fat bitch

In ALL, JUDY BLUME MOMENTS by Stephanie Klein50 Comments

“Because when you’re a fat kid like I was,” can take you just so far.  You can only grip onto that excuse for so long before it becomes trite.  Yes, poor you, poor over-privileged, over-fed, upper-middle everything girl.  It’s time to stop clinging to that shit as your identity.  It’s not who you are anymore.  God, there’s way worse out there.  Just get the fuck over yourself.  Then I took a step away from the mirror and politely responded, “Eat me.”   

Yes, there are people starving in Africa, people missing their limbs, dying of terminal cancers, and I have the nerve to complain about the cellulite on my pasty white ass.  Why don’t you just get over yourself, stop being so shallow, and realize there are a lot more things in life to worry about than your weight?

Sound accurate enough?  The ones asking don’t want to hear the answer. Are there people out there with harrowing childhood memories filled with abuse and unspeakable stories?  Absolutely.  I’m not one of them.  I had two parents who loved me, provided for me.  I’ve been extremely fortunate and lucky, but it doesn’t make my struggle any less real.  It temporarily puts things into perspective, sure, but the emotional issues don’t dissolve upon the intellectual acknowledgment that it can always be worse.

Comments

  1. Oh crap. I hope the haters haven't found their way to you again.

    Yes; negative human experience does exist along something of a continuum, but that doesn't mean the pain attached to each is exponentially related to those that neighbor it. Just because my apartment and many belongings were ruined only by a tropical storm doesn't make my devastation any less valid than those who lost homes during a tsunami.

    There is a time for bucking up and gaining perspective: like the PMS-induced bawling I may or may not have experienced when a full pan of my gorgeous mac and cheese emptied onto the living room floor. Ingrained messages or experiences that somehow impair our every day are an entirely different story.

    Cheers.

  2. My pasty white ass and I thank you for another bold, honest post. I too grew up loved and praised and proud. And obviously well fed. I live with a man I have been in love with for 33 years, who loves me back. Even if I am more than slightly heavier than I was when we married. Yeah, things could be worse. Always.

  3. No matter how big your problems are, there will always be somebody else's whose are bigger. Is that really a contest that you want to win?

    I very much enjoy your blog and have lots of "You go, girl!" moments reading about your life and the way it changes, and your perspective with it. Keep up the good work.

  4. It's usually the people who never dealt with the issue that seem to think we're "shallow". It has nothing to do with "shallow".
    I remember having a huge crush on a boy in 8th grade. My friends "arrranged" to have him dance with me at the 8th grade social. At the end of the school year, my girlfriend sent him a note and asked him to come to an end of the school year party. He sent her a note back that asked, "Is Fat Thing McCann going to be there?". I will never forget how humiliated I was or how hard I cried. Like you, I had an idyllic childhood. But body image follows you forever. Now I'm 46, I look great, and I'm happy. But I'll always see Joel Grimm's (see? I still remember) note when I look in the mirror.

  5. If those are the values you were raised with, you WERE abused. This explains a lot.

  6. Suffering is all relative.
    It shouldn't be a competition about who suffered/is suffering more.
    Unfortunately this seems to be a common theme in the blog world- who's suffering is the most valid?

    I am 34 weeks pregnant with my third pregnancy- I lost the first two. There are women who have lost more pregnancies than me, or can't get pregnant at all, but that doesn't make my losses any less painful.

    Keep on keeping on Stephanie.

  7. Oo-whee, this one hurts in an all-too-familiar way. I know it seems like a luxury to some to worry about weight, but when you grow up being taught to do it, and being judged by it, it sure doesn't feel like a luxury.

