February 04, 2006

Hi, I'm Here Because I'm Fat

I just read Tammi's post about her issues with food. It made me incredibly sad ... because I too have issues with food. I guess a lot of people do. But even a good face can't erase the food demons. The body image demons scream even louder most days.

You see, I grew up the fat girl. I have never known what it was like to be skinny. There are pictures of me as a kid before I was old enough to be in school where I am thin. But once you get to the third and fourth grade, the time that I can begin to remember, the pictures portray a fat girl. The teasing that I remember was aimed at a fat girl.

When I was young, it was "baby fat" that I would "grow out of" ... but I never did. By junior high, I wore clothes from Lane Bryant. I was not in fashion, for any age group, let alone my own. In order to find a dress for my 8th grade graduation I had to go to a special "fat lady" store. My dress was a Woman's 1X. I looked like I was wearing a big pink tent with lace.

The weight just kept coming on. I was as awkward as any freshman I suppose but my anxiety and depression made me feel like I was the only one. Compounded by the fact that I didn't really have any friends to speak of. By my sophomore year, I was at Weight Watchers meetings every Saturday morning. They helped a little, but not much ... and certainly not in a lasting way. My prom dress was more black fabric than I ever hope to see again. Again, not even close to fashionable for prom.

I'm sure there are a lot of factors that contributed to the reason why, but the weight just never went away. Before I knew it, I weighed 215 pounds. And at only 5'9" ...

Over a year and a half or so I was able to lose a total of 50 pounds by learning to like new types of food, by learning to give into a craving with a bite (not a whole cake), by being conscious of not only what I was eating but how I was eating and realizing the psychological effect of foods.

Most of those 50 pounds has stayed off ... but not all of it ... and I want to lose 25 more, at least.

I have massive anxiety about eating with people I don't know very well. At parties or gatherings with strangers, I hardly eat a thing because I feel the eyes watching, judging, waiting to tell me that my food choices are why I am so fat. At get togethers with a buffet, I've been known to be too scared to get my own food and had a boyfriend get it for me.

There are still days that I take out my contacts or refuse to put on my glasses, just so I don't have to see myself naked in the mirror. I hate myself naked. I disgust myself. I only have boobs because of the fat. I am a hideous pear. I have more stretch marks than some women who've had three kids. No amount of exercise will give me a flat, toned midsection. The extra skin and kangaroo pouch are a permanent reminder of my painful, lost youth. My body is forever ruined. I will never know the simple pleasure of living in a young, nubile body.

Some days I ask myself, why watch what you eat if you'll never be who you want to be? And those are the days I'm glad I don't keep much food in my house.

Posted by Princess Cat at February 4, 2006 10:37 AM @ 10:37 AM in All About Princess // Permalink | TrackBack

I've met you.

Were I single, I'd never have the guts to approach you in a bar, because I'd be too busy thinking "she's WAY out of my league".

And yet you don't like the way you look.

If you could see through my eyes, your demon would catch a bad case of laryngitis.

Posted by: Harvey at February 4, 2006 07:42 PM

... everyone holds themselves up in a less-than-good light every so often.... you are a charming girl..... have faith in your self...

... oh, and never forget, sis... Harvey is a perv of the highest caliber..... I just thought I'd warn you.... they don't call him Mr. Bad Example for nothing, you know.....

Posted by: Eric at February 4, 2006 08:17 PM

I have met you

if I were a single, younger, childless, and a lesbian...

I would totally be intimidated by your looks...

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at February 4, 2006 11:07 PM

While I would never attempt to trivialize your self loathing, these are powerful emotions that are not "fixed" by pithy comment.... I was distressed by your assertion that life was a little less shiny because you were never going to get to live in a nubile body. I will never be President, or have a Maserati in my driveway. I will never have a six pack no matter how much work I put into it. I look at it through another, probably less complex, lense. There is all sorts of other shit out there in the world that I will do my darndest to see, experience, taste, smell, drive, fly and enjoy... and my dissappointment at never being President will fade.

