Being Fat Isn’t Easy

To preface this entire post: I’m not actually that bothered by how fat I am. I don’t have the body image issues most fat people have. But in general, it’s still true: Being fat isn’t easy.

To start with: Yes, anybody can LOSE weight, but some people are genetically predisposed to being overweight. My entire family barring like ONE member is fat. We all eat mostly healthy food. My parents both have high-blood-pressure, so we’ve eaten healthy food for YEARS. My dad is thin but only because he starved himself for a year and is now an exercise addict. He still eats TERRIBLY but now he works out so much it doesn’t make him fat. My youngest sister is normal sized and easily the least healthy person of all of us.

I’ve been fat my entire life. I was chubby as a 5 year old. I first realized I was ‘fat’ at 9 years old. In 3rd grade some girls were rolling their shirts because it was hot at recess and another girl said ‘You shouldn’t do that, you’re fat’. That was the first time I ever learned I was supposed to be ashamed of how I look.

I never had a boyfriend in middle school or high school before relationships are serious. I was too ‘fat’ for anybody to like me. I didn’t even feel bad about how I looked, I just knew guys liked skinny girls so I didn’t bother. I wasn’t even THAT fat. I was 5’5″ and 190lbs, sure, but I was a size 12. My sister is 15, size 10, and 165/5’7″. She wears a small in all but jeans (she has a big ass but is otherwise non-fat.) A size 12 is NOT that big. I was just normal sized.

As an adult, I unfortunately gained weight. Going to college, I gained that ‘freshman 15’ times two. I was 230 and a size 16. I was fat. But I never felt that bad about myself because I started going to the gym and working out. I never lost weight, but I got in such good shape I could do a yoga push-up plank, where you go from cobra position to plank position in one move. I was a size 16 and 230lbs, but I was HEALTHIER than ever.

Fast forward a year. I got a job that made me gain weight because I sit in one spot for basically 8 hours. I got up to 250. I’m a size 16/18. I still work out but I’m not nearly as healthy because after an 8 hour work day, it’s HARD to have energy to exercise. However, on vacation I wore a fucking bikini. I wore a swimsuit that showed my belly and thighs. I wasn’t even SLIGHTLY ashamed of that, just walking on the beach in a two-piece with no questions asked. Honestly, the fatter I’ve gotten, the more inappropriate comments from creepy guys I get. I still work out, I’m still in better shape, I just am FAT.

But then I know people with what I consider an eating disorder. I don’t go into details and expose people, but they are OBSESSIVE about their weight (I only see mine at the doctor’s office), they STARVE themselves for days in fad diets, they consider half a fucking pound weight loss an accomplishment, and these people are taller and thinner than I’ve ever been. Their obsession makes me feel terrible about myself. If someone who is tall and thinner than me is so fat and ugly they starve themselves, what does it say about me? I’m a fucking body positive person, because I’m in the best shape of my life and fat as fuck, and if that doesn’t say more for health what the fuck does? But if people I love need to be skinny to feel valuable, what the fuck does it say about me? People I love think I’m disgusting? If they’re smaller than me and feel so bad they need to stop eating, does that mean they find me impossible to look at?

The same people who stop eating tell me I’m ‘hot’ how I am, but how? How am I hot if they can’t stand themselves? I know it’s a personal issue, I know intellectually it’s not the same, but it SUCKS.

I wish I was thin. I wished everybody I loved was thin. Not because being fat is bad, but just so we don’t all fucking feel so wrong. Society has taught us this. I know people who legit equate a smaller waist with better health regardless for the reason for the smaller waist. I know women my size who run fucking 5K races with no issue. I’m not THAT healthy, but when I was 190lbs, I couldn’t squat down and stand back up without bracing myself against my knees. These days, I squat WEIGHTS on my shoulders. I don’t eat a lot. I rarely ever eat sugar or processed foods. I get told ‘that doesn’t matter’ but fuck it, only people obsessed with their weight STARVE themselves.

I want to embrace a healthy lifestyle without feeling it’s a failure because I’m not dropping pounds like flies. My dad lost a SHITLOAD of weight but he did so by eating 1500 calories a day and burning 3,000+. That’s NOT healthy. And even if it was, I don’t WANT to starve myself! I want to be HAPPY. Now that my dad lost weight, he fucking eats like a teenage boy again and works out 3 hours a day ON TOP of a very physically demanding job in construction. It’s not worth it. 3 hours in the gym or not eating is NOT WORTH it. Only psychotically obsessed people think it is!

I am fat. I’ve always been fat. I want to be healthy, but my idea of healthy is good indicators of health at the doctor, not a trim waistline. And in this society, it’s HARD to live that way without people giving you shit. But I refuse. I refuse to be bullied. I refused to be shamed. My name is Chelsea. I’m a size 16/18. I go to the gym 3 days a week. I eat moderately healthy but not to the point of hating myself. I’m unashamed to wear a goddamn crop top or bikini in public because ANY body is a swimsuit body. My favorite fucking food is salad for fucks sake, and not the kind that’s mostly ranch dressing, the kind with no cheese and oil-based dressing on the side. I hate fried food. I don’t drink soda. I have a very light appetite.  I am just also fat. God or whoever dealt me a shitty hand and nothing can change that.

And I refuse to bear the shame of others for being who I am. I am who I am. I try to be healthy for my body. This is the body I was given and I refuse to punish it by starving myself for exercising 3 hours a day. Shit, the fatter I am, the more guys hit on me, honestly.

I truly hope other people can accept who they are and just fight the demons I have to fight daily with my weight. No, I will never be HAPPY with how I look. But goddamn it, I can learn to love myself and refuse to let anybody else’s opinion matter. I’m 28, so that’s really all I can do. Weight loss is harder the older you get. Most likely I’ll be fat forever. It is what it is. I am who I am. I refuse to feel shame for that.

Author: J. Chelsea Williford

Movie addict, reader, writer, pop culture lover.

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