    I was overweight from age 11 to 17, with some stops at 20 and 30 lbs lighter along the way. I joined every weight-loss plan known to woman and now still tense up and feel anxious and weak when I eat a food that was forbidden back then. I weigh less now than I did when I was in junior high, and I've grown up to be someone described as a beauty–though I don't believe it when people say it. I know they wouldn't have said it back then. I'll never forget Mike calling me a "fat, nasty bitch" (age 14) or Brook calling me ugly (12) or some jerk at the beach jokingly saying "heyyyy, baby" at me in my swimsuit (13). Even my dad, who I know loved me, though he was also embarrassed by me, had a name for me that commented on my size.

    Psychological and emotional torment is insidious. And when you grow up, you don't just "get over it"–it's a part of who you are. As far as I can tell, you just learn to live with the memories and try to be merciful with yourself and others. Still working on that.

    Thanks for the post, Stephanie.

  8. Completely off topic but… I was in a Barnes and Noble today and wanted to buy your book, not b/c I'm a divorcee or live in NYC, but b/c you're damn funny and make me realize that the drama in my life isn't that big or important and that men aren't always worth the effort. (and a side note on an off topic, there were 3 or 4 posts in a row that i swear you wrote to me) But alas, it wasn't there. I was less than pleased. Is it just easier to buy it online?

    FROM STEPHANIE: Yes, it's easier to buy it online, right now, because stores are ramping up for the paperback, which will be released in June. And, thanks.

  9. Heres a well kept secret about motherhood — it is nearly impossible to be as thin as you were before you were pregnant. Just like it's difficult to be as thin as you were single once you get married. As a mom, there's little time for the gym, exhaustion breeds bad food choices, your body can be irrevicably changed. You don't want to spend your free time at the gym, and you want to join your kids in fries and fun. It may take a while, but you will gain a new self acceptance. And it's important to talk that talk and walk that walk for Abigail's sake, so she only learns that weight matters very little as long as you are healthy, and happy.

  10. Somebody's problems will always be bigger than yours. And so will somebody's ass. What you see in the mirror impacts the way you feel, and THAT impacts how you relate and contribute to the world. There's nothing shallow about trying to be the best you can be.

  11. I was a bit chunky when I was in middle school, and these old, Korean ladies at church used to tell me I was "a little husky"… but for some weird reason, I never believed them. Once I grew out of my fat phase and saw pictures, holy crap, they weren't lying. I guess I'm glad now that my parents never pushed me too far to lose weight and that I never believed those tactless ladies.

    and yeah, I'm not gonna lie, I feel the pressure to be at a certain weight still.

  12. It was weight for you, and many others too. For me, it was my 'look'. I was always considered 'ugly' growing up. Tortured by a boy named Sam, who, as one poster stated above, I still hear echoing in my head if I even dare to go out with no make-up. Irony is since I had a child who had the genetic equivalent of a bomb blowing up in his face, beauty has a whole new meaning to me. I'd go through a thousand Sams if it would have guaranteed that my future children would never know the pain of what it's like to be judged by looks and what our society deems perfect. Yup, all about perspective and what is reflected back to us by the culture/society in which we are raised. Things could always be worse, they could always be better. It goes much deeper than getting over our pasty white asses. After all, aren't we all products of the expectations set upon us? I bet if our thoughts could be broadcasted for the world to hear… if only for a day… most people would be saying, "I'm ok… I'm ok… I'm ok… aren't I???"

  13. Your post hit the nail on the head for me. I was married for 30 years and NEVER looked quite right for the husband. When I was the at my all time low weight my thighs needed work and at my all time high (a very curvasious size 12-14) he thought I was a heifer. I divorced him (and took all the money), but find that I have a hard time shaking off his opinion of me. It's been 2 years and I feel that I am finally ready to step out and have a date. I feel invisiable. 50 year old men don't want to date 50 year old women,,,,,they want to date 30 year old women. Seems I can't effing win.

    The pisser is this,,,,,I am fun & cute. I am very successful in a PR position with a highly successful company. I have many friends, but not one man looks at me with "that look". I want to believe it is not my weight. I am so much more than a number on the scale. oh gee

  14. I just wanted to thank you and echo this post. This stuff isn't easy. Would we have different problems living in different places under different conditions? Of course. But we are who we are and have our problems based on whatever from whomever or whenever. I was just at a dinner party in which I felt guilty about every thing I ate because as soon as I got their the host told me that I had lost weight and looked good. Well great, but now I can't eat. I have to maintain.

