The strange thing about being a fatty is that whilst you cannot see your reflection in something (mirror, shop window, windscreen or even spoon), you can convince yourself the situation is not that bad. I’m well trained- I no longer even look at the television screen when changing channels as that split second of blackness can send me into a spin of self-hatred. The fact that at that moment I am usually stuffing something into my mouth is neither here nor there; it remains a moment of severe self aversion even when said food is hidden behind the chair.
It’s these moments that I truly believe contribute to the irrational rage experienced when dealing with slim and sexy “weight loss success” candidates. Please stay with me here- I’ve got something to say and could use some help on this one.
Yesterday morning I woke optimistically and ready to get weighed- I felt better and slimmer (having not yet reached anything even closely resembling “slim”, I should really say I felt “less obese”). Now to illustrate the ridiculousness of these public weigh-ins, I share with you a secret- every week I have a double short black half an hour before I flee the nest, which has me running to the…well…I’m sure you can work that one out. Having spent time reading about others’ weight loss struggles, I’ve discovered that this is a very common theme- do anything to reduce that number on the scales. “We” are obsessed with the scales, what they say and most importantly, terrified that we will miss out on the public applause (signifying “in” group membership) that weight loss results in.
I was a little annoyed that I wasn’t permitted to undress before I jumped on the scales- it was deemed inappropriate. Hey, I had on leggings and a singlet and was convinced my cotton dress would contribute heavily to my weight (have you guys caught on yet how ridiculous this whole industry is?).
I lost 500 grams (1.1) pounds- yes a victory! But I was soon deflated and close to tears when the team leader called heavily on a woman to speak about her weight loss experiences as if she was a star achiever. She spoke eloquently and assertively about how she was successful (I’m all ears) and then revealed she had lost six kilos in total (I’m tearing up). I was angry that I had to listen to her story for 20 minutes, eating up my time when she had lost six kilos and was now, to be honest, both very slim and very attractive- case closed. This my friends, is not an inspiration (too honest?). But why the internal rage?
Is it not an achievement to lose six kilos? Should she not be applauded for tackling a problem (who says it’s a problem?…that’s a subject for another day) before it became a health issue? Isn’t being unhappy about your weight the same at 10 stone as it is at 15 stone? Good on her, rise of the sisterhood etc etc.
But actually…no. It’s not the same and I’ll tell you why. When I was smaller, I was actually seen, spoken to and occasionally admired. When you are larger, you are not seen and can be laughed at. Yes, it’s true- men have seen me and laughed collectively at….well, I don’t actually like to think about it but have a star witness who can testify. Six kilos heavier does not significantly change the reactions of men, women and shop assistants. I’m glad for her, she is happy and I am jealous certainly, but why was she the benchmark of success when I was surrounded by very overweight women who had lost more than her. Perhaps a job half done doesn’t mark success, perhaps the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts (ok, ok, gone too far!).
All I am saying, is that for me (and it may only be me), I want to hear from a fat woman who is losing weight. Why can we not see that here lies the true inspiration? A fat woman who has lost 30 kilos has a lot more to say about the industry than a person who has never had to look ahead of them and know that they have 50 kilos to lose.
And so this week I did what all women, all over the world, would not choose to do. I stripped bare, opened the curtains and looked in the full length mirror…at midday. It was suggested in something I read that I take a good look at myself. I’m sure I heard the mirror groaning – It was horrific! And I cried. Not because there I saw fat, cellulite and stretch marks (what a beauty!) but because I saw no muscle, no tone, and certainly no sexuality. Did I already say it was horrific? I urge you to do it- I promise the mirror won’t shatter.
But fatties (and all ladies alike), I saw (and I tread the line of “cringe-ville” when I say this), my own inspiration. Fat, skinny, slim, beautiful, plain, who cares? I have to rely on me and the only legs going to pull me around are those flabby white ones, so we better get well acquainted! And I better give them a little respect!
I am fatty, standing on fatty legs….hear me roar!