Myth, or Reality?
In my life, there's not a day that goes by that doesn't contain some sort of self-berating for my weight. I'm constantly thinking of how large I am, of how much weight I need to lose, of how unhappy I am in my clothes, in my skin, in my body, in my life. It doesn't help that I hate girly clothes, and would much rather wear boy clothes - and while it is nice that I can find more nice clothing to fit me at Old Navy than I normally would (because I’m built exactly like my dad – big tummy, small ass, flat chest - and the fashion industry seems to be much more accepting of the idea of fat guys than fat girls, so the pickings aren’t quite so slim), I stand out even more because I'm a fat girl wearing boy's clothes and looking very much like a boy, instead of a fat girl wearing fat girl clothes, attempting with all her might to blend in with the surrounding furniture (because that's what us fat girls are supposed to do, you know – earnestly attempt to double for something like a ruffled purple polka-dotted couch before someone notices us and how FAT we are).
The sad part is, I'd estimate that at least 85% of my neurosis is completely internal. My friends accept and love me for who I am. My girlfriend, ditto. My parents and family, yet again. When they see me, I'm sure that they don't immediately say to themselves, "Jesus Christ! What a cow she is!" That's not their internal process. So why is it mine? I think about my weight constantly - every time I pass a reflective surface, I check myself out, and am always found wanting. I find some days that I'm obsessed with my hair - if my hair looks fabulous, then hey, I can pull of this whole fat person thing with flair, right? Who will notice that I'm overweight when my bangs are just the right amount of fluff vs. spike? Christ.
Everything I eat is (consciously or unconsciously) evaluated before it goes into my mouth. Every. Single. Thing. And there's always a vague sort of guilt when I calculate the calories - endlessly calculating, here - in something that's not strictly "good" for me. I wear this cloak of guilt every day, and it’s getting heavier and heavier. But I don’t know how to stop obsessing. I don’t know how to just give up the idea that one day, ONE DAY I’ll be thin, and a “normal” weight. I’ll be attractive, and sexy, and able to wear whatever I want. And DO whatever I want – horseback riding, skydiving, roller coaster hopping, biking, karate classes, etc., etc., world without end, hallelujah, amen. I can’t let go of this obsession with being a better person than I am now by becoming thin. This idea pisses my rational mind off – in my experience, the bitchiest people in the world are skinny whores like Paris Hilton – but the superstitious, childlike part of my brain just can’t let it go.
I have a few “Fatosphere Blogs” in my sidebar over there – Big Fat Deal and Pasta Queen are two of them – and I read them every day. Pasta Queen always makes me feel guilty because she started out fatter than me (well over 300 lbs) and dieted and exercised her way down to 170, just by willpower alone. She’s also publishing a book about it. Oh, did I mention she lives in Indianapolis? Yeah. It’s like the life I keep imagining if I just had the gumption to get it done. Which makes me hate myself even more, sometimes. If only I could just bottle up some motivation and make it into pills…
Big Fat Deal is a great blog that’s mostly about fat acceptance – which brings me to the title of my post. I know fat acceptance is a very real thing to a lot of people. When I read about it, though, it just doesn’t sink into my head. It’s like a concept that’s GREAT for other people in practice, and okay for me in theory, but if I try to actually think it through and figure out how to apply it to my life it’s as if my brain is made of Teflon and the idea just slides right off every time like a piece of greasy bacon. (Mmmm, bacon…)
Anyway. I don’t know how to make myself comprehend and apply this whole fat acceptance thing. The idea of “this life is as good as you’re going to get, now live with it and make it everything you want and stop waiting to live your life because it’s ending one moment at a time and you’re not getting any thinner” completely, utterly fucks me up. I have NO IDEA how to process this. It’s a totally alien concept – spoken in some foreign language that’s the native tongue on the Planet of the Fat People that Love Themselves Regardless of Their Weight. Those people EXIST?! And I can be ONE OF THEM?! Uhhh… hold on a second… *passes out briefly*
Huzzzzz… whussat? Who? Huh?
If you’re wondering what inspired this post, go here. It’s a blog entry by a lady named Kate Harding who talks about The Fantasy of Being Thin. It’s the first thing I’ve read in a long time that’s been able to chip through part of that Teflon brain coating. Maybe if I read it ten thousand times, it’ll sink in just a little deeper, and I’ll be able to accept that I will NEVER be really thin, the way I am in my secret daydreams – all I can hope for is to be healthy, and to live my life to the best of my ability. Which means writing and actually sending things out to be published (thanks, Gail, for the kick in the ass last night); trying new things like horseback riding and – YES – skydiving, and taking classes in the things I’m interested in like filmmaking, martial arts and cooking. (Oh, and thanks to Mo Pie, for the link to Kate's (hopefully) life-changing post.)
I’m sick of being a slave to my fat obsession. HOW do I let it go??? At least now I’ve realized that it’s not a healthy way to live, and that I need to change my perspectives. Time for some re-evaluations, I guess. Time to figure out if fat acceptance, for me, is a myth or a reality. Either way, I believe it is at least an ingredient in the stuff that dreams are made of.