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I am fat, so what?!!!!

I wrote this blog post in February but for some weird lazy me reason, I didn’t get around to publishing it so here we are, a few months later.

Here it is with a few updates as of May 2021.

Yesterday while at the doctors I discovered that I had gained 1kg in a span of 2weeks. The nurse complimented me by saying not in a million years would she have guessed that i weighed 90kgs but at the same time, that i was glowing and she loved that. She told me to not stress about the weight because it looks good on me and she wished we could trade bodies.

The February blog.

I am someone who couldn’t care less about what other people have to say when it comes to her weight but however strong-minded i might be, being called fat is something that hurts me to the very core. I will admit, i have always had body image issues that started off at a very young age.

My low self-esteem when it comes to my body’s shape and size took shape when as a teenager getting into puberty. I compared myself to my cousins simply because i knew then that the only way we could be close and never grow apart was if our bodies developed at the same pace.

Thing is, we grew up together and as babies, we were all the same size, we shared everything clothing until puberty set in to ruin it all for me. I could no longer fit in their clothes and as luck would have it, mine were too big on them.

I remember vividly trying every trick in the book to be as petit as they were. It all never worked. I gained more weight than i knew what to do with. As they continued to grow into their perfect barbie doll princess bodies I was bursting away with weight I hated.

I had no idea what i was doing wrong, why wasn’t my body like theirs. We ate the same food, played the same sports but alas, my body was on a journey of its own and i hated myself every single day that went by.

Sadly for me, as a teenager, i was fat-shamed by family members, friends, classmates, teachers and strangers.

At the age of 12, i had stopped feeling beautiful in my own body. I was a plus-size at a really young age. I hated moving on the streets with my mom. I was her younger sister ready for harvest by the lousy men of the neighbourhood and not her daughter. Pervs always perverted, asking my mum to allow them to marry me and take me off her hands because my body told a different story altogether and so did my age.

I still remember the look of disgust on my high school friends’ faces when one teacher mentioned i was the youngest in our class that year yet i didn’t behave like a baby. He had expressed how disappointed he was of the other lot which didn’t sit well with anyone. My classmates couldn’t believe my true age, i was accused of saying i was younger than most who thought i was way older. Thanks to my rebellious body, in class i was the youngest yet i embodied the features of a grown woman.

Over the years, i have dieted and exercised for most of my adult life; i vividly remember a time in my life when i lost over 25kgs over a period of 3 months in 2013 because i was starving myself for a boy who i later found out was cheating on me with a girl who had the perfect body i was aiming for at the time. I regained all the weight in the next 2 months when we broke up.

All my life, i have been judged for my extra kilos, my self-esteem has been trampled on because i am “fat and ugly”, ex-boyfriends have ridiculed the extra fat riding on my hips and buttocks; I have been called the “ugly fat friend” and even today, the trauma of being body-shamed is still very real for me.

At one point in high school, i stopped wearing dresses, shorts, skirts and bathing suits because i was scared of society’s glances. I was tired of constantly comparing myself to my slim and fit female friends and relatives who had “perfect bodies” and hated myself for not being like them.

The fat-shaming led me to develop zero self-esteem regarding my body size but i am grateful that as i continue to adult, i am able to recognize that i am not my body.

Just recently, someone pointed out how i had gained a notable amount of weight over the holidays but the way they did it made me hate myself even more. The person went from pointing out how i needed to start exercising, get on a diet and even stay away from junk. This person also noted that for my body type, i should give up wearing anything tight and short because according to them, i was about to be arrested by fashion police.

Here is the thing, i have noticed that some people believe that making overweight people feel ashamed of their weight or eating habits may motivate them to get healthier but what these people don’t know is that body-shaming can cause a decrease in motivation, depression, eating disorders, reduced self-esteem, stress, weight gain, mental problems, increased risk of suicide, increased cortisol (a stress hormone) levels, and it can increase your risk for certain chronic diseases.

You do not know how hard it is for us when close family, friends and even colleagues make snide remarks about our weight. We do not deserve to be treated like trash and shit because we are fat. When you call someone fat, it is insulting, despicable and unkind. I hope you realize how harsh it is for an already fat person to be reminded constantly that we are indeed fat.

You might think that am not aware that I am fat or that i have not tried to lose the extra weight. You might even be thinking, or she is happy in her skin. Trust me when i say am not and it is hard enough for me without being constantly reminded of it every wake-up day.

I will admit, i eat a lot of comfort food and i always end up feeling guilty about it for the next hour or so. Even though I have been trying very hard to eat right for the past few months, I have barely lost any notable weight. And this causes me to fall back into the same vicious circle of being anxious & depressed and finding solace in food, which is one of my coping mechanisms for so many shitty things.

This year one of the things on my bucket list is to start the gym again with a personal trainer and also take an appointment with a nutritionist, but for some reason, that day when this human pointed out my weight, i found myself reconsidering my decision to start a weight loss programme. It felt like my signing up for all these things was for the likes of this person policing my body and not for me.

Thing is, I am healthy: my last medical tests reported normal sugar and cholesterol levels. I do not have any physical illness so why should I try so hard to lose weight and continue to feel sorry about myself and less worthy of love and respect? Does my weight determine my worth as a human being? To hell with physical beauty! I am beautiful just the way I am: I am fat, so what?!!!!

The next time I hear someone fat-shaming me, I promise I will get very angry and lash out. Please stop fat-shaming us.

It costs you nothing to be kind. Your words can be like a knife being twisted again and again into ones back. Be empathic. And if you can’t be kind then for God’s sake, SHUT UP.

I am proud of my chunky thighs, my big legs and my fat calves. They have supported me along this struggle called life. I am a strong, brave, beautiful, sexy, intelligent, smart, gorgeous woman let’s swallow that pill whole and I will never again be apologetic for my body and its many flaws.

I embrace my body because it has helped me brave the storms which have come my way, and has always healed from whatever life has thrown at me, whether physically or mentally.

I will strive to keep it healthy and fit, but I will never again laugh at my body, hide it away or be ashamed of its imperfections.

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What do you think?

Written by Juliet Grace

Self-confessed environmentalist, conservationist, food security enthusiast and travel die-hard. 

One Comment

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  1. “It costs nothing to be kind,” indeed. A friend recently asked how I knew that I didn’t subconsciously want to be a smaller size (weird question, I know) and I told her that in my dreams I am fat and still happy. It’s been a long journey for me and yet there are echoes of my past struggles in what you’ve written here.
    By all means, embrace yourself regardless of your dress size. You are a wonderful and kind person. Not a single moment of your life should be wasted doubting your worth because of how society perceives your glorious body. If nothing else, I’ll fly over and backhand the next person who body shames you. Just give me a call.

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