Does ‘it’ make me look FAT?

Melanie at sparksfromacombustiblemind posted a response to Beckie’s prompt, and I was tempted to as well as I could identify with the picture, but I got engrossed in other things ‘off-blog’.

This is the prompt (the link didn’t work for me , so this is Beckie’s site
https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/07/04/working-on-us-week-5/ )

Beckie has provided us some good questions vis a vis our body image and self esteem and so forth with her “Working on Us” series.  This is Week #5.

https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/07/03/july-3-2019-working-on-us-this-weeks-mental-health-prompts-for-blogging-community-week-5-questions-and-photo-prompts/

Rules:

  • Write your own post and create a pingback to the original post here.
  • There are no right or wrong answers.  Write in any format you see fit.  (Answer’s, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, poem, short prose…anything).
  • You can do one or all prompts.
  • You have from July 3rd. through to July 9th to submit your entries.
  • Please reblog the original post in order to spread more awareness.
  • If you the blogger have a suggestion/question you want to ask in the future weeks, please submit them in the comment section of this post.
  • Let’s see if we can get some men involved in this weeks prompts, your feelings a validated here too!
  • Plus, as an added bonus, whoever responds to the following prompts will automatically be reblogged to promote your blog site!

Questions:

Question #1  If an eating disorder isn’t about food or weight, what is it all about?  And, what has it done to you personally?

and

Question #2  What is the most difficult thing to handle with your disorder?  (This applies to everyone).


Lastly:   The Photo Prompt.  What does the photo bring to YOUR mind?

I have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, but have been on the receiving end of more than my fair share of taunts and ridicule because of my size.
I was never a chubby kid, but my battle with self image began at Grammar School thanks to a teacher who was forever berating me for being heavier than she thought I should be.
At 5 feet 7 inches, I weighed in at ten and a half stone. There were girls shorter and heavier than me but they were left alone as they came from ‘better backgrounds’.
It got to the stage where I was afraid to undress for gym or showers in front of my classmates, and the baggier my clothes, the happier I was.

Photos: left: compilation weights 1989, 97, 91  Right: at my heaviest  18½ stone in 2001

I have always been a ‘big girl’, but there are variants to the bigness, some medication induced, others comfort eating and depression, but most despairing was the constant put downs by friends and family to such an extent that I got the jokes in first about double chins, wobbly bits, and making a chalk mark when being cuddled.
I do not consider myself arm candy, but I’m not stupid, and I have feelings, feelings than run deep and are scarred. I was told not to be so sensitive or touchy as they teased about how much I ate (‘Does she never stop eating?’ at a wedding reception when I went up for some more sausage rolls), this being brought to the attention of all who’d listen.
In the end I wouldn’t eat in front of anyone except family, but I wasn’t a secret eater raiding cupboards at midnight or hiding things under my bed.
I tried to be what everyone expected or wanted me to be, and the result was meltdown.

The most difficult thing to handle is balance. It’s not just a balance of food, but attitude and sense of well being.
Being eligible for a free 12 week membership to Slimming World in 2016 was a life saver.
Had I not lost the weight we would not have found the lump so early, and my brush with breast cancer could have turned out very differently.
During my membership and the extensions I purchased, I lost almost three stone in weight. This is my favourite picture from that time and what I’m aiming for now.
I have learned a lot about food and although I had the right idea all those years ago about fruit and veg, I got the quantities and ratios wrong. I feel this is something that could be taught in schools, food groups and balance for a healthy diet. I’m no expert, and can only go by personal experience, but I started putting my progress, recipes and photos of meals here in my blog in the hope that it would help at least one person who had experienced the pain of being the wrong shape, the wrong height and the wrong weight with all the negativity that goes with it.
If we don’t like the way we look, we tend not to like ourselves, and if we don’t like the person we are, what’s the point of expecting anyone else to like us?

Which brings me to the picture.
I see a person who is afraid/ashamed/embarrassed to face the world, a person who cannot face themselves and turns away from reality to hide behind the scenes. It’s a sad picture, because the onlooker does not see the same image as the person concerned. This is where image plays a part as we convince ourselves we are unworthy, fat, unlikable and unloved, purely because we do not conform to what is considered ‘normal’, tick the boxes of charts designed by ‘professional experts’ who have probably never had a weight problem to contend with so have no understanding or compassion for those who do.
We are all individuals, we have talents, gifts and faults.  It is not the wrapping that counts, but what’s inside the package.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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17 Responses to Does ‘it’ make me look FAT?

  1. Sadje says:

    I love your interpretation of the picture and your conclusion. But how many look past the exterior.

  2. A most touching and heart rending post. You are right about how comments by others impact on your self image, often for life. I have thick ankles compared to many others and when I was young, some of the girls called me sausage legs and I have never forgotten it and I have never liked my ankles. I have also had several brushes with eating disorders with friends and family and they are horribly destructive to people.

    • These things do stay with you. My legs were referred to as tree trunks, and that was one of the kinder comments.
      Ex-Partner was forever critical of my hair, my makeup, my weight, my clothes, so getting out of that relationship was a must. Hubby loves ME, not a picture or fantasy, the real person and one I actually like now.

  3. Thank you so very much, for participating in Week #5 Prompt #2! Society places such a cruel emphasis on weight and when I read that other’s have added to someone else’s misery, it boggles my mind.
    I give you so much credit for taking charge of your life and by the grace of God, Thank God you did. Just t think if you didn’t find out about cancer, how extremely different your life would have been.
    Again, I sincerely thank you for sharing your story and personal pictures as well. You are certainly a true inspiration!!!

  4. Reblogged this on Beckie's Mental Mess and commented:
    REBLOG: “Pensitivity101” Participated in Week #5 Prompt #2 of “Working on Us” series. Her personal story regarding weight, but how losing weight revealed a terrible secret just in time.

  5. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    I never knew what women went through with their weight until I met my wife. At the time she worked out hard to lose weight because she was scared I wasn’t going to like her. But despite her size she was nothing short of awesome.

    We went hiking one time after we were married and she being “big” was a little slow on the trail… there were stairs we had to climb and the look I caught people giving as we went by were absurd. I guess they thought she was out of her element and should have been at home eating pizza and chugging it down with a Diet Coke…

    Anyway, family wasn’t anymore helpful. I’ve picked up on looks and things said amongst them. And they wonder why we don’t come around more often…

    It’s ridiculous, it really is.. we are a tear down culture. Even down to a family level. There is no such thing as “you’re pretty for a big girl”. If a woman is beautiful, she’s beautiful.

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