When I was in senior public school (junior high, to my American friends), there was this one boy in my class. I’d absolutely say he was a bully. And While I wasn’t bullied in any sort of ongoing way, there were instances. This one, for example (third bullet point down). He also told this HILARIOUS joke in front of the class many times. It went something like this:
“You’re so flat you make the walls jealous.”
And then a chorus of pre-pubescent boys would giggle with delight because someone made a boobie joke.
Then there was this one time when I was an adult working at a bank. I was the youngest one working at this particular branch by decades and so I already had a hard time fitting in. Conversations were generally about work and nothing more. We would have staff meetings after work and those of us working would just stay late and those not working would be required to come in after hours. One exchange stuck with me until this day because it was a shining example of what I can only describe as reverse-weightism.
Me: “I wish I could wear comfortable clothes to this meeting.”
Coworker, with as much venom and disdain as she could muster in her voice, daggers and hate spewing from her eyes: “I wish I were skinny.”
Typing it out, you can’t hear the disgust that was in her voice and you can’t see her looking me up and down like my weight was offensive to her. This is treatment that overweight people receive regularly, I know, and I’m not looking for sympathy because I hardly deserve it from that miniscule instance of weight-based hate. All I’m saying is that without question, the media is overrun and infested with actresses, models, persons-of-interest who are much thinner than the average woman and so, as a whole, because society is screwed up and demented and has put these people on a pedestal to be worshipped, the rest of us are compared to and contrasted against them on a daily basis. Anyone who is not model-thin is wrongly viewed as overweight (I’m still speaking within the media) and called out as such, with their most unflattering pictures splattered across magazines with headlines asking the public to judge them for being real people.
“Eat a cheeseburger.”
“Your hip bones could cut glass.”
“You eat? Doesn’t show!”
These things are said in jest and in the spirit of fun because people think that if your metabolism is naturally high, that biting, scornful comments don’t hurt. But they do. During my adult years, my weight has fluctuated from [number that is way too low for my height and body structure] to [healthy], which is where I am now. I am, without question, the heaviest I have ever been. My BMI is still a healthy number, but I am very unused to this size. Pants that used to require a belt pulled to its smallest hole now fit without a belt at all. I more often than not buy M instead of S and regret the decision if I chance an S. The insides of my comfy pants are pilly and worn from rubbing together. I am a healthy size, most definitely, but I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.
I should get used to it, get over myself, realize that this is all a part of growing older. My once hyperactive metabolism has grown tired and is operating at a normal pace for once. Perhaps existing on a diet of cream cheese icing and chocolate bars is something best left in my youth; this bit of extra weight is a visual reminder that an unhealthy lifestyle leads an unhealthy life. I don’t exercise, I eat like shit, and for 31 years and 10 months I’ve relied on my body to take care of itself. My body is now on strike.
I don’t blame my two pregnancies. I blame myself and my poor decision-making skills when it comes to what food I put into my mouth and the sheer volume and velocity at which it goes in there. I also blame my sedentary lifestyle. A person is designed to move. I move as little as possible. Sure, some of the weight was gained and retained because of my fetus-gestating skills, but no effort has been made to get rid of it.
This isn’t one of those “so now I’m going to the gym and I’m going to become a marathon runner and eat only lettuce and watermelon and kick this weight in the ass” sort of posts. I have no plans for any of that. I used to go to the gym (because I did, at one point in my life, enjoy exercise), I used to play sports, I used to get my daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables, but I don’t do any of those things any more. I could promise to get back to my former self. I could start jogging and vow to eat like an adult. I could…but I know myself. I like sugar. I like my quiet evenings with the tv. Losing weight, or more accurately, getting into shape, would require a major lifestyle change and that itself would require a lot more motivation than I have.
Like I said, I’m at what would be considered an average weight for my height. I’m not obsessed with numbers, and don’t even pay that close attention to them, so the number itself isn’t what I take issue with. It’s how these new curves make me feel. My body doesn’t feel like my own and I feel uncomfortable with my outer self. I know in my mind that I look fine, that my body is still half-decent, but I just don’t feel right. I wish I had the conviction and the determination to make the changes I would need to make in order to get back to feeling like myself again, but I know I don’t.
I’m not happy with myself. I know what to do to fix it, but food tastes so good.
“Boo-hoo. Skinny girl got some curves and now she’s whining about them. Let’s all cry for the stickbug. Let’s mourn the loss of her washboard abs and her pertruding hipbones. Suck it up, pipsqueak. No one feels sorry for you.”