  15. Stephanie,

    Does it worry you how you'll likely pass down all your food issues and weight insecurities to your daughter? As you've said so many times, a lot of it was rooted in childhood and in your parents' attitudes (spoken and unspoken)…

  16. Phew. I thought you read my blog and were talking to me at first.

    My husband adores me but it doesn't make me feel any better about my weight. You can have all the support in the world but how you feel inside is what it is.

  17. I'm curious about a few things:

    How will you react if your daughter is fat? Whether in childhood, teens, adulthood, etc.

    What will you tell her as she's growing up? Will you teach her how to count calories? Will you tell her no one likes fat girls? Will you send the message that thin is better? Will you imply that her life will be easier if she's thin?

    And will your message to your son be different? What will you teach him about how he determines the worth of a person he is interested in dating? That only thin girls have worth? He doesn't want to be seen with the fat girl?

    Or will you teach them both that it truly IS the inside of a person that matters and that they must treat everyone equally and see past their exterior – whether it be weight, skin color, ethnicity, etc?

    How much thought have you given this, if any at all, since they are still babies?

    Because I truly believe that a child is the product of their parent. Racism is taught. Prejudice is taught. Treatment of others is taught. If a child displays any unsavory characteristics at a young age, in my opinion, the parent has not done a very good job and what that child does know, and how they act, is a direct reflection of their parents.

  18. My parents would reserve the comments about such things until after they had passed. I promise, this was no better. It was such a mindfuck. It meant "we've been watching you all this time, and now it is time to render our judgment openly to you. Listen to what we think of you."

    To wit: "When you got back from Spain we joked that you had gained your Freshman 15 not when you were a college freshman, but rather when you were 15!"

    Or: "Last summer you and Cassie looked like a couple of seals up on those starting blocks at the swim meet. Not muscled per se, just sleek. You're much leaner this year."

    And: "You're much thinner now than last Christmas. I really didn't care for that whole cashmere wrap thing and the scarf with every outfit. It was as if you were hiding something."

    I am really hoping you're working through this with "Moose." No doubt that's what this post was about, at least in part.

    It never really goes away, though. Even when it's a terrible, rotten day, and I'm wearing the 27 jeans, at least something is right in the world. Small potatoes, but I'll take whatever I can get sometimes, however shallow. They taught me well – 'tis better to look good than to feel good!

  19. I am probably stepping off way too deep here since this will be my third comment…and I just found this lovely place yesterday. But here goes. My disclaimer first: I know no more than anyone else about pain and suffering and for the most part, a minute amount compared to most. But…there are only 7 people on the face of the Earth that can hurt my feelings. And they can because I have given my consent. My husband and my 6 children. None of them would hurt me deliberately. Even my own mother doesnt have the power to hurt my feelings, she pisses me off fairly regularly, but doesnt hurt my feelings. She knows this. I have told her many times. Not as a reminder for me, but for her. It is her cue to back off. I have a dear, dear friend whom I am constantly working on to help her over this "life hurdle". DO NOT LET PEOPLE HURT YOU. IF they do, it is your fault not theirs, so dont blame them. She is a lot younger than I am but our kids are friends. I think the last helpful thing I told her was that her girls would grow up and have the same hurts if she didnt get past them herself. She was teaching her girls that it is okay to let people walk on their feelings by letting people walk on hers. In my life that is NOT OKAY. I have been called a bitch more times than I will ever be able to count. I told my husband not long ago that I was sorry one of his brothers (probably all of them but who cares?) thought I was such a bitch. He said to me "that's not a bad thing. it just means he knows he can't walk all over you." And that is really all it ever means I suppose. Hopefully I have raised my girls to know when it is appropriate to be a bitch.

