This morning I read something that has shaken me to the core of my being.
I was reading a post at Blogher by Denise on a book titled “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters.”
This subject is near and dear to my heart, because I am a mother to a daughter and I am a woman who has spent the majority of her life hating (not feeling comfortable with) her body.
The last line of her post knocked the wind out of me and I’ve been crying every since I read it.
More than 1/2 of American women 18-25 would prefer to be run over by a truck or die young than be fat. More than 2/3 would rather be mean or stupid than be fat.
Would you rather be mean or stupid than fat? And what, exactly, is “fat”? 5lbs overweight? 50lbs? At what point would you rather be dead… if you’re a mom – at what point would your daughter want to be dead? Have you asked her?
It is quite possible that those words–that ONE question– has forever changed me.
I want desperately to put into words WHY it has affected me so deeply, but I’m having a hard time.
Perhaps the answer is really as simple as this: “I don’t ever want my daughter to feel the way that I have felt for most of my adult life about my body.”
I may not have ever wished to be dead rather than fat, but in so many ways, I have been dead. I’ve locked myself in my house, I’ve avoided people that I love, I’ve missed out on birthday parties and weddings and girls nights out because I was too ashamed to be seen in public as a fat person.
That’s sick and twisted in itself, but the fact is that up until 4 years ago, I was never even fat.
But I thought I was.
And now I am fat and I struggle to come to terms with this body. I hate it. I will always hate being fat. I am uncomfortable. I hate that my thighs rub together when I walk. I hate that I can feel my belly hanging when I sit down. I hate that I can see lumps in my arms when I look in the mirror.
But does that have to mean that I hate who I am? And that I have to walk around feeling like I need to apologize to the people in my presence for being fat?
Sometimes, I feel like my Body Hate is a drug and I am addicted. I wasn’t happy when I was thin. I’m not happy when I’m fat. I am ashamed that I feel this way about my body. I hate hurting people that I love and yet, everyday, I wake up and make a choice to hate myself for being fat.
DOES THIS EVEN MAKE SENSE?
I’ve made some positive changes in regards to this issue. I’ll give you one example. I used to use horrifying language when talking about my body and I have made the choice not to do that anymore. I used to call myself a “fat pig” “repulsive” “a big cow.”
And even worse.
But even though I don’t talk about myself in that manner anymore, I still feel that way about myself.
My daughter is watching me, she is learning from me and even though I may not walk around saying “I’m a fat pig who doesn’t deserve to enjoy my life!” like I used to, I most certainly am not living life to it’s fullest because of my weight.
at what point would your daughter want to be dead? Have you asked her?
I keep hearing those words running through my head and I want to change. RIGHT NOW.
I have tried so many times to change, to learn to love my body. But I’ve never really and truly found the answer.
Is there an answer? There has to be answer.
Perhaps the answer is that I have to learn to be content. Content with who I am as a human being, not with what size jeans I wear.
Or maybe The Answer is to stop being so fucking self centered.
I have to stop focusing on myself and how I feel at every damn minute of the day and start thinking about the people in my life who love me, the people who I have hurt deeply because of my body issues. The people who I’ve avoided because “Wah, I’m too fat to go to your wedding.”
I have to start thinking about my children– especially my daughter because I don’t ever want her to say she’d rather DIE than be fat.