» Let me hear your body talk…
  • Let me hear your body talk…

    Jul 11th • Posted in personal

    So, this is me. I rarely talk about this because I am learning to become more comfortable with myself and my body– but I thought I’d address it on my blog because I feel like not enough people “get it.” So let me cut to the chase and write about it because it’s part of me accepting who I am.

    I am fat.

    Am I always comfortable with being fat? No. Have I tried ways to become less fat? Yes. Have they always worked? Yes and no. All questions and lingering thoughts aside– I have to accept that I am fat. I am big. Sometimes it sucks, but mainly it’s only that way because other people look at me and all they see is fat. I find it so disheartening and depressing that a lot of my negative thoughts are caused by the opinions of others, but for the most part, I am learning to grow into my own skin. I’m not going to ask my readers to “accept the chunk,” because you’re going to think what you want and do what you want. I know people don’t like me solely based off the fact that I am fat. (Which frankly, just makes me sad that people judge others solely based off appearance. But hey, I always figure its your loss anyway.) So, let’s talk about my body and how I feel about it.

    For the record, I have always been big. There’s no getting around it. Starting at around 2nd or 3rd grade, I had already heard people calling me “chubby” or “fat.” It got to the point where when I was finally diagnosed with PCOS, my doctor explained that it had probably been a long time coming due to my patterns when I was a child. Anyway, the point being– I was skinny as a young child and then I just ballooned from there.

    Growing up fat was admittedly pretty rough on my self-esteem. While my peers played some part of it– the bulk of my self-esteem issues were caused by my family. Don’t get me wrong: I understand that my family loves me unconditionally, and they just want to see me live a “healthy lifestyle,” but it would be nice if they could ease up on the fat comments every now and then. My peers were actually a nice reprise from the constant barrage of “you’re fat” remarks from my family, because at least my friends had a desire to hang out with me even though I was “fat.” I knew my friends were judging me based on my personality because they were still voluntarily hanging out with me despite my weight. So that’s why I focused on my friends more than my family as a child and teenager– because who wants to hang out with people that make them feel shittier, you know what I mean?

    As I grow older,  I realize that the majority of my self-esteem issues that have to do with my weight come from my family, which I’ve come to accept and deal with. It’s still something that I deal with, and still something that I’ve unintentionally found myself crying over in frustration. For the most part, I get why my immediate family rags on me (especially my parents)– they are just concerned about my health and truthfully, they don’t want to see me ending up like them. My mother is “chubby,” and my dad is (well, to put it bluntly) also fat. They are both hypertensive, diabetic, and have a whole other host of problems that have stemmed up over the years due to their weight. They don’t want to see me end up with their health issues, which is why they constantly take turns commenting on how I need to lose more weight. I didn’t understand this as a child, and now I do. The problem I have is when I move onto my extended family. My father’s side rarely comments on it– mainly because they, too, are also fat. They will crack fat jokes every now and then, but it is always tinged with a delicious sense of irony and self-deprecation for themselves as well. Because they are fat, they are allowed to crack fat jokes with me as well. They are aware of how difficult it is to struggle with weight, and some are still fighting against their natural heredity. My father’s side is pretty good about not being insensitive over it, even though they haven’t been in the past. The real issue is when I visit my mother’s side of the family in the Philippines.

    I would probably like the Philippines and my family there more if the culture was more accepting of a bigger body size. Unfortunately, I am not the “ideal Filipino,” or “stereotypical Asian.” Asian culture dictates that I have to be physically pale, skinny and tiny. I am one of these things. I’ve noticed that when I’ve interacted with people who grew up in the Philippines, they are all about the fat jokes. It’s not bad– until it is. My family in the Philippines takes it too far a lot of the time, to the point where it just feels mean-spirited. I visited in my sophomore  year of college, and I felt like I was back in middle school. My family constantly pointed out how big I was, and made up nicknames for me. It gets worse when my mother is around her family, because she willingly encourages the weight comments a lot of the time. I grew up with my mother telling people (openly) about my weight, and pointing out how I needed to lose a couple of pounds. I felt shitty about myself and my body, and it showed. I was upset because I didn’t think I’d ever get to date anyone due to my weight. My family sort of honed that in, pointing out that boys wouldn’t date me if I was bigger. I am a grown ass woman. I am not supposed to feel like shit, or like a smaller person just because someone is talking about me. It’s a huge reason I hate going back to the Philippines, and why a lot of my relatives probably think I’m elitist or a snob. No, it’s not because I think I am “better” than anyone else– it’s because you all are (being blunt) jackasses for making me feel like less of a person because of my weight, and frankly, because of this, none of you have really taken the time to get to know me as a person.

    Writing this now, I am struggling to come up with the right words to describe how I feel. I think the reason I am was so sensitive about my mother’s actions (and in turn, the rest of my family’s actions) is that weight is an inherently personal thing. My weight is a part of me. At the same time, I do not want to be defined solely by my weight. Weight is not always an inherent reflection of who a person is. There are many people constantly struggling to fight their heredity and natural shape.

     

    It took me a long time to start accepting myself for who I am. I am still in a constant struggle with myself and my body. This is slowly changing, but I am glad that it is. My family still worries about my weight, but for the most part– after a series of frustrating talks, they are very supportive over my effort to lose weight (or not lose weight), and their main concern is to “see me healthy.” (Even if that means I’m chubby.) I have extremely supportive friends who still love me, no matter what I weigh. I hate that guys have played a really big role into helping me with my weight, but at the same time, I’m glad. I am so happy that I am with someone that likes me despite my weight. My weight has played a couple issues in my relationship, but for the most part– he still really likes me. He holds my hand in public. He makes me feel like I am the sexiest person in the world, and prefers me when I am naked. He likes my jiggly chunks (to the point where he’ll play around with them and it’s kind of gross but he’s fucking weird so I accept it.)

    I have people who love me for who I am, even with the weight.

    I have people in my life who make me better, and are instilling a healthier lifestyle.

    Most of all, I have myself. I love myself.

    • Tim

      I’ve gained quite a bit of weight since I left high school. Most of my extended family is larger, so part of me thinks it’s expected thanks to genetics. At the same time, my immediate family (dad, mom, and brother) are all extremely skinny natural, so I feel a bit out of place. My brother doesn’t help matters, as his ex-army attitude is that if you’re not physically fit, you’re weak. It’s a rough mentality to deal with for sure.

      That said, I’m trying to install a healthier lifestyle in myself thanks to my girlfriend as well. She has a lot of health issues and can only eat certain foods as a result. I end up eating a diet similar to hers when I’m around her, and I’m sure that’ll help me out in the long run.

    • Nicole K

      Such a honest post, I really enjoyed reading it.
      whether you choose to lose weight or work on it, or not, I wish you the best of luck and I am like how you know who you are disregarding your physical appearance :)

    • Pingback: All About the Body Talk. | christa lei says...christa lei says…()