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Still the Fat Kid

I want to start this by saying I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m writing this because I feel like I have to. In fact, I waited a week to write it because I struggled a little with what happened and whether I should say anything at all because I’m not looking for pity. I’m also not looking to be sold weight loss products or programs, so please don’t go there.

Last week, a student who was in the library during her free period called me fat. She didn’t like that I told the group she was with to quiet down. (They were distracting a student who was taking a test) Most of the kids nodded, and there were a smattering of apologies, but as I was walking away, from the back of the library, I heard it. It wasn’t loud, but it was there.

“Fat bitch.”

I’m pretty sure I know who said it. And I know I was meant to hear it. Oddly, I don’t think calling me a bitch was the intended insult, it was the addition of the word fat. That was the adjective that was meant to wound me. It was supposed to hurt.

It did.

I ignored the comment. And moved on. That’s what we’re supposed to do when we’re personally attacked, right? Sticks and stones.

What I wanted to do was scream, “I KNOW!” I know I’m overweight. I’ve always known. This is not new! Sheesh! My mother pointed out my less than perfect figure all during my childhood and teen years. Forget that I was an athlete, involved in activities, a good student, and I stayed out of trouble. “You have such a pretty face, Jeannie, but…”

But. There was always a “but.”

Now, when I look back at photos from my teen years, I see that there was nothing wrong with me. I was curvy, but my mother didn’t appreciate my curves. Let’s just say, I was not raised to accept my body.

It’s the thing that has made me feel inferior, self-conscious and isolated my whole life. No one understands. I’m an accomplished, well-educated woman with great hair and nice eyes (I know my strengths 🙂 ). I’ve raised my kids well, have a husband who loves me, and loving friends and family.

Still, the fat thing hangs over me.

I can’t go anywhere without a reminder. Movie theaters, restaurants, planes…the seating gets tight sometimes. My doctor would blame a hangnail on my being overweight. It’s exhausting, and discouraging, and as a result, losing is even harder. As I get older, it’s harder. Nothing works and I hate that I feel like I do.

Because all I want is to be a size 12.

The comment last week shouldn’t have affected me, but it really hurt because it was meant to. It was mean, and it hit me where I’m most vulnerable. THIS is fat shaming, people. This. It’s meant to make us hate our bodies.

Don’t give this kid a pass because of her age. She’s plenty old enough to know better. Her comment was nasty and shallow, and she knew it. Now it’s my job to push back the wounded fat kid, and either find a way to love myself the way I am, or find a way to make a change. It’s not going to be easy–no matter how old I get, it’s never going to be easy.

Tell me how you overcame a mean girl or boy in your life. How did you challenge yourself to be better? I’m listening.



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    15 Responses to Still the Fat Kid

    1. Peggy Dixon says:

      Seems we had the same Mother.
      I just stopped listening to it. When I look back at photos of myself during those years I see beauty, I’d be thrilled to look that way now.
      I also know that years from now I’ll think the same about how I look today. My goal is healthy, not thin. Can’t deny it though, size 12 is the dream

    2. Gwen Romine says:

      I think we all have the same mother. She still says it and I roll my eyes and say I would if I could. Mostly I ignore her or anyone else who says it. It’s hurtful though.

    3. Riet says:

      It’s always difficult, even when you accomplish to loose some weight, you still see yourself as overweight. I am very happy my husbands supports me all the way, but my mother never saw that I lost weight, she always pointed out that my uncle had lost so much weight and it was so great he did. Oh well, it always did hurt. I know I will never be a miss Twiggy, but I try to remain on the same weight I am now and try to eat healthy and be healthy. I think we, you and I, Jeannie, need to listen more to our husbands and try to be more of the person they love.

    4. Terry says:

      I use to be skinny as a kid and gien shakes to drink to gain weight. Well it worked after having kids there went the skinny. I fight it all the time.. As popeye says I am what I am and I’m just glad I am still here. I think beauty comes from inside. If your a good person that counts more. Because she wad skinny and not nice. I would like to be your friend instead of hets

    5. Kimberly Field says:

      I struggle with this so much. I just got a new doctor that is actually helping with some other issues and not fat shaming me at the same time. However, I went to the gyn a couple of weeks ago and the first words out of her mouth were, you should consider bariatric surgery. I had never met here, she did not know my story or why I was there. Then last week, I had a total stranger, a man, come up to me and say that I must really enjoy food and that he has always wanted to be fat like me, but was unable to to gain weight because of his genetics. I was embarrassed, ashamed had no idea how to respond to that. I will never understand why fat shaming or bullying seems to be an accepted and tolerated by many. I am sorry that girl said that to you. Hugs

    6. Lisa Wells says:

      Mean girls are broken on the inside. Something or someone damaged them along the way. The next time one attacks you, turn and look them in the eyes and say, “If I had to choose between my curvy body and your scurvy insides, I’d choose this vessel every time. ” And then leave with your head held high while they are trying to figure out the insult in your words. If you’re not brave enough to say it to them, say it under your breath while you walk away. #meangirlsmakememad

    7. Denise says:

      I get it. I wish I could be a size 14 again. I still have my freaking Calvin Klein’s from high school. I hate that F-word: fat. Nothing was ever enough because I was fat, had thunder thighs, fat ass, big boobs. Still am.

