As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a fat girl and my mom never let me hear the end of it.
I’m sure that even though we do not speak anymore, to this day she still speaks of me as her “fat and disgusting daughter.”
Most mothers raise their children to believe that the true beauty of a person isn’t the physical appearance, but what’s inside a person that counts. My mom was the exact opposite. If you weren’t skinny, “No one is going to love you, ever.” She’s always been obsessed with her weight and being skinny, even to this day.
I honestly believe she’s like this because it is the one and only thing in her life she has any real control over – that and she’s completely narcissistic.
The summer before I entered kindergarten, my parents took me to the doctor to get a physical. The doctor informed her that I was ten pounds overweight. Mom told me after the appointment, as we walked to the car where Dad waited for us, that I needed to go on a diet and lose weight or none of the kids would like me because “Nobody likes fat people.”
Diet? At five years old I had no idea what that was or how to do it. What kind of parent gives that type of responsibility to a five-year-old?
Over my elementary school years, my weight was an issue; with my mom, it was always her main focus. When we would go shopping at a store and run into someone she knew, they’d make a comment along the lines of, “Oh look, she’s getting so big!” She would hold her hands out like she was blowing up and say loud and boisterously, “Yeah she is, BIG and FAT.” People always looked uncomfortable with her words and would do their best to change the subject or even end the conversation.
Eventually, the teasing went from just her to the rest of the family, mostly my brother, who is ten years older than me; then again, he was just doing what he learned from her. Yes, I know that’s not an excuse for the behavior, but it is what it is; these are learned behaviors. He even had his friends join in on it.
From my PS “Giganto” instead of Gitano jeans to calling me “womba woman”, there was no mercy from my brother and his friends, even well into adulthood.
The teasing was always done to help me – “if you want it to stop, then you had better lose weight!” She would always tell me that the kids in high school would be worse and that I had better get used to it if I wasn’t going to get skinny.
Wait, weren’t the kids in high school the same ones I’d grown up with?
The horror stories she would tell me about what my ultimate fate would be really messed with my head. One story, in particular, was that I would never have a “real boyfriend” or love in my life because I was fat. That set me up for decades of settling in shitty relationships, mostly with narcissists.
The only guys that would like me, according to her messed up reasoning, were black guys because I was a fat white girl; “fat white girls are easy and black guys like big butts.” According to my mom, they would only use me for sex and toss me aside. (Haha, jokes on you, mom, guys of all races do that!)
The first time I heard this, I was around eight years old. EIGHT YEARS OLD!
For God’s sake, I was still playing with Barbies! Not to mention, way to go with the blatant racism, mom!
She even asked an acquaintance of hers and my dad, who just so happened to be an older black gentleman who taught in a nearby high school, to reinforce this belief in my head.
Where did we always see this gentleman? At the all-you-can-stuff-in-your-pie-hole smorgasbord restaurants that she loved to have us go to at least two to three times a week.
Okay, let me try to understand this reasoning – I’m fat and she hates it, but the only restaurants we would ever frequent were all-you-can-eat buffet places?!
Mom would always make sure we didn’t eat all day when she had it planned to go out to dinner, so we could stuff our faces and get her money’s worth. Confusing, am I right? Keep in mind, until I was into my tween years, it was either mom or dad that went up and prepared my plates of food.
Also, we were all bona fide members of the clean plate club; otherwise, she would yell, but not about starving children in China, instead, how it was a waste of her money.
I am very happy to say I graduated from the clean plate club many years ago. I also no longer go to all-you-can-eat buffets, but if I am with others that choose to go, I eat responsibly and drink water with my meal.
Yes, I am still fat, or as I like to refer to it, extra curvalicious.
Ahhh, to be as fat as I was in high school now, but I digress.
What is so wrong with being fat? I’m not a bad person, I’m just in a bigger than standard package. If short people can refer to themselves as “fun-sized” then why can’t I be “bonus-sized”?
I hate it when people assume that just because I am fat that I must have diabetes or that I sit around on the couch all day stuffing my face. I lead an active life and eat healthily when possible. I love to dance, go beach walking, (and rock and glass hunting while there!) and I prefer a Mediterranean diet.
You cannot judge a book by its cover.
When I first wrote this piece in 2012, I thought that the psychological reasons why I was overweight were conquered. I was wrong. I am now back in therapy to heal my past traumas and I am also dealing with the physiological health problems that have made my journey a long, uphill battle.
If mom’s voice enters my head these days, it takes a lot of effort to silence her, but I’m getting better at it. She no longer has a full-time residency inside my head, she’s more like the ghost of traumas past.
I might be fat in the eyes of my mom, and for some ungodly unknown reason that is a bad thing to her, but I know my size isn’t what defines me.
I am a beautiful, talented, and sexy woman, and most of all, I am happy with myself and life. I highly doubt that she can say the same thing about herself or her life.
3 Thoughts to “Fat.”
I very much relate to this.
This is something I wrote about my life called “Girl versus “the f-word”:
Love ya sista your absolutely beautiful and so Fabulous!!!