This post originally appeared on The Thought Catalog and has been reprinted with permission from the author. You can read more about Haley Cook on her blog.
12. People DO judge you for being fat.
It’s true! They do it! I’ve been criticized by teachers, clerks at clothing stores, fast food workers, and even random strangers on the street. I’m not the pity party throwing type; so don’t assume that’s my agenda with this one. However, the fact of the matter is so many people think fat discrimination doesn’t exist. There are many different types of subtle hatred in this world, and fat people definitely get judged. Ever seen Tyra Banks dress up in a fat suit? Well, that has nothing to do with anything; but go YouTube that right away please.
11. Clothing companies think we don’t exist.
Another one that most people don’t realize. I myself like vintage inspired looks, and those can be easier to find in larger sizes. Ever shopped the average Macy?s, though? It’s like trying to find a reason for Gary Busey. You search and search, but find no resolution. I hope that really drives the frustration home for you.
10. You have a pretty face.
This compliment is the most backhanded one that you have to respond nicely to, because it’s wrapped in sincerity for the most part. No one ever means for this to sound bad, but every fat girl knows ? ?you have such a pretty face? is another way of saying ?it’s such a shame you’re so pretty yet so fat.? I’ve found the best way to deal with this is to smile politely and respond ?why thank you, I’m also a fan of my beautiful bubble butt.? (disclaimer: I’ve never said this to anyone, ever, and neither should you).
9. There’s so much to worry about.
Will this chair support my weight? Will I fit in this desk? Will I be able to ride this roller coaster? Are they going to make me run in gym class? It’s constant for every fat person, that little voice that is screaming out ? can I be normal? Or will something hold me back from that today? It’s endlessly frustrating and causes even the best of us to feel like holding back from really enjoying life. To that I say ? you’re missing out if you let the worry overtake your life. Go ahead and break the desk, the school will have to pay for it.
8. Am I too fat to pull this off?
Whether it be high-waisted skirts, leggings, or kitten heels, every fat girl has pondered this question. Yes, thin girls usually look great in a lot of the trends. But what about us larger chicks? I refused to wear maxi dresses for the longest time, even though I thought they were adorable. Now ? I own a ton of them, and I wear them whenever I want. For crying out loud, it’s a dress, you don’t have to be anything to wear it. Except have a body. Floating heads can’t wear maxi dresses. I don’t think.
7. I MUST HAZ LARGER THAN LYFE PERSONALITY!!!
That’s how I assume sassy fat people type on the internetz. Or that’s what the mainstream media will have you believe. Because, as we all know, fat women are only acceptable as the jolly best friend, funny sidekick, or crazy comic relief. And I mean, I’m totally funny and jolly (and yes, okay, crazy) but I’m pretty sure if I wanted to I could be the heroine of a super awesome book trilogy. Just, no spandex or love interest for me. I want the royalty check, thanks.
6. Even though I want to lose weight, I’m afraid to try.
This one may be unique to me, and that’s okay. I lost 93 pounds a few years ago and felt absolutely amazing. Gained it all back shortly thereafter. Have struggled to lose it all again. The gist of my blog is this ? it’s a Christian weight loss blog. For fat people, the act of losing weight is usually surrounded by a fear of failure and shame. I’m trying to break through that and see if I can find something else in there. In spite of my goals, however, I have learned that being fat and wanting to change is terrifying. Hold on, though. There’s no shame in making a change to feel better.
5. My doctor thinks every illness I’ve ever had and will have is weight related.
Ah, seeing the doctor as a fat person. You walk into that cold, sterile office with any number of issues. Let’s say you’ve got a head cold. Oh, what’s that you say, doctor with ridiculously unprouncable name that I’m legit impressed you ever learned to spell? It’s because I’m fat?! Well, guess I better lose 5 pounds and quit taking this silly cough medicine. And truth be told, this one hits close to home because I had a medical issue most doctors related to my weight ? until I saw a vascular surgeon who let me know I actually needed surgery. I was at a high risk for blood clotting for something genetic; but every other doctor I had seen said it was because I’m fat. Am I bad for secretly wanting everyone to argue about obesity being unhealthy in the comment section below? Maybe. (Side note: I am aware obesity is not healthy. Maybe.).
4. People who are much thinner than me like to complain about their weight in front of me, a lot.
We all have that friend. I have a few of that friend. The person who is, at most, average. She complains about her weight any time I’m around her, pulling at her stomach in disgust. Interestingly enough, I was just sitting there thinking she looks like the ideal size. It’s funny how our minds work. Now, body image issues exist at every size. So do poor relationships with food and negative self talk. And annoying Facebook status updates. The list goes on. I assume the point has been made, moving on?
3. People assume a lot.
And yeah, this is with anything. People know you, man. They know everything about you based on your hipster glasses and bad tattoos and what church you attend (obviously I also want a religious debate in the comments). Totally. But imagine being fat, because they know you even more then. No secrets anymore! People assume you eat all the time, you only eat terrible things, you’re lazy, etc. I’m not sure why my fatness gave away my love for chocolate. Actually, that must have been the grease stains on my skirt, I apologize.
2. I’m more compassionate because of this.
Believe it or don’t, but I’m an extremely compassionate person mainly because I have been morbidly obese for a huge portion of my young life. I have been teased, taunted, and humiliated. I had to switch schools to escape bullying. I’ve been called every name in the book for absolutely no reason whatsoever. So, I yearn to help people who struggle with the same exact things I have gone through (and continue to go through). That’s why I started this blog, and that’s why I intend on moving forward with it? well, actually, there is one other reason far more important than that?
1. God loves me and doesn’t give a hoot about the number on my scale.
Uh, yeah. My savior is that awesome and wonderful, and even though I know my health, habits, thoughts, feelings, and life choices matter to Him, I have never felt that God cared if I was fat or not. That being said, Losing in Grace is all about losing weight with God’s guidance, which is what I’m trying to do this time around. Why? Because I believe that with God, this whole stupid losing weight process can become something unfathomably brilliant.
So, there you go. These are some things I’ve learned after being fat for a very long time.
And here’s a bonus jonas:
I’m pretty sure this part of my life is ready to close out. As in, I don’t want to be THIS fat and unhealthy anymore. I’m done with it, and I felt led to write this for Thought Catalog because I know other people out there needed to hear it.
So follow along and maybe one day soon I can update your with 12 things I learned while losing weight.