I was watching the movie Jawbreaker last night. What struck me most about this movie were the bodies of the high school girls. Rose McGowan, Julie Benz and Rebecca Gayheart were voluptuous: curvy backsides, muscular legs, flat stomachs and ample breasts. They looked great. When I was in high school, I would have been embarrassed to look like that.
If I’m being honest I would say that I have been uncomfortable with my body since puberty. I developed early. By the time I was in sixth grade I already had prominent breasts. I’ve always been bigger than the other girls around me. The end result is that I’ve always looked older than my age. That meant that I also received a lot of unwanted attention from older men. That attention made me very uncomfortable. It made my parents scared and angry. They didn’t want me to go over anyone’s house because they were afraid that I would be molested by the males in the house. My mother made sure that I kept myself covered properly at all times so that I wouldn’t entice any men or boys. She also made sure that I wasn’t overly friendly with them. My father was fanatical about boys. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was sixteen years old and he often became angry if anyone mentioned the word boyfriend and me in the same sentence. I think that’s why I’ve always been uncomfortable being a sex object.
I’ve always wanted to be rail thin, so skinny that no one in their right mind could say that I was fat. I wanted to be like all the other little girls around me and the girls that I saw on TV. I didn’t want a big butt, big hips, or big boobs. I wanted to be like everyone else, like my cousins. I wanted to have straight boy hips. I didn’t want to have curves. Curves were dangerous. I wanted to be cute. Girls seek approval from other girls. If a girl is too sexy she is not always accepted by other girls.
I think that I use my weight as a shield. I use it to keep people at a fair distance.
I hate thinking about my appearance all the time. I hate wondering what strangers think about my body. I hate feeling disappointed that someone who I don’t think is physically attractive finds me unattractive. I hate silently accepting the judgments that strangers place on me because of my size. I hate that my outward appearance determines so much about my life. For example, I don’t know if I’m alone all the time because I enjoy it or because I don’t want to be ridiculed because of my weight. Would I still be socially awkward if I was thinner?
I know that I am not as self-confident as I could be in all aspects of my life because of my weight. I think of myself giving a reading, or standing in front of a classroom or sitting at a desk in an office. I view myself as an outsider might see me and I am disgusted. I wouldn’t want to know me. I wouldn’t want to be close to me.
I’ve been fat, or obese, for 17 years now. I’m making a commitment to finally lose the weight (no giving up this time) because I’m scared for my health. Just as importantly, I’m sick of being fat. I’m sick of that being my major excuse. I want to find out who I really am, what my real issues are.
Sometimes I wonder how my life would’ve been different if I had made a commitment to lose this weight 17 years ago. Would I still be awkward? Would I still be an introvert? Would I still be afraid to break out of my comfort zone? Would I be more assertive, with stronger boundaries and unwilling to accepting disrespect and bad treatment because deep down I feel I deserve it for letting my body get to this state in the first place? Being fat has always been the one thing that is wrong in my life no matter how well everything else is going. Yet sometimes I wonder, am I staying fat on purpose? Am I afraid to be happier? To be more fulfilled? The question that I most want to answer, and hopefully by the end of this weight loss journey I will be able to, is: am I miserable because I’m fat or am I fat because I am miserable?
Thanks for Reading,