The man I was dating when I lost my virginity was the one who taught me the greatest lesson about my weight. I had put off having sex because I was ashamed of my body. I didn’t want to disappoint him. When he finally coaxed the reason out of me, he was shocked. He told me I was beautiful, and that my weight didn’t matter to him because he loved me – all of me.
That night was magical. For me, it was the start of my journey on the road to regaining my self-esteem. For far too long it had been clamped tight by the clutches of my weight issues.
Me = my body weight
My family is known for being on the larger side. They also don’t believe in skimping on food. Growing up, I ate whatever I wanted. That, added to the fact that I was quite lazy as a kid, soon created a very chubby child.
It never bothered me at this point. Then college happened. Suddenly the divide among the girls was clear: the thin ones were popular and sought after; the fat ones were ‘just friends’ and largely ignored. The boys ignored me and the girls pitied me. I was always the fat one in the group. It was like I didn’t exist as a person. I was just my body weight.
Dumped for my curves
I tried to shield the fat by wearing loose clothes. Shopping was always traumatic. The clothes I liked weren’t available in my size, I couldn’t find the proper bra size, and the clothes I could fit in stretched and highlighted every bump and lump on me. I had to tailor all my clothes. Imagine wearing what a tailor thinks is fashionable to college!
My first boyfriend was fat. He had love handles and a funny walk. After a year together, he dumped me for a slimmer, prettier girl. The worst part was that I didn’t even know he had moved on. One day, he just stopped talking to me. The next I heard was that he had found someone else.
My best friend harassed him until he confessed why he had dumped me. It was because his friends teased him – I was the fattest among all their girlfriends. I was heartbroken. I ruined my second year of college pining away for him and eating everything I could get my hands on. I thought I was fat anyway, so why did it matter if I became fatter?
Why do men think it is perfectly fine for them to have a big, fat belly and man boobs and yet, will begrudge a woman for her curves?
It isn’t as if I haven’t tried to lose weight. I’ve done workouts, joined the gym, gone for long walks, and done diets. The extra fat just refuses to leave, so I give up. To make myself feel better, I eat even more. It makes me fatter, I know. The cycle just continues.
My weight is like an extra person in my life. I am always conscious of it. If people look at me on the street, I feel they are judging my clothes or how big my thighs are. At a party, I cover up in such a way that people cannot see extra fat spilling out from everywhere. I don’t wear swimsuits or shorts because I cannot handle people looking at my wobbly thighs or my paunch. My friends affectionately call me biggie. Initially, the nickname stung. Every time they said it, I felt they were judging me. Not any more.
I still have issues with my weight. I still am fat. But I no longer feel bad about it or let it affect my mood. That man and I are no longer together but he gave me the greatest gift ever: learning that my weight doesn’t define me.