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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The "F" Word

OhhhhKAY! As Dr. Phil says, "Stick a fork in me; I'm done!" I am a fat, fat woman. There is nothing else to it. There it is, in black and white. I am F-A-T.
It's funny; all of the words I find completely offensive begin with "F". Well, I do like one "F" word. It's the one I can say without cringing. It's the one I can do without being convinced. But the other members of the "F" family present, in blazing clarity, the source of my grief.

Once I reached the big 4-0, I started saying I was "Thirty-Ten," then "Thirty-Eleven," then "Thirty-Twelve". I couldn't bring myself to say I was Fo. For. Oh fuck (See? No problem with that one!). I'm Forty dammit. In fact, next month I'll be forty-five. On the humorous side of this (if there is one), my sister Loke and I are, at this moment, the same age. She had her birthday while we were in Hawai'i and until the beginning of September, we're both fo..for. For Chrissake. You know.

But honestly, age is not so much the issue to me anymore as it is that I'm fat. I can't call it anything else anymore. Not that I haven't known. I'm not naive and I'm certainly not stupid. I've always acknowledged that I have a weight problem and I've struggled with the reasons for that my whole life. I've come to realize that in my adult life, if I openly acknowledged my weight issues, then I beat everyone to the punch of what they're thinking. At least, that's how the game is played in my head. I'm surprized to find out after all these years of self-abuse that I may have been the only one playing. Sometimes anyway. People don't seem to care about my obesity NEARLY as much as I do. Except the young guy behind the cash register at the department store who looks right through me and asks the teenaged girl behind me if SHE needs any assistance. That's still almost a daily occurrance in my life. Which causes me to still continue to play that headgame on myself. To some, here in the "perfect" OC, I'm invisible. I always will be. I know it's stinking thinking, but it is what it is.

Last year, when I found my birth family, I had hoped that I would see that there was something genetic I could blame my fat on. I wanted to blame anything rather than myself. After meeting, I laughingly said to my siblings; "Crap! I'm the fat one! I had such hope...." That was my last hope. Something genetic. Nope.

The sad truth is that I ate myself into obesity all by myself. I didn't know it years ago, but it started out as a pain relief. In my childhood, it helped me forget that I was abused. Food didn't hurt me. In my teens, it turned into my protection. If I was "chubby", my dad's horny friends who I was supposed to call "Uncles This-or-That" didn't look at me "that way". It was my anti-rape tool. By this time, I'm so messed up and this is the way I reasoned things through. In my early adulthood, after I met the man of my dreams, who loves me thick, thin, and everything in between, food was just yummy and I loved every aspect of it.

Coming home from Hawai'i and looking at the pictures, I'm literally doubled over in pain. When we got on the plane, I prayed that I wouldn't have to ask for a seat-belt extender. I was elated to get past that as the standard buckle clicked into place, and yet the fact remained that I couldn't put the lap tray on the plane down in front of me. It didn't fit because of my belly, which made me curl up in embarrassment. Then, as we were disembarking, one of the flight attendants called me "Auntie". Normally, that would be welcomed. But this was no kid. He was probably my age and he was graying. Would he have called me "Auntie" if I was at a normal weight? I doubt it. Did he call my sister "Auntie"? After all, we're the same age. No, he didn't. Just me. The fat one.

I'm repulsed. I'm miserable. I'm disgusted. I'm done. It took every bit of courage I could muster to put those pictures on my blog. But I don't want to run away anymore and I can't erase myself from good memories. I just can't stand it one more day. I can't take the constant buzz in my head, the tapes playing over and over, the repetitive self-abuse. I've been through it all; every diet, every book, every gym. The thought of surgery is so sweet to me and yet it is not an option I want to grasp.

I need to change the thinking. I need to be kind to me. I need to teach myself new "F" words. Words like "funny", and "fabulous", and "forty is fine". I need to believe that I am loved "just because" (because I am), but I need to work hard to care for me and believe that I am worth the hard work ahead. I know all the health issues. I know how important all of this is. I know how much my kids and Charlie want me to be around. But I also know that I owe this to myself more than anyone else. I deserve to be okay with me. I deserve to not be haunted by these fat demons. I deserve to just love me. I just want a little less of me to love.


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