  20. "It temporarily puts things into perspective, sure, but the emotional issues don't dissolve upon the intellectual acknowledgment that it can always be worse." What an incredibly brave, spot-on and 100% accurate statement. Bravo, Ms. Klein, bravo! You are dead on and I'm grateful for it.

  21. I suppose cognitive therapy can do some good at replacing those negative feelings.

    I guess it also depends on how someone is raised and what they are taught to value. Should the woman be striving to have the men beating down her door or to have other types of successes. I suppose it's all individual, and maybe some or all women can have both.

    I think men experience some of this too. I'm sure the boys that were called "tub of lard" or other such terms of endearment may have similar weight issues.

  22. Another way of looking at it: there will always be someone out there whose ass is bigger.

  23. Stephanie,

    How well I understand this post! I was a thin child and thin adult until my early thirties when my thyroid went kaput. I gained 40 pounds during that time and felt that everyone thought I certainly must be stopping off at Duncan Donuts at every turn when the truth was something far different.

    After my complete thyroidectomy three years ago I immediately lost 30 of those pounds. I still am hanging on to that last ten and it won't budge. One thing I will never forget though is when a man I dated after my divorce said to me…"your body is borderline to what I find attractive…"

    That one statement went in so deep and hurt so much. I still am trying to get past that and regain my confidence..but I think that one statement will be with me for a long time…

    Feel what you feel – it certainly does not take away from the other things we have empathy for in the world – I still care about those who are hungry, have cancer, abuse, etc.

    xoxo,
    Ladybug

  24. Look, of course there is a whole world out there and as humans we should give part of our resources participating in it. But there's other equally valid ways to spend your time and energy, and learning to love yourself is surely one of them. It is too bad that we live in such a superficial world but it is really that way. And I think when parents (Brogan – who said it was her father?) give you advice like what you're indicating about 'no one likes fat girls' what they're probably trying to do is tell it to you straight, so that you'll get in line and play the game by those rules (ie, pretty people have it easier and get ahead), which they probably rightly assume will save you a lot of pain and frustration. And saving you from that heartache is a good thing for a parent to want.

    However, I think what gets lost in that message is how important the bottom line (ha) is – that no matter what, no matter whose rules you're being subjected to at the moment, you have to love yourself first and foremost. And when you're young and impressionable and steadily internalizing the rules that you'll take with you through life, to be internalizing that you're not worthy or loved because you're not physically attractive is a really tough rule to have in your arsenal. Superficial beauty is fleeting and hard to attain or maintain for the majority of people out there. And you can say that you rely on other things for confidence, like the fact that you're smart and charming, or whatever, but if you feel like that's not valuable, or if it is but the being pretty thing is what _really_ matters, than of course you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of compensating for and working on that.

    Don't beat yourself up because you're focused on that instead on Darfur. But maybe do try to change what you value in yourself and in others. I think that when people tell you to remember your small place in this big world, perhaps what they're trying to suggest is that when you can find your worth through things like successfully participating in the world using your head and heart, you've got a much better shot at long term happiness.

  25. I recently wrote about first grade in Long Island, and I clearly remember saying to a girl named Nancy across the classroom, "Oh my god, you're SOOOO skinny!" and her saying back to me, "No I'm not, but you are!"

    She was lying but being nice; I was telling the truth. :)

    The sad thing is, I also remember being two or three years old and getting up from the sandbox in our backyard where friends were, and going to my bedroom, ashamed of my baby chub spilling over as I sat on my knees in the sand. I couldn't articulate that to my mom when she came looking for me, but I was embarrassed by my fat, and didn't feel worthy, didn't feel I belonged among my thin, pretty friends.

