Posts Tagged ‘fat’

Today I came across three different items, all dealing with the F word – Fat.

As I was driving to work this morning, I had an ugly memory pop into my head. I have no idea why I started thinking about it, and as soon as it arrived in my thoughts, I wished it away. The one where a dermatologist I’d seen to treat skin tabs on my neck berated me for being “so fat that you could lose 50 pounds and no one would notice.” He told me that my skin tabs were the direct result of my obesity, and then went on to rant at me as he sadistically jolted me with electricity to burn off the skin tabs. It’s been almost 12 years since the incident, but recalling it instantly put me back in that office where I felt ashamed and angry and humiliated. In the moment I was so shocked that this man was saying these things to me that I didn’t say anything. And then I fought back. I contacted the head of hospital for Kaiser Permanente San Francisco and demanded action be taken against this “doctor” to prevent his bullying of any other patient. Kaiser took swift action, wrote the doctor up, and made him apologize to me (which I took with a grain of salt). My greatest satisfaction came when I was able to directly contact the doctor and tell him, “I may be fat, but I can lose weight. You will always be an asshole.” I know it was a shallow victory, but it felt empowering all the same. And I love imagining his face turning 50 shades of purple, yet being forced to remain silent. Bullies bring out the worst in us.

The second “f-word” reference came from Jennifer Weiner’s heart-wrenching essay in Allure, The F Word. Take a few minutes and read the essay. It resonated with me so deeply, and I was in tears by the end of it.

Lastly, I saw this video, posted via UpWorthy.com, about a news anchor who takes a stand against a bully. Her speech is so heartfelt, so poignant, that again, I was in tears by the end of it, but I also took it as a call to action.

I think the word “fat” is one of the worst things someone can call another person. Whether or not the term is accurate makes little difference. The word reduces someone to the very flaw they are most self-conscious of. As Jennifer Weiner and the news anchor both said, people are so much more than their outward appearance.

I hear girls at school calling themselves fat all the time, and I cringe. These girls are tiny by any standards, yet hold themselves to some impossible standard. Or, they feel that self-deprecation is the only way to counter a critical comment they assume is waiting in the wings; they say negative things about themselves before anyone one else is able to. It’s sad.

Although I’ve been obese most of my adult life, and overweight as a child and teenager before that, I have rarely been called fat. Which, considering the fact that I’m a high school English teacher, is really saying something. Then again, who knows what people are saying about me when I’m out of earshot. In any case, harsh words hurt no matter how old you are.

Which leads me to what I believe is the moral of this story. I think I had these three reminders come up today so that I can do my part to prevent someone else from being called fat. Or any other derogatory word based on their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. I can lend my voice and do what I do best – educate.

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and since bullying has affected everyone’s life in one way or another, including mine, I’m going to do my part to take a stand against bullying. I’m going to teach a unit about bullying (focusing on cyber bullying) to one of my classes, including a presentation by our local mental health organization so that I can start the dialogue about anti-bullying with my students.

What will you do? If you’re not sure, why not start with buying a tshirt. I love this design (which I put my own spin on, hence the black shirt and hot pink headphones), and I’m going to buy it to wear next week:


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That’s how I feel right now.

I should be at my mom’s uncle’s house, celebrating with our huge family. Over 60 people gather each year to share Christmas. Why aren’t I there, you ask? Am I sick? Well, not physically. But I am sick and tired of being so fat that I can’t find anything to wear.

I bought a new sweater to wear for Christmas, but stupid me, I didn’t try it on. You see, I had ordered the exact same sweater online, only in a different color. So when I went into the store and found it in purple, I didn’t think I would need to try it on. I was sure it would fit.

I had everything all ready — I washed my black pants a few days ago, and they were wrinkle-free and ready to go. Or so I thought. I went to get dressed and found the pants were super tight — not good. Number 1, I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable all night, and Number 2, I didn’t want to looked like a stuffed sausage, especially around relatives I only see once a year. Yes, I’ve gained quite a bit of weight since last year, and I know that losing 8.5lbs is great and all, but I really wanted to hide the weight gain, if possible. Well, I thought to myself, the sweater should hang just the right way as to cover the tightness of the pants. Nope. This sweater, in the exact same size as the one I ordered online, mind you, was too tight. It was as if it was a size (at least) too small. Ugh!

I tried to figure out something else I could wear, but nothing looked good. Or Christmas-y enough. I felt terrible, was getting stressed out, and wanted to call the whole thing off.

So I did. I called my mom and told her about the situation, and she was very supportive, even suggesting I put on jeans and the grey sweater, which would’ve probably been just fine. Except that I really don’t like wearing jeans on Christmas day and I was so depressed by the fact of these clothes looking so badly on me that I was in no mood to deal with the entire group of family member.

I felt like a huge cow. I still do, although at least now I’m comfy in my sweats, sitting on the couch as I write this.

I feel so pathetic, home alone on Christmas day. But in a way, I feel so much better here by myself than I would facing a room full of people feeling so fat and disgusting.

Today is just one of those really bad days. I know that I’m not disgusting, and I think on most days I look very well put together, or at the very least, presentable. Today just wasn’t one of my “pretty days.”

I’ll tell you one thing, this gives me ample motivation to make it to the gym tomorrow morning!

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