2008-05-08

Why Don't Fat People Disappear?



OK I have been "plus sized" in my time, I have been "normal" in my time, and I can tell you being thin is a lot better than being fat. Not just because you feel better, look better, or can shop for better clothes, but because people don't constantly pick you apart and ridicule you. As a thin or "normal" sized person I was never asked by anyone "How did you let yourself go?", snickered at when I attempted to work out, have people treat me like I was stupid or nothing, or better yet treat me as if I didn't exist. My mother asks me now, am I getting enough protein, or am I eating enough, but when I was bigger the questions were "Can you put the fork down?", "Did you hear about this new diet?", "You know your husband will leave you, after all white men prefer thin women". Looking at pictures of your smaller times, your mother reminds you how pretty you used to be.

When you are fat, when you go to try on clothes, people ask, "Can you still shop at regular stores?" , kids panic or fear if people tell them that they are going to look like you, when they grow up. Your uncles refer to you as wide load, and ask you how much you ate at the family reunion. When you go out to eat with acquaintances, all eyes are on you to see how much you actually eat. People give you nutrition advice all the time unsolicited, co-workers explain to you why you are fat. You never hear how people get sick to their stomach seeing thin folks, but you hear it about fat folks. People never assume skinny people stink and sweat, but apparently fat people do.

All in all, being fat sucks, you are discriminated against, told you are constantly ugly, and treated as if you don't belong. It is the last group of people where it is perfectly ok to make fun and ridicule folks. I imagine if I ever go to the point of being so big that I would have to wear elastic band clothes, I never got big enough where I had to quit shopping in "regular" stores, but imagine if I did, how would I have gotten treated at that point?

I know my breaking point came when my mother started nagging me about my weight, amazed, shocked and dismayed about how fat I was. I finally asked her, "Should I kill myself now or later, after all my weight is such a horrible thing, I must need to be rid of this earth?" This was after me losing almost 20 lbs, but apparently the weight was coming off way too slow for her liking. When people would give me unsolicited weight loss advice, I would ask them, what they did to lose so much weight, the usual response would be silence. I got angry, depressed, and my weight loss was started and enhanced with diet pills, starvation, and bulimia. As long as I was losing weight, it should have been all good right? This changed the first time I passed out after living off a 800 calorie a day diet and throwing up meals. But the saddest part was, it was at that point I was getting complimented on my weight loss. I remember around this time is when I had my second miscarriage, I had finally had enough courage and gall to announce I was pregnant to my mother, and her biggest concern was, please don't gain all the weight you lost back. I didn't, but I didn't get to keep my baby either, so she had nothing to worry about. People tend to forget people with food issues, have other issues they aren't dealing with. My thing is to go from one extreme to another. Either barely eating, or binge eating. I have to stay conscious of a happy middle. I have to constantly monitor myself, everything I eat I write down on a piece of paper. I look at that paper every time I grab something out of my fridge or cupboard. I eat separate meals from my husband, he can eat deep fried over processed foods, I can't. It is a daily struggle, and people still shock me at how insensitive they can be to folks that don't fit into the "norm", what strikes me even more odd, is that with most of the country being overweight, you would think people would be more sensitive, but now it seems they are more overt and downright mean.