I saw something pop up on my news feed the other day, an article no less. I always click as I am often intrigued by titles. This one was titled "I choose to be Fat" As I began reading I was overwhelmed by the content. The writings were an insight into a woman called Laura Bogart experiences of being fat. I always wonder whether all fat peoples stories are the same. I know that sounds crazy but you sometimes question whether you are truly out there on your own with your issues with weight. I too have an issues with food and my emotions, and to read statements that almost mirror things that have happened to you is kinda weird.
"The arc of my life has been defined by my waistline: Shop clerks give me the side-eye, direct me to accessories; the arms of chairs pinch my hips; an old woman sitting next to me on the bus yells aloud that I’m crowding her off her seat. It never stops being painful, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s become like that sore spot on my heel, now tombed in callus"
Although my experience wasn't at a bus stop, or in relation to a seat, I too have been made to feel the size of a pea by someone commenting on my weight. 'A young girl like you shouldn't be that big' or being called a 'Fat Cunt' as you walk down the street. As I read that line Laura wrote, my horrible memories came flushing back. It does never stop being painful. Don't get me wrong this journey of body acceptance has helped it but the pain is still there, its just locked away in a box ready to pop out when the going gets tough.
"I’ve spent my whole life capitulating to other people’s expectations"
If I think back to every time I went on a diet it was only to free myself of the pain I was suffering at the hands of others. Although I was never bullied, when ever someone needed to insult me Fat was the choice of poison. Even my own mother has called me fat and it tears away at you inside. When I told my Grandad that I had been invited on Channel 4 news as part of a discussion on Fat Taxing a few months ago, I hoped he would be proud, he seemed it. Deep down I know that he would really prefer if I was slimmer. Slimmer for my health as everyone so adamantly says. If I smoked would they say the same things? I don't know. I know that my Grandad loves me but sometimes I still feel like a failure even after everything I have achieved.
When you’re obese, you are your body. Every decision you make is viewed through the prism of your weight. Do you order the salad at lunch? Good for you! You’re taking control of your health. Do your order the pasta primavera? You don’t love yourself enough. Are you sitting alone on a park bench? You’re alone and lonely: Nobody can really love you until you love yourself.
One thing that used to plague me about being big, was the thought of being alone. Don't get me wrong I had attention from guys, but I could never tell if it was for a joke. I threw my own virginity away at 19 in the bid to get rid of it, to prove that I wouldn't always be the big fat 19 year old virgin. I had one night stands with men that most likely saw me as the 'funny, make fun of yourself welsh girl' than someone attractive, beautiful and smart. That all changed when I met Dan. He looked at me like he'd been looking at me all my life, he showered me with compliments and after nearly five years still does. I used to wonder whether he was a 'Chubby Chaser' whether he only found me attractive because that was 'his thing'. Until one day he showed me a picture of his ex girlfriend, she was a beautiful brunette, at a meager size 8. I then began thinking, he might just actually love me. Real love, the love that you think only slim girls get. I am so grateful to be loved and I am glad that I allowed myself the privilege. I write this blog because I enjoy it and I write because sometimes what I write makes an impact on someone and that is overwhelmingly amazing. I would love for Laura to know that she made an impact of me. That all the women who stand up against discrimination and fight for body positivism are making an impact on me. That it is okay to talk about the hard times of our experiences. We are all human and we all have ghosts in the closet. Sometimes it's good to let them out and not judge them if they choose to have a burger.