“You’re faaat!” My niece uttered those words with a look of disgust. A lot went through my mind. I froze; I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Beating her would be wrong, she expressed a clear observation. But I felt very insulted. My mind zoomed back to the playground several decades earlier with kids and my elder sister teasing me about my weight. It was such an awful feeling. I looked at her and just laughed, I tried to make it as genuinely as possible.
My cousin, gently reprimanded her daughter, “It is not nice to call people names.” Yes, that is true but the child was making an honest observation. I was gutted; I know this would have been an opportune moment to educate my niece on the fact that God made us all in all shapes and sizes. Ideally that is what I would have done, but I realized that I have never really gotten over being called names as a child, and making peace with the fact that I won’t be a size zero.
But, I shouldn’t apologize for who I am. It is this cyclic process, of loving and hating me. I love my face, but I hate my body. I know I should change what I don’t like. But…I know, I have no excuse and I shouldn’t even be rambling on about it…man that hurt! Especially when she looked at me with so much disgust….
The last time I started running in the neighbourhood, the idiots on the road side would taunt me, “Yeah! Burn down that fat, burn those chips!” Others yelling at me to speed up my pace, “That isn’t running, run faster.” So much unsolicited information, it is so offensive. Aargh! It is just so exhausting. All this is making me hungry. I am so exhausted in being forced to fit a certain mould and feel like I am never enough. I have to be thinner or whatever…I know it is important to be healthy, I am just tired of people…
I find myself trying to feel better by comparing myself with people who are fatter than me. I feel better about myself, I know that is a rotten way of looking at yourself, that is still defining myself through other people’s eyes. It is just hard shaking off an entire lifetime of being made fun of for what you look like.