Just to be clear, I do NOT hate myself. What I hate, is being fat.
It drives my sister crazy when I actually use the word “fat.” I don’t go around saying it all the time, but now and then I’ll laugh and say “Gosh, I’ve gotten fat!” or “I’m too fat for these pants!” My sister is quick to respond: “You’re not fat! You’re just overweight.” At that moment, my heart swells with gratitude for such sisterly love, and I have to stop myself from correcting her: “Actually, in medical terms I’m considered obese.”
This is not a whine-fest, it’s the truth. My 5’1” frame feels like it’s being crushed under the extra pounds. While small, I’m not naturally skinny, and I’ve always had to work at not gaining weight. Over the years I just got burned out from all the effort. The result is 40 extra pounds that I carry, clothe, loathe, and make excuses for every day. I know it’s only a number on a scale, but it’s a number with very unpleasant side effects. Here are just a few of the many reasons why I hate being fat:
- My hips hurt
- My back hurts
- My feet hurt
- My chest is too big (I miss my B cup!)
- I no longer have a stomach, but an actual belly
- The lower part of said belly pushes my pants zipper down when I’m sitting. (XYZ!)
- When I get out of the car, I lead with my belly (like I did when I was pregnant)
- I have creases on my back and sides that sweat. Ewwwwwwww.
- I quickly get out of breath playing with my toddler
- I don’t want my daughter to live this way
- I miss wanting to be in pictures
- My face swallows up my eyes when I smile
- I feel like my head looks like a pin on my body
- I hate, hate, hate spending money on clothes for a size I don’t want to be
- I dread getting dressed every morning
- My favorite pants have an elastic waist
- It’s hard to paint my toenails
- I do not feel sexy. Ever.
- My rings (the ones I can still actually wear) are tight. A pinch of salt or a slight rise in humidity, and you can forget it!
- No matter how much I take care of my hair, skin, or nails, my extra weight is my main accessory
- I shy away from otherwise fun activities because I’m so uncomfortable and self-conscious.
- I think about my weight pretty much all the time. I’d like to move on to something else.
Being overweight reveals my dirty secret that my eating got out of control. It tells the world that I haven’t thought enough of myself to take care of myself. That I have given up and given in to poor choices. It betrays every time I have been disappointed with life or let myself down.
So, I’ve learned to accept my extra weight for what it is. I no longer let it define me, but that doesn’t mean I want to stay this way. In “Made to Crave”, Lysa TerKeurst taught me that God loves me just as I am. But He also loves me enough not to leave me in a place of defeat. Call it what you will - motivation, empowerment, determination. All I know is that was just the kick in my size 14/16 pants I needed to start taking care of myself.