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Posts Tagged ‘Fat’

So, Operation Well-I’m-Beautiful-So-Why-do-I-Give-A-Fuck has kind of fallen to the wayside on this blog. But not in real life.

The other day, someone said something intending to intimidate me. And it worked. I left the room feeling very small and especially stupid. I didn’t have a comeback even though on way home I knew exactly what I wanted to say (isn’t that always the way), but the chance to hit back was over.

On my way home, as well as thinking what I should have said, I also started focusing on chocolate. My go-to food when I’m feeling happy, sad, stressed… anything. So I started scheming, what to buy, how many shops to go in without raising suspicion, and how to hide the food from my family when I got home. I fixated on the ‘food is the answer’ myth and before I wouldn’t have let it go. I would have obsessed about it, so even if I resisted and went home without binge food, I would have been craving it for  hours, if not until I indulged.

However, somethings changed. Well, I’ve changed. I am taking responsibility for my actions and how I feel. As Eleanor Roosevelt said ‘no one can make you feel inferior without your consent’. I really understand that now.

 

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Instead of pure negativity, the rant, instead of following the predictable line of:

My God I am stupid, it’s not that I’ve suddenly realised it, it’s just they’ve sussed me out. So I’m stupid and fat. Great, I’ve got some much going for me…

There was a small voice that piped up with: You have a degree.

Instead of my self-esteem spiralling downwards and the negative thoughts rising up until they’re at the brim, so close to spilling over and having a good cry or scream, emotions that I’d normally stuff back down with food… this tiny voice offered a ray of hope.

Yeah, actually, I do have a degree. A degree doesn’t necessarily mean you’re intellectual, nor do you have to have a degree to be an intellectual, but it’s one thing that shows I’m not stupid. And I know how hard I had to work to get in to University, as well as actually complete the course.

And then, when I’d acknowledged that thought rather than slam it down as a pointless argument, convincing myself that I only just managed to get into Uni and struggled through so they really only had to give me a degree and besides, don’t most people have a degree these days? I clung to that thought, the little ray of hope.

And then I went with it. After a while of resisting the idea that maybe everything in the world isn’t shit, I hasten to add. I’m not going to make this sound easy, talking myself out of a binge is fucking hard.

I decided that yes, I went to Uni, I am not stupid. And yeah, I’m overweight, but I’m taking steps to not binge and improve my eating. If I was doing amazingly well and losing weight really quickly, that would probably result in rapid weight gain after I’d finished restricting.

And I have friends. Very lovely friends, a friend came filming with me the other day, and a friend had me over to watch a scary movie last week. So I’m liked.

I’ve got a job now, which I’m doing ok with. I’ve improved on stuff and I think I’ve made some friends.

Yeah, so… I can’t be that bad. And maybe this person has some issues of their own. Maybe they were just having a bad day. It doesn’t matter, because it’s them who has the problem, putting that on me isn’t going to make anyone feel better, and food isn’t going to make all my problems go away. Otherwise I’d be problem-free by now.

So I went home, and I didn’t stress about food.

And It felt refreshing.

Hayley Emma

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In this song, ‘Pretty Girl Rock’ Hilson sings about her beauty and how girls can be jealous of her.

First of all, I think it’s great when someone has self-confidence and can believe that they are beautiful, whether they’re fat, thin, whatever. So although the British part of me is saying “how conceited!” the body image obsessed part of me is yelling “hooray!”

Secondly, I don’t take this song seriously.

But thirdly, it draws a parallel to Samantha Brick. Keri Hilson, however, got there first.

It’s the idea that if I woman says she’s pretty, and another woman either doesn’t like her, treats her differently or disagrees, then she is jealous. There’s no other explanation. Because, obviously, Keri is pretty, there is no denying that, so jealousy must be the reason that people disagree, right?

Even though I don’t hate anybody because they’re beautiful, I’m sure pretty girls don’t always get positive attention. I’m sure some women are jealous, but then with lyrics such as : ‘Pretty as a picture / Sweeter than a swisher / Mad ’cause I’m cuter than the girl that’s with you’ and ‘Girls think I’m conceited ’cause I know I’m attractive / Don’t worry about what I think, why don’t you ask him?’ I’m not surprised you’re getting negative attention, Keri, because you come off a little rude.

