Sunday, September 5, 2010

Being Fat

I am a fat girl. This has never been an issue for me. I can still buy cute clothes, wear nice makeup and I can still do fun things with my hair. I actually like myself better at this size, a condition diagnosed as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Where you see a fat girl, I see a normal girl. The idea of being able to see my bones through my skin freaks me out. Like super anxiety attacks. The last time I was 'fit' or 'thin', I was so unhappy, so self concious I could barely interact with members of the opposite sex.
I rarely think about my size (18-20), my weight (250…ish) or what I eat. If I want a hamburger, I eat a hamburger. When I want leafy greens, I’ll eat a salad. If you ask me how I feel about myself I would say I’m comfortable the majority of the time, if not completely happy. But I'm happy a lot. When I was growing up my parents placed no emphasis on how I looked beyond making sure I wasn’t trying to wear my ripped jeans out the door. Being nice, funny, smart, artistic and doing well in school were always more important. I got art classes instead of gymnastics. We got books instead of a TV. I can honestly assert that my strengths lean more towards those areas than fitting into a certain clothing size.


The only time that I am aware of my size and shape and weight is when I am at the gym. I’m not in great shape, but I ride my bike to school sometimes and I have been known to go for a swim or jump on the cross trainer. I not saying it happens OFTEN, but I'm not someone opposed to exercise (except running). The awareness starts when I walk through the doors. Observe: The side glance, under the lashes is usually the first. I hit the locker room to change and there the looks become more obvious. Heading out onto the floor I am more acutely aware of how half of the people stare, while the other half are trying too hard not to look. If someone giggles, it always feels directed at me. This may or may not be accurate, that’s just my perception. As a fat person, it is hard enough to scratch together enough motivation to go to the gym, let alone face the reaction of people shocked to see a fat person once there. I imagine it’s what zoo animals feel like.

Two weeks ago, my father was diagnosed with severe high blood pressure. My mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year. At the beginning of the fall semester our family made a pact to lose weight together. It’s actually a contest. If my dad loses 20lbs first, I have to pay to take him to a Boise State Bronco Football game. If I win, we go to the movies together as a family which is something we haven’t done for years. And so on, and so forth until we each of us lose 80 pounds. I'm not heading into this contest with any sort of confidence. I've got tons of baggage holding me back from reaching that goal. This is about my efforts to Try.

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