I Hate Being Fat

As a little girl, sitting at my desk in school was the worst. I was always self-conscious about any fat rolls showing to those sitting behind me. Standing was fine, but sitting? That was when I felt the worst about being “big boned.” The boy that I crushed hard on always sat behind me, too. It was slow torture.

Growing up, there was a Baba at church who used to say, in her broken English accent, “…You so pretty, only you gotta lose the weight.” That was a real self esteem builder. Lest I even mention how my own family would always compliment me and then back it up with something along the lines of, “If only you lost a little weight.”

Whenever the six week period of swim came around for P.E. I lived in a constant state of stress. All the other girls seemed to be so much smaller and so much more perfect. Me? I wasn’t small or perfect, and I hated how I looked in my bathing suit. Every week I hoped that someone else would be wearing a t-shirt, so that I could follow suit. I often wondered if I could tell my gym teacher that I had my period—for six straight weeks!

Then this one time, on the bus, I slapped a boy for making *boom-ba-da-boom-ba-da* sounds while I walked down the aisle to my seat. I can still feel the sting on my palm, and I can still see the hand print on his cheek, although he never made those sounds again, and we even talked about it at our 10 year reunion.

While looking at wedding dresses I was so bummed because the dress size I fit into was a size 22. I wasn’t a fucking size 22, I was an 18, dammit! I’d worked hard to not be a size 20, and now my wedding dress was a 22. I comforted myself with the fact that my fiancĂ© was happy with the “meat on my bones.” The standing joke between my best friend and I was that, hey, at least my soon-to-be-husband liked fat chicks!

* * * *

I sound like a person with the lowest self-esteem in the world, right?

Wrong.

Contrarily, I am full of self-esteem.

Maybe because most of the time I think I’m skinny. Most of the time I don’t even realize that I’m carrying an extra hundred pounds on my 5’8″ body. And, despite all these negative vignettes (and there are tons more, I could go on and on and on) I have shared, I believe I am something I’m obviously not.

Last week, though, a bunch of pictures were posted on the Internet, for all to see, and I was slapped with the ugly truth about myself.

Something I’ve known for as long as I can remember.

Something that I often forget for some strange reason that drives me bat nuts fucking crazy.

Something that I need to change, and know I have the power to change.

Something that makes me feel like that little girl, sitting at her school desk, worried about how I look to those sitting behind me.

And it confounds me.

How can I be so self-confident AND self-loathing, at the same time?

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