I am fat. This is not a debatable issue. I can look in a mirror. I can read a scale. I can see the charts. I am technically obese according to the numbers. I wasn’t always this way. I created this body and I know how I did it. I also can now admit as to the why.
I was a skinny kid. I mean one of the skinniest in the class. I had been a somewhat sickly child and didn’t eat much. It kept me slim. I was slim in high school and all the way through college. I modeled in fashion shows. I even was a bikini model. I wore clothes in size small and even extra small. All through my twenties I looked great. Then things began to change.
Like many women I developed a low thyroid. I put on twenty pounds fairly quickly. I started on medication and my weight leveled off. I had some extra but was not considered overweight. Then life threw some things at me. I got stressed and anxious. I became less active. I put on another ten pounds. I quit my job. I got engaged. I got married.
I became a housewife. I was at home while my husband was at work. I had a big kitchen and a husband who liked to eat and had a job that required a lot of energy. I made big meals for him and joined him. I gained more weight.
I got bored sitting at home. I snacked. We went out to dinner. We traveled. We ate. Life threw stuff at us. I ate. I got older. My metabolism began to slow down but my eating did not. I gained more weight.
Marriages can be rocky. I tried to not upset anything. I suppressed my emotions. I buried them under food. I gained more weight. I watched the scale continue to show larger and larger numbers. I got depressed. When I get depressed I eat. I gained more weight.
My parents became ill. My dad was given six months from a failing heart. His heart healthy diet went out the window. I was tasked with bringing him the meals he wanted. Since I was picking up for him, why not pick up for myself too. I gained more weight.
My mom was in a care center. My days were long. I spent a lot of time sitting and talking with my parents. I was too tired to cook so I picked up dinner on the way home. I gained more weight.
My parents passed. I was depressed. I found comfort in food.
I got sick and spent a lot of time in bed. I had groceries and meals delivered. I lost weight from being sick but then regained that and more when I was better.
I got divorced. I got depressed. I lost any remaining confidence I had. I didn’t have money for much but you have to eat. I was alone. I ate. I was bored. I ate. I was stressed. I ate. I was broke. I ate. I also wore lose clothing and avoided mirrors. I knew what the scale said but it was just a number. I had learned to rationalize.
I went into the dressing room of the thrift store to try on a dress. I had to take off my sweatshirt and jeans. Then it happened. I saw myself in a full-length mirror wearing only my underwear. And I almost threw up. Who was that? That couldn’t be me. But I knew it was. Every roll, every dimple, every fold that covered my body was of my own doing.
I had used food as a barrier to my stress, my depression, my fears, my anger and my pain. In the same way you put something in bubble wrap to protect it, I had wrapped my healthy slim body in layer upon layer of fat to try to protect myself.
But it didn’t work. All that pain, depression, fear and more managed to still get to me. I felt every emotion I was trying to escape from and added to it. As I stood staring at myself in that mirror I had to admit that I had done this to myself.
So now I have to face new fears and emotions. To work my way back to health and the body I feel happy with. All of these pounds did not show up over night, they took years to collect. But as I peel away the fears, the depression, the anger and all the other emotions I have fought so hard against, I know that I can peel away the pounds that represent them.
It will be scary to walk through the world without the barrier I created but I know I will be better, stronger and healthier because of it. I also have faith I will be lighter of spirit as well as body. And then I might just throw out my scale.
About the Creator
Writing can be therapy, insanity or both. Here is my mind, my dreams, my fears, my thoughts, my life laid bare to share with you. Enjoy the journey into what is at once my blog, diary and world, and don't forget to tip your guide.