      For everything else, I can do well except my weight. Last year it was the d*mn PTA moms, not exactly size 0s themselves, who called me FB, because I pointed out discreetly they had violated IRS code.

      It’s the hardest thing to overcome.

      • Denise says:

        I walked away. I don’t know how, but those mean girls grow up to be mean women. They know the buttons to push. if I don’t react, they can’t totally win. It might have felt good to tell them off, but they’re just not worth my time or energy. I try to surround myself with positive people. Positive energy. Avoid toxic people when possible. It’s a never-ending battle.

        I might have a smaller group of friends, but they’re keepers.

        Hugs and love!

    8. Christine Krueger says:

      I may be fat, but that girl will always be ugly on the inside. Physical beauty fades, but the person you really are -who your friends and family see, despite anything that society norms don’t fit — is who you truly are. It took me years and a wonderfully loving husband to see that. You are beautiful, I am beautiful, we ALL are beautiful because of who we are on the inside. That’s the part that counts.

    9. D ROBERTS says:

      I was also the day kid
      Picked last for team sports (but I had the most stamina in those sports) I shrugged it off my whole life but there came a point and it started to hurt … To sink in…. I started to think they were right … They weren’t … My mum always told me I was beautiful … A good child …. And when she died when I was 12 and a half my childhood stopped …. Not because of hard life facts just because in my head suddenly I had to realize that bad things happen to good people (she was misdiagnosed with a bad back when she had womb cancer) I started my years of distrust the day she died
      All the things you think are concrete … Ate forever … Really aren’t … Everything is transient … Nothing is permanent … Nothing is forever
      My weight went up after my mum died but looking back… Like you .. I was curvy … My mum had an hourglass figure .. I did too …
      My dad died when I was 15
      I’d lived with my aunt after my mum died
      She was brilliant (she passed away 15 years ago …. I mourn the loss of two great women in my life
      Fast forward to today
      I dropped 80 pounds in weight
      I started loving myself again
      Today I find out my family STILL don’t like me … I heard things they’ve said aBout me
      Pitiful jealous beings that they are
      I educated myself
      I got a job
      I bought a house
      I gave my family time money and above all love
      They treated me like junk
      So Jeannie
      Do what I’m doing
      Cry a little
      Curse and swear a lot
      Know what YOU are better than the sum of all the others that slight you
      YOU matter
      And next time that brat butters anything so what I do … turn and say “you’ll need to speak louder so that everyone can hear how sour you really are my dear ”

      Then chuck her out on her sad bony arse

      Walk on
      Walk tall
      Head up
      Boobs out

      You’re you Jeannie
      I don’t think that little girl realized she just messed with a top selling author xxxxx
      From one big girl to another xxxx
      You’re a fab woman xxxx

    10. Anna Hartt says:

      I know how this feels. I have always been heavy. I look at pictures from high school and see I was not fat, but curvy. I would love to be at that weight today. I did have bariatric surgery, I have lost 120 pounds, but I STILL have doctors that say I need to lose weight. Hello, what do you think I am trying to do??? I have heard the you have such a beautiful face…. well guess what the rest of me is beautiful as well. Fat shaming is horrible. People do not see or know that being fat is also an illness. There are medications that make you gain weight. My body is now failing me. so adding exercise is not working. I have to accept me for me. I am happy with me, the rest can keep right on walking.

    11. Angela Evans says:

      I was always tall and thin all through my youth, and still always thought I needed to lose 10 pounds, have more toned thighs, and a tighter belly. When I turned 30 and got pregnant at the same time that all changed. I’m with you, I’m fat and I know it and I hate it. Nothing works. Nothing sticks. In my life it was like someone literally threw a switch and I went from thin to fat. I’ve had the mean comments thrown my way, I’ve had strangers ask when my baby is due, I’ve had family members ask if I wouldn’t like to be thin again “like you used to be” or make comments about how I used to be so pretty.

      The girl who said that to you doesn’t deserve any slack because of her age, she said it to be mean and it was mean. Somehow bullies always know where our weak spot is.

      There are so many worse things a person can be than fat. A bully, to name just one.

    12. Sheilagh Lee says:

      I agree with Angela unfortunately there are always bullies , but yes we should call our kids on that kind of behavior if only everyone did this would be better place.

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