I Did Need to Eat That

Dances with Fat is one of the many FA centred blogs I read. And her most recent entry (Do You Need to Eat That) reminded me of a story I want to tell. Which is good because I’ve been lacking in the update ideas department as of late.

I’ve mentioned my disordered eating before, and how sometimes it’s a response to stressors, but sometimes it isn’t. In the past, I experimented with eating as little as possible for no other reason than I thought it felt good and I wanted beyond any hope or reason to be skinny.

The first time I started doing this was in high school. Breakfast would be one packet of instant oatmeal, and lunch would be half an apple, dinner would sometimes be a binge, but also sometimes be a frozen Weight Watcher’s dinner (which, are pretty good as far as frozen dinners go, surprisingly). One of these nights, I was going to sleep early due to a new sleep schedule I had imposed on myself. My dinner was going to be guacamole and chips, since my father had made guacamole for the family dinner I would be skipping that night.

He saw me eating the chips with guac and on the third one, he asked “Do you really need to eat that?” Since the chip was already loaded, I ate it, but then said something like “I guess you’re right, I should stop now.” and did.

But the thing is, I did really need to eat that. And a lot more food, at that. But I knew and he knew he wasn’t asking that question, he was telling me to stop. I remember only one or two other instances of being asked that by someone. All I can remember about those times is being pissed off and ashamed. This culture sucks sometimes.

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November 20, 2010. Tags: , , . Reflection. Leave a comment.

Class

There are a lot of things I would like to write about right now, but I think the most prominent has to do with my identification as fat. Anyone who has been paying attention to FA or even just the obesity epidemic (the wording of which I’m going to ignore) is that fat is a class issue. Basically the argument is that poor people are fat because they do not have the time, money and/or access to gym memberships and fresh, healthy food. I’m not arguing that this isn’t true. It probably is, but I have no experience and haven’t done the research to really argue that.

See, there’s another side to this. I grew up in a pretty well-off area. While I was relatively poor compared to some of my classmates, they had the kind of houses that rival those on cribs and would be allowed to bring a few friends for a week in Paris for their birthday. So, relative is the key word there. I have access to good, fresh food. I have a gym membership (or maybe two). Thing is, I’m still fat. Or at least, I’m still what I would consider fat.

I’ve mentioned before, when I was in high school, playing fattest person in the room would generally mean me or a handful of other people. I went to a large high school. I can think of about four other fat girls out of my graduating class of hundreds. My idea of fat is different than a lot of people’s idea of fat. The problem is, all but a few media images reaffirmed the idea that the average woman was tall, blonde and thin. I had some sort of idea that the rest of the world wasn’t as blonde as I was experiencing but not about how they weren’t as tall or as thin.

When I got to college I noticed that while I did have a lot of friends who were taller and thinner than me and a few who were fairer there were large masses of short, dark, fat girls running around. I’d sit and people watch and marvel at the body type that represented the average sorority girl. Most were thinner than me, but I didn’t count a lot of them as thin. Maybe the freshman five/ten/fifteen (take your pick) played into this, but I think that wasn’t the case. I think I didn’t make the best social impression because the first two years were spent trying to figure out where my body fell on this spectrum. I’m still not sure, but I care less now.

When I hear things about my size being a small fat or an in-between, I don’t see it that way. I grew up being on the end of a spectrum, not the middle, and I don’t know if I will ever be able to deprogram myself from that. I was able to readjust my mental classification of others when I’m in that environment but put me back where I spent the first seventeen years of my life or ask me to evaluate myself and I’m still going to see things the way I was taught to see them by my environment that was then reinforced by the media. (The media is its whole separate rant.) Further when the idea of people getting fatter is framed in as a socio-economic argument, I’ve found that it is presented that the fat rich person is clearly an inferior human being because (s)he has no excuse.

