I've become fat. I never used to be fat, but even when I wasn't fat, I thought I was fat, so I never enjoyed being thin. This struggle goes back as far as I can remember - probably first grade or so. I was in fifth grade when my teacher asked me to deliver something to a teacher in the upper grade hallway. I was a bit chunky in those days, and I wore smock tops which were a staple in the '70s. An obnoxious boy a few years older got in my face and said, "What are you doing here fatty?" I pretended that I didn't see him and went back to my classroom. I sat at my desk trying to concentrate on my phonics assignment and trying to hold back hot, stinging tears.
That summer, I went on an 800 calorie a day diet using these little calorie counters that were sold in the supermarket check out lanes. I lost 15 pounds that summer. A little weight crept back on the next two years, and then I lost another 10 pounds the summer between seventh and eighth grade. I was neither fat nor thin during my high school years. I do remember buying diet pills and using them to keep from getting hungry in high school.
Being thin was always a struggle for me. I weighed myself every day. I would join health clubs from time to time and get in shape. I would join weight loss programs and lose quite a bit of weight. After I got married and moved away from my friends and a job I loved, I started to put on a bit of weight. Two pregnancies, an underactive thyroid and a miserable job later, I found myself overweight.
It is amazing how I can live in total denial. I do not have a full-length mirror in this house. I did not weigh myself in over three years. A few years ago, my daughter had a little friend whose father was very rude to me. He would shoot me dirty looks and be very curt despite my attempt at friendly conversation. Kate picked up on it, and I just offhandedly mentioned that I thought he probably didn't like me very much. She asked if that bothered me, and I said no because I thought he was just a person who wasn't very happy. About a month later, Kate stayed over at that friend's house, and when she came home, she said, "Mom, Anna's father said something very nice about you. And YOU thought he didn't like you." I asked what he had said, and she said, "He said you look like you had been very pretty at one time." I almost fell over. It didn't surprise me. I let on to Kate like it was a compliment because, well, from this guy it was probably the closest thing to a compliment that I was ever going to get. Kate never stayed at their house again. I ignore him when I see him which isn't often thank goodness.
A couple of weeks ago, my hair stylist asked to cut my hair shorter because, "It will make you look so much younger." I got home and asked my husband how he liked it and that my stylist said it made me look younger. He looked at me and said, "Well, it's a good cut, but I wouldn't say it makes you look younger." The final straw was when I found my second grade school photo and showed it to a friend. My friend mentioned how much Kate and I look alike. Kate, bless her, said, "I don't want to look like you." I know she didn't mean it the way it sounded. She apologized, and, of course, I would never hold anything against my ten-year-old daughter like that. But, it spurred something inside me.
So, last week, I joined a wonderful women-only health club. I am lifting weights, doing lots of cardio, and I feel fantastic. I've lost four pounds in the first week. And I'm not really trying, just exercising and eating healthier.
And I would like to take this opportunity to tell the boy from grade school, the manufacturers of diet pills, and my daughter's friend's a**hole father to kiss my fat a**.
This little fat girl has a big fat attitude. And I'm pretty freaking perfect just the way I am. And I'm getting better every day.
Check it out - I'm thinner than the apple! Yea me!