Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why this blog?

I have been heavy all my life. Heavy, fat, overweight, plus-size, voluptuous, pleasantly plump --whatever you want to call it--it's me. Always has been, and, to some extent, probably always will be. I don't think I'm ever meant to be one of those skinny girls; my body isn't built like that, which I've always accepted and appreciated. I was born weighing almost 9lbs, on the larger side of normal. And while I weigh far more than normal at this point in my life, I definitely understand that my body is not meant to weigh less than 150lbs. It's just not going to happen.

So, if I accept my current state of being, why start this blog? I've been working hard in the last 9 months to try to lose some of this weight that I've been carrying around with me the last 25 years, and while I have been successful (-63 lbs and counting!) I've hit a roadblock. Every time I get to this stage in a weight-loss program or diet I turn away and eventually fail. I am determined not to do that this time. I am determined that I will continue my healthy lifestyle and keep losing weight to make my life better for ME.

Except the little things keep popping up, the things that reach beyond food cravings and not wanting to work out anymore. Memories that I try like hell to block out; the kids who called me names in school, my grandparents who told me time and time again that I would never be pretty like my cousins unless I became skinny, the men who've rejected me or not even looked my way because I look the way I do, the doctor who joked about me to her nurses when she thought I couldn't hear. These things are with me everyday--they live within my brain and heart, forcing me to look at myself has some hideous monster instead of the lovely, talented person that I am.

I've always thought that everyday people go far beyond the labels society puts on them. For example, society tends to think of homosexuals simply as gay people--they easily neglect the fact that a gay man is also a son, a brother, a friend, a professional, a sports fan, a beer drinker, and the like. He has a life that does not revolve around merely his sexuality, though society sees him only as such. It's the same for fat people. I personally am more than a number on some scale and more than a disgusting piece of flesh. I'm a human being who has feelings and a heart and a good soul, and I am tired of society seeing me as a number. I am tired of watching movies that constantly turn fat people into a joke, using stereotypes to feed ideas into the minds of those who are not intelligent enough to see beyond my flesh. I am tired of being laughed at in bars, and sick of those skinny girls who laugh and stare when I walk into a gym. They don't know my story and they don't know my soul--maybe if they did they'd shut the hell up.

So, in short, that is why I'm here, writing this blog. I'm a grad student who doesn't have time for things like this, but I can't keep quiet anymore. If I can change even one person's mind about what it is really like to be a fat person in society, I will have done my job. And even if I can't, I have a place to admit all the times when it hurts to be this way; when the pain prevents me from living what others would consider a 'normal life.' I want to tell my story, to share my experiences both in my life thus far and in the future, along with the successes and frustrations of finding a healthy weight and lifestyle. I want to find peace with who I am and with my history, and to forgive those who have hurt me and to forgive MYSELF for the pain I have caused my own heart, body, and mind.

Maybe this will be the breakthrough that I need to keep going in my weight loss goals. Maybe it won't. But at least it will be honest and real, even too honest and real at times. It's ME, and I need that right now, whether or not anyone appreciates it.

For once, I want to speak up.

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