Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Trouble With Being Fat

I'm fat.  We've established this.  I'm working on it.  It's a slow process.
I think what thinner people don't understand is how deep the fat can penetrate into the soul of a woman who doesn't feel like she looks the way she should.  I suppose this isn't just specific for women who struggle with weight, but since it's obviously my main struggle, that's what I'm going to focus on.
I feel like, on the inside, I am thin, energetic, lively, beautiful and compassionate.  On the outside, I sometimes feel the exact opposite of that.  Ugly, lazy, fat, grouchy and lethargic.  Don't get me wrong, occasionally I have that glimmer of hope where I see a little progress in the mirror, like my hard work is actually paying off.  I'll have a day where I put makeup on and step out of my workout clothes and I may feel somewhat pretty, but those days can be few and far between.
It's almost like having two selves, my real me and my perceived me.  The perceived me is what I assume people are thinking when they see me, critiquing every inch of me, but in all reality, I'm the one with the problem.  But being fat on the outside and feeling thin on the inside is a strange phenomenon.  It's not like I forget I'm fat and am surprised when I look in the mirror.  No.  It's more like I feel like a set of gorgeous diamond earrings (not perfect, a little dusty, but gorgeous nonetheless) hiding inside a giant, beat up, cardboard box that reads: Refrigerator, Color: Avocado.  I feel like my body is false advertisement, a misrepresentation, for who I really am.
It's not fun seeing cute styles in boutique windows but not being able to fit into any of it.  It stinks to have to immediately sift to the bottom of shelves or the back of the racks, searching for your size, only to find that this particular style, or store, doesn't go up to your size.  It's no fun to cry in a fitting room because your jeans only fit your thighs and make your muffin top look extra muffin-y.  It's hard to understand when people shop just for fun, because it's not fun when nothing flatters your flab.  It doesn't make sense to you when people buy expensive clothing, because it's hard to imagine loving the way you look enough in something to do the same.  It's no fun to always expect a huge pile of no's and may one or two yes's.
My temporary solution, in turn, is to avoid buying pants until it's absolutely necessary to get a new pair, and to find a shirt that is somewhat flattering, buy it in every color offered, and accessorize the crap out of it.  I particularly love scarfs and flashy costume necklaces (which, of course, draw the attention up and away from my gut area).  I always say that if a robber came to my house, he would be sorely disappointed in my jewelry box, since there is almost nothing in it of any real value.
Another problem with being fat is I think people assume that because I'm heavy, I don't try hard.  Granted I maybe don't always invest as much time in aerobic exercise as I should, I am at the gym at LEAST five days a week, working my booty off (unfortunately, more figuratively than literally).  I also wonder if anyone is ever judging me on my food choices.  I wonder if people see me eating a cheeseburger or ice cream and then think 'no wonder'.  Or if it just makes them roll their eyes when I complain about my body.  Maybe it should be a combination of trying to make better food choices and quit letting my mind run from food guilt to crazy town (after all, I'm not a mind reader).
This brings up another trouble with being fat... the 'help' that is offered from others.  I know that it's generally innocent, but when someone offers up calorie information or even a gentle 'maybe fruit would be better', it honestly makes my blood boil.  I know that it's only because I know they are right; fruit would  be better, the caloric content of this is probably out of this world, but I want to eat it.  It is irritating only because I already know, deep inside, the information they are telling me... I was just momentarily ignoring it.  Thus the inner struggle happens.  Should I back down and listen to their will meant advice, or should I deck them and eat what sounds and tastes good?  Maybe somewhere in the middle would be best; minus the assault, of course.
I think that's what life is about though, finding middle ground.  Achieving balance.  Not decking your well-meaning friends.  Because if I someday (hopefully soon) find myself at a place where I like what I see in the mirror and enjoy trying on clothes (and possible even walking into a fitting room expecting something to fit); will I find something else to pick at?  Will burning off all this fat solve all my problems?  Of course it will lower my risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and hopefully lower the symptoms of my hormone imbalances; but will I ever be satisfied with how I look?  Chances are, probably not.  I feel like am programmed to compare and tear down.  But I do know that I can eventually become proud of myself, proud of my accomplishments, and more accepting of who I am on the inside.  Maybe eventually my inner self will shine through so much, I won't even care about the lumps and jiggle anymore.
I still want to be healthy.  I still need to lose that elusive 50 pounds.  I want to be able to respect my body.  Not feel obligated to hate it.  I don't need to or want to be perfect... I need to feel comfortable in my own skin... and someday I will.
Be healthy.  Love yourself.  And remember... you're In Good Company.

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