It seems as though every single thing that is wrong in my life can be linked to my weight -- that is the extent of how my perception of my appearance is linked to my weight.
I was a fat kid. I say “was” because before going to college, I lost about 22 pounds and continued consistently losing weight during my four years at college. However, once I started working, I started putting weight back on and am now back to where I started: a fat boy with hips that “shouldn’t be this huge,” according to social conventions.
Hilarious, right? Well, not when you are on the receiving end, it isn’t.
Having been bullied in some way, shape or form since I was a child, I don’t think weight issues are vain; I think these kinds of issues are as serious as your run-of-the-mill depression. Although, there is a silver lining! Growing up fat has taught me many things that I probably wouldn’t have learned if circumstances were different.
1. Using the face to express emotion.
When you are fat, you subconsciously communicate with your face a lot more than you do with your body (because you constantly want to hide your body).
This is not to say that your body language doesn't come into play but simply that your facial expressions develop at an accelerated pace. Today, I can communicate with my eyes much better than my skinny peers can.
2. A heightened sense of humor.
When you do not look the way you want to look, you constantly subjugate yourself to pain. “I am not good enough” becomes the voice in your head that you want to shut out, but you cannot do so. As a defense mechanism, you develop this brilliant, twisted sense of humor that allows you to laugh at yourself.
3. Your true friends will always fight back.
Sure, they might call you a pig, a rhino, a gorilla or a fat fart, but if someone else tries to joke about you, your real friends will shred them to pieces. If they don’t stand up for you, you better drop them. Friends do not care what you look like or what your waist size is. YOU are what they care about.
4. It is okay to be different.
You are visibly different if you are fat. You do not have that perfect body; maybe your genes are to blame, or it’s just poor metabolism. Whatever it might be, you know you do not look like everyone else. In fact, you feel like Shrek at times. But, you learn to accept it and know that it is okay to be different.
5. Life is a never-ending struggle and the only way to win is to have fun.
Sure, you wouldn’t always be struggling to find clothes that fit or be working to lose that weight or prevent a relapse, but you realize that is important to have fun along the way in life.
There are dark phases now and then, but everyone navigates through the tough times, and being fat teaches you how to lift yourself up, move on and dance.
I am who I am. Maybe I am lazy, but I have learned a lot from being overweight, and even though I wish for nothing more than to be a Calvin Klein model, I will be okay just as I am.
Photo via We Heart It