I get it.
I know I’m overweight. I know that I’m not healthy. I know that better than you, because, hey, this is my body and I’m living in it. And because it is my body, I know how I got this big. And – big surprise coming – it isn’t my eating habits.
So yeah, stop looking so surprised when I eat less than you at restaurants, or take the fewest slices of pizza out of the box, or don’t ask for food when I come late to a party and everyone’s already placed their order for takeout. Sometimes, weight gain has nothing to do with the food.
Let me tell you what it can be about.
In my case, it can be about a job. You know about those, right? They’re those things you probably keep saying people should get off their lazy asses and find. Well, I got up off of mine and I found one. And you know what? It keeps me on my lazy ass all friggin day. What time I used to have for exercising is gone now. And I eat even less than I did before, because it’s so hard to get away from the desk sometimes, and sometimes I’m the only person in the office not busy with a client and I have to stay put, no matter how long ago my last break was.
In my case, it can be about a hormone condition. Because let me tell you, there is something hella wrong in my body. I won’t gross you out with the details.
This is the internet; you can go elsewhere for a freak show.
But I will tell you that I’m gaining weight. I’ve gone up from a size 14 to a size 18 in a matter of months. And no portion control or dieting or staying up late to exercise has been able to stop it.
So when you see me and I seem to be completely oblivious to my weight gain, because I’m smiling and I’m not complaining about it, and you start thinking I must just not know how bad it is? Stop. Stop right there.
I know my body. I know that there is something wrong with it. I know that a doctor could help me, but I don’t have time to visit one and I barely have the money to pay for even a regular check up. I know how I sweat in places I never used to, and that it’s getting harder to breathe. I know that I feel disgusted at myself sometimes when I try to put on a skirt that fit me five months ago and which I now have to squeeze into and try not to rip. And I know that if I thought about it as often as you seem to think I should, I would go mad from the blows to my self-esteem.
I’m not built to be acceptably skinny – that’s another thing I know – but my weight is very obviously hurting my health. On top of that, I don’t look that good. I still don’t look bad, but I miss fitting into my clothes. I have some awesome stuff. But I can only worry about so much without loosing it. More important than my looks are my fears about my health, and if I have to start worrying about what you think of my appearance….
To paraphrase a line from Mr. Burns, I don’t believe in suicide, but your death might cheer me up.
It’s more important that I be able to like myself than for you to like how I look. That distinction doesn’t mean that I or anyone else who struggles with their health and weight doesn’t want to fix it. No one wants to be unhealthy and few people want to be called or considered fat.
I am trying to fix myself, but just because my self-repair isn’t happening as quickly or as obviously as you’d like doesn’t mean I don’t know about it or don’t care about it.
And if you keep asking me if I want more pie, I’m going to start calling your ass Moon-pie in public and telling ridiculous stories about the nickname to mutual friends and cute guys.