There is that certain “f” word we all know about. There are one or two others as well. In Cancerland, another “f” word is fatigue because cancer is exhausting in oh-so-many ways not only for the patient, but for the caregiver(s) too. But I’m not talking about either of those words. I’m talking about yet another “f” word many of us are familiar with. Do you know which one I’m talking about?
Yep, I’m talking about that itty, bitty word some of us are quite familiar with, fat. And I am fat. (For the record, yes, I do try to eat healthy most days and yes, I do exercise regularly. I will keep plugging away at both).
There I said it and yes, it was hard to type those words.
Why is fat such a horrible word, or rather why is it such a horrible word when it’s attached to you?
Why does it matter so much?
This post was another one of those difficult to publish posts. And the reason is simple, yet complex. In some ways talking about weight, rather my weight, is harder than talking about cancer stuff. How twisted is that? And when I go to my oncology appointments, one of the parts I hate most is the discussion about, you guessed it, my weight. That is totally fucked up (sorry, but this is an “f” word post after all). I know full well I am lucky to fret about something as trivial as my weight. Still…
Since my cancer diagnosis, I have put on 20+ pounds, so I have to ask, is this yet one more “gift” cancer has given me, one more piece of collateral damage? After all, weight gain is listed as one of the many side effects of aromatase inhibitors, or as I prefer to call them, the drugs we love to hate. Some would say yes. Some would say no. I will say, probably…
But again, back to that why question.
Why does it sting so much to be labeled fat?
When I was in elementary school, I was called chubby for a while, which of course, is just another kinder (but not that much kinder) label for fat. There were even a few years when my mom and my grandma took me shopping for school clothes in the chubby department of stores, an experience that let me tell you, still stings when I think back about it.
Somewhere in fifth grade or so, I hit puberty and lo and behold, I was suddenly skinny. No more pressure about losing weight. But to this day, I’ve never forgotten my chubby years and the chubby comments and how they made me feel.
This is way too big a topic for one blog post. So rest assured, I will likely be writing more about this in due time. But don’t ever expect to learn what my actual weight is. That is a “national-security-type-tightly-guarded-by-me” kind of secret. Let’s just say my driver’s license is not correct. (Is yours?)
But, trying to stay focused…
The purpose of this post is merely to come out and say it. I am fat. And again, this was hard to do. It’s not so bad to tell yourself you’ve got a few pounds to lose, that you’re overweight, or even that you’re too fat (for some reason too fat sounds more gentle than just fat), but to come out and say I’m fat; well, that’s hard.
The second purpose of this post is to reach out to you, my dear readers. Cancer or no cancer, I have a feeling there are others out there (I’m actually kind of hoping there are anyway) who for whatever reason are, okay, let me just say it, fat. As always, truth telling begins first with being honest with oneself. In this “weighty” matter, no one is alone either. Sorry about the really bad pun.
The third reason for this post is to reiterate that being fat matters. And then again it doesn’t. Of course, it matters for all those health-related reasons we all know about. But you are not worth more as a human being because you are skinny, fat or anywhere in between. You are worthy just for being you, as you are right now, this day, this minute. Your value is not based on what your scale says or does not say. It never was and it never will be. So no matter what you weigh, be kind to yourself. I will try to remember these things too.
So there you have it, no New Year’s resolutions for me, but instead a confession of sorts.
Maybe admitting it wasn’t so bad after all…The sky didn’t fall. My family didn’t disown me. You, my dear readers, are still out there.
I might even feel better now.
But I’m still fat.
Thank you to my friend, Beth L. Gainer – Calling the Shots, for giving me that little push of confidence to publish this post.
Do you have weight issues (of any kind)?
Have you ever felt judged based on your weight?
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