  26. I think Kelly has a good point here.
    All the issues (food etc) we have as adults are something that was brought on us by our families or friends. It was something they said or did or something they passed on from their childhood.
    I just blogged about eating disorders on my blog and it`s big thing for me and many other people. I would love to read Moose and hear your thoughts on this topic

  27. One of the things that I learned this year (I'm 28) in what I truly feel was a coming of age process is that I can love my parents, know they were wonderful providers, caring, loving giving, and at the same time also realize that they raised me with some values that caused damage, even unintentionally (in my case not explicit focus on appearance, but rather a focus on high achievement that I translated as perfectionism and later manifested in an eating disorder during college). To see my parents as human, as loving and wonderful but also imperfect, helped me to hold and heal those wounds to an extent I hadn't when I pretended they hadn't existed, that my parents could have done no wrong. Different from your situation too, but sometimes interesting to look and see where these patterns came from, where the roots are, and decide that you don't want to do the same for your children – that this stops now.

  28. Though your parents didn't abuse you physically or emotionally and were great in every other way, you must admit that they ingrained these weight issues in you. It wasn't about your size or what the scale read, for there are some overweight people who grow up feeling loved for exactly who they are, rolls and all. So really, to be blunt, the fact that you have these issues is your parents' fault. (Which, of course, is fine; parents can do a whole lot more than that to fuck up a child.) But what I am really curious about is how you don't tend to blame them. At least not on your blog (the childhood stories about hurtful things your father said are reported in a very matter-of-fact way without any bitterness). Perhaps you are simply a better person than I am, for I find it quite easy and rather gratifying to blame my parents! Even though your parents' sizist notions are no worse than those of our society, aren't you just a bit pissed off at them? And if so, how can that not drive a wedge between you and your father (you've mentioned several times how very close you are)? I mean, they shipped you off to fat camp for five summers! How can that not feel like betrayal? I still resent my mother for telling me when I was 13 that she'd buy me a bikini only if I lost 5 pounds.
    Like I said, you must be a better person than me.

  29. Guess you are bound to get criticized when you "put yourself out there."

    PS If these feeling are taking up a lot of your time or thoughts, you can talk to someone about it. Some of us reading your blog get a little sick of it. Not a threat, just a comment. Of course, yada yada yada its your blog, your "free" spot and we are all haters. Wash it down with a donut.

  30. I've re-read your blog comments and your blog because it seems that people are concluding that your parents are the ones who said those comments to you. I don't see you specifically naming your parents. There are many other people in our lives who can say hurtful things besides our parents.

  31. I've been a tall thin girl my entire life. Until I had an all-fall-down and was put on a combination of Cipromil, Neurontin and Remeron. Next thing in six weeks I'd put on 20 pounds. I believe it was the Remeron. Anybody had any experience with Remeron? I'd been on Cipromil before so it wasn't that. And Neurontin is a nerve calming drug (used to treat epilepsy!) Anyway, the point is that after 48 years of being thin, I'm now not. And I absolutely hate it. No matter what anyone says ("it suits you … you were too thin …. you look good"). I was the tall thin blonde girl and now I'm the tall blonde girl.
    Big Carol

  32. but is it better to feel like you have a concrete obstacle like that to solving your problems, than being model-thin naturally, people tell you you´re pretty, but still there´s no one to love you?

  33. "I've been extremely fortunate and lucky, but it doesn't make my struggle any less real. It temporarily puts things into perspective, sure, but the emotional issues don't dissolve upon the intellectual acknowledgment that it can always be worse."

    That is a perfect way to put it.

    I'm one of the people with harrowing childhood memories. I am overweight because I've always had a tendency to drown my pain in horrible deep-friend chocolatey things. :) I've been in therapy for two years and am actively overcoming the obstacles in my past, and tackling the ways in which they affect me now.

    Still, even the people who know about my past are critical, especially because I've been in long-term therapy. "Um, isn't it time to start talking about your weight issues?" I can't tell you how many times my well-meaning people have tried to "alter" my perspective by telling me that there are starving people around the world. I mean, really, I'm trying to lose weight so PLEASE pass me another heaping helping of guilt. That'll help.

