fat pig” and doesn’t deserve to live. I mean…are you f***ing serious?!
Young girls get “taught” that if you’re not skinny like a Victoria Secret’s model, then you’re not pretty and that you should starve yourself to be like them. Ok ok, most people don’t tell you to starve yourself directly, but underneath it’s there! I know so many young girls (and boys!) that don’t eat because someone made a nasty comment on the way they looked, it’s heart-breaking! I’ve been a victim of this as well and worse, from members of my own family, people who should be there for me and not criticize the way you look just because you don’t fit into their parameters of what they think you should look.
It’s gotten to the point where people are doing something called “fat shaming” (I didn’t even know about this term until recently) where people judge other people that are, well for the lack of a better word, fat! They want to deliberately make you feel ashamed for looking the way you do. What they don’t get is that is bloody hurtful!!!! Besides, not everyone who’s “fat” is unhealthy or lazy and sure as hell not disgusting or gross (unless they don’t clean themselves…but then that has nothing to do with them being fat so there ya go!). Granted, some people just don’t care what they eat, but some people are sick, be it physically or emotionally, and yes, you can be addicted to food just like to alcohol or drugs.
Above is me at the age of 18. I was at my lowest weight. I looked good, not too thin, but not fat either. I was a size 40. What people couldn’t see is that I was at my worst battling an eating disorder that no one knew about and most of the people in my life still don’t know I had and still fight with every day. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t healthy, I was crashing down every day. I hated myself. My aunts used to always make petty comments on family dinners. When no one was listening came the nastier comments, often whispered to me. Mostly from two aunts and two uncles. Ironically, one of them was my favorite aunt. Things such as “That’s why you always need new pants, you can’t keep your mouth shut, can you?” or “how do you expect a boy to like you?” or even “you’re getting a bit big!”. They started from when I was 9 and started going through puberty and my body was changing.
I would often go days without eating anything during the day except dinner because I had to have it with my parents at home. I tried exercising, but that didn’t work because I got winded and tired and just unmotivated. I tried not eating for days, but then I would binge for an entire day. I looked in the mirror and would tell myself I was ugly and fat and no one liked me. I tried throwing up what I ate, but that never really worked out (and today I’m happy it didn’t because I truly do not want to think what my life would have been if it did). I started cutting myself because, as stupid as it might seem, the physical pain made the emotional pain a bit more bearable. I still have very faint scars, most of them disappeared, thankfully.
What most people don’t know is that two years after the first picture I showed was taken I got sick. It started in February/March, I went to the hospital every other week with an Asthma attack. I was living with my boyfriend and the time so my parents didn’t really know, or else they would have gotten that there was something wrong before I did. A few months later I had a very high fever for two weeks and no one could understand or find out why. They went as quickly as they came. In August 2008 I was sent to the hospital with what they called another asthma attack. And even though I told them I’m allergic to cortisone, they still administered it to me. That made me not only bloat and put on weight but also really hard to lose it afterward. You can see it in my arms, they weren’t as big before. Also, this past year we discovered I’ve had insulin resistance for most of my life, without anyone knowing before. Another thing that makes you not be able to lose weight once you have it.
I got over it. Most of the days I think I did, anyway. Some days I still want to starve myself and other I just want to binge on food. But 90% of the time I eat healthily and don’t give in to the little voice in my head that tells me not to eat. I don’t deprive myself, I will eat a piece of chocolate or cake or whatever it is I’m feeling like. But then I will take better care for the next few days and I never eat too much of anything at once.
I’m very guarded. And I have to say I was lucky. I never told my parents, my friends never knew. Only when I was already in college, one year ago, did I let some of them know. And I must say I’m lucky to have those friends, they are patient with me and will be there when I have a panic attack because of food. It’s happened and they were there, even though they didn’t know what I was going through and feeling at the moment, they were there for me and didn’t let me fall off the wagon.
I managed to get over this alone. I didn’t tell anyone not because I didn’t think they could help, but because I didn’t trust them not to judge me. I was ashamed, I thought I was horrible, ugly and not worth it. I felt exactly like the woman in the documentary, minus the being morbidly obese. But unfortunately most girls that have any kind of eating disorder don’t manage to get out of it and some of them even die from it. It’s something that stays with you forever, always in the back of your mind. I know that if I’m not careful enough I might relapse into the whole vicious cycle of not eating/binging/not eating.
Honestly…I don’t give a rats ass if someone is fat or thin! I just care about them being healthy!!! Do I think society is at fault here? Yes. And no. Because we’re the ones that let society go on with this. We’re the ones who buy the magazines that sell the idea that you should be thin to be pretty. I think magazines and TV-shows and the fashion industry should start incorporating more real women. Not size 0 or 00 (yes, that exists!!). I’m not saying to completely turn away from the thin models, some clothes do look better on people without curves, that’s just the way they’re designed, but others need a woman’s curves to look good!
Stop fat shaming. And thin shaming. Stop treating one another and yourselves badly all together!!! The first step to love yourself is to accept that you’re unique, doesn’t matter your size or the color of your hair or eyes. You’re beautiful just the way you are.
We’re all beautiful!