I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14
I have known all my life that I was a fat girl. Few have let me forget it. Classmates, guys I’ve crushed on, boyfriends, and the rest of western culture and media have reminded me at every turn that I am less than. I am undesirable. I am not what the world wants in a woman.
Being a fat girl is not something I’m proud of. I know body shaming is a major faux paus nowadays, and there’s a new movement of amazingly beautiful women of all shapes and sizes who are standing up for equality, but I am not quite there yet.
I am ashamed of the fat and what it represents in me.
This fat represents years of hiding behind a physical curtain of protection, hoping nobody would see and reject the real person inside. It’s much easier to swallow physical rejection than someone turning away from character. This fat represents trauma I’ve experienced and not knowing how to process the abuse. This fat is the excuse I have made to shame and punish myself. This fat is a coping mechanism, a defense system, and an exit strategy. This fat is my childhood attempt to control in an otherwise chaotic world.
I appreciate the women of this world who can love and accept their fat, but I reject mine. Rather, I reject what the fat represents, and I think it’s time I speak up and shed the weight.
Fat can be genetics, yes. Fat can be calories in excess. Fat can be little activity or living a sedentary lifestyle. Fat can be all these things, yet for me, there’s so much more than simply fat. I think the fat I carry carries so much more than weight gain, cellulite, and body rolls. It carries inner shame, hurt, and sorrow.
Fat is more than just fat.
I write a lot about the soul work I’ve been doing over the past few months, but I have recently realized how much of my outer shell is a reflection of my inner self. The way I look physically has been a pretty accurate portrayal of how I feel emotionally. As I shed my inner self through self love and care, therapy, and the discovery and strengthening of my identity, I want my outer self to reflect the same.
It’s time I lose the weight I’ve been carrying my entire life.
I am shedding the weight of shame around not being good enough. I am shedding the weight of duty and feeling like I’m the one responsible for fixing what others have broken. I am shedding the weight of having my identity chosen for me, rather than shaping it myself. I am shedding the weight of smothering those around me, in an attempt to control and keep them from leaving. I am shedding the weight of trauma and abuse I’ve kept secret for years.
There is no goal in mind. I’m not setting out to lose 500 lbs. or drop 20 dress sizes. It’s not about being skinny or looking a certain way. It’s not about gaining confidence or getting a boyfriend. No, shedding the weight is about letting go of the fat that has kept me immobile for years. It’s about releasing brokenness and darkness that has wounded myself and others. I deserve so much more than simply being fat. My body deserves to be loved and cherished, just like my soul.
I love the body God has given me and I love the girl inside. However, it’s time I let go of the fat girl and embrace the strong woman I am becoming.
So, yes, I guess I am fat shaming myself, but there is no shame here, and it’s so much more than just fat.
***By the way, I absolutely hate the word “fat!”