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Beauty is subjective. Keri Hilson is very beautiful in my opinion, but someone else might only find her mildly attractive, and another person will find her ugly. I think she’s got a nice figure, someone else may say it’s amazing and others may hate it. Nothing is going to change the definition of beauty, because it can’t be defined. It depends on your personal opinion. So why do we put so much of our self worth on whether we look beautiful to other people?

I don’t hate Keri Hilson because she’s beautiful. I think this song is about self-confidence and superficiality, and as I said, I’m not going to take it too seriously. What I completely agree with is that no one should be judged purely on their looks, and we shouldn’t judge ourselves on our looks either.

In my first CBT session I was asked to draw a pie chart of how important things in my life are. Needless to say, weight took up a good 90%, leaving little room for anything else. So all of my achievements, the Uni course I was on, my family and friends, my hobbies only got a share of 10%. Ever since I’ve been working on trying to lower my fixation on weight so I can spend more time appreciating my other attributes. Weight is still a huge part of the pie. But as long as I continue to place all of my self-worth on my weight, I won’t be happy. I will never be perfect, and I’m learning to embrace that.

It’s natural to make snap decisions about people based on their looks, we all do it to some extent. I’d love to be able to change it though, by encouraging people to question why they assumed the guy with dreadlocks is a hippie, or the girl covered in tattoos is aggressive. And to note just how many times their pre-conceived judgement was wrong. Just like if I was jealous of Keri Hilson, I’d ask myself is it my own insecurities that are making me jealous? Why does her beauty matter to me?

What do you think, are we ever going to stop judging people on their looks? Or are we, as a society, set in our ways?

Hayley Emma

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This formerly bigger girl completely gets how ‘fat chicks’ are portrayed and, subsequently, feel. Katie is brilliant and funny, and this post gets a big fat thumbs up from me. (See what I did there?! Wit is my middle name. Sort of.)
Hayley Emma

Sass & Balderdash

I’ve been everywhere on the overweight spectrum; I’ve ranged from being chubby to being obese for most of my life. It’s only within the past year that I’ve lost weight and fought, scratched, and clawed my way into smaller proportions. I’m all too familiar with the fruitless pursuit of reasonably cute XL-sized shirts, the rummaging for jeans that fit well everywhere, and the struggle to feel confident in the paltry amount of clothes I found that actually fit. Such is the plight of a fat chick.

Apparently, I’m not fat anymore. The number on the scale is telling me this. My friends, family, and co-workers have likewise made me aware of this, too. I know they’re all right. Rationally, I’m cognizant of the fact that for the first time in my life, I’m at a healthy, average weight, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly stop being a fat…

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Aswell as being stylish and gorgeous, Greta has one of the best attitudes towards fat. This post of Greta’s holds one of my favourite paragraphs I’ve read on a blog:

The correct recognition of fat would be that it’s a substance within ones body. As you say, “I have an allergy.” You don’t say, “I am an allergy.” You say, “I have a headache.” You don’t say, “I’m headache.” And you say “I carry fat.” You don’t have to say, “I am fat.” Fat is a substance, not an identity.

Love, love, love. Fat is not an identity. It is not my identity. Today I’m holding my head held high, because I am not fat, I merely carry it.

Thank you, Greta!

Emma

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Georgia Davis is the Britain’s fattest teenager. She was the fattest teenager in 2008 when she weighed 33 stone and won a scholarship to the Wellspring Academy in America. She lost 15 stone at Wellsprings, a weight loss boarding school.

I watched the documentary about Georgia going to Wellspring and really felt for her. 33 stone is a lot to weigh at any age, let alone 15 years old. She looked so different, her face, her attitude. She discovered her issues started when her Dad passed away when she was just 4 years old. At wellspring the children are put on a 1,500 calories-a-day menu as well as incorporating exercise into their every day lives. What I like about Wellspring is that they use CBT to determine how the weight was gained in the first place and how to avoid falling into the same traps.

A couple of weeks ago I googled Georgia Davis because I hadn’t heard anymore from her in the media. Surely if she returned to wellspring and lost the rest of the weight she’d be in the newspaper?

That’s when I read this Daily Mail article about Georgia having put on all that she’d lost and more, becoming 40 stone at 17 years old.

There’s a lot of speculation of the lack of care from her mother – as Georgia is her mother’s carer. In this interview with This Morning she also said that her first meal home from Wellsprings was chips. (It’s not a great video, there’s some fast-forwarding going on and the first 2 minutes are pointless.)

