This morning I read something that has shaken me to the core of my being.
I was reading a post at Blogher by Denise on a book titled “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters.”
This subject is near and dear to my heart, because I am a mother to a daughter and I am a woman who has spent the majority of her life hating (not feeling comfortable with) her body.
The last line of her post knocked the wind out of me and I’ve been crying every since I read it.
More than 1/2 of American women 18-25 would prefer to be run over by a truck or die young than be fat. More than 2/3 would rather be mean or stupid than be fat.
Would you rather be mean or stupid than fat? And what, exactly, is “fat”? 5lbs overweight? 50lbs? At what point would you rather be dead… if you’re a mom – at what point would your daughter want to be dead? Have you asked her?
It is quite possible that those words–that ONE question– has forever changed me.
I want desperately to put into words WHY it has affected me so deeply, but I’m having a hard time doing that.
Perhaps the answer is really as simple as this: “I don’t ever want my daughter to feel the way that I have felt for most of my adult life about my body.”
I may not have ever wished to be dead rather than fat, but in so many ways, I have been dead. I’ve locked myself in my house, I’ve avoided people that I love, I’ve stayed home from celebrations like weddings and birthday parties and turned down invitations to nights out with friends because I was too ashamed to be seen in public as a fat person/
I wasn’t always overweight but I felt shame about the way that I look. But now I AM fat and I struggle to come to terms with this body.
I hate it.
I will always hate being fat. I am uncomfortable. I hate that my thighs rub together when I walk. I hate that I can feel my belly hanging when I sit down. I hate that I can see lumps in my arms when I look in the mirror.
But does that have to mean that I hate who I am? And that I have to walk around feeling like I need to apologize to the people in my presence for being fat?
Sometimes, I feel like my Body Hate is a drug and I am addicted. I wasn’t happy when I was thin. I’m not happy when I’m fat. I am ashamed that I feel this way about my body. I hate hurting people that I love and yet, everyday, I wake up and make a choice to hate myself for being fat.
As I’m writing this out, it doesn’t even make sense to me.
I’ve made some positive changes in regards to this issue. I’ll give you one example. I used to use horrifying language when talking about my body and I have made the choice not to do that anymore. But even though I don’t talk about myself in that manner anymore, I still feel that way about myself.
My daughter is watching me, she is learning from me and even though I may not walk around saying terrible things about myself like I used to, I most certainly am not living life to it’s fullest because of my weight.
At what point would your daughter want to be dead? Have you asked her?
I keep hearing those words running through my head and I want to change. RIGHT NOW.
I have tried so many times to change, to learn to love my body. But I’ve never really and truly found the answer. Is there an answer? There has to be answer.
Perhaps the answer is that I have to learn to be content. Content with who I am as a human being, not with what size jeans I wear.
I have to stop focusing on the negative and the feelings I have in regards to my body and start thinking about the people in my life who love me, the people who I have hurt deeply because of my body issues.
I have to start thinking about my children– especially my daughter because I don’t ever want her to say she’d rather DIE than be fat.