My whole life. My whole entire life. One thing has defined me.
Am I fat? Or thin?
Do I look good? Do I look bad?
I don’t want to talk about it. This weight problem is mine.
I know I’m fat; don’t I look myself in the mirror each day? Don’t I look at the magazines, the television? I don’t have to look too far- don’t I look at my family, my friends? Don’t I know I’m not as thin as them?
I’m not blind. I’m not a fool. I know what I look like, and I’m working on it.
But how despicable is it, that despite any achievements, any honours, despite anything else I may be doing or may have done with my life my weight defines me. It’s the first thing anyone I care about says to me- You got fat. You got thin.
Stop eating. They don’t mean any harm, but they don’t know the harm it does.
How terrible is it that I avoid my family, my grandmother, and my aunts because I don’t want to talk about my weight. I don’t want to talk about how big my boobs are, or how thin I used to be. I don’t want to face questions- “What did you do? You were so beautiful.”
You think this is a choice?? That I want to be fat? That I want to be unappealing? So then what the hell do you mean “What did you do?”
So I go repeating the same thing to everyone I care about- I’m doing this workout, eating these foods, not eating these foods. I’m being healthy. Why don’t you ask the thin one with the good genes what she’s been eating?
What the hell kind of world is this?
Sometimes even I don’t understand how people can get fat. People are fatter than me, they can’t deny it. I understand the questions the wondering, why aren’t you doing something about it. Well believe it or not, after a while you give up. Because this “encouragement” you’re supposedly getting just drains your hope- until you start accepting that this is what you are and there is nothing you can do about it.
That’s happened to me too. But I pulled myself out of that rut, and I made long-term, realistic, smart goals. I’m working towards them, because when I achieve them- I’m winning. Not you and you and you and you… with your ideas and suggestions and comments and questions.
I don’t owe anyone an explanation.
Don’t tell me how great I look. Tell me how wonderful it is that I’m doing well at my job. Tell me I’m a terrible driver. Tell me I’m smart. Tell me I’m stupid. Tell me I’m ambitious. Tell me I’m lazy. Tell me I’m the best direction giver, or the worst advice giver.
See me for more than my battle with my weight.
Believe it or not, this is a rant that applies to Culture. I wrote this as a consequence of a conversation with a friend I will never lose, and in preparation for my trip to Sri Lanka. I didn’t publish it at the time because it sounded angry. But I decided to publish it because my trip to Sri Lanka offered me a new perspective. I can count 3 instances when I was faced with this situation. (Just 3! That’s magical!)
Usually every single person I see, meet, talk to would comment on it. But no one did. My friends didn’t… in fact I got a lot of :
“You look Great!”
“Love the new look!”
” It must be the food in America ne?”
“You got big!”
But I realized instantly, it’s a generational thing. Every person who commented on my weight was older, of my parents generation. They were also not friends or close relations. They were aunties and uncles who see me once every 2 or 3 years.
May be there is some hope culturally that we will be more positive when we greet a person…. but the cynic in me says, “May be all your “working on it” paid off- leaving nothing for them to say.” HA.