Saturday, July 02, 2011
So in a recent conversation someone close to me confessed that they think I look "fat." They did not say this with the intention of hurting me, but they said this because they honestly think I look fat. This came as a crushing blow to my self image as I thought through that conversation today. I have been feeling like I am no super model but that I have come a long way. I have worked really hard and I am at a very thin weight for my own self. To myself I think I am semi-thin with room for improvement. I have worked really hard to get where I am now. I have had moments of joy feeling so proud to be so thin. Then to be called "fat" at this moment was heart breaking. I thought those days were over because I don't think of myself as thin exactly, but I don't see myself as "fat".
Then all the days of being called fat at school by not only other kids but teachers came rushing back to me. I wonder if people who have not struggled with weight understand how incredibly painful it is to be called fat? Do they understand how deeply it hurts those of us who are on the receiving end?
When I am called "fat" all my childhood pain comes up, not only from being called fat myself, but also from watching how much it hurt my Mother and Grandmother. Both of these wonderful, kind, strong, and beautiful women have struggled with weight endlessly throughout their lives. I have seen the pain that the word "fat" can cause and experienced that pain myself so many times.
This also got me to thinking what people mean when they say that someone is "fat" or call themselves "fat". What defines fatness? We all know there are BMI levels, body fat % levels and so on. For me if I am a "healthy" weight but have room to improve-- tone up, loose 15 pounds or so, that is not "fat." When I feel that I am fat is when I am way over my normal BMI. And I have been there! That is my definition for myself. It is hard to imagine what each person who looks at you thinks of as you being fat or thin. Some people look at me and say that I am SO thin! Others call me fat. I'm not sure I know what to make of this.
I think that I need to work on getting myself to a place where I feel confident that I am HEALTHY and if that means I'm thin than great! However, I think it is important now and then to take a look at who we are doing this for and who is the judge of fatness. I think it is important to do it for yourself, and when you feel healthy, thin, or just plain good then that's the right place to be. I need to work on not letting other people's definition of "fat" hurt me anymore.
Have you been called "Fat"? Did it change the way you see yourself?