Being Called FAT. It hurts. And you don’t forget.

Hello POPsters,

Yesterday I announced the winners of the Kallisti Body chain. The winners were selected based on their thoughtful answers to “What makes you feel beautiful?” One entry that particularly touched me was Cari Garvey’s. She talked about how growing up people taunted her for her size and how she will never forget the hurt that she endured for being overweight.

Her story touched me because I know the hurt. I was once called fat. It was 13 years ago. I was at a family birthday party, we were all eating together at this long table with all sorts of wonderful foods laid out. I was thoroughly enjoying my plate along with my mom and sister. Then this little girl who was probably a year or two younger than me looks at me and says “Why are you so fat?”

I stopped chewing. My eyes welled up with tears. The edges of my lips curled and I fought the quivering frown overcoming my face. I dropped my fork. Ran into another room. Cried. The kind of crying where you can’t stop and you can’t breathe.

It wasn’t long before my mom chased after me and held me in her arms. She didn’t know what happened but she did try to calm me down. When I could finally catch my breathe to tell her, she laughed it off, saying that the little girl didn’t know anything and that she didn’t mean it. I eventually stopped crying. But it didn’t matter. Kids tell the truth. And the truth was, I was fat. I’ll never forget.

I was 11 years old at the time and chubby. In my yearbook pictures, I had a double chin when I smiled. It was hard to find jeans that fit me. But none of it had even bothered me up until that point. I didn’t even know I was fat. I was active, happy, doing well in school, and had friends. That was all that mattered. But from that point on, I became self conscious. I lost confidence. Body image then became something I was constantly aware of. My body dictated my feelings.

Luckily as I reached puberty, I naturally leaned out as I grew taller. In high school, I was on the Varsity tennis team for 4 years and didn’t ever have to think about working out. It was just part of my routine. I didn’t know much about nutrition either so I’d notice that I’d get skinny on season and gain weight off season/in the summer. One September when I got back to school one of my closest friends straight up told me “You look bigger.” I clearly remember defending myself, saying “No, it’s just the sweater, really I didn’t.” I begged her to understand. It was like I was fighting for skinny. It hurt so much. That was 8 years ago. I was 16.

I would say that from that conversation on, I began my struggle with body image satisfaction. No, I never had an eating disorder or anything, but I can confess that I am very hard on myself when I look in the mirror. I see things I wanna improve, just like any other girl. It’s a bad habit, but being the perfectionist that I am, the goals get harder and harder to reach every time.

Do you know that every time I put up a new video, I have this fear that one of the commenters will say “looks like you got fatter”? I don’t think it’s happened yet, but it’s bound to. I’ve lost definition and put on a few pounds since I moved back to the West Coast. Not gonna lie. I can envision this happening when I read the fat comment…I will freeze up, have chills run down my spine, and think back in detail to when I was 11.

Being called fat is something that is offensive and hurtful. It’s something I can forgive, but I cannot forget. Being called fat is a personal attack on your most vulnerable self. It’s a physical insult that leaves an emotional scar.

But like anything else, we must move on to continue growing. Where do you go from here? You begin by removing yourself from that person or the situation that is making you feel horrible. You are still amazing, regardless of what you look like. (Remember how content I was before that girl called me fat?) If you choose to change your physical appearance/lose weight, then do it with passion and know that you’re doing it for the right reasons. Confidence. Health. Fitness. Then enjoy the journey. Find happiness in your day to day struggles and happiness when you reach your destination. Life is too short to be sad over things like this. Just keep remembering that you are resilient and that you can conquer anything you put your mind to. You just need to want it badly enough.

QUESTION: Are you hurt when someone calls you fat? How did you feel and what did you do to make things better?

PS: I’m banning the word “fat” from my vocab, and you should too. That’s no way to describe a person.

Comments

  1. I am 14 years old, and the other night, I was on younow, a live video chat app, with my two pretty, skinny, blonde-haired, blue-eyed friends. I was having a great time, until one comment appeared on the screen “the girl on the far right is a little bit fat?” I looked at it, immediately realizing he was talking about me. I brushed it off, laughing about it, and being sarcastic, so I didn’t look hurt at all, when in reality, my weight has been something I’ve struggled with for years. My sisters used to joke about it at dinner with the family, not realizing that I had gone to the bathroom and gagged myself until I threw up. I’ve tried countless diets, and downloaded hundreds of weight loss apps, and calorie counting websites. I don’t know what to do anymore. My family and friends say I’m not fat, but I know. I can’t go in changing rooms at clothing stores without sitting, looking at myself in the mirror and trying not to cry. I’m constantly covering up my stomach with my hands, making sure no one can see my stomach. I make myself sick. I don’t know what to do and I want is to be confident in myself.

  2. I am going to the weight. Clinic but i need results to have. Them stop. Pushing me around..it hurts tosee me in pictures. Fat not one good pictures. With myfamily help

  3. Every one calls me miss piggy in my family. I am 300 pounds i need to lose about 150 pounds help me i needs support please

  4. I am extremely hurt. I’m 16 years old, 5’2′, and 126 pounds. I’m usually very happy with my weight and I execrise almost daily and enjoy it. Sometimes I just feel like I’ve made tons of progress and I’m so happy with myself. My mom is Asian though and I inherited my dads larger frames body, so my mom constantly yells at me and calls me fat, saying that I should lose 10 more pounds and I’ll finally be pretty. It really hurts me and makes me ashamed and feel like all the work I did was worthless. So far I havent found anything to make myself feel better, but when I do I know I’ll be 100x happier.

  5. I’m a 14 years old girl, 157 cm and my weight is 50 kg which
    I’ve been called fat too, by someone I don’t even care about but it still hurt me, because I find myself too fat too.
    I seriously wish boys would think before they speak, they can be so rude to girls…

  6. Hi, i’m Heli and i’m 16. My height is 152cm and i weigh 56kgs. Being called fat is of course the meanest thing and its a really sharp weapon that ‘those people’ carry with their mouths. It hurts me at first when people called me fat but then i get used to it. This is a bad habit but so many people called me fat so it doesnt bother me much now. But these days as my dad knows about my weight (which i hid from him) he started blaming on me for eating ao much n he shouted at me infront of his workers n he kept on shouting the same things over and over until i cant take it anymore and my tears dropped, i wanted to hold it in but i cant help it then i ran upstairs and started crying so hard that i couldnt breathe it hurts so bad. Ive never been to that type of situation before and now im crying while telling this here because he just said things to me again and it hurts real bad. Ive been crying for half an hour now i just cant stop m sorry but is it all my fault for eating so much for being fat?? Cant i just be happy with what m doing?? Of course every girls want to be pretty and skinny but its not easy for fat girl like me. I have nobody to fight on this with me and it hurts me to the point where i dont want them to see me lose to see me fight this battle.

Trackbacks

  1. […] not the “naturally skinny” type. I know my body. I was a chubby kid. You can read the story here that still haunts me sometimes. I cannot eat a hamburger with fries a few times a week and get away […]

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  4. […] Being Called FAT. It hurts. And you don’t forget. | BlogilatesDec 21, 2011 … Growing up in middle school and high school I was always a “chubby” girl. I had no idea about health, fitness, or how to treat my body. I ate fast … « Computer technician […]

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