    When it comes down to it, it doesn't matter why my weight problem is there or who started it – it's mine now, and it's mine alone to overcome. It's easy to say "Put down the fork." And people who are overweight need to put down the fork, myself included. But there are people who need a little more time learning HOW to put down the fork and why we picked it up to begin with.

  34. Ya know, parents do the best they can. Mine did.
    Sure, they made mistakes and looking back now I know for a fact my mom would have never said some of the things she did back when I was overweight.
    But I was so unhappy, so ostracized in school all she wanted was for me to be happy.

    However, I'd be lying if I said some of my weight issues do not come from her. She's tiny, always has been. Even at 59 years old the woman still wears a size 6.

    But when you become a parent yourself you see how easy it is to make those mistakes b/c you just want your kid to be happy and protected. My mom saw me as a target and encouragement didnt work with me, so she resorted to telling me I would be as big as a house if I kept eating the way I was. She didnt realize how detrimental that can be to a 13 year old, she was just trying to protect me.

    Trying to protect me from those assholes in the world who WOULD judge me b/c of my weight.

    It wasnt a "you have to be thin or I wont love you" shit. It was "you have to be thin or people are going to continue to make you feel like shit and send you home crying"

    Right or wrong. It's how it was with me. I'll always feel my body needs improvement. Always.

  35. Come on, who doesn't feel their appearance is of utmost importance when growing up? Every teenager I knew was like this, and the ones that are accusing you of being shallow probably were too.

    I wasn't overweight, I had a size 4-6 during highschool. But I had terrible acne, so not a single boyfriend. And I still remember people's comments (including my dad's, yes). It's gone now, and I think I look pretty good, but I'm worying about my tummy/thighs getting larger. I don't think that worrying about my thighs makes me a bad person. Everyone cares about how they look, it's part of human nature. Those that call you shallow should drop the 'holier-than-thou' attitude.

  36. I know that I am very, very lucky to have grown up with parents who were nothing but supportive. I had a really tough childhood but the one thing that my parents did right was understanding how important it was to build my confidence and self-esteem. I grew up knowing that I was smart, beautiful and talented – even if I didn't win every prize or every game or every boy.

    Through the years I've had lot's of friends who were obsessed with their weight – many of whom developed eating disorders. Like any young, single woman in New York City I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to stay fit and attractive but it does not consume me. I don't punish myself for eating dessert or obsess about calories and if I gain a little weight I deal with it. I wish everyone was able to do this.

    It is all too common for young women to have the sort of self-esteem issues that you frequently reference here in this blog but I have to say – phrases like "…the only way you'd feel love in life is if you were pretty and thin" make me FURIOUS. God. There is so much more to life than appearance and it makes me sick that women continue to struggle with issues of self-esteem because they don't know any better.

    I'm sorry for you and the others like you who grew up believing that being "thin" or "pretty" was the key to happiness.

  37. I agree that just because you understand something on an intellectual level that the emotional feelings go away (even if they are irrational). Even though being thin was a priority (the main priority?) in your life, however, that doesn't mean that it has to continue to be. Have you tried cognitive therapy before? I think you need to learn to combat irrational thoughts (basing your self-worth on the size of your pants) when you start feeling that way. I know it's not easy, but you should challenge your thinking.

  38. Your post reminded me of an Ally McBeal episode where Georgia says to Ally, "Why are your problems more important than everyone else's?!". Ally pauses, looks at her, and says, "Well, I guess, because they're mine".

    No matter what the situation, someone's always going to have a bigger or worse problem but your problems or feelings, shitty or good, are still going to be your own that YOU have to deal with. Yes, it's great to be able to put things into perspective, but sometimes, you just can't…or simply, need to wallow. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

  39. I'm in the middle of writing MOOSE right now. I still haven't handed in even the first half of the book.

    I do not plan to write about my pregnancy in MOOSE, maybe in another book, but not this one. This is, after all, a book about FAT CAMP. But of course, I've been writing a lot about my relationship with my parents. How daughters can become like their mothers, even when they decide to reject what they don't like in their mothers.

