I was not always fat. In fact, I was always quite small. I was short and what you would call skinny for as long as I can remember back. I never imagined myself being anything other than that.
I do not think it is something that anyone sets out to become either. I certainly never did. I remember, when I was young(er), thin(ner), and considerably less wise, when I would quietly speculate on how someone let themselves get that, well, big. I think it is safe to say that we often end up eating our own words.
I was always fit, at least I looked fit. My chronic crutch of asthma and a lung disease kept me out of most exercising, especially running, which I
considered consider torture. There is a distinct difference in being fit and simply looking fit. I merely looked the role and played it well. I had the prominent bones, toned arms, flat stomach (and chest), sharp and defined facial features.
I looked good for the standards of the day. I was never the kind of girl who harped on her own appearance though. It was just a nice bonus. I’m telling you, I never worked on it; it all came naturally. I did not exercise, aside from rec sports, and I ate the most unhealthy of diets: fruits and vegetables disgusted disgust me.
Five years ago, on my wedding day, I weighed (dripping wet) 125 pounds. Now, I would give 70 pounds to be that weight again. Get it? Yes, 70 pounds in five years. Yes, I have had two babies within those five years and I would sacrifice my body all over again, ten fold, for them without question. However, I am heavier now than I was the days I delivered them.
In today’s world, we do not discuss weight. It is a taboo subject for most. When a woman gets her hair colored or her nails done, we are supposed to “ooh” and “ahh” over her. We can talk about the latest football game and how the score certainly did not reflect the playing effort brought forth from the home team. We can talk about our children and the grades they brought home, our husbands and the way they drive us crazy, and the movie coming out next month. But we do not talk about weight.
If I ever say something regarding my weight, usually in a self-depricating sense of humor, most people are quick to say, “oh hush” or “you’re crazy.” No, I am a realist. I am fat. In fact, my weight in regards to my height labels me on the obese scale. It is not a secret; I am aware of what the numbers say. My question is…
When did being overweight automatically put someone in the corner synonymous with undesirable, unlovable, sad, or even unworthy? When did it automatically assign someone to the back row? When did it automatically withdraw your name from a beauty contest? I am talking to myself here.
Being overweight is unhealthy. Yes, that is really not up for discussion here. I have asthma, debilitating allergies, some form of autoimmune illness, on top of anxiety and being painfully shy. I am naturally awkward in social situations and use sarcasm and grandiose humor to get by. I am, and I do not mean this as boasting, insanely intelligent in some areas. However, I am naturally afraid of people and overthink most things (everything), so I end up flustered and stutter when put on the spot. I say all of this to point out that my weight is merely another thing for me to check in the negative column. I use food as a means of comfort. I am lazy. I am also very hard on myself.
However, I am still fabulous. Fat and fabulous. I paint myself into a corner and loathe seeing myself in pictures and mirrors. I dislike eating in front of people and try, in crowds and most social situations, to shrink down and blend in quietly.
Again, I am speaking moreso to myself. Being overweight should not make me feel any less smart, less witty, any less beautiful, or unworthy of certain relationships with people who are certainly more fit (yes, we are back to that word) than I.
I am good enough. Not I will be good enough. Not I can be good enough. I am.
I may not be able to fit into my wedding gown. I may no longer look spectacular in a sundress. I now pout because after a crash diet of no sugar and only water to drink for three weeks, I gained five pounds. However, and there is always a however: I am stronger, wiser, funnier, smarter, more passionate, and experienced than ever before. I am enough, more than enough. The number on the scale and the extra rolls all over my body do not define me, the real me.
Let us all look beyond the outside shell. Yes, I need to lose weight to be healthier, to feel and look better. But first I need to get my mind right. I need to not let my happiness ride only on my outward appearance. I do not ever want my daughter or any of my sweet small-group girls to feel judged based on their weight. I do not want them to ever fell less than or unworthy because of their appearance.
We are all unique, lovable, and certainly enough of whatever it may be to accomplish our own dreams. Do not cast us out simply because we do not fit into your box of what is considered correct.