This is a hard post to write because I do acknowledge that I have a privilege that comes with my family’s socio-economic status. Even in being fat. But the privilege doesn’t extend far enough to make me immune. I don’t want this to sound to FA like the “what about the menz” argument is to feminism. I’m not sure I’ve succeeded, but this is my experience.

July 15, 2010. Tags: , , , . Reflection. Leave a comment.

Fat Camp and the Fantasy of Being Thin.

First of all, I would like to say that my normal computer is in the shop right now, and I’m on my backup (yes, I know I’m lucky and I’m grateful) but my backup is old for a computer and doesn’t do all the things I like computers to do, so I’ve been cutting down computer time in all areas of my internet life. Not just here, though if I keep composing these blog posts in my head, this place will be flooded when I finally get my beloved back.

Today, I was thinking about how awesome Huge might be. The new show on ABC Family about a fat camp. See, the one thing I always wanted as a kid was to go to a fat camp. I never expressed this desire because I thought it was a shameful one, though not for the reasons I can think of now.

This is tied in with my version of the FoBT because I don’t think I’ve limited my life because of my weight. I think the only notable exceptions would be clothing (even when things do fit, there’s the idea of “flattering” and “appropriate” that further limits selection, of course) and a few dance classes that just had very unwelcoming atmospheres. I’ve never really had a strong if/when I’m thin I can/will do X idea in my head. I think this is because the focus and goals in my life have been pretty strongly based in mental feats. Or possibly because (undiagnosed) depression has kept me from doing a lot of things and I have a much stronger Fantasy of Being Happy.

I have had one form of the FoBT that has had a pretty strong hold on me. The reason I wanted to go to fat camp was because when summer was over and I went back to school, I would be thin. And then, all those classmates who made fun of me would see. I still have that goal, except without a fat camp. The goal of losing weight while I’m invisible and then coming back as this new magical thin person. I’ve always had this idea that being thin would “show them”. But I’ve never really thought about what I would be showing them until today. And that is, apparently, my ability to conform to societal beauty standards.

And to me, this is kind of a really strange revelation. I was always the kind of person who wanted to stand out rather than conform, but at the same time, this idea makes so much sense to me. It feels really good to conform. When I was eleven, people started making fun of my eyebrow a lot. A year later, with a bit of hesitation, I agreed to let my mother make me an appointment to get it waxed. I still remember the day when someone shouted in the hall “HEY UNIBROW! UNIBROW, WHY AREN’T YOU ANSWERING?”. I turned around with my two freshly waxed brows and the look on his face was just so wonderful. I still relish that memory.

But I think the most shocking revelation this whole body acceptance thing has made me face is this. The fact that I want to become thin so that I can prove to a society I dislike (and find problematic at best) that I can conform to its standards.

Of course, even after figuring this out and writing it down I still want to show ’em, but I also want to fix that.

By the way, in college, I met someone who was a vegan and studying for a health and nutrition degree. She worked at a fat camp over her summers and to hear what she had to say about the camp (especially the meals) made me realise that if I had ever gone to a fat camp (or at least that one) when I was younger I probably wouldn’t have lost weight anyway, or if I had, I would have just regained it.

June 25, 2010. Tags: . Current, Reflection. Leave a comment.

Brainwashed

As I mentioned in the previous post, I did a lot of walking this past week. And my feet were killing me. Hours of walking and my feet were screaming to the point where I had to sit down every 20 minutes or so even if my legs felt fine, I just could not handle the pain. And I thought to myself “You need to lose weight. Your feet cannot handle the pressure you’re putting on them. You need to carry a lighter bag. It’s all this weight.” And similar scoldings.

One of the many “fat issues” that constantly comes up a lot is the fact that our bodies aren’t meant to handle the fat we’ve accumulated. And therefore all fatties will end up with joint issues and foot issues and bone issues and various other issues due to the overwhelming medical problem that is fat on our bodies. And I must have taken this to heart.

