I was called fat all through high school.
If you’re a girl (or even if you’re a guy) being called fat sucks… especially when you’re 14. Suddenly that’s what you’re defined by: fat. Everything you do, or say, or think somehow centers around you and your fatness. There’s no denying that if you call yourself something long enough, you’ll start to truly believe you are that way, or that person. So, I was fat… Fatty McFat Fat, and you couldn’t tell me any different.
I did those things that teenagers do like, stop eating for a few days…or only eat Cups o’ Noodles (which are delicious but not nutritious and also, a Cup o’ Noodles diet is the opposite of a diet). I’d listen to Michele Branch and cry myself to sleep at night, asking God why He made me fat.
I was a cheerleader. Ironically I was probably the most fit I’ve ever been. But I wasn’t a size 0, and therefore… I was fat. [one time I wore size 0 jeans, and then sat down and they ripped in front of my friends… friends don’t let friends try to fit into size 0 jeans, you guys]
Believing I was fat carried over into college/young adulthood. The feelings weren’t so pronounced but a little part of me still saw myself as a fat kid.
I’ve noticed, as women (and men), that we shy away from talking candidly about this subject (fatness). No one wants to admit that they look down on themselves, or that they struggle with weight or self image… but the reality is, most of America does. There is nothing abnormal about feeling poorly about your physical appearance. It doesn’t make it right, but you are definitely not alone if you feel fat.
Thankfully, in high school I never struggled to the point of an eating disorder… although I toyed with the idea once or twice [and even stopped eating for a few days… that was bad]. Instead I bottled up my fatness and let it eat away at my self-worth and confidence.
I wasted a lot of time worrying about what others thought of me.
At some point somewhere around 21-23 I realized I wasn’t fat. I wasn’t (and am still not) a size 0… but, I can hike Half Dome, and run 5 consecutive miles, and I bike a few times a week. I realized fat people can’t do that.
I’m not a vegan (I love me some meat, and carbs, and cheese) and I also love sugar (show me ice cream and I’ll show you an empty bowl) … but I also don’t eat McD’s for every meal.
I’m not a super model (I’m wayyy too short for that ish), and I wouldn’t pose for a magazine in a bikini (even if I was a size 0, I still wouldn’t do that). If I was standing next to a famous guy, he might not notice me… but that’s not what I’m striving for here.
You should strive to be healthy, but don’t kill yourself getting there.
People forget that being healthy doesn’t = being 100lbs. I know plenty of 100lbers that aren’t healthy at all… and that can be just as deadly as being fat. There is a chance that you aren’t built to be a size 0… no matter how hard you try, you will never get there (that might make you feel hopeless, but… don’t).
So if you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re disgusted with yourself, but you can still run a 9 minute mile… then you’re probably healthy. If you can walk up stairs and you only get a “little bit” out of breath, then you’re probably healthy. If you don’t eat McD’s for every meal, then you’re probably healthy. If you go to the doctor for a physical and they tell you that you are healthy, then you are healthy.
Don’t beat yourself up for being “average”. Think about it: if we were all supermodels and body builders, we’d all be average.
Is weight and self-image a struggle for you? How have you worked to overcome it, or what are you currently doing to put your mind at ease?