A couple of weeks ago my Dad told me a girl had to be removed from her home in Wales as she was so obese she was immobile. The ambulance and firemen had to remove a wall in order to get her out because she was so big and couldn’t walk. I knew that it was Georgia and another google search confirmed my fears.

She’s reached 63 stone. My heart sank. She’s 19 years old and had to be removed from her home because she couldn’t walk out the front door.

It’s clear to me that she has some kind of Eating Disorder, some unsolved, abusive relationship with food. You don’t get to 63 stone by just eating the’ wrong kind of food’ or ‘overeating a bit’. And yet still I read some of the comments and was shocked by the utter ignorance and hatred towards her.

I have worked in the fitness industry for 6 years. I’m sorry to say that almost every morbidly obese person I have come across is that way because they are lazy, greedy and insist that it’s someone elses fault they are over weight. There have been few exceptions. Despite free/subsidised training and concentrated efforts from trainers to motivate them, all you hear is how they only eat salad and yet somehow are 10-15 stone over weight.

I’m sure this girl has got problems, but then, havent we all? Yes she deserves a chance, but hasn’t she already had that?!

Tough love is needed here. Fat discrimination IS okay. It should not be taught to youngsters that it’s okay to abuse ones body and to increase the risk of numerous diseases.’

So many things wrong with this I don’t know where to start.

Stop making excuses for her. She’s fat cos she over-eats. That’s it. It’s not rocket science. She brought it on herself. With regards to your comment about people don’t pick on the skinny – they do.

Once again, it’s a fool’s errand to care for either. Eat healthily, exercise, and manage your diet. It’s dead simple. However, if she really wants to be fat, and by overeating she confirms as much – then I don’t think the society should pay for her. Similarly we shouldn’t pay for anorexic’s vitamin treatments when they collapse from lifting  finger.

If she is fat because of some cancer or some hormonal imbalance then my apologies and she deserves all the care in the world. It’s not her own fault then.

Proof – check the posts on Victoria Beckham on this site (The Sun). You’ll find plenty of people having a go at her skeletal weight.’

It’s dead simple, guys. No need for complicated psychological reasoning… it’s just dead simple. Both of these comments are from The Sun.

But there were some comments that made me glad at least some people are clued up.

For some people, Food is an addiction in the same way drugs & alcohol are for some, it delivers the same ‘high’ in the brain as drugs & alcohol.

Trouble is, middle class alcoholics and drug addicts can keep their addictions private and out of sight, whereas obese people’s addictions are visible to all.

Anyone who thinks people get like this simply through laziness and greed are just plain ignorant.’

This comment is from The Guardian. Georgia has already mentioned that she feels addicted to food, takes responsibility for her actions and desperately needs help. Apparently, to knock her bedroom wall down, build a bridge to wheel her to the ambulance and have a specialist bed in the hospital it cost £100,000 of taxpayers money, and a lot of the bullies (Georgia had to shut down her facebook page because she was being cyberbullied) say that they aren’t being sizeist, they’re merely angry that their money is being spent on someone who got herself into this situation.

I can understand this, but then if someone developed lung cancer from smoking, as a non-smoker I still want that person to get medical care. I agree people do get themselves into these situation – I put the food into my own mouth, as did Georgia, but it’s not quite as simple as that.

Her father died, her stepfather has lung cancer, she is her mother’s carer… she hasn’t exactly led a privileged life. She has no choice but to accept help from the NHS, she hasn’t got the money to pay for private healthcare. Her addiction, her Eating Disorder is on show for everyone to see. And she’s 19.

A lot of different opinions are swimming around the net. I’d like to know yours, but even if you disagree entirely and think it is all Georgia’s fault, please be respectful.

Emma

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I went to a dress fitting the other day and it’s kind of, ever so slightly… diminished my confidence. I mean, what little confidence I had built up from making big improvements in shoving my Eating Disorder out of the forefront of my mind. I’m aware that someone I know and love very much might read this , as she’s directly involved, and I hope she won’t take offence. This is a blog about Eating Disorders and body image, and I have to write about this particular problem a) I’ve got to get it off my chest and b) I’m sure I’m not alone.