It took my mother pointing out that my shoes were really, really old before it occurred to me that maybe there was another explanation. But I figured they were tennis shoes, how much pain could they cause? Then I thought, well, I bought them at least three years ago, and retired them from fencing at least a year and a half ago due to loss of grip*. And the sole’s heel was really worn. Half way through the week when I was putting them on and the heel split, did I finally concede my mother was right and it had nothing to do with my weight. And while I haven’t bought new shoes yet (I have a style I really like and two other pairs of shoes here that I should start wearing), I have added inserts, and the difference is notable.

Personally, I prefer running around barefoot, but I’m in a city and ew. Hopefully this has taught me that my weight might not be (and probably isn’t) the cause of any sort of body problem I’m having. Especially considering my thought last week where I realised I’m more of an inbetween, and if people much larger aren’t having this Obviously Caused by Fat problem, I should look for other explanations and it’s not as Really Common as the media wants me to think. I also need to stop convincing myself I’m diabetic and that my arteries are clogged and I’ll need some sort of heart surgery soon, which while related probably has to do with my tendency to worry over things that don’t matter and inability to apply logic to myself.

The Rotund’s post about stairs was something of an inspiration for me to post this as well as another good reminder about mental/physical disconnects.

*While this is important in any sport, it’s super important in fencing, as shoes that have no traction cause surprise splits.

May 3, 2010. Tags: , , , . Reflection. 3 comments.

Walking Doesn’t Burn Calories

My mother came to visit me last week and we did the touristy thing. The touristy thing here involves an insane amount of walking (Her: “Do you want to take a cab? Are you sure you don’t want to take a cab?”) and lots of stairs (Her: “So this country doesn’t believe in elevators?”). Also, eating delicious food. Which prompted the following conversation*.

Mother: If I lived here, I would be so fat.
Me: But think of all the walking we’ve done.
Mother: Well, walking doesn’t do anything for me. I mean, I can walk and not burn any calories.

Now, I’m not sure if I managed, but I certainly tried to convince her that walking does actually burn calories. Just like being alive does. Really, everyone needs calories so that our bodies can do their things. I know that I have, in the past, fallen into the train of thought where in order for me to burn more calories than I consume, I need to burn them with exercise. As in, if I decide to DDR for a half hour and burn 300 kcal** and then assume that a relatively inactive day added onto that would only burn 100 additional kcals so I would have to eat under 400 kcals to lose any weight.*** That was just wrong on so many levels. I’ve heard that the old diet advice “If you want to be 120 pounds eat 1200 kcals” is more like “If you are 120 pounds, you need 1200 kcals to function on the most minimal level, and then eat more if you actually plan on moving.”

And I didn’t come up with these ideas in a vacuum. My mother was a large contributor (she’s really a great mother, but still human, which is where this comes in) and she had to have heard these ideas somewhere as well. I’ve heard a lot of what she’s said about weight said elsewhere. So I’m going to try and unpack some of what she said to me this week. This time without any of the quotes.

1. Exercise is not magic. Someone who goes from being fairly sedentary to any level of activity is not going to magically drop the weight s/he always wanted to lose. Especially if this exercise is something like “walking a mile a day”. While the increase in activity will probably**** be beneficial to this person’s health this benefit will not always show up as a lower number on the scale or even a smaller pants size. This goes doubly so for anyone who assumes that an increase in activity is permission to eat what they want. Sure, you don’t need permission to eat what you want. No one does, but if the goal is to be healthy (and/or lose weight*****) exercise is only one component.

2. Eating like a normal person. My mother said something like that and I had no idea what she meant. I don’t even know if she knew what she meant. I don’t know if I know a “normal person”. I certainly couldn’t tell you what s/he eats. There are people of varying heights, weights, metabolic rates, food allergies/intolerances, able-bodyness and activity levels. Probably other things I forgot. Someone who has IBS can’t eat like someone who has no colon who can’t eat like a lactose intolerant athlete who can’t eat like a cubical worker with really fast metabolism who chooses not to eat like a vegan. Any and all of those people can be fat. Or skinny. Or somewhere in the middle. And I still can’t figure out who a normal person.

