Let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m fat. Curvy. Plus size. Whatever you call it. But I have not always been fat. I used to be skinny. Well, until I turned 17. At first, I began to gain weight around my thighs. And my belly started to get bigger. Nothing too serious at first. However, I began to look thicker.
Then it began. I experienced body shaming for the first time in secondary school. Everyone who knew me would see me and be like, “Oh, Blessing, you have gained weight oh? What are you eating sef? I began to lose myself. I became self-conscious. By that time, I was wearing a UK size 10. It got so bad that anytime I met someone, I expected them to comment on my weight. And trust me, I was never disappointed.
When I turned 18, I got into university. And it became worse. I went from a UK 10 to a UK 16. I went through what I would call the most painful period of my life. My family and friends made my life so miserable. Every day, someone reminded me that I was fat. I had a problem. I was going crazy. I went into depression. At the time, I did not know what it meant to be depressed. But I was. I tried everything. I stopped drinking water. I drank lime water. Lime, green tea, and 5 AM workouts became my obsession. My phone was filled with screenshots of workout routines. I would do squats, planks, run, skip, everything. But I was not losing any weight. It seemed like I was getting bigger every single day. Even fat girls would tell me I was fat. I mean, girls who wore a UK 22. I was still wearing a UK 16 at the time. My personal style was just there. I dressed horribly at times. If you knew me at that time, you would never have thought I was depressed. I lived life.
But the fat shaming did not stop. The most painful part of this period was the comments from family. I was told I needed deliverance. I was lazy. I ate too much. But if I reduced my food portions, I would hear comments like, “So, you won’t eat, abi?” I practically lived on nothing. Shebi it was because I had money, that was why I was fat. If I had little money to buy food, I would become skinny kiakia. I laugh now. Even with the little I had, I was still fat.
By my second year of university, it was the same thing. My 3rd year was the worst year of my life at the time. I had to commute to school from home and I went into the worst depression ever. I could not sit down. I could not sleep. I could not do anything right. I slept too much. I sat down too much. I ate too little. I was lazy. I was expected to be involved in a physical activity 24 hours a day. I could not sleep sef. Sleep ke? Who am I to sleep? Me, sleep? I had no peace of mind. Zero.
Even the stress of going for 7 AM classes from home to school every day and coming back in the evening, sometimes at night, did not make me lose weight. I would go for hours without food. I had to rush to school for my 7 AM classes. I would not eat breakfast. And I would not eat anything till I got back home in the evening or at night. I was so unhappy and stressed.
When the 4th year arrived. And I made a decision to learn to love my body. I wear a UK 14 now. I hope to complete my degree this year. However, year 4 has been one of the best years of my life. It was quite challenging. I had to make a lot of changes that I was not particularly comfortable with. I lost some friends. Like Adele said, “I have insecurities. However, I do not hang out with anyone who points them out to me.” Adele gets it. Adele is a curvy girl herself and she understands. I had to stand up to my family because the abuse was getting too much. And if I hoped to get out of depression, I needed a healthy environment. I moved out of the house.
Fat girls are tired. We are. We know we are fat. We own mirrors. We probably use them more than the average person does. We know. But reminding us every time does not help. Many parents have no idea what their children are going through.
If you have a fat friend, learn to love them or leave them alone. Or end the friendship if you can’t stand fat people. It is damaging to comment on their weight every time you get together. It really is. Weight gain is a serious issue. People are going through a lot. If you are skinny, you are blessed. But you have insecurities, too. And your fat friends do not point them out to you.
And I am not trying to promote obesity. But some people are happy being fat. Very happy. And they are not settling. They are happy and fine. Some people are not. They are trying every day to get that dream body they have always wanted. And that is okay. But in the process of losing that weight, these fat people need support and love. Fat girls especially. If you have nothing good to say, don’t say it. Don’t.
Encourage them if they want to be encouraged. Some people cry themselves to sleep every single day because of weight gain. Some people even contemplate or attempt suicide.
I’ve had honest conversations with friends who have always treated me badly because of my weight. Especially when it is verbal abuse. I’ve had to cut many of them off. Bad energy, stay far away. Make you stay faraaawayyyy! If you cannot respect my feelings, I do not want to respect yours.
At this stage of my life, I am happy and excited for what the future holds. I do want to lose belly fat. My tummy is still big. However, I had a honest conversation with myself and realized that I actually really like being thick. I’m surprised at myself. I just want a flatter tummy. And who knows, I might become skinny again if I want to. But, I love myself now and that is all that matters.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime