Don't know where I'm going with this; maybe to a weird place
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Dear friend - I posted this blog several days ago and have been so tempted to delete it every day since. Because I hate admitting something so icky about myself, and also because of worry that someone will read it and be hurt. ***please don't feel that what is written here is a criticism of anyone else*** It's an admission of a bad thought process in my own head; one that I want to change. And one that is not uncommon among us who need support from one another. OK? So here's the blog:
Admitting something contemptible about myself:
I've been fat all my life. For a couple of years I weighed over 300 pounds. That's not the admission - this is:
I dislike and scorn obese people.
How dare I? I have no grounds or right or logic to justify this attitude. I think it means that I scorn and dislike myself. So when I see something that reminds me of me, I reject that thing; a form of self-rejection.
Knowing how being fat has made me suffer, why am I not moved to compassion and fellow-feeling when i see a fellow fattie? But I'm not (although this is the first time i've really admitted to myself and tried to explore this feeling)
It could be that losing weight is a way to kill this disliked self. Like a murder. I am killing my victim Fat Denise, and she fights "me" (who is "me"??) with binges and laziness in her attempt to survive.
So really, who is the "I" in that scenario? I think she is fierce, and I know she is angry. And I'm a little scared of her. Did you see the movie Long Kiss Goodnight? When Gina Davis's character begins to remember her pre-amnesia self - who was an assassin? It's kinda like that.
I changed my profile image to this fiery naked woman. That I chose that image to represent me is uncharacteristic (understatement) and has something to do with whatever it is I am trying to say in this blog.
I have a box of paper scraps and cutouts and bits of ribbon etc that is supposed to become a vision collage someday. But i Just Can't MAKE IT. I can't see who is going to be here in a year or two if I lose 120 lbs. I can't envision who will be left if Fat Denise is gone.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Wow! I have to say that I was completely taken aback by this blog! What? You don't like me because I'm fat? But then I kept reading and thought about it further. I have definitely felt this bias against me -- so it shouldn't surprise me that someone admits to it. Then I thought -- Wow! I have to give you a lot of credit for being this honest. We all have our biases but like to believe we don't. With weight though -- for some reason I have mostly come at it with compassion. I do feel a bit of a kinship and admit that I feel much more self-conscious about myself when I meet someone who is slim & trim or athletic-looking. Now I said "mostly" because if I'm completely honest with myself, it does enter in sometimes. For instance, if someone annoys you or does something rude perhaps -- occasionally it crosses my mind not just to think "you $%&^" but sometimes it will be "fat $%^&&!" I have to admit it and it shocks me too! That seems to indicate a definite disdain for fat or fat people and yet that would be the furthest thing from my mind! Maybe it's somewhat of the bullying affect -- where we hurt others like we were hurt?
Whatever the reasoning -- I am very glad you brought this to the floor, Denise! It has made me take a long, close look at myself again. I don't want to be like this! You brought about this awareness and now I will catch myself and put a stop to it. I know it hurts to feel that and how dare I go inflicting it on someone else? Even if it isn't said out loud -- the thought is there. And we all know -- you have to change your thoughts to change your life. This begins day one of a more vigilant me!
Again -- thanks for having the courage to write this!
1704 days ago
Comment edited on: 7/22/2013 1:16:24 PM
A new addition to my comment: I just read an article by a doctor in the NY Times. He admitted to feeling much less compassion towards patients who were overweight or who had Diabetes, which he thought was a "choice". He went on this way for years. Then he, himself, developed Metabolic Syndrome and gained weight and is developing diabetes. He feels terrible that he was so judgmental in the past. I think it is human nature to fear the things that are "different" or generally perceived as undesirable.
1710 days ago
I had a whole Jungian dream analysis spelled out then deleted because what the heck Denise? For whatever reason our appetites got away from us- and we got fat. For what ever reason or basket of reasons we got a grip and got on with taking back our appetites making our bodies shrink to fit. That's the story. You got this, and you got it right. if this is offensively opinionated please delete this comment. I have a tendency to keep pushing when being still might have served best.
1711 days ago
Denise, I have to join you. I am like this. It is my secret emotional retreat. I do think that I spend a lot of time projecting my feelings about myself onto others and I also transfer my feelings onto others---i.e. assume that they think the same way about me as I do.