3. Gaining a pound. Anyone who has ever had an obsession with their scale can tell you that they weigh differently in the morning when they first wake up than they do before they go to bed. Before and after they go to the bathroom. Depending on how much water they drink and food they’ve eaten. If and what clothes they’re wearing. Even the spot in their cycle if they’re female. Or at least I can tell you that due to my few month obsession with a scale (I no longer own). I can also say that my pants size and my weight don’t always correlate as nicely as scale numbers gaining means pants tightening. Sometimes it can mean pants falling off. So I can’t understand why people flip out over a single pound, especially after they mention how much better their clothes are fitting. The disconnect astounds me.

The crazy thing about these three things is that while I can sit here and type the “right answers”, it doesn’t mean that I won’t say, increase my exercise when I get back to my home country and then wonder why I can’t eat like a normal person and freak out about a pound I’ve gained. The disconnect is just as strong in me as it seems to be in the people I talk to. Hopefully just being able to return to here and see that no, I’m not being logical, will be enough. It’s harder to argue with yourself than it is with someone else, I’ve found.

*My memory recall is not so great as for this to be word for word, obviously.
**I’m really good at DDR. Not like, those crazy kids at the arcade good, but good enough not to be totally embarrassed doing DDR in public.
***Pre FA days when I was “dieting”
****I’m not a doctor, I can’t say for sure. And people are individuals and who knows what which exercises might trigger especially if someone’s doing something incorrectly, etc. etc.
*****I like asterisks way too much. Also I know FA is not an advocate of dieting but I’m not going to judge. Also, in the context of my mother, this is her goal.

May 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Reflection. Leave a comment.

Confession

I’m short and fat. But I’m short enough that I fit in to straight sizes. I’m also fat enough that I fit into plus sizing but if I were any taller and my body were to stay proportionally the same, I’d be shunned out of all the straight sizes. So yeah, even if I can’t reach that shelf, I’m grateful I’m short. My fat is such that I have boobs and hips (not so much of a butt and some pretty notable thighs and a belly) but if anything it would be a slightly modified hourglass shape. That means that it is easier for me to find clothes that are flattering*. It also means I’m able to smuggle novels in my waistband if I “suck it in” a little more than I usually do. It also means that when I don’t have pockets I can carry things in my bra. There are a lot of benefits to my shape and it is one that is on the border of acceptable and shameful.

There are several things I’ve been thinking about this past week. The one that has formed the most coherency is the one one where I realised I think the Fat Acceptance movement applies to me. And there’s no argument it doesn’t. I have body image issues. I’ve had doctors have an unwarranted fixation on my weight. My BMI is “overweight”. I cannot always find clothes in my size when I walk into a store (usually, but not always). I’ve had dieting issues. And I’m listing all of this because I somehow have to prove to myself I’m worthy. So yeah, FA applies to me.

But what I found odd is how I read these blogs and they speak to me deeply. Now, in a way it isn’t odd because society likes to comment about people’s bodies. And if one’s body happens to be outside society’s norm suddenly it’s open season. But it’s odd because a lot of these blogs are written by women who are in the range a hundred pounds heavier than I am. Not weird. But I have a friend, and I’ve had this friend for years. She was one inch taller and about eight pounds lighter than I was when we last hung out a few months ago. In my mind she has always been the unreachable goal.

I knew her during high school and my mother would tell me “If you just lost ten or fifteen pounds, you could look more like [friend].” And I can’t blame it all on my mother because I would have the same thoughts. I don’t know if her clothes could have fit me because I was always under the impression I was So Much Fatter than all my friends. I always put myself in this other group because of what, eight pounds?

