Thursday, 7 April 2011

Fat Like Me

I have a confession to make...

I am not perfect.

I'll give you a moment to digest that fact...


I'm not just talking about the mess which is my brain and the bipolar/anxiety disorder/borderline agoraphobia that is attached to it.  I'm talking about the physical side.  My body isn't a temple, it's more like a shed.  A big shed.
  • I hate my upper arms and thighs.  They wobble too much.
  • I hate my boobs.  They're too big for my frame.  My bra size is actually 34 O.M.G.
  • I hate my jelly belly.  You can definitely pinch at least an inch of it.
  • I hate my bum.  It looks like two piglets fighting under a blanket.
I think everybody goes through stages of thinking they're fat.  I feel that way at least once a week.  But to some people, body image is everything.  It's the most important thing in their lives.  In fact, it's more important than they're lives.

I was prompted to write this post by something I read last week that really got to me.  It was written by a blogger who is very obviously haunted by a lot of emotional demons.  In her post, she wrote that her boyfriend was trying to make her get help for her bulimia, but she didn't want help.  She'd recently lost a lot of weight and wanted to lose even more.  This upset me and I really felt for her.  Then I read the first comment, and it affected me to the point that I had to walk away from the computer and give myself a time out.  Instead of pleading for the blogger to get help or telling her that making herself vomit was bad for her, the commenter congratulated her on her weight loss and encouraged her to lose more.


I have never officially had an eating disorder.  I have never eaten a huge amount and then made myself sick, but I have starved myself on more than one occasion.  The longest I have gone without eating anything at all is about three weeks.  The longest I have gone eating as little as possible (no more than an apple a day) is more like three months.  For me, it was mostly about control and little to do with my figure.  I had no control over what was going on in my life, but I could control what I ate, when I ate, if I ate.  I didn't have anyone to turn to and nobody saw what I was doing to myself.  I was in a catch 22 situation; I didn't want to draw attention to myself, but at the same time I wanted somebody to care.  If they did, maybe it wouldn't have gone on for as long as it did, and maybe it never would have happened again.

Anyway, cut back to the present day.  I am now what's known as A Big Girl.  I am borderline medium, borderline fat.  I don't eat too much, but I do eat too much of the wrong kind of food, purely because it's cheaper and I'm on a budget so tight it's practically strangling me.  Also, the meds I'm on for my old friend bipolar are notorious for weight gain.  I could probably eat the same as a sparrow and still gain weight.  And I know I don't do enough exercise, because... because...  well, because of lots of reasons which I'm not going to into because they sound like excuses.  They even sound like excuses to me and I know they're genuine reasons...

... Damn.  It's got to be a bad sign when you don't believe your own honesty...

Anyway, anyway, anyway...  I am bigger than 98% of my female friends (which could be why a majority of my friends are male).  I have curves in all the right places and several in the wrong places.  I know I'm overweight even though I haven't weighed myself in years.  I won't allow scales in my flat because of my self-starvation experience.


Back in ye olden days, big women were considered to be sex symbols.  Curves and rolls of fat implied that the women were not only fertile, but also wealthy.  The bigger the girl, the bigger their meals, and therefore they must have more money.  Skinny girl didn't get a second look by the eligible bachelors of society because they were considered to be unhealthy and poor.  Oh, how times have changed...



Nowadays being big is considered anything but sexy...

Dawn French
Amber Riley
Tara Lynn
... but I beg to differ.

23% of British citizens (and 31% of Americans) are obese.  With fast food restaurants with huge portions on every high street and the price of healthy food forever increasing, it's hardly surprising.  For example, I could buy two of these...
2 litres of Cola
For the price of one of these...

1 litre of cranberry juice
And that's just one example.  If you want people to eat healthier, then make healthy food cheaper!  It's simple math!
 
If magazines and television are anything to go by, to achieve true happiness, you must have the perfect figure.  Apparently skinny = happy.  I'm not sure the 70 million people worldwide suffering from anorexia or bulimia would agree.  Neither would the 50,000 who will die as a result of their desperation to be skinny.


I'm not saying that all eating disorders are only about being thin.  There's obviously a lot more psychology involved than the sufferer just wanting to have what they perceive to be their ideal figure.  But the media bombarding us with images of so-called perfect people with so-called perfect figures and perfect lives can't help the situation.

I also believe that air brushing should be outlawed.  Let's see what these perfect women truly look like.


I think the only solution is moderation.  If you're hungry, eat something.  If you want a cookie, have a damn cookie - just not too many  If you eat too much and exercise too little, don't be surprised if you put on weight.  If you want to lose weight, do it sensibly with a healthy diet and exercise.  If someone tells you they're worried about how much weight you're losing, take the time to consider what they're saying.  They might just have a point.

Okay, rant over.  All this blogging is making my hungry, so I'm going have a slice of pizza.  Or two.

I'd rather be fat and happy than skinny and miserable.  And hungry.

6 people love me ♥ Add a comment...:

Ruth said... [Reply to comment]

My mother would have made that comment praising the wight loss. My grandmother was an anorexic before it was popular. I loved Karen Carpenter so in college wrote an informative paper on anorexia. Did you know that the first recorded death from self starvation was in the 1700's. Yep food has been an issue for a long time and I have heard blow by blow of every imaginable diet. I am sitting here eating chocolate icecream and agree I am going for fat and happy with moderation.

Deborah said... [Reply to comment]

Brilliant post!! I was anorexic and then bulimic for 10 years when I was younger ... I remember the feelings clearly. I would have been livid too to have read that comment. I couldn't agree more with what you wrote, really well written! :o)

In the Pink said... [Reply to comment]

Excellent post!

A said... [Reply to comment]

@PAMO
You know that thing I told you about..? About me accidentally deleting comments because I keep looking at them without my contacts in..? And I select delete instead of publish because I can't see what I'm doing..? Because I'm a G D Idiot..?

*sigh*

Sorry about that. I'm not picking on you, honestly. And thank you for your lovely words. Yeah, it would be great to be paid for my ramblings, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy the pressure of absolutely having to blog. It could take all the fun out of it.

x

Maundering mutterer said... [Reply to comment]

What a healthy attitude. You go girl. Sure we don't want to be obese, but for goodness sake, we're not all endomorphs either.

A word on curves. The worst possible angle to look at them is the only one you have!

My tummy is so swollen after my hysterectomy, but if I look in the mirror it isn't half as bad!

lifesizevision said... [Reply to comment]

When I was young (10 ish??) I used to ask my mother about my weight. I would look at myself in pictures and see that I was on the larger side. My friends at school were smaller than me. My mother would say that I'm just "husky" or "big boned". THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?! I had and still have insecurities up to the North Pole and back, but as a parent, I believe it's their job to provide a sense of security to the child. My mother didn't do that.

Flashforward to today: I'm big, but not fat. I eat more than I should. But food is wonderful. I don't excersise as much as I should. But, I'm fine. I have a beautiful wife, and two beautiful kids. I have a beautiful life (aside from my very dysfunctional parents...) and that's what's important.

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