My subject is: What is one thing that you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t yet?
It was submitted by: https://wanderingwebdesigner.com/blog
Content warnings for mental abuse, fatphobia, bullying, eating disorder talk, internalized fatphobia
I don’t remember a time when body image wasn’t an issue for me. Even before I really understood what being “fat” was, my family made comments about my weight and my body. My grandmother forced me to eat salads with next to nothing on them besides lettuce and tomato and told me I needed to diet. My dad would sing “fatty fatty 2 x 4 can’t get through the bathroom door to me” and laugh. Crisco, lardass, fatty… those were constant refrains at home.
The sad part is I wasn’t even fat. My body was softer and rounder because of changes and hormones. That’s all. I look back at photos of me from then and see the roundness of puberty and wonder what the fuck anyone else was looking at. Fat? Everyone around me carried extra weight. It’s built in my genes. It was projection, pure and simple, and a whole lot of internalized fatphobia, but knowing that NOW doesn’t at all erase the voices I heard so much for so long that still plague every single day of my life.
And it didn’t end there. Because I did carry extra weight into my teens and even now as an adult as a response to both trauma and because it’s how my body is and will always be, those voices aren’t just family but peers, friends, people I found attractive that I wanted to be closer to…
Too fat for me.
You’re a fucking joke
The years I have spent hating my body are a travesty. Honestly. This is the only body I get, and here I’ve been hating everything it was for nearly all of my life. I didn’t love the softness, the curves, the chubby tummy, the stretch marks…but I also didn’t appreciate my strength or flexibility or how it carried me through the difficult life I had without letting me down. Now that it fails me regularly because of my chronic illness, I miss the things it used to do for me, the things that kept me going. Now that I don’t have them I look back and wonder why I couldn’t appreciate them while I had good health.
I failed to see what anyone else claimed to see when they looked at me, anyone outside family that is. It was something to hide and abhor for far too long, and even now it’s a struggle to accept my body as it is much less love it. Compliments never stuck. The idea that anyone could love me as I am, because I hated it all so much, was an entirely foreign concept. I spent most of my life keeping everyone away, keeping my guard up, breaking dates, refusing even after the best of 1st dates to ever go on a 2nd one.
There is such a big part of me that understands I am worth more than my weight or the size dress I wear. I understand that hating myself changes absolutely nothing. I know without a doubt that I really don’t have any business hating my body at this age in my life. I am loved and satisfied and I look fucking fly when I get dressed up, makeup on, and quirky purse on my shoulder. But I can’t get rid of those old voices, the doubts, the lingering inability to accept that this is how I have always and will always look give or take a few pounds.
I see people in fat acceptance/liberation spaces and understand they have bad days too and bad weeks and fight it just like I do. But another part of me sees those photos and longs to be that comfortable in front of a camera in crop tops and bikinis—to smile and lift double fingers at anyone who says a cross word. I envy those carefree moments that I never seem to have enough of. I long for days in a stretch where I can cancel out those ghosts in my head of a former life where those opinions mattered so much to me even while I shouted so loud that I didn’t give a fuck. I want to exist in a state that isn’t plagued by guilt for being what I am and guilt for not loving me as I am simultaneously.
I have struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphia , dieted myself into sickness, starved, binged, purged… I struggle with the idea that I can fight so hard with these issues and still have a lot of privilege because my body is smaller than a lot in the spaces I find so much comfort. I struggle with the mirror, and I struggle with stopping the incessant calorie calculating. Every. Single. Day. Is. Full. Of. Struggle.
I want the confidence to wear a crop top, to even go out of the house without moments of panic about how I look… what I’ve always wanted is to have peace, to be comfortable, to be able to just accept me as I am at any time in anything for more than a few fleeting moments. I’ve wanted that as long as I remember, and here’s hoping I might finally do that one day.
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
Baking In A Tornado https://www.bakinginatornado.com/2019/08/passion-and-repercussions-secret.html
Wandering Web Designer https://wanderingwebdesigner.com/blog
Spatulas on Parade https://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/2019/08/little-girl-squirrel-sss-august-2019.html
The Bergham Chronicles https://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/
Never Ever Give Up Hope https://batteredhope.blogspot.com
Our Prime Years https://ourprimeyears.com/secretsubjectswap-aug-9-2019
Part-time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2019/08/secret-subject-swap-here-comes-bride.htm