So what’s weird is how I think of myself Exactly Like some of the leaders of the FA movement in terms of my body and Nothing At All like my friend. When I found out the fact that she was only eight pounds lighter (and one inch taller, but I knew that) than me, I realised that this person whom I had been trying so hard to be for so many years of my life might actually have body image issues of her own that I never really heard because I was wallowing in my own bubble. And FA doesn’t just mean accepting the fat people and myself as fat but actually seeing my body for what it is and where my body is on the spectrum of bodies. So while I can certainly say the experiences and the emotions these blogs are expressing speak to me, I don’t know what it’s like to the extent they face it. On the spectrum, I’m much closer to my friend than I am or have ever been to the people I’ve been looking up to lately. And that, to me, is weird.

*Where the modern concept of flattering means “doesn’t make you look as fat or fatter than you are”. This is true. This is also unfortunate. If we could get over that, there are so many more sparkly, brightly coloured clothes that I’d jump all over because my inner six-year-old is pretty strong.

April 20, 2010. Tags: . Reflection. Leave a comment.

Run, Fatty, Run.

It’s been said before but it needs repeating until it hits home. Fat shaming does not help the problem. There’s the problem of feeling bad and maybe emotionally eating to the reaction. But there’s also the fact that being fat in public is a shameful thing.

I’m a fairly active person when I’m emotionally healthy (or else I run the risk of not leaving my room/home except for the absolutely needed). I fence, when I’m not fencing, I run. I play DDR. I walk places. I don’t go to gyms. Gyms are scary, scary places. Playing Fattest Person in the Room is hopeless because if I am, oh shit. If I’m not, it doesn’t matter, because I’m sure not the skinniest. I’m in a public space and people judge. The last time I went to a gym, I made a beeline for the elliptical, spent a few minutes trying to figure it out, and then I felt shame. Every time another person got on one of the ellipticals near me I’d try and match their speed if not go faster even though none were on the machine as long as I was, but I had to prove I was better. I had to prove I wasn’t just that pathetic fatty at the gym. In shorts and an oversized t-shirt I was probably the most clothed woman there*, and that was shameful. I felt shame about sweating; I felt shame about being out of breath when I finally stepped off the elliptical one hour and a little over five miles later. I felt shame about never going back, like somehow the people there were going to remember me and think that they never saw me again because I was fat and couldn’t handle it.

I don’t own an elliptical, a treadmill or a stationary bike. So when I want to do cardio I can either DDR or run. Since DDR requires a TV and volume, when someone else might be disturbed by the noise or presence of me flailing in the space with the TV. So, that means running outside. I only run outside in the summer in my neighbourhood and even then I try and do it in the morning, when it’s raining or at night. Obviously there are practical reasons for this like heat. But it’s also because I see fewer people and therefore fewer people see me. I jog at a pretty slow pace. I tend to do about three miles in a half hour, which is about the pace of a powerwalk. To me this is laughably slow and my neighbours are going to look out their windows or pass me while walking their dogs and see me and thing “Run, fatty, run.” And this has stopped me from running (by myself) on my campus because the people who see me might actually interact with me beyond waving and asking how my mother is doing. I might see friends, classmates, TAs, professors and this scares me.

I like swimming too, but hello swimsuit. Enough said there.

This idea of being even more ashamed while exercising probably has something to do with the fact that exercise tends to involve clothes that aren’t always good at covering or flattering. But I think a big part has more to do with the fact that there’s so much pressure. In a public space, if I can’t run as fast or as far as another person, I feel like I just let down all the fit fat people by reaffirming someone else’s expectations. I also feel like people are judging me more. This might be because I’m already uncomfortable or the fact that I don’t make sense. I’m in “deceptively good shape” in that my shape is deceptive, in that I’m more fit than one would guess by looking. And maybe that unsettles people by bucking at things they thought they knew. I don’t know.

I do know that when I’m confident, I don’t mind the stares as much. When I fence and I beat someone and they’re surprised, I feel more triumphant. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m confident in fencing that I’m able to do it so boldly in public. I have had this body since I’ve started fencing (give or take) and I wasn’t always confident. I think part of it has to do with the fact that to me it’s not exercise. It’s not something I do because I feel like I have to. It’s something I want to do. I have to think on this more.

