Weight: Don’t know, don’t care.
Food: Pawpaw in fat-free Greek yoghurt with honey, almonds and chia seeds. Three Romany creams. Hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.
Sometimes, in my dark moments when I’m secret-eating doughnuts in the car, I wonder how I got here. I wonder how I ended up the fat one. Of all my friends, all the girls I went to school with. My relatives. I wonder how I ended up here.
Why am I not the girl who is slim and athletic? Why am I not the girl who fills out a bikini in all the right places? What was different in my life, in who I am, that I’m the girl who secret-eats in her car and has to put up with strangers telling her to go on a diet?
I wasn’t always fat. I didn’t know I wasn’t, I thought I was. But actually I wasn’t.
I wasn’t fat when I was twelve. I was a young girl on the edge of womanhood. My body was changing. My hips were widening and suddenly I had breasts. I thought I was fat, I was definitely bigger than the other girls in my class. But I was only the second girl to reach puberty and what I saw as thin was actually just the bodies of children. I didn’t know about puberty and femininity. I had size seven feet but I didn’t know about bone structure either and my feet were just giant to me.
And I played every sport there was. I even won the sportsmanship award at the end of grade 7. I wasn’t lazy.
I wasn’t fat as a teenager. I was a normal girl, a normal teenager. I had the same puppy fat we all had. But I was quiet and shy and I had bad skin and I read a lot. I didn’t know how to talk to boys so I didn’t. And I thought I was fat but I wasn’t, I was just shy and teenage boys are shy too and they don’t know how to talk to a girl who won’t talk back.
And then, when I was sixteen, I met my first boyfriend. He saw that I was shy and naive and scared and he liked me anyway and I loved him. I think he loved me too. I wasn’t fat when I was dating him. Actually, if I look back at photographs I was pretty when I was with him. I was young and happier than I had ever been. I had lost my teenage puppy fat and I had wonderful curves. But his brother, and he was just a teenager being a teenager, used to joke that I was fat and maybe he was joking and maybe he was just a little boy who didn’t know, but we all laughed and my boyfriend, my love, wouldn’t defend me or chastise him and so I believed it. I laughed, but I believed it. It didn’t matter then though because I was happy and loved and in love and I had never been hurt and I had all the confidence in the world. I was whole.
But then my love left me, after a few years or a lifetime back then, for another girl. Another thinner girl. A girl he described as ‘the most beautiful girl in the world’ in a Facebook album he put up not long after the day he told me he had kissed another girl.
Somewhere soon after that, things began to change. It wasn’t his fault. He was just a boy who fell out of love. It’s really no one’s fault but my own (and possibly a bad pill).
This post has been sitting in my draft box for a week now. I don’t know how to finish it. I don’t really know what I’m saying.
Between 2008 and 2012 I gained about 25 kilograms. Some of it I have lost again, but not nearly enough.
[*This is an addition to my original post]
I realise I haven’t tied my two trains of thoughts together. I think it was easy for me to gain weight and not realize, to turn into a fat person, because I never knew that I wasn’t always fat.
Does that make sense? I don’t if it does. If any of it does.
I didn’t know I wasn’t fat so I when I did become fat, it didn’t feel all that different.
It sounds feeble to not claim responsibility for my physique and that’s not what I’m doing. It’s no ones fault but my own that I chose to lock myself into my room with bad TV and a lot of junk food. It’s how I dealt with my grief and it’s how I have dealt with every grief and every heartbreak since. Some people lose their appetite, I eat for comfort. Some people throw themselves into exercise to distract themselves from their emotions. I lose myself in hours of cheesy one-liners and canned laughter. I want people to understand that these are not rational decisions. These are decisions made in times of heartbreak and depression. They are decisions that overtime became a lifestyle and eventually an addiction of sorts. It is not rational to secret-eat doughnuts in the car. It is not a rational decision.
I know this and I fight it. It is not an easy fight, believe me. And I slip often. But I fight it. I fight against what has become my natural instinct, my gut reaction. I am well on my way. I crave exercise. I’m finding healthy meals I love and now when I get to the tills, arms laden with junk, it is getting easier to put it down and walk away. For the first time in five years, I’m in control and I’m very slowly, with many back-slides, winning my battle.
I don’t know why or how I became like this.