A few months ago I was reading a blog, very similar to mine really, about a student who got to goal with Weight Watchers after losing over 8st (basically the same amount that I will have lost by the time I get to my goal). After every post, she signed off with the message
'I won't be fat for much longer'
because she said it reminded her of why she was doing Weight Watchers - so that one day, she could look in the mirror and not hate what she saw.
I know all too well what it feels like to look in the mirror and be disgusted - I think every woman, and most men, know that feeling, even if they don't feel it to the same extent that people with depression and weight issues feel it. My friends are some of the most beautiful girls you could ever meet, but not a day goes by when I don't hear from at least one of them that their boobs are too small/too big, they have cellulite, they have bad skin, their thighs are fat, or something else along those lines. If you saw any of these girls on a night out, you wouldn't know that these things had even crossed their minds. The same goes for the boys I know who have issues with their looks (which aren't so different to girls' issues, by the way. I've heard 'fat thighs' from more than one of my male friends). They look happy and confident and relaxed - the issues that they have with their bodies are something that is private to them (hence me, for once, not naming names - or numbers, for the quick-witted of you who are reading this) and that they share only with people who are very close to them. So for that reason I'm flattered that they think enough of me to share those things. I know better than most how hard it is to expose your weaknesses to somebody.
When you're overweight its much harder to hide your insecurities. Well, it was for me. I'm sure the same applies to people who are underweight as well, although I wouldn't be able to comment on that. When you so obviously don't fit the norm, you have to be prepared for your appearance to be scrutinized, because people do watch you and make comments about you. I was very lucky not to encounter anybody who was openly nasty to me about my size when I was at my biggest, and I was very careful not to bring it up with anybody - not friends or family. I was deeply deeply depressed, but as far as I was aware nobody knew that (I hadn't counted on my mother being able to read me like a book - of course she knew.) But to everybody else I was just the fat friend who didn't really care about being overweight. When I started Weight Watchers my friends were so shocked - they hadn't realised I was unhappy with the way I looked. I never told them, because I never wanted to draw attention to just how big I'd let myself get.
You might be asking yourself what the point of this post is...to be honest, you probably ask yourself that even time you come onto this blog. And its a fair question because I do talk a lot of shit! I think what I'm getting at here is how brave it was of this other blogger to post her insecurities out there like that, to use her unhappiness as inspiration to succeed instead of letting it drag her under. 'Fat' is a horrible word, but the reality is that is what we are. If you're anymore than a size 14 in this society, you are 'fat' - both to other people and more than likely to yourself as well. And in a world where size 10 is beautiful, sexy and desirable, how could anybody draw any conclusion from this other than 'fat = ugly'. Thats the reality that we live in. As much as the Gok Wan's of the world try to tell us that 'size doesn't matter', that is simply not the case - it does. And the majority of people who are overweight will know that. By using that word, she accepted that that was her situation, and she did something about it.
So now that is what I'm doing - using the prejudices of society who write off fat people as lazy and greedy as my motivation to get to where I want to be. There are so many anti-discrimination laws in this country, and yet overweight people are less likely to be hired. They're also less likely to find a partner. As a student I have very little experience of the job aspect of that statement, but I sure as hell know that the second part of it is true. When I'm out with my friends, guys just don't look at me. I've come to accept that now as an inevitability, because I'm not attractive. Sometimes that makes me want to give up, to crawl back into my shell and go back to eating 5000 calories a day, because surely staying home alone and gorging yourself is easier than going out and getting rejected because you don't have a 26 inch waist?
From now on, whenever I have one of those days, I'm going to post on here. About all the little things I hate about the way I look, or about the consequences of being my size. And I'll use them to motivate me to carry on and to get to where I want to be. Today, I had a fat day. A truly horrible 24 hours including a broken laptop and the headache from hell, combined with the fact that I felt like I hadn't stopped eating for two days. I hated what I saw in the mirror today, so much so that I only looked in it once. My thighs and bum and hips looked massive and my boobs are getting smaller and smaller from losing the weight. My skin is disgusting at the moment and four hours sleep had made me look grey and washed out. In terms of self-confidence it was not a good day - and when I get up tomorrow I will remember that feeling. It will be what gets me to the gym and stops me reaching for the buttered toast. Because I don't want to be fat anymore. I want to feel like I'm worth something again.
I won't be fat for much longer.