Friday, 13 January 2012

Fat thoughts

This is a somewhat undeveloped post because I am not sure what I want to say with it, really.

It is about being fat. And about observing people having fun at what fat people look like. And thinking "Do you laugh at me behind my back, too?".

For some reason I feel like writing down my history of fatness. Maybe it is a sort of defense, "this is the reason I am fat" - which might seem childish at first but really, the point is that YOU DON'T KNOW why people are fat. Or why they stay fat. And I can assure you, because I know a lot of fat people - it very rarely is because they eat too much, all the time, because they lack self discipline, or whatever. As someone said (I cannot remember who, else I would credit): "If a thin girl counts calories and eats too little, she is ill. If a fat girl does the same, she is being good." - and by extension, if a thin girl eats normally, healthily, she is good, while if a fat girl does the same she is lacking in self discipline, greedy. Oh, and exchange girl for guy and she for he in any of these sentences because it applies for all.

I have always been, well, stocky, round, whatever word you choose. In my teens I sortof grew into the weight so that while I was somewhat chubby the only one who seemed to notice that was me, in hindsight everyone else seemed to figure I was normal. Maybe I was and it was all in my head. (That said I have struggled with eating disorders from childhood. Getting food into myself was a battle of wills. Eating was, and can still be, terrifying. If I don't eat, I am safe.)

When I was 20 I got medication, antidepressants to be exact. In a few weeks my body blew up like a balloon, I seriously thought my boyfriend had shrunk my jeans when he did laundry. From being somewhat chubby I went to being decidedly overweight, around 85-90 kg (owning a scale has never been my strong point).

I lost that weight (some 10-15 kg) by quite literally starving myself for some months - two small portions of rice with fried onions a day was a luxury at that point (this was for financial reasons, not for weightloss reasons. I almost got scurvy and I had bleeding sores on my body and a cough that wouldn't go away. Don't imitate that way to lose weight.). As soon as I started eating closer to normal - three meals a day whereof at least one a "normal" portion instead of the bare minimum I could survive on - I regained the weight. I have later found out there are reasons for this and that I wasn't eating more than I thought (I was actually counting the strands of spaghetti to make sure I wasn't eating too much, not knowing why the weight popped back).  Recently I was made aware of this article, which goes some way to explain what was going on in my body.

Anyway, weight came back and settled. I tried losing it (and found out, among other things, that low carb makes me stupid as hell), and failed. It stayed, no matter what diet I tried, or what exercise I tried. I would lose five or ten kg, and they'd come back, and sometimes I would lose them without dieting, but just because my body seemed to have its own cycle of lower and higher weight. All in all it was stable, and I got used to it over the years (which pass quickly once you become an adult), and I got stronger, and more self-confident, and I was in pretty good shape beneath my blubber.

2011. The rheumatologist made me eat cortison pills for about six months (I quit on my own. She doesn't know yet.). I was unaware of, and unprepared for, the fact that people commonly gain weight when eating cortison. Enter another 15-20kg, suddenly over a few months. Now I am really fat. Obese, actually, according to the official scales. My jeans stopped fitting again. My stomach is in the way when I am going to sleep. There is too much of me. I don't feel in worse shape (if we for a moment pretend I don't have had a series of respiratory illnesses, colds and pneumonia, this autumn and winter), but I do have more baggage to lug around on. I feel fatter. I have hints of jowls. Where did my cheek bones go. But most of all it is physically in the way when I move the way I am used to. Tying shoe laces has become an issue. Embarrassing. I worry about my upcoming flight - if I will fit in the seat (though I did when going to Finland, at least that is a comfort).

I worry if I will be able to lose that extra weight, or if it will be as stubborn as the anti-depressant kilos were (by the way, the anti-depressants were within a couple of months found to be a wrong prescription for me, painful irony). Because I would like to lose it, at least get back to where I was a year ago. I  know I am still healthy underneath the double blubber, and that I can get in shape to deal with it without being too out of breath, but it is in the way and I would like to be able to wear my cool t-shirts again. Yea, such a silly reason, I know, but it is there.

But I would also like to feel sure that people I know aren't making fatty jokes behind my back. Is that very very much to ask for?


  1. An answer to your question:
    Never absolutely never! I have never heard it at work either!
    So you can feel a little bit safer!

    1. It is more an online thing than something people bring up in conversation. But yes, it does seem less an issue in Sweden than ...everywhere else I have social contacts/have lived/whatever. At least to some degree. I shan't speculate why.

  2. Extreme overweight is a health problem. Except from that, being a chubby is no problem, if you feel comfortable with it yourself. Don't worry; the things people say (or think) behind your back may be more positive than you believe. And remember that no one likes the skinny fashion models; they're just ugly and boring >:)

    Cold As Heaven

    1. Akshully, the "no one likes the skinny models" part is up for discussion: Men generally do not, this is true. But women actually like them.

      This girl explains stuff:

      Sure, it isn't 100%, but as a group generalisation: Yep, I recognise it.

    2. That was a neutral comment by the way, no kind of value put into it, just observation.

      And the link isn't specifically related either, it is the ongoing debate about how men and women are portrayed in comics; but it explains what I wanted to say fairly well.

    3. Thanks for sharing the link. Interesting >:)


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