*There was a girl who later came in wearing a t-shirt and capri-cut yoga pants. She was heavier than me.

April 6, 2010. Tags: , , . Reflection. Leave a comment.

Food Logs

Food logs are my big evil. Most of my serious previous attempts to lose weight have come coupled with food logs. This is because everyone says how wonderful those things are. They make you take responsibility for your eating etc . etc. It’s also because my mother is a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and I’ve unofficially been on the points diet several times (My mother is familiar enough and has enough of their literature that the only thing I ever failed to get out of my unofficial version is the weekly meetings) and a huge part of said diet is writing down everything you eat.

Well, the thing with me is that my disordered eating doesn’t appear when I weigh myself every day. It doesn’t show up (as much*) when I try to restrict calories. Mine shows up with food logs. I start out writing what I eat. I also stop snacking on say, one cookie, or one chip because then I’d have to write it, and that’s just silly and not worth it, and I guess in that way the log works. But then I look at the list and go “Wow, that’s huge!” because I list every food individually because I want to see what I eat** . This means milk and cereal takes up two lines, a third for a vitamin. Sandwiches can take around four or five. And I start wanting to make the list smaller and smaller. I have a page in my “take everywhere notebook” that has several attempts at food logs, and I can always tell where a new food log begins because I am writing on the lines again in my normal (but still small) handwriting. The last day of the previous food log tends to look like a date with three things (one of which is almost always the multivitamin) crammed in-between the lines of the paper.

At this point in the log, I tend to be so super proud of myself for managing to fit all my food in one line of space (one and a half if you include the date). I’m also wacked out, crazy pants, mood-swinging insane and cannot make up my mind about anything. Which is why the log then fails.

Hopefully the next time I’m thinking of doing a food log, I’ll read/remember this post and just avoid the crazy. Or, at the very least keep a health log (including exercise, sleep and water) on my computer so I can avoid the unhealthy attitude.

*My calorie restriction is also crazy because when I don’t or cannot check something, I will assume an apple is 150 calories and an avocado has to be 375. Also, one Oreo is what, 120? And as I sit here looking at that, an apple has to be at least 200 and an avocado can’t be less than 450, but the Oreo looks right. Quick googling tells me a large apple is 110, an avocado is 300 and a single oreo is 55. I obviously have no idea what I’m doing.
**”Veg and cheese Sandwich” doesn’t say nearly as much as “Whole wheat bread (2 slices), cheddar (2 slices), tomato (half), lettuce”

March 11, 2010. Tags: , , . Reflection. Leave a comment.

Emotional Eating

I don’t find emotional eating problematic. Boredom eating, yes. But not emotional eating, not always. Sometimes when I’m having a terrible, terrible day and all I can do is cry, ice cream is a damn good consolation. I could read a book or play a video game or watch TV, but TV and books (and even sometimes games) can make things worse. Feeling miserable for some character is just more misery. Playing video games can make me angry if I die, it’s also hard for me to do something less passive than reading. I sure don’t want to leave the house, ’cause the days where I feel like crap, I’m also inclined to look like crap (not shower/brush my hair/find clean clothes/etc.) and I certainly don’t want to risk running into other people. I’m not much of an artist, writing doesn’t make me feel better and there are only so many other by-myself activities that I can think of to do. Nothing that can make me feel better.

So I honestly don’t see what’s so wrong with attacking a pint of Ben and Jerry’s when these moods hit.

To me, my physical health means nothing if my mental health isn’t passable. If it helps, then it shouldn’t matter. I mean, yes, I do notice my mental health is tied in with my physical health. However, I’m more likely to go crazy if lack food or sleep, and while exercise and eating healthy help improve my mood, I don’t feel like unhealthy eating detracts. No exercise might, but I only start to notice it if I haven’t left the house for a few days. To me, being skinny and unhappy is not an improvement on fat and happy.