    I have begun to write about my fears– they are absolutely real–in passing these issues onto my own children, particularly my daughter. This will be included in MOOSE because I think it's something every overweight adult (or formerly overweight child) with children deals with.

    Just today, for example, we went to the doctor for a wellness exam. I worried maybe Abigail wasn't gaining enough weight, but she's absolutely fine, two full pounds lighter than her big brother. Our doctor said we could start them on some rice cereal in their milk. And I wanted to ask (but didn't), "Is there any evidence that starting them off on solids earlier, rather than later, will increase their chances of being overweight adults?"

    I'd heard that once, or maybe read it in some baby book. I want to give these kids the best chance of not having to deal my same issues, and in trying to do so, I imagine I'll inadvertently force them to. I do know I'll put a whole lot more emphasis on being active as a family. I'll make it fun. The reward won't be cookies, it will be playtime on a nature trail with Mommy.

    I didn't ask the doctor my question, not in fear of what he might think of me, but because as I heard the words forming in my mouth, I thought, "Who cares! They're going to be fine." And I really believe that.

    I know we try to do our best for our children, and in doing so, reading studies and books, perhaps we're screwing them up in other ways. I just know these kids are going to be loved and taught to respect themselves and value their own strength and independence. And if they don't, I'll beat 'em .

  40. It's such a tricky thing – my son is rail thin, eats everything that doesn't move and will likely be thin for life if genetics prove true.

    My daughters, however, take after my side of the family and struggle, struggle, struggle with weight. It is sooooo hard not to "help" with comments like "let's have the low-fat version" or "let's forego the fried food", without it being labeled a judgement call. I am constantly tortured with this dance. So I have adopted the following resolution (a year or so ago):

    I stock the fridge with healthy foods, I provide funds and transportation, gear and support for all kinds of activities including dance class and sports, I bought dance, dance revolution for the idiot box, and I make them watch Super Size Me. I refuse to buy fries for them. I try to lead by example.

    But still – will they grow up and resent my handling of their weight? Probably. Damned if I do – damned if I don't.

    Sigh.

  41. As a child, I was chubby. My family is tall and long. Everyone on both sides is over 5'7", without exception. The height? Not a problem – I am fully grown at 5'9".

    As young as 11, I can remember thinking "I hope one day I can be as tall and thin as my Mother. She gave birth to three children and still looks like a supermodel." At no point did my Mother or Father ever – EVER – say something negative to me about my weight, but I still felt pressure to look like everyone else. They were all thin and willowy, why wasn't I?

    At age 18 I developed an eating disorder and by age 22 I thought I had it beat. I am almost 26 and I still can't stop obsessing about my weight.

    I think concerns about weight and body image are deeper than picking up on something from our parents. I would never blame them for my issues, nor would they ever feel the need to take blame. It just happens. Stephanie is no less human for worrying about her children being fat. I'm sure I'll have the same worries when I have children.

    I think that anyone who doesn't subconsciously worry that their child will be different and treated as such is not being honest.

  42. I am eager to learn in your book how you maintain that your dad is your best friend despite the fact that he has said the nost horrific things about weight that any parent can say to a child.

  43. Lisa, very well put. I think your comment is one of the best I've read. The last paragraph is going to my blog today – with full credit to you of course. ;)

    -Farah

  44. If you enter any gay bar the chances of you leaving with a weight complex are pretty high. It’s strange I remember leaving a bar once with a friend who stated “ I want to vomit, not because I am drunk but because I feel fat!” It was a joke of course but it the whole atmosphere of a gay bar over time does take its toll.

    I remember years ago I came back from a 2 week vacation from France, I had gained about 15 pounds. I feel in love with French bread and yes the red wine! My father took one look at me and said “ You do know that boys don’t date fat boys!” Subsequently I’ve lost the weight, but I can never shake off the memory of that comment or how weird it made me feel.

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