Note: This post may trigger due to issues regarding food, weight and body image being discussed.
I’ve lost, what is being described as, a significant amount of weight in the past year.
Just typing that line seems so attention seeking. I immediately think that anyone reading those words will react with a sarcastic “oh, poor baby, you’ve lost weight, huh?” In my mind, I then think of the person finishing that thought with some reflection of their own weight struggle… “lucky bitch, I wish I could lose weight”, or “I wonder how much, and if I’ve lost enough”, etc.
Weight and body image is such a personal, yet public, issue. It’s part of the first impression we give about ourselves; and is one of the things that the beast called society, judges us on. In theory, campaigns such as healthy at every size, is helping to change that societal pressure… But, when you hear the criticism of such movements as being fat acceptance, it’s a little disheartening. Just using the term fat, makes it difficult to hear. Fat is such an emotive word, which is usually used in such an insulting way; that it makes it difficult to see it as being anything positive, or accepting.
It’s been my experience, that society is quick to call you things like big, large, fat, etc.; and just as quick to praise you for losing weight. Recently, I’ve been told that I “look good”, and am a “skinny tart”. But, I’ve also been told that I’m “wasting away”; that I “wasn’t recognisable” from the person I was a year ago; and am “committing a slow form of suicide”. It’s really difficult to hear any opinion on my body, so hearing any of these statements makes me run psychologically… The words were all said with the best intentions, but it seems like there’s something in my brain that can’t comprehend them. It was Allison who said my actions were a slow form of suicide – one of her attempts to try to make me look at the situation in a different way… but, all it did, was make me wonder what all of the fuss was about.
As with so many aspects of my life; my weight, and body image, are both totally disconnected, and an obsession. I swing between the two extremes, depending on what is happening around me… I rationalise away people’s concern about me, as them over-reacting; but then, in the next moment, will worry if I can ever stop the drive to lose weight. In both moments, my thoughts seem totally rational, and based in reality.
As I write this, my mind races… justifications for the weight loss, and for losing more, come through in a rush… I don’t meet the criteria for any of the eating disorders, so it’s not serious… people wouldn’t say I look good, if it wasn’t true… even the doctor said the weight loss was good – and she didn’t want to weigh me, so isn’t worried, so I don’t need to worry either… just another [x number] kilos, that’s all you need to lose… my BMI isn’t even low, so there. is. no. problem… you’re such a drama queen!
In typical form, I hear those last words in my mother’s voice. My mother was a nurse, and she would sometimes come home and talk about the “manipulative young girls” that had to come in for their weigh-ins. She talked of having to check their clothes for weights that they had added to try to cover their weight loss. She talked with such disdain… Part of me hates her for her lack of understanding, and other parts hope that I’ll never be seen with such disdain, but I know it’s already too late…
I can’t write any more, this is too difficult.