I am 45 years old. Soon, I will be 46. I have been overweight for the past 20-25 years. I face the normal struggles other fat people do. Booth seating in restaurants is not my friend as the table digs into my fluffy midsection. Seating on public transportation is challenging due to the fact my bottom requires more than the 16”-17” allotted for each passenger. Now, with that said, sometimes, actually quite often, I forget I am fat! I know right now you are asking yourself, “how on earth does she do that, given what she just said?” The answer is, “because this has been my existence for the past 20-25 years.” I avoid booths, public transportation, and just about any and everything that will force me to deal with my generous portions.
Apart from fitting comfortably into a chair with arms, my size has never been something I considered debilitating. I’ve always “carried myself well” and dressed myself in a flattering manner. I’ve participated in sporting events…things like co-ed softball, 5k walks/runs, I even joined a dance class and go to the gym a few days a week. I go to amusement parks, concerts, public swimming pools, all the while maintaining a social circle comprised of predominantly, average sized people. I have never felt compelled to limit myself to fat friendly activities or past times. However, lately, something has changed. Absolutely EVERYONE around me has become image (specifically body) conscious. My social media timelines are inundated with low-carbies (those on the low carb diet craze), middle aged gym rats, plastic surgery fiends and filtered selfies of my friends, family and colleagues. Don’t get me wrong, I can fully understand and appreciate the quest for better health and an increased sense of vanity as we venture further down the timeline toward our “golden years”. My problem is, I didn’t know we were there already or that being fat and forty-something meant I was unhealthy or worse yet…unattractive!
For several weeks now, on the heels of this realization, a realization I liken to being “molly whopped” with a sock full of quarters, I have become embarrassingly insecure. I take less selfies because I see more gray hair and notice my crow’s feet and double chin more so now than ever before. I judgmentally examine myself naked and in doing so, have contemplated injecting myself with hormones touted to boost weight loss (when paired with a calorie restricted diet, so restricted in fact, I got hungry just THINKING about it). Why did this happen you ask? I will tell you exactly why! Because me, the confident, relatively well adjusted, natural born leader that I am, allowed myself to fall victim to the majority’s view on what is considered aesthetically pleasing. Thankfully, my survivor instinct is stronger than my victim mentality and I snapped out of the reality of the majority and back into my own reality. A reality in which no synthetic or grueling alterations are necessary to be beautiful and healthy!