I apologise in advance for what is going to be a very selfish post all about…me. My life, my experiences and my views.
I’ve been bigger for most of my life. Not as large as I am now, but compared to my peers I was a heavyweight. I must have been, or else why would they have constantly found new and interesting ways to bring it to my attention? ‘Heffalumpa’, ‘tree trunk thighs’, ‘Georgie Podgy’ and all manner of other creative terms were flung my way throughout my teenage years. I sometimes wonder whether I would have loathed my body had no one brought my larger frame to my attention on an almost daily basis, or whether I would have still compared my shape and size to those around me and despaired at it’s apparent heftyness.
These days I have a healthier approach to my body. Just because I am a larger lady, it doesn’t mean that that is all I am. I am Georgina. I am someone’s best friend. I am someone’s girlfriend. I am a blogger. I work in marketing. I have done the odd bit of modelling. I have fat on my body, but I am not fat – a mere lump of the stuff. And so what if I do have a bit of chub? What has my extra wibble stopped me doing? I’ve travelled, bungee jumped, sky dived, danced all night long. I’ve gone swimming in rivers, pools, streams and oceans. I’ve been flirted with, hit on and chatted up enough for me to safely conclude that I am not just an undesirable blubbery mess with no other attributes. I go running sporadically, I can climb several flights of stairs without collapsing and although I could be fitter, I’ve never felt hindered by my physical abilities. I fit comfortably into bus, train, plane and rollercoaster seats, and I’ve never capsized a boat. I have never experiences any ailments or illnesses due to my size. Diabetes? No, I am not a silly nonsensical cliché. Raised blood pressure? Only when people push onto a tube that I am getting off (you think they would see me…) Cholesterol problems? Give me a break! I could go on and on with a smug self important things that I have achieved DESPITE my weight and a list of problems that do not go hand in hand with squishy frame, but I think you all get the picture!
There are only ever two occasions that my lardy body gets my down. The first is when I catch a glimpse of myself in photos not looking my best. I am generally happy with my appearance, but when someone with a camera catches me off guard the end result can be monstrous. I do accept that they are capturing me as I look at that time, but I still get hung up and ‘detag’ myself in photos! Likewise, when I sometimes look in the mirror in something that doesn’t suit me or is too small for me, I feel horrid. I feel ashamed. However, would I still feel that way if I were smaller, but just about other parts of my body rather than my fat? And would I still feel that way if I didn’t live in a country that is obsessed with diets and cellulite and the idea that the only way to be perfect and happy is to be slim? Who can say.
The other thing that gets me down is… other people’s reactions to my size. Because as much as I want to make friends with the word ‘fat’, being branded a ‘fat lazy slag’ or any other random throwing together of seemingly negative words DOES hurt – how can it not? Sometimes I dwell on that hurt for days, sometimes I laugh it off within seconds, but it does make a mark on me and make me mentally regret every bite of chocolate and drunken burger I ever scoffed down. I curse myself for allowing my body to take on this vast form and I wonder how anyone could have ever liked me, loved me, seen me naked and felt anything other than nausea.
However, I do bounce back, more determined than ever to carry on with my life, doing all of the things that most other people do, unhindered by my size. I would like to shed some flab, as I do think that I would feel a little more content with some weight off. But my life will not stop until that point, and nor will the opportunities and amazing experiences that I have had and will encounter. I am not my weight. I am not simply ‘fat’ and every negative connotation that goes with that word. I am so much more than that, just like every other person out there who constantly gets reduced to being nothing more than a body size.
‘Being fat’. It’s not a disability, or the worst thing someone can be. It’s not an adequate singular way to describe a person. It’s not a term for a life half lived. It doesn’t call for the faux concern brigade to start firing out phrases like, “I just worry about how their weight will impact their lives in the future.” It’s just the way some people are.
Get over it.