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Posts Tagged ‘fat shaming’

My body is angry. I ache everywhere. I feel like I physically, from the neck down, have the ‘flu. My ankles are “clicking” more than usual. Same with my wrists. I was walking the other day and my ankle seized up. It simply stopped working and hurt a lot.

I stopped walking, rotated my ankle and was eventually able to weight bear. It scared me. I carefully walked back to my car, got home, elevated, medicated, applied heat and cold alternately and eventually dozed off.

I realised for the past two months I’ve been clenching everything. My jaw, my hands, my body and it’s unsustainable. We are living in a world most of us have never seen before. It’s scary. It’s frustrating. It’s unbelievable. And yet, it is our reality.

When I am at my best I eat three healthy meals a day. I cook at home, I drink lots of water, some decaffeinated tea, a little diet pop, and eat treats sparingly. I can get 8 hours of sleep and awaken feeling refreshed. I have few food cravings. My eyes are clear, my skin is dewy and I feel good.

Not these days, though.

My skin is sallow. I look haggard. I can’t sleep more than a couple of hours at a time. I wake before my alarm and when I decide to try and sleep more, I fall into a deep sleep and have difficulty rousing to my alarm.

I am craving foods I’ve not craved in months, if not years. I’m drinking mostly tea, lots of diet pop and a moderate amount of water. My skin is alternately dry and oily. Everything hurts. Well, except my hair. It’s just growing…fast…and a lot.

My food addiction is bad. I have so much shame about food that I feel humiliated. I am eating 1 – 2 meals a day. I start off with the best of intentions, then end up feeling ravenous, even though I KNOW I’m not hungry. I buy healthy food. Fruit, vegetables, lean meat, multi-grain bread. I don’t bring home a lot of processed food. And yet I crave chips and cookies. And I can’t eat one serving. I eat the whole bag.

I’m aware I’m doing it and I get angry and ashamed. Yet I can’t stop.

I’m currently using two online apps. One is through a wearable device which I really like because it gives advice on what to do as far as exercise in isolation. It’s adapted to the current reality of the world. The other is an online subscription app. I used it a few years ago and it was working well for me, then I stopped. I can’t remember why, but I know it was because I got frustrated with being moved from peer group to peer group.

The program has changed a little in a few years. And not at all since the pandemic. All the “helpful hints” involve getting together with family and friends, of going shopping with your girlfriends. Of going out to dinner, etc. NONE of which we can do right now. So, being the quiet and demure female I am… (you know, there REALLY needs to be a sarcasm font) I sent a message to my personal coach and the Concierge and didn’t receive a satisfactory answer.

I’ve asked questions about dealing with food addiction and been told “in their opinion” that such things don’t exist. Um, what?

I’m debating quitting the online program when my “course” is finished (August). I’m not losing weight, although I am following the course given the restrictions of COVID-19. Ugh.

I was listening to a podcast earlier today and there was woman who was raised by a crack-addicted mother. She was quite judmental with her mother for not having enough self-control. Until she found herself in her mid-twenties eating her feelings…until she weighed over 400 lbs and knew her life was in jeopardy. She joined Overeaters Anonymous and it helped her.

Food addiction is real. It is as valid an addiction as any other. Because I’m in a heightened place of stress, my coping mechanisms are weak…in some cases non-existent. My impulse control seems to be broken.

So, I’ve decided to check out Overeaters Anonymous. There are virtual meetings that I can drop into and drop out of. I think it would help me to talk to people who understand how I feel. Who understand the minefield that food addiction and grocery shopping can be.

Hopefully I can learn, again, to lessen my stress and eat properly so my body will stop being angry with me.

Oh! And then there’s the physical changes with menopause and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). I’ll get there. I know I will.

It will take time. It will take effort. And it will take help. Help which I am determined to get.

Watch this space…

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Recently there has been a great deal of attention given to fat shaming, usually in the guise of “concern”.  There is a You Tube “comedienne” who recorded a video called “Dear Fat People”.  I started watching it, got frustrated, angry and then started to feel sorry for her.  I didn’t finish watching it because I’ve heard her arguments before.  The thing is, this woman does not know me.  She does not know my struggle.  Yes I’m fat.  But that’s not all I am.  That’s not who I am.

I am a 47 year old woman who has battled demons that she would likely never imagine.  I wouldn’t wish my burdens on anyone.  They have strengthened me.  They have formed me.  They have softened the hard edges in me.

There was a time when I was under-weight.  And I was in terrible shape.  Psychologically I was unwell.  Physically I was frail.  I wasn’t anorexic, I didn’t struggle with an eating disorder.  I was naturally under-weight and extremely sick.  At 16 I was in a car accident that changed me.  I became afraid of everything and everyone.  I sought comfort, in food.  So I ate, and I ate and I ate and soon I was a “healthy” weight.  But still sick.

As I have aged I’ve had a love/hate relationship with food.  There was a time when my diet was almost exclusively ready to eat or heat and serve.  And I was malnourished although I was overweight.

I am not now, nor have I ever been a delicate person.  I have an above average skeleton so I “hide” my weight well.  But I am overweight; I am fat.  You may think you know me, but you don’t.  And you likely won’t ever get to know me because all you see is my size.  Not my heart.

I am an Anglican Priest in a small town.  With my arms I have held those who were in mourning.   I have hugged those who are celebrating.  I have anointed those receiving the sacrament of baptism; and anointed those who have died.  I have written hundreds of pages of homilies, read thousands of prayers, and heard more stories than my heart can hold.  Some of those stories are of triumph and hope; some are of death and despair.  All of them are held sacred.  They are part of me.

I have witnessed people seeing the face of God for the first time.  I have listened as folks poured out their heart and soul, looking for forgiveness which they didn’t feel they deserved.  But they do.  We all do.

To those who feel sorry for me because of my weight, please don’t.  I have no desire to be on the cover of a magazine.  For those who judge me when I order dessert or french fries, go ahead.  Your judgment means nothing to me.

I have a weird relationship with food…I always have and likely I always will.  I struggle with food addiction, but instead of feeling a victim to it, I am re-learning to enjoy food, without guilt or shame.

I walk every day, sometimes more than once a day.  I walk for me, to see the world around me.  I don’t listen to music or compete with besting my time, but instead, I walk to feel the rhythm of my feet on the ground, to feel the rush of air into and out of my lungs.  I walk to strengthen my body.

My hearts desire is to make a difference in the world.  I have the best vocation in the world…to teach people about love.  I live that the best way I can.  And in doing so I am learning to love myself.

So for those of you who cast judgment when you see me; my clothes, my hair, my weight, my diet…go ahead.  I’d rather you cast that venom in my direction, then to someone who isn’t as strong as I am.  You see, your words mean nothing to me, they don’t define who I am.  Only I get to define who I am.  Only God will judge me.  Actually, many will think they can judge me, but only God’s judgment matters to me.

So go ahead, bring your fat shaming.  I know who I am.  I know of what I am capable.  You don’t.  And likely, you never will.

I am Fat Woman, hear me roar!

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