Weight no more? I wish.
And I wish my fat away if it’s not obvious already.
“Some people have real problems,” I tell myself. Like poverty (more than being broke) or Cancer. Not that Cancer is the worst problem and other invisible illnesses are not problems but you know what I mean. Being fat isn’t the end of the world.
Or is it?
For most of my life I have been overweight. I wish I could get a prize for that (not edible). And if it couldn’t get any worse, I’d like to add that there were numerous times and long periods where even when I was “thin”, I didn’t feel it. I always felt bigger and so uncomfortable in my own skin. I can recall all the times I got to that point of no return. I’m sure you know it- that point when you say, “Enough is enough!” I see you nodding your head.
I get fed up of my fat self and do something about it: stop eating or drink copious amounts of water.
I remember going to Knysna on a family vacation a couple of years ago and asking my then boyfriend to take some photos of me on the beach. I pranced about and did a few poses. I asked him if the pics came out okay and he said yes. I’m almost certain sure he said ‘of course’. Sigh, but the horror of horrors when I loaded the pictures onto the PC…
I couldn’t believe that THAT was me. I was round, like an ugly ball (who knew a ball could be ugly). My thighs were huge (I was wearing a short skirt) and my arms were f-l-a-b-b-y. I was so disgusted. That of course was my initial reaction. After that, I klapped (smacked) then boyfriend across the head and asked him firstly why he lied (the pictures were not okay in my books obviously) and secondly I asked him how could he be with a fat chick. He saw how much it bothered me so he got me a thigh exercising thingy and we signed up at Virgin Active in Steenberg, Cape Town (the rich side). We would mostly gym in the evenings. I attended Zumba or Yoga and we even attended a spin class together. We stopped Mc D’s. Hell, we even stopped supporting the 2-for-1 Pie Fridays special at the BP Garage in Newlands. *drools after that killer cheesegrillers*
I even went onto Herbalife.
Gasp. Yes, I did.
It worked. I lost the weight.
Back to being ‘hot’, back to being ‘acceptable’. I buy the jeans (real jeans with a zip). I ditch the loose-fitting clothes and opt for figure-hugging, stretchy and brightly coloured clothing. I want to be seen, no?
I can’t remember what happened exactly but I think I ran out of money for the Herbalife and broke up with then boyfriend (so no one to pay for the gym). I also stopped watching what I was eating: cafeteria hot (slap) chips were delicious, cheap and filling.
So it never lasted. [Insert sad face here].
Being thin and healthy and happy NEVER lasts with me. I even remember being big in high school. I always felt ashamed liking a boy. How dare I? I wasn’t thin (and therefore pretty) enough.
I was not good enough!
I passed Grade 12 and went onto varsity and was not keen on or expecting any attention from guys. But someone did in fact eye me and we started dating. What a bloody miracle! He was very popular so it WAS a miracle. What set him apart was that he always, always encouraged me to see myself as special and important. I should be my biggest fan and in that way I should stop hiding myself. He saw the big, baggy clothes as taking away from my awesomeness. It took me a really long to believe him and to apply rules of self-care. As time went on, I learned to look at myself differently, to look at HOW I treat myself. That included looking at what I was wearing and why I was wearing it; looking at what I was eating and why. But most importantly, I made sure that I was aware of every message I was sending to my brain about myself. This was a real game changer for me.
Pity I didn’t keep all the gems I learned.
It wasn’t long when I dropped out of university (to be a dancer –I DID have the body now) and after a while I attempted suicide. Life was horrible for me. I was thin but was terribly unhappy.
Years on and I’m STILL struggling with weight issues. Yes, some due to the side effects of medication for my Bipolar Disorder but others due to me being unhappy. That’s the simple truth. I do not like being a size LARGE- EXTRA LARGE.
More extra-large than anything else.
I don’t like that my stomach hangs over. I also hate that when I do a sit up, my stomach concaves. This is a medical condition I scored when I had multiple pregnancies in quick succession. Yay me.
I don’t like what I look like in photos. I don’t like being in photos.
I don’t like those body shaping things because it’s really difficult to get up AND super inconvenient and tricky to get up and down when you go to the toilet on a night out on the town. (Does not work well when you’re drinking. That wine just goes through you and well, what a mission as one can imagine!)
I also do NOT like it when someone buys clothes for me (can be anyone really, husband included) and they buy you clothes that FIT! Embarrassing! Firstly because they know how big you are and secondly they really know how big you are.
I don’t like who I have become. I’m specifically referring to my weight and they way I see myself. The other stuff is complicated and although many issues are interdependent, I’m focus mainly on the weight issue in this post.
I have been through so much and sometimes I find it difficult to wrap my head around every single challenge I have faced and their effects on me.
I know many people are doing the whole ‘body positivity’ thing but in this moment I just want to reflect on why I feel ugly. Maybe I’m ranting or being negative (and that’s not trending right now).
I feel ugly not only because I am not happy but because I am not happy with the woman I see looking back at me in the mirror. Not because she is fat but because she is constantly judging what she looks like and who she is. She cannot see beautiful. She cannot seem to love herself.
That is sad. I’m well aware of that.
But I know that this is my struggle. It explains the yo-yo diets. It explains the fact that I silently compare myself to everyone who fits into a certain size. It’s not shallow. It’s painful. It’s painful because in my eyes, as we speak, I will never see myself as worthy. And as much as I know there are so many women who feel just like I do, I still feel alone.
I WANT TO STOP GRABBING THE CHOCOLATE OR FULL GLASS OF COKE TO FEEL GOOD!
Most of all, I want to stop judging myself… Wait. I want to stop imagining what I look like eating a KFC Zinger wing and be disgusted. Why should I do that to myself?
I deserve to treat myself better. Don’t I? I have a life worth living, worth claiming as my own but for some reason, I am struggling.
I’m admitting it right here. I am struggling to give myself a break.
I am struggling to give myself a reason to more than just say, ‘Yvette, you are beautiful.’ Or ‘I love you.’ It’s funny because I am not disgusted by fat women (or men). I have dated men with varying waistlines and I liked it.
I am struggling to be the reason why I give myself all the love that is rightly due to me.
So, is being fat the end of the world?
It is the end of my world every single fucking day.
Here’s to tomorrow.
P.S For your entertainment, I have included an array of photos of myself as the years went by.