Hopefully you haven’t clicked on this with the expectation of reading some marshmallow, body positive, “it gets better” article. I sincerely apologize if you did, but my reality speaks, and it says I’m fat.
I’m 5’5 (on a good day), 189 pounds, and have a BMI of 30.5. Medically speaking, I’m obese. Unfortunately, medicine hasn’t taken into account my years of MMA, lacrosse, or rugby. What I’m trying to say is: not all 189 of those pounds are fat. I mean, most of them are, but not ALL of them.
Basically, when it comes to your BMI, it’s all bullshit. It’s outdated, obsolete, yadda, yadda, yadda. Kind of like our beauty standards, right? Probably. These days we have tons of celebrities and popular Instagram accounts coming out with the whole “I’m fat and happy!” spiel. Which is totally cool, don’t get me wrong, but what about people like me? What about the fat and pissed off?
See, I feel like I have this thing called Fat Kid PTSD. I know, super politically incorrect, but hang in there with me, okay? Growing up, I’ve never been really thin. I’ve always had a little bit of chub on me. Even when I was at my lowest weight, I still felt fat.
That may have a lot to do with the fact that I faced a lot of bullying when I was young. When I look back on it, though, I kind of have to roll my eyes. I was made to feel inferior, weak, and disgusting every day. Being constantly humiliated emotionally and physically HAS to do something to your psyche as a kid, right? I constantly wish 28-year-old me could Back to the Future her way into those situations and kicked some serious ass for 9-year-old me. Alas, the laws of physics, and probably also the space-time continuum, continue to deny me that pleasure.
Some may ask: If I hated being made fun for my weight, then why am I still fat now? Why do I still enjoy eating copious amounts of cheese, carbs, and sweets, then going off to enjoy a nap? You’d think that those things would be my arch nemeses. You’d also think that I’d be some super fit guru and the president of CrossFit by now or some shit. I wonder about this A LOT. Do I do it on purpose? Am I lazy? Am I being defiant to my schoolyard bullies? Do I just not have drive? Maybe I like being fat? (I don’t. I can already answer that for you. I don’t.)
I also have this feeling sometimes that I have to be overly nice to people who are overweight and friendly. I used to work at a movie theater selling tickets. Occasionally this girl would come to my window and speak very softly. I almost got this sense that she was embarrassed to be out in public. I would always give her the cheapest ticket—a child’s ticket. One day she very quietly asked me why I constantly gave her children tickets. I could only respond with, “Because you’re very polite!” It was then I realized that she probably didn’t give shit about how she looked. I only assumed that she felt like some ogre walking around in public because that’s how I feel. I was projecting myself onto her and was treating her how I wish people would treat me.
I had grown a sense of protection for all of these people.
Why do I care more about protecting and caring for other people, but I can’t do the same for myself? I constantly assume I’m no good to be friends with or even date because I’m “too fat”, but when I see a stranger who MAYBE (probably not) feels that way, I overcompensate?
Why do I encourage myself to look a certain way when I know it gives me such distress? I fully know when I’m overeating. So why don’t I just stop, eat healthy, and work out more? Maybe it’s because I have had this idea since I was nine that if I were skinny, all my problems would be solved. If I were thin, I would be happy, pretty, outgoing, have friends, boyfriends etc. That I would start fully living life when I became skinny. I am the way I am because I have blamed my problems on my weight. I have spent most of my young adult life fixated on being thin.
I am the way I am because I don’t know how to be anything else. I don’t have the mentality to want to actually lose weight, surprisingly. Maybe I just accepted the fact that realistically I will never be a size 0. The point of this isn’t to share some revelation I had that I should love myself and love my chub. The point is not everyone can lose weight—some people merely don’t want to. You went from being 300 pounds to 110? Great. Good for you. I’m fat, and I probably will be for most of my life. Do I want to be? No. But sadly, just like you can’t “pray the gay away”, you can’t snub the chub.
In fact, “fat” people aren’t ugly—they’re just fucking fat. I’m not a disgusting giant or a horrendous ogre. I’m just myself. I like to nap. I like to eat chimichangas and drink mocha iced coffees. But I could also probably put you in an arm bar in under a minute. So who’s the real winner here?