Posted by: Dee Mack at February 5, 2006 12:08 AM

I'm going to go against the grain of the previous comments. Why? Because I can completely relate to you. I may have never quite gotten to 215, but I hit 200 once upon a time. And well, you are about an inch taller than me. Anyways, I understand where you're coming from. As for what guys say, I'm sure you and I both know that a woman can look very different naked with all her stretch marks, cellulite, loose skin, etc. than with her clothes on. And THAT is what we fear. We fear that even though we have slimmed ourselves down that guys will still be disappointed...because who we used to be is permanently imprinted on our bodies. I know sometimes my boyfriend will see someone on TV who has just a few stretch marks or who is definitely smaller than me but maybe a little pudgy...and he might make some kind of negative comment. Hearing those comments about other women is what continues to fuel our negative self-images. It doesn't matter if my boyfriend says that I'm beautiful etc...it's how I see transplant his words about other women onto me.

Now, why am I against the grain? Because I say Cat, you CAN have a flat tummy. Never rule out plastic surgery. Plastic surgery was made for women like you and me so that we could feel better about ourselves. Sure, stretch marks can't be completely removed, but your tummy can be smoothed--your legs can be hardened--and your image improved.

Maybe other people will think I am wrong to bring up the plastic surgery angle. But you know what? I don't think any amount of therapy is going to blind you to your own naked body. You can learn to 'live with it' but why do that? I just had plastic surgery last week to fix my chin. I know it sounds stupid, but my whole life, I have always hated how prominent my chin is. I have been called Jay Leno jokingly by friends and family. Well, no more. Plastic surgery has taken that away.

And all the pain I'm in right now, all the drugs I have to take, and all the liquid foods I have to eat, it makes it all worth it because I will feel so much more comfortable in public now.

Do you know that they actually will finance plastic surgery through Capital One? Just thought I'd tell you. I know a lot of people might read my comment and think that I am wrong for not saying "Cat you're beautiful." However, I don't think any amount of me trying to convince you otherwise is going to make you feel better. It's all about your own mind.

Posted by: Dorothy at February 5, 2006 12:13 PM

I would have never thought....

....but I totally understand

Posted by: Sissy at February 5, 2006 12:33 PM

You're hot, Cat.

Now if you want to see horrifically ugly, fly thee to Toronto soonest. But I suggest swiping a few of the air-sickness bags from the plane for the meeting.

On the other hand, I look fantastic naked! Just like an 11 year old girl, in fact. The problem is my head. If that were to be severed from my body and set on fire in a dumpster somewhere, I'd be the perfect specimen of manhood.

And that's why I take all my vacations in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.Well, that and the fact that pleading for my life on videotape is a turn-on for me. That's not kinky, is it?
But that's another story for another day.

Posted by: skippystalin at February 5, 2006 03:25 PM

Princess Cat... we are in the same boat... if you need to talk..I am near by so let me know.


Posted by: Katie at February 5, 2006 08:04 PM

The image we have of ourselves is a two edged sword. The secret it in accepting who we are and not letting the words or veiws of others to muddy the water. Tough - tough. Especially when you're used to the harsh judgement of others being so very prevelent (sp).

You are a beautiful young woman, inside and out. And my prayer is that someday you'll see that as easily as we all do.

Posted by: Tammi at February 6, 2006 09:05 AM

Hear me NOW and believe me later!

From what I've read on your site, you have your stuff grouped.

This is important in real life.... You be OK.

Posted by: The Old Man at February 7, 2006 01:03 PM

Not so. I told the husband that I'm sure the troops loved you coming to see them because you are "easy on the eyes". You are a very striking woman, Cat - whether you believe it or not.

Posted by: Andi at February 7, 2006 07:25 PM

You one fine looking young woman, you are.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at February 7, 2006 08:15 PM