Hence I can be 250 pounds and dislike the people on the street who look that way. I can make secret commentary to myself that they are lazy, undisciplined, etc. But that is me--lazy and undisciplined. I also default to the assumption that people don't like me because of the barrier of fat. And I'm a teacher who has received teaching evaluations that say I should lose weight, that I look bovine, that it's hard to trust the authority of somebody who cannot control her own image. Yes, it hurts. And yes, I think that the National Psyche, is there is such a thing, is predisposed to dislike and mistrust fat people along with black people and old people.
Loathing usually does begin at home!
1712 days ago
It seems to me that it is great you are being honest about this!
1712 days ago
I thought about a lot of the same things when I read "Fat is a Feminist Issue" by Susie Orbach. It's the first time I'd thought about the advantages of being fat & in the end it's balancing the pros & cons. Pro - I can eat what I like when I like. Con - self loathing etc.
1712 days ago
Interesting that you should write this - interesting for me, at any rate, as it captures a facet of some thoughts that have been in my mind lately. I don't know that I dislike other fat people (and I know just what you mean) because they are fat, but I have recently realized that I'm very judgmental, with these strong opinions based not on age, color, gender, whatever, but rather on a person's size. Are they at all overweight, whether just a general chubbiness or morbidly obese? Even without knowing them, I find I have some preformed assumptions. Are they thin, whether slender or skeletal? And I find a different set of preformed assumptions coming to mind. I dislike this about myself, as it smacks uncomfortably of judging books by covers, something I am (as a rule) reluctant to do. I like to think I'm open-minded, nonjudgmental, unbiased... and in general, I am those things. Perhaps an observer of life, of people passing by, not with any hidden agendas or prejudices, just interested in the scenery, if you will. Until a fat person comes along, when suddenly it's - "Am I bigger than s/he is?" or "I used to look like that, gah, how can s/he let themselves get that heavy?" or "I'm bigger than s/he is and s/he still looks flabby and fat - I must look awful." As if my appearance is all that counts about me, just as their appearance (and having to do all with weight, not age or hairstyle or clothing) is all that counts about them.
This chafes at me, Denise. I've got some thinking to do, but I don't know it would've begun to crystallize had it not been for your blog today.
1712 days ago
I am much the same, though I suppose mine is mostly a dislike of obese people that I see fulfilling the 'stereotypical' obese person role, e.g.in Pizza Hut stuffing their face. I don't dislike obese people I have met at the gym, attempting to make themselves fitter. I think that's because I'm afraid of being judged as someone who eats junk all the time, and is too lazy to do anything about my weight. It's terribly unfair of me, that person in Pizza Hut might never have eaten a pizza before, or weighed 200lbs more before Christmas and is having a rare treat, but I still feel that way.
1712 days ago
Don't look just at the person you were...don't let that identity hold you in the past.
Just like meeting a new person and getting to know them...you will find out who that person is later....! And the really beautiful part though....you also get to create that person as an embodiment of the traits you DO admire in others. Now I grant you that not all of your personality, history, traits will change---but you hold more power than you give yourself credit for!!
Look in the mirror each day and enjoy the new you! As the cliché goes: Be The Change you want to see....then, in time, you will be able to complete that collage.
All the best to you,
1712 days ago
I noticed the same many years ago - it shocked me that not only did I dislike obese people - I thought they were unintelligent. And yes, I am also av fat person with a high IQ – so what is going on?
Part of it is fear - I don´t want to hang around fat people because then everybody will think I am fat too...(as if they could nt see it) "They" would think that my hobby is to eat (eeehmmm...) bacause I hang with others that obviously also eat too much.
I have since studied this attitude of mine and realised that it does not include all overweight people. Up to a certain point I even find them attractive - it´s those who seem to have lost all hope and whos life seem to be very influenced by their weight.
But you are right, there is a very high level of selfcontempt in that attitude - bur also a kind of fear to "be like them".
About self image - I have probably had an image of myself of "big" more than "fat" - as I havbe always been very agile I saw myself as I was in my 30es, I did not notice the extra 40 kilos ... and when I gor pictures from my 60th birthday, the truth send me into a depression that made me gain another ten kilos.... that I have finally started to suceed in taking away again, hopefully followed by many more. But I agree that it is hard to imagine a realistic picture of myself as thin - either I look like a slim little french woman or it is nothing. I am trying to look at normal weighted women at my age to get a good image to put my head on...
1712 days ago
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