I went for a bridesmaid’s dress fitting, and me and a pregnant woman swapped dresses – I’m not even kidding. The depressing thing is most of my weight isn’t even on my stomach. Truth be told my dress was too big up top, so we swapped and it fit in some areas but has to be altered on my thighs. I was stood in the shop, people walking around, in a strapless dress, showing my upper arms in front of people I’ve never met – something I have never done because my arms are horrendously fat – and I felt like the ugliest duckling in a room full of swans.

To make it worse, when me and one of the bridesmaid’s swapped dresses, in order to save time the seamstress took 2 of us in the changing room and whipped both of our dresses off. She, the pregnant woman, had leggings on (why the fuck didn’t I think of that?!) but I didn’t. I stood in my underwear, waiting for a dress to be put over my head and shimmied down.

We both laughed at the situation – she has no idea of my Eating Disorder or body image issues – and I jokingly tried to cover up as much of myself as I possibly could. At the time the only thing I could have done is laugh, and it lightened the mood, but inside I was panicking.

“Enough. Too much. I am done with this.” I wanted to run out of the shop, into a newsagent, grab some grade a binge food and get as far away from reality as possible. I couldn’t be happy for the bride or the other bridesmaid and I lost sight of the what we were there for. My friend, who is wonderful, is getting married to the guy she loves and it’s lovely. I’m so happy for her, I want her day to be perfect and I want to shut my mouth, shut off my thoughts, and enjoy the process of being a bridesmaid. I want to ensure that my friend gets everything she’s worked so hard for, and most importantly, witness a beautiful day where she marries the person she’s going to be with for the rest of her life.

I want to be ‘relaxed’ like Annie from Bridesmaids.

I wish more than anything, more than being slim for the wedding (!!) that I could stop worrying about my body and do this. Unfortunately, I can’t shut off my thoughts. I can, however, work hard to lose just a bit of weight before the wedding, especially on my arms which might possibly (oh my god, the thought makes me cringe with shame) be on show. I can get a fake tan, get a mani/pedi and get eyelash extensions… in other words, I can try to make myself feel as beautiful as possible… despite my horrific body.

I know this isn’t just an Eating Disorder thing: how severe is your negative body image?

Emma

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A couple of weeks ago my therapist asked me to bring in some pictures of me as a child. I find it very difficult to talk about my weight as a child and it always upsets me when I really think about it.

However in the comments for my last post buckwheatsrisk asked me about when I first started my obsession with my body and I realised this is a pivotal moment.

I was never skinny, but I didn’t become overweight until the later years of primary school. My mum is convinced genes do play a part in weight differences, as my brother weighed less than me when he was born and I gained weight as a child much quicker than him. His weight has never been as issue for him.

I was shapely and was almost as tall as the boys in my final year of primary school, and so I can understand why my friend at the time said what he did. We were talking in the classroom; it was year 3 I think, so we must have been around 8 years old. Let’s call him Bill. Bill and I sat next to each other most of the time when he said something along the lines of “You’re different.”

I couldn’t see the difference between him and me, apart from the fact that he was a boy, obviously.

“No I’m not.” I said.

“Yes, you are: you’re fat.”

I remember looking down at my royal blue primary school jumper as if for the first time, the fact that I was fat slowly dawning on me. I felt embarrassed, not only because I was fat but because I didn’t know it and everyone else did. I was stupid, completely oblivious to such an obvious flaw.

I can remember the shame because I feel it every time I look at myself in a mirror or step outside the house. The need to be ‘normal’, to be a normal weight was overwhelming. It stayed with me, and it’s still with me now. If I wasn’t slim, then I wasn’t normal. I’m wondering whether the weight I did put on, maybe through overeating and bingeing, I don’t know, might have been puppy fat. I knew plenty of boys and girls who all suddenly, without changing their diet or exercise habits, lost weight in the early years of secondary school. After all, I was never obese at that age.

I wonder how I gained weight, because my diet didn’t change. I ate more or less the same as my brother who was skinny as a child and still has never had any weight issues. The thought of actually researching this and coming up with concrete answers makes me want to bury my head in the sand. I don’t think it’s going to help me get over my problems, so for now I’m leaving it as a mystery. The main thing to note is that I was overeating in secret past the age of 8, and so weight gain was inevitable.

What do you think; do genetics play a part in body type? What about Eating Disorders? Can you remember when your weight or eating problems started?

Emma

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