My first diet started the summer after fourth grade. Nine years old and trying to understand the concept of counting calories. I think I may have even collaborated with my mom or dad to try and lose together. Now, maybe they wanted a thinner daughter. Maybe they were just trying to help. But to this day, that now remains on the list of positives to report home:
- I think I did well on my exam
- Work is going well
- I’ve been trying hard, and I lost four pounds
In elementary and middle school, my life consisted of two, very time-consuming things. The first was losing weight, and the second was being so incredibly nosy that one day I might overhear a conversation on how to win an award for it. When I was approaching the tender age of twelve years old, I had developed an incredibly advanced skill in the art of eavesdropping. For all you psychology buffs out there- I’d like to reference the Cocktail Party Effect- one’s tendency to tune in to any conversation in which they hear their name, no matter how crowded the room you’re in. As I child, I had more of a Gala or Royal Ball Effect.
Though this helped me figure out many a Christmas present and surprise party, one can only be so lucky. One afternoon walking downstairs to my kitchen, I heard my name. I went into bat mode and immediately tuned in.
“I know a 12 isn’t huge but she’s gaining weight. I just don’t want her to be friendless.”
I was traumatized. Seventh grade, two pant sizes, and two bra sizes larger than the year before, my mother didn’t think I was going to have any friends. I was fat. Granted, she didn’t know I was listening, and I’m not sure if to this day she’s figured it out. In an effort of consolation, toward her or me I can’t say, my mom would make excuses.
“As long as you can still fit into pants here, you’re fine.” And then fourteen arrived, and I could not.
“It’s alright. You’re not big until you’re so-and-so’s size.” Well now I am her size, so what?
“We’re both D’s. You aren’t fat until when you stand up your stomach goes out further than your chest.” Well, where do we go from here?
Granted, I have every reason in the world to believe that is complete shit. Approaching my senior year in high school, I had not only a group of close friends, but was well liked by most of my graduating class, as well as my teachers. If my mom let me out of her sight I would have made three new friends by the time she found me. The issue remained that, in the way a child will forever recall his father hitting his mother when he was four, a girl will always remember that, once upon a time, her mom thought she was hopeless because of her size.
But why should my weight determine the amount of friends I have? There are countries to this day that worship big women because their bodies show their fertility and, thus, beauty. The standards for women today in the Western world, directed by starving actresses and Photoshop, are harsh and unrealistic. There is no reason that I, as a woman, can’t be sexy, fun or lovable just because of my weight. My life, since that day in my kitchen, has been me trying to prove to both my family and myself that it is not true. I think thus far I’ve made quite the impact in everyone I’ve met since I set out to do so.
I’ve been on a quest since high school to love my body with my weight, not despite it. Some days are better than others, and it gets hard. But I am going to spread to you some of the knowledge I’ve found on this journey.
- You can get past anything with a good support system
- There will always be people who think you’re the most beautiful thing they’ve ever laid eyes on
- Most of those people will be total babes
- Without the babes, the love you have for yourself can be enough to go around
- No matter what anyone thinks, I still look totally bi♀chin’.