It also happens rarely enough that even if I did cut it out, I might or might not lose some weight. So I don’t feel guilty. If I felt guilty, then I’d have no reason to partake in emotional eating, and then I’d just be miserable for longer. I think this attitude is one of my few healthy ones.

February 28, 2010. Tags: . Reflection. Leave a comment.

By the way. . .

Once upon a time, not too long ago*, my flatmate had a birthday and invitations included those of us who lived in said apartment, as well as some people we didn’t know. We went to a restaurant. I wasn’t enchanted with the menu and ended up ordering an appetiser for dinner. I do that a lot, I’m pickier than I’d like to admit, but that’s okay. I also had water to drink. I wish I were one of those people who were concerned about her weight and drinks soda, but I’m not, so I have nothing so simple to cut out.

The birthday girl and her out-of-town friends split a giant appetiser platter four ways plus one more appetiser. They also ordered a main course. I have no issue with any of this. Instead of getting dessert there, we went to Cold Stone.

At Cold Stone I decided that, you know what, I’m going to go for a small with one mix-in and a dipped waffle bowl ’cause I never do the waffle bowl (and when I do, I remember that it’s because I need to do a mix-in OR a waffle bowl or it’s too much). Other, non-birthday flatmate decided to down like, six lactaids** and get a medium signature. Two of the out-of-town friends split a small with one mix-in.

Now, I know probably no one cares exactly what I or anyone else ate that night, but this is where it starts to matter. One of the skinny, out of town, ice cream-splitting friends comes over to me and other flatmate and says something like “Wow,you guys are so brave, I could never eat that much ice cream.” But everything but the words themselves said “No wonder you guys are so fat.” I want to make it clear that other flatmate has a really good shape, but still the kind a bitchy, very slim person can feel smug about not being.

Other flatmate laughed it off and said something like “I figured if I was going to take a lactaide anyway I might as well make it worth it.” I don’t know if she heard the translation. I think she must have, but I hope she didn’t. And she handled it without blinking. I, on the other hand smiled fakely and said in the same tone of voice “Well, it’s not like I do this often.” As a retort it wasn’t much, but I didn’t want to offend birthday flatmate and I wanted skinny, out of town, ice cream splitting girl to know, yes, I heard what she said.

Now, normally I’d be mildly off-put about something like this because bitch, you can’t tell me why I’m fat just from one ice cream outing. And no selective evidence by ignoring what I ate at dinner. And I wonder why I usually don’t eat in front of people I barely know. But this bothered me for a whole lot more reasons. First of all, other flatmate. She’s awesome and she doesn’t have a body worth fat shaming. Genetics also dealt her a terrible hand; if anyone can say “back off, you don’t know what you’re talking about” it’s her. Secondly, birthday flatmate. Birthday flatmate also struggles with her weight. Now, there’s been psych (anthro?) studies that say groups of friends have a very narrow range of attractiveness. I feel like this sometimes applies to weight as well and in my head I call it “fat flocking”. But I feel like skinny-bitch’s remarks was based on at least one of the following 1. She couldn’t put down birthday flatmate because it being her birthday 2. She was indirectly putting down birthday flatmate by calling us, her friends, fat overeaters or 3. She is so insecure about her own (slim and pretty) body that she needs to assert she’s in fact better than someone. It could have been all three. I have a hard time accepting meanness as a cover for insecurity though, without any other signs. Mean is easy and mean can be powerful. I know mean is not always a cover.

So basically, I’m retroactively saying “Bitch, shut up and mind your own business.” I’m also saying that simple comments like that aren’t always simple. They stick. And it hurts. Not just the judgement but the fact that she’s probably forgotten by now and I will carry it with me for a long time.

*It took a lot of will power not to bust out into “99 Problems”
**I have no idea how to spell the lactose-intolerant helper pills.

February 23, 2010. Tags: , . Reflection. Leave a comment.

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