Being fat for all of my adult life has changed me as a person. I have experienced ridicule and judgment. I have learned how quickly people dismiss others based on their weight (or other visible differences). I have learned how cruel others can be, and how many assumptions they make instantly. These are lessons I never want to forget.
I never want to forget how it feels to be sitting in the corner hoping no one else will notice I am the fattest girl in the room. Maybe I will not be the fattest girl in the room anymore, but someone else will. I am far more likely to notice this situation – and be in a position to change it – now.
I never want to forget how it feels to walk into a waiting room and realize there are no chairs without arms. “My giant tush will not fit into any of the chairs provided,” I think. I am far more likely to realize the bigger person leaned up against the wall is just embarrassed to even attempt to sit down (for fear of getting stuck). I will be in a position to change that, too.
I never want to forget how it feels to be judged and pointed at, people whispering. That hurts – more than those whispering people know. I will be far more likely to put a stop to that kind of situation when I see it now. No one should have to endure that. No one.
I never want to forget what it is like to have my child’s doctor lecture me on how to feed my children healthy diets and ensure they are getting enough exercise. My daughters are not overweight, nor have they ever been (or ever will be, as far as I am concerned). The doctor just assumed I must feed them junk food all day long since I was fat. Another snap assumption (completely wrong, by the way).
These (and other) experiences have taught me a lot throughout my adult life. I never want to be one of “those” people. I will carry with me my inner fat girl forever so that I never lose sight of these things. I *will* be the one person in a room willing to talk anyone – regardless of their appearance (fat or otherwise). I *will* teach my daughters how important it is to be non-judgmental of others – regardless of differences. I *will* strive to make a difference in every person’s life I pass through.
Years of torture (both from others and myself) have really weighed on my mental status. I firmly believe these experiences are why I am having such a difficult time seeing my “new” self in the mirror. I still see fat – everywhere. No one can understand how bizarre it is – unless they have experienced it. The facts (scale, clothes, measuring tape, etc.) just do not line up with what my eyes see. I wonder if they ever will. Maybe not. Maybe that is my mind’s way of ensuring I never lose sight of my former self, though. Maybe that will be my constant reminder of how it felt to be fat. Or maybe my mind is just too stubborn to let go of the only body I have known and embrace change. Who knows.
Weight loss is certainly a *lot* more complex than just calories in and calories out. I was not expecting this mental roller coaster – not even a little bit. No one ever talks about how much emotion is released with every pound. I cannot tell you how many times I have broken down in the gym, crying. Not because I am sad, but just because sometimes it wells up inside with the adrenaline pumping and spills out onto the gym floor – without my permission.
So, as much as being fat has changed who I am as a person, losing this weight has changed me equally. I am proud of who I have become. I am proud of what accomplishments I have made. Even if my eyes will forever see me as that fat girl.