I never thought of myself as ‘fat’. Then in fourth grade the teacher sent home letters. And at the bottom of this letter there were the words ‘your child’s weight’ with three numbers in bold and below that was ‘average weight of a child this age’ with two numbers next to it. 116. Those three numbers haunted me for the rest of the year. And as I grew older, the numbers grew larger. And my self esteem dropped lower. The last three numbers I remember seeing were 182. That was two years ago. I know that that number is much larger now because I am much larger now. I tried to starve myself in 5th grade. A good friend of mine told my pregnant science teacher. She took me outside and asked me in her sweet voice “Why aren’t you eating” to which I responded “I’m not hungry”. She said “That’s not what your friends said” and I realized then that I had been deceived. And I had a hunch as to who my Judas was. “Because I’m fat” I told her. And she went on to tell me that I was beautiful and that I wasn’t fat. It seemed that for the rest of my life a whole bunch of skinny people would be telling me that i wasn’t fat and they’d be telling me exactly how to lose weight when they understood nothing. Another shining moment was when the girls at dance and I were trying on costumes. The costumes were cute but I looked like a ham stuffed into a sock. I kept quiet about it but the other girls were a bit more vociferous about their feelings. My dance teacher said “It’s the girls with the little pouches who don’t like it.” to which my other dance teacher said “Lay off the potatah chips! That’s it” that cut me deep. Because my doctor had said something similar. Something about me eating too many potato chips. And my thin friends always said I wasn’t fat or they were too skinny, as if them having “too much” of what I want would make me feel better. And I know that this is simply a shout into the void and my stupid words won’t be read by anyone but I am tired. I am tired of trying and I am tired of caring. I am tired of people telling me that I’m not fat when I clearly am. I am tired of looking in the mirror and wanting to barf because i look like crap.
Friends. I know you’re trying to help but stop. Stop lying to me. Stop trying to help me. Stop preaching to me about proper diet and exercise because I’ve heard it all before and it’s not that easy.
Thin people. Stop saying “I wish I could gain weight” when someone who’s clearly a wreck about their body says something.
Oh and fat people. Lay off the potato chips. Because apparently that’s the ultimate key to weight loss.