Welcome to the Tales of a Kitchen Witch Blog.
I have struggled with my weight most of my life, and my self-worth for longer than that. And then a few days ago I read a post over at Fat Heffalump that spoke to me.
“I’m so fucking sick of people being all offended at fatness. I am sick of people expecting fat people to hide themselves away out of public sight, never being seen at the shops, at the gym, in the workplace, on the street. I’ve had enough of people complaining that they saw someone’s fat arse, arms, belly, thighs, whatever. I’m tired of being told that fat people should cover our bodies, wear dark, minimising, flattering clothing. That we shouldn’t be seen in leggings, tights, sleeveless tops, short shirts, tight jeans, swimsuits and short skirts. I’m sick of fat people being told they should starve themselves, never eat. I’m royally fucking fed up with being expected to hide myself away like I’m something to be ashamed of. I’m over being hated simply because I exist in a fat body.”
It was a breath of fresh air in my fat-loathing brain.
I’ve spent a lifetime under the soul crushing shame of being this person. There are so many opportunities I’ve missed because of this body. I hide it, and I hide in it. I’ve skipped dates and parties. I’ve passed on job interviews and invitations. If I go for a walk, it is quite likely that some kind person will try the age-old motivation technique of hurling obscenities at me from their car. If I go to a club, I better not dance or try to have fun. There are so many things I don’t do because I’m fat. I don’t want to join a gym because I am not brave enough to handle being looked at that way. You know the way. The sidelong glances and the not so quiet titters behind polite hands. The jokes that are told just loud enough to be overheard. Someone please explain how that makes any sense at all. For fuck’s sake, I’m only there because I am trying to fix that what you find wrong with me!
No matter what I do, or where I go, my fat shadow follows, casting its oversized stereotype across my life. Do you have any idea what it is like to feel like you should be ashamed for eating, breathing, for LIVING every single time you step into public view? Yes, I am working on my health. I exercise. I eat carefully and mindfully. I dutifully drink my water and avoid temptation as much as I can. But they don’t know that I am a work in progress. They don’t know that I am buying this gallon of ice cream or that box of cookies for my children. Just looking at me could never explain the heartbreak and struggles that got me to this place, this body, and so I endure the disdain and disgust. And I am so tired of it.
I am this person. For however long it takes me to whittle myself down to a socially acceptable number on the scale, I will be fat. I’ve been working for the past six months toward a healthier me, not for that possibly unattainable number or for those people, but for me. And I just can’t bear to be ashamed of myself any longer. Here in my blog, I’ve chronicled periods of self-loathing and brief moments of acceptance of my flaws. I’m ever evolving, a work in progress, and my thoughts, feelings and opinions reflect my mercurial nature. I don’t know if I am brave enough but I think I’m ready to try. I will not hide away until my body is an acceptable size. As Fat Heffalump writes, “No more furtiveness about living life. It’s there to be lived, and I’m going to be fatting all over it.”
At least, I’m going to try.