I saw this and I can so relate to it. Even now I’m out the other side almost, I still get this feeling from time to time. It gets easier to fight but it’s still there. It makes me feel sad reading this but I think a lot of people who are into bodyshaming fat people just don’t get it, they have no idea.
It’s amazing how horrible people are. I do not court praise for my achievements in anything. I’m a fat person I want to be invisible. I’m the award nominee who doesn’t go to the award ceremony and misses out on the experience too scared that I might just win an award and have to suffer people applauding me for doing my job or something I felt was needed. I don’t need noticing for that, it’s just what I do.
My trophies are in boxes somewhere while my kids photos and framed childhood indecipherable art works adorn my walls and interior decor displays. They are the things which make me smile and feel fulfilled and satisfied, the things which inspire me to be better and remind me I’ve done good.
I remain anonymous on my blog and never mention my weight loss journey anywhere else. I don’t talk about it in any detail other than to those who are integral to its success. If colleagues when I was teaching full time asked about my food or commented on my weight loss I kept it simple with a “I’m just eating healthily and moving more”. When people who don’t usually speak to me comment on my weight loss I have to admit I more often than not look straight through them with the same blank stare they gave me when I was huge. I don’t want to speak to them now, I didn’t then either.
I don’t post photos of myself on social media and have asked my children and close friends not to do so either. I don’t want my life or myself to be defined by my appearance or size by anybody else. If I want to do that to me then I will but it’s not for anyone else to do that to me. I want to control my own image. that is important to me. I’ll tell you why…
Unlike a lot of obese compulsive over eaters who have struggled as a life time fat person I have had periods where I have been slim and where I’ve been somewhat aware of my beauty and attractiveness, not hugely so but somewhat. I’ve been aware of the pull beauty and a good figure can have on other people, how it can make you, your opinions, your experiences somehow more valid than a fat persons. I’ve been on both sides of the table I’ve been the fat person and the thin person at the boardroom table and I know the different ways I was treated as the same person. I’ve been chubster and glamour puss in restaurants and shops and bars and know the very different levels of service and attention I received as each persona. I’ve been dumpy job candidate and hot tomale legs to here blonde. I know how we are treated differently based on the way we look. I know how shallow people are and I know who I want in my life and close to me. I don’t want people defining me by how much weight I’ve lost, I don’t want people telling me I’m beautiful or that I’m doing well or asking how I’m doing it. I know that sounds weird when I write a blog about it but anyone who reads my blog knows what this is to me and I know the people who encourage and support me do so for genuine reasons.
I know how differently I behave as a fat versus thin person and when I was a sexy young thing I wasn’t very nice. I wielded my power like a weapon I was ruthless with the feelings of others I was selfish I was unkind and I don’t want my size to make me that person again. I don’t want to be adored to the point I lose my sense of reality. I don’t want that power in the way I had it before, I want only power over my own demons and I actually resent that the thinner I become the more valid as a person I’m becoming, the more popular I’m becoming. Seriously I get so many more invitations to things now than I used to and I know that the multiple facebook friend requests come from people who have heard that I’ve lost weight and who just want to have a look for themselves, so I ignore them all. Sometimes I wonder if this is why I’ve subconsciously wanted to stay fat because I know then that people around me act genuinely and like me because of who I am not because I fit aesthetically into their world.
I avoid being upheld as a role model for anyone other than my children. I don’t want to be a role model. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s success or failure and I don’t want to draw attention to myself because I know how fleeting success can be. I don’t want that pressure on. I think half of the problem is knowing that so many people who feign interest in my success will be waiting for me to put it all back on again just like I always do and I just don’t want to hear those voices in my head or think about that day because it’s never going to happen.
I just want to be me. I want to know I feel great and look great for myself. to give me the courage to continue to love living my life before it’s too late and its all over. I want to feel healthy more than anything.
But this is a small town and the rumour mill and grape vine are rife and I know a lot of people. This couple of days I’ve heard how I must have had surgery, how I must be taking cocaine, how I must have had skin removal by now, how I’ve definitely had a face lift, how I’m doing something terribly unhealthy to have lost so much weight, how I’m starving myself, how I must have an illness I’m keeping quiet, how I’m going without food to keep my man. I mean seriously where do people get off?
Lots of it is coming from family and extended family and that is my main reason for keeping my blog anonymous because if one of them was to see it my journey would be over such is the negative power they have over me still. I don’t want them to know what I do or think or feel, they never cared when I was one of them and if I ever let a chink of the inner me shine out they were quick to destroy it and turn it against me and it damaged me, it really damaged me and I don’t want to go there because I know if they knew I was writing this blog and doing so well they would want to destroy me and my happiness and success and I’m still not strong enough to shoulder that. There are too many of them and at the end of the day they are my weakness because I tried to love them, I tried to bring them together, I tried to be loyal, supportive, faithful and kind to all of them and they betrayed me, all of them, one by one or at times en mass and I can’t get over that just yet, it’s a massive barrier which I’m chipping away at. My real problem is that I don’t want to care about them, I need to learn to not care about them but I’m a caring person by nature and I find not caring very difficult and I’m incredibly loyal and there are engrained values which I can’t get out of my system wholly. So I live in this parallel universe with them on one side of the divide and me on the other and I try to not let them into my life or influence my life and it works but then I hear some stories from the rumour mill and all I feel is negative energy.
I just wish people were kinder and I wish people could be happy for someone else’s happiness and keep hate out of the picture. I just wish I wasn’t so influenced by other people and their perceptions of me but I’m working on that with my therapist, it’s a big one. I’ve always been made to feel so self conscious all of the time and I am working on not feeling that way and hoping that that will lead me away from this pressure I feel from other people which makes me want to hide away.
This post is all over the place and I might come back and read it later and make some sense of it myself but I wanted to thrash out my thoughts and I also feel I need to show that in spite of my progress with all things obesity related, there is still a whole long road to travel. We don’t win this over night, we can’t change everything that made us the sad person who ate to feel happy with a wave of a wand, it’s tough, it’s an ongoing battle and voyage of discovery and sometimes it’s not as easy as others. Today I really want to eat like I’ve not wanted to in months, I can taste mint chocolates, I can smell a big fried bacon bun, I am battling a physical compulsion to go to the corner shop and buy a couple of tubes of Pringles and a whole basket full of cookies and chocolate and salted nuts and cake and sit in a darkened room watching a sob inducing movie and stuffing it all down my throat. Even though I know it won’t make me feel happy, I really feel that it will make me happy and therein lies the problem. It is only the true and absolute knowledge that I will feel like a ton sack of shit if I do it that I am managing to restrain myself. Diversion techniques are in full force but are not taking the need away, being home alone isn’t helping so I think I might just drop everything, get out of here and go for a bike ride and find a lonely old codger walking his dog on the sea front and strike up a conversation about anything.
I’m not giving in to the need to destroy myself and I’m never going back to where I was, never. I made myself a promise and I’m keeping it and no matter how much strength it takes to keep myself walking away from fatness I’m going to find it. I believe I have it in me and today I just need to dig a bit deeper to find it.