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Being called "Fat"

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?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Um, does this person need their eyes checked? I just looked at your pics too and I did not see a "fat" person in them. That was very rude of your friend even if the didn't mean it to be hurtful. That is a hurtful statement no matter how it is delivered. Im so sorry she said that to you. I have been called fat a lot, even when I wasn't that fat, just a little above average. People use it as an unintelligent insult because they can't think of anything better to say. I look back on my childhood and that was my sisters insult of choice to me, and I wasn't a chubby kid, but I was bigger than her and she knew it hurt.
    You are beautiful and you are working hard to make yourself healthy. Who give a !@#$ what anyone else thinks!!!!!!!
    2430 days ago
    Omg! I can't believe someone would actually call you fat.
    But I've experienced this, kinda. In a different way.
    Friends that haven't seen me since three years ago, see me all of a sudden, and don't remember me as being this big. They remember the last time they saw me at 140 pounds.
    Then they see me at my heaviest weight, and say "OMG BARBARA YOU HAVE GAINED ALOT OF WEIGHT". Thanks guys, I know. Is pretty much all I could say. It hurts to hear it from other people, when you beat yourself up enough over it. I've come to learn, the ones who have seen you at your heaviest, and then don't see you for a month or so, will see the weight loss most. And we will all have our "fat days" sometimes I wake up saying, Today I feel fat, the next day I feel thin and in good shape. We will push along... We are not fat. There are much larger people out there that I wouldn'tcall fat, it's a bad word to say about someone struggling with weight.
    2430 days ago
    Ouch =( sometimes people say cruel crap without intending it, or immediately regret it after, so maybe you should tell them how much it hurt you (still wtf though)

    I guess I was strangely lucky that no one ever called me fat when I was a kid. But I still know how you feel. I've been on here and making progress (though backtracking some too) and yesterday someone told me I could never go on a diet. They were just teasing me for snacking on kids' cereal, but it still really hurt my feelings - they have no idea what I've been doing, you know? Same thing (ok, opposite) happened with a friend who is more overweight than I am and who is also working to loose weight, I tried to tell her I was having trouble keeping up my habits but all she could do was discount it because in her head, I'm skinnier than she is so why do I have a right to be concerned about my weight?

    to repeat anajak, "baby this is your journey damn it and you won't let anyone ruin it for you... right?"
    2448 days ago
    I have to agree with an earlier posting questioning whether this person is truly your friend. If they are your friend, they should know the hard work and effort you have put into losing weight. They should know that you are building a healthy lifestyle for yourself, and they should know that you are not fat! That is such an inflammatory and hurtful word when used to describe someone.
    2453 days ago
    Just looked at your pictures. You are not fat.
    But you have to wonder whether this individual is a friend. I can't imagine anyone I consider a friend telling me such a thing.
    Now it's time for you to be your own best friend and stick to that semi-thin image. Because that IS way more accurate.
    2455 days ago
  • NH_MOM
    I just looked at your photos on your sparkpage. I don't know when they were all taken but I don't see any where you look fat. Just remember when people make comments it's because of something in their own lives they are unhappy about. Keep up the great work! emoticon
    2455 days ago
    I can't count the number of times I've been called "fat" in my life. I know exactly how you feel, since I didn't think of myself that way.

    Don't let what other people thoughtlessly say deter you from your journey - keep on the right track and keep on thinking about how great you are doing!!
    2455 days ago
    People are just cruel and should really think about what they say before they say it!!
    2455 days ago
    Oh mate. This sucks.

    I had some toxic friends last year who while I was busy working hard and losing weight (over 12 kgs) they were gaining. They keep giving these back-handed compliments (which were really insults) like:

    "OMG you are doing so well, how much do you weigh now? {INSERT MY WEIGHT}

    "Ugh I am getting SOO FAATT, I now weigh {INSERT THEIR WEIGHT HERE 15 kg lighter than ME}"

    I always arrived feeling proud of how I was doing - couldn't wait to hang out and left feeling like the obese person in the room and bad for working out and looking after my health.

    Soooo.... I know how you feel (not saying your friend is toxic) about comments that burn but baby this this your journey damn it and you will not let anyone ruin it for you..... right???
    2455 days ago
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