‘When people look at me, they see the fat girl. But no one ever wonders WHY I’m fat.’: Plus-sized woman says we shouldn’t tell others to ‘lose weight,’ we should ‘help them heal’

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“Let’s face it. When anyone takes a look at me, the first thing they see is my weight.

I’m large, very large. I know it. I’m aware of the space I take up in this world. I take up so much, and yet I’m so invisible.

No one sees my big smile. No one sees my blue-green eyes I was always complimented on, once upon a time. No one sees the crinkles of skin at the corners of my eyes, etched with beautiful years of wisdom and growth.

They see my rolls.

They see how my chubby cheeks hide my sunken eyes like bushes. They see my stomach pooch hanging over the top of my jeans and joke how it looks like my button’s begging for a damn break. They see how my breasts sag down low because they can’t handle the weight.

Wherever I go, I will never just be me. I’ll be the fat girl.

And even if someone sees me for my intelligence, my heart, my kindness, in their minds I’ll still be the smart fat girl. The kind fat girl. Always and forever, I’ll be defined by my flesh and not what’s beneath it.

When people look at me, they see I’m fat. They laugh, point fingers, silently judge. But no one ever asks WHY I’m fat.

No, I don’t want people walking up to me and saying, ‘Hey, ma’am, listen. I just gotta know WHY you’re so fat!’ That’s not what I mean.

They see the weight, yes. But do they ever wonder why I got to be this way?

You see, I wasn’t always this fat.

The weight came on after I lost my brother to a motorcycle accident and grieving meant eating.

The weight came on after I had 3 miscarriages in a row, only to find out my husband was cheating on me with another woman. Finding the text message to her where he claimed he ‘just couldn’t wait to leave the fat f***’ didn’t help my case, either.

The weight came on after I got divorced and had to restart my life from shambles.

The weight came on after I drank my sorrows away.

The weight came on after I was drugged and gang raped by three men.

The weight came on when my ‘friend’ told me it was my fault because I shouldn’t have gone to a bar to begin with.

The weight came on while I battled PTSD, their hazy faces haunting me in every nightmare, each waking day.

The weight came on when my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died.

The weight came on when she haunted me in my dreams.

The weight came on as I battled suicide.

And the weight came on. And the weight came on.

But you don’t see all that, do you?

You only see the fat.

You remind me to lose weight. In fact, you’re obsessed with telling me that. But you’ve never once reminded me to heal.

Instead, you avoid me.

You laugh.

You mock me.

But maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t be in this situation now, I wouldn’t have so much weight to lose, if I just had a friend to help take the hurt away.

Being overweight, many times, is not just about eating one too many burgers, it’s about emotional distress. We eat the pain away.

So, please. If you’re reading this.

Hug your fat friend. Love your fat friend. Make them feel welcome and beautiful.

Yes, I am the fat girl.

But I am also the broken girl.

And I will always focus on healing my soul before I heal my body. Without healing my soul, I wouldn’t be here today, and I wouldn’t have a body to heal.

Do I love my body? No. But do I love my strength? A million times YES.

In the end, I’d rather be 500 pounds and happy than 100 pounds and sad.”

Courtesy of All Go Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Marie Christine. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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