“No beauty for you!” – The Universe to me as a child
(As a reminder, “Fat Girl” is a series of blogs. Click here to read Part 1.)
Until I joined CEA-HOW in 2004 at the age of thirty-three, I’d been overweight all my life.
I have the classic, unoriginal story of the fat kid: the last one picked at kickball, didn’t get asked to the prom, and – this is the worst – the one who watched the purses and coats while my thin, pretty friends danced with the boys who’d asked them.
Now, here’s the part where I give you some context.
I was born in 1969, which means that my childhood coincided with the swingin’ 70s, of which both parents enthusiastically participated. And what good-looking parents I had.
Now here’s the part where I give you a visual.
Think of me as the child of parents who looked like Sylvester “Sly” Stallone (left) and Farrah Fawcett (right).
(BTW, if you never hear from me again, it’s because the Copyright Infringement Police have hauled me away.)
Except, instead of giving me their good traits (i.e., Farrah’s thick, sassy mane and lithe body, Sly’s full lips), I got their unfortunate ones: Dad’s thick, frizzy curls, blanket-thick body hair (including a uni-brow), and Mom’s oily, sallow skin.
Add onto this a weight problem and you can see why I’d have issues.
It was no groove thang.
The culture of the time was not helpful: The 1970s were decades before body positivity became a thing, women were celebrated for their curves, and eating disorders were recognized as an actual disease.
Being overweight was considered just being “fat,” which equated to gluttonous, which could be fixed by going on a diet. Period. Which I could never stick to.
As I wrote on Day 16 I was put on my first diet at age four.
By the time I was 12, I’d been numerous diets: Weight Watchers, tuna-and-lettuce plates, Dexatrim appetite suppressants, Ayds weight loss candy (which were actually rather chocolatey and delicious), both low- and high-carb diets … and some mist that you sprayed on your tongue to make it numb (dunno).
And all these diets did for me was to help me get really, really good at sneak eating. I learned to hide wrappers in my book bag and throw them out at school, take empty ice cream cartons to the neighborhood dumpster instead of disposing them in the house trash, and floss excessively to eliminate any trace of chocolate from between my teeth.
Nobody understood why I could eat so little and yet still be so fat … and getting fatter all the time.
Dang, why is she so fat?
What people couldn’t see was the “fat” growing between my ears. For every extra pound on my body, there was an equivalent pound in my mind of self-hate, loathing and disgust.
These negative beliefs followed me into my teenage and adult years and set the stage for the subsequent very self-destructive choices I made in career, finance and especially relationships … of which I’ll write more about in later episodes of this series.
Until then, take care of yourself and I’ll do the same 🙂
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