We don’t want to get fat. We don’t want to be fat, and we don’t see ourselves as fat. Sure we are bigger than the other kids in the playground, we are tall for our age.
But others not seeing our uniqueness, our height, those long limbed legs, latch onto one description for us FAT. Everything we do is linked to food.
We spend our entire lives being told –
Don't eat that?
Put that down.
Take that out of your mouth.
Every time I see you your eating.
You are going to be fat like my brother.
Do you want to be fat like Auntie so and so, or Uncle such and such?
You’ve had too much, why are you eating that?
Do you want to be fat?
You will make yourself sick.
The words pour over us like sticky sweeties, the catch us here and there. We are filled with fear. Food becomes associated with the fear of fat.
Brainwashed with fear, and we don’t really understand what is going on, or how eating this or that will make us fat. Type 2 Diabeties makes little sense when your three, or five or seven, 13 or 14 years old. All we are concerned about is that it tastes good, and that the ‘Tom and Jerry’ cartoons are on tv in 15 minutes, so we tune out.
As we grow up, we realise that we are a little different from the others, we look a bit different, and we don’t quite fit into the clothes that the stores tell us, are the correct size for our age.
We aren’t fat, but we are a bit bigger than the others in our class.
We become an easy target for ridicule. Our classmates, start to call us names – ‘Green Giant’, 'Fat Friendly Giant', ‘Chubby Checker’, ‘Fatso’, ‘Fat Girl’ they laugh at us. Playing those utterly intolerable playground jokes on us, that mean we end up red faced, eyes stinging with tears.
Our family call us things like ten-ton Tessie, fatgirl, fatso when they pick us up to put us on their knee to read us a story, some of them even call us fat to our faces. Some even go so far as to call us ‘Fat Bitches’, ‘disgusting’, ‘appalling’, ‘a disgrace’, you make me sick.
These words hurt, but we push them as far from our minds as possible, we try not to think about them, we wash them down with some soda, and a chocolate bar.
We have pushed them down so deep, they put in roots inside us – these words have made themselves a home, and unknown to us, they grow, and taunt us, when we get upset, or people use those names again to our faces.
Those words have power, and they have a hold over our lives.
We have two choices neither healthy, neither suitable, neither something you would wish upon your worse enemy.
We stop eating, and start starving ourselves.
We eat, and eat AND EAT SOME MORE. It tastes good, in a world where everything else feels uncomfortable painful even. Pretending we don’t care, we eat because those words have hurt us so deeply, that the only way we find comfort is through food, its not offered anywhere else.
Then later, when we have finished everything we can get our hands on, and those voices seem to have quietened under a groany tummy.
It’s twisted. It’s horrible. It’s an illness. Overeating.
To try to silence emotions that we don’t understand, to try to stop those voices in our heads, those labels that we have been given by all and sundry – parents, teachers, siblings, friends, relatives, doctors – people with authority in our lives, we eat.
We eat and we eat some more, because it tastes good, it makes us feel better than the words that have been spoken over our lives.
We eat because we try to tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter anymore, if that’s how people see us, well we might as well be that person.
We care. Deeply we care, but we don’t understand the emotions we are trying to deal with, so we eat to make them quiet.
Little by little we become fat, and sometimes we don’t even realise the journey we have been on to get there, because we don’t know how to deal with our emotions.
This is my first post in the 2014 series of write 31 days. I hope you will join this worldwide community, who chose to write on a wide variety of subjects for each day of October. I am writing about my weightloss of nine stone, and the ongoing journey from fat to free. Last year I wrote 31 days of real food, and the year before 31 days of food. I am looking forward to connecting with you during this time.
That's it for now ...
Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable