January 28, 2012


I started another post a few minutes ago about walking, but I have other fat-related problems on my mind right now, so I decided to postpone that one for later.  

One of my blogging buds, who is also on a weight loss journey, is having a hard time.  She's had some bad days - like we all do - and it's getting her down.  After talking with her a bit, I started thinking about the things that get me down.  The things that have gotten me down in the past.  Basically, all of the little and big things that occur that bundle into one word:  hurt.

People hurt you.  Family hurts you.  Friends hurt you.  Strangers hurt you.  You hurt yourself.  This happens to everyone, but I'm talking about the kind of hurt that comes with being obese.  

In junior high it was the hurt that came when I tried out for the cheerleading squad, and although I could do the cheers, dances and even the jumps perfectly, I was not picked for the team because I wouldn't look good in the uniform.  (I was actually told this by a judge.)  At twelve, that hurts.  

In high school it was the hurt that came when I had crushes on really cute guys, who inevitably always picked the skinny, cute girls.  Or when I fell IN LOVE (you know, 16-year-old obsession-type love) with my best friend Ben, and he would ask me for advice with all of the other girls he liked.  I had boyfriends in high school - I wasn't a total horror - but you know what I mean. Or having to shop for my Junior prom dress in the plus-size section of the store because none of the normal dresses would fit me.  At 14-17, that hurts.  

Adulthood has been jam-packed with moments of hurt from men, friends, family, strangers and myself.  One particular moment that stands out to me, almost ten years later, is a single moment of hurt that came from the last person in the world I expected it from:  my mother.  

At 18 I hit a rebellious phase, as most teens do at that age.  I was smoking, partying and doing everything but getting caught.  I hadn't started with the tattoos yet, but I went and got my tongue pierced.  To my deep-south, Church of God born-and-raised mother, this was a huge deal.  It was an embarrassment to her, because what would people think when they saw her daughter with a bar through her tongue?  Of course, I had to argue loudly with her because that's what stubborn 18-year-olds do with their parents, but she shut me up quick when she hit below the belt.  I guess she had had enough of my yelling, because she screamed at me, "SIT YOUR FAT BUTT DOWN RIGHT NOW!"  

Stopped me cold.  I sat down immediately.  I was shocked, angry and terribly hurt.  The hurt was more powerful than anything else, because despite all of the fat jokes and looks I was so used to from strangers, the last person in the entire world I expected to use my obesity against me was her.  (God, I can't even remember this without crying.) She seemed to instantly realize what she had done, so she lowered her tone, told me to take out the piercing, then left my room.  Neither of us have ever mentioned that awful moment.  I don't think either of us ever will.  Her, because she knows just how hurtful her statement was to me.  Me, because I could never acknowledge to her just how much it hurt.  I love my mother; she is the best person I know and she is a wonderful mother and grandmother.  She's one of my very best friends.  I confide in her, she confides in me.  We get along wonderfully.  I guess I decided long ago that I wouldn't hold against her the one moment in my entire life that she ever let me down.  Still, even now, almost ten years later, it hurts.  

I think if my husband were to make a comment about my weight, I would probably be devastated.  Somehow, it hurts so much worse when it comes from someone you love.  

So, while these memories - especially the last - still hurt me today, I have decided to use them as yet another motivational tool.  I will lose weight and then when those jerks who laughed about me before see me fit, they'll be checking out my ass, oblivious to the fact that years ago they thought I was disgusting.   I will lose weight and when someone makes a fat joke in front of me, they will be shocked when I call them out for being assholes.  I will lose weight, and maybe, hopefully, I can forget that one awful statement my mother made in anger.  

I'm not entirely sure why I shared this with you guys, because it's intensely personal.  Maybe that is exactly why I shared it.  No secrets here.  

If somebody hurts you, in any way at all, don't let it consume you.  Don't let it pull you under.  Turn it around and use it to make yourself better.  That's all any of us can hope to do. 


  1. I'm so glad that you wrote this, Bea. It really hits home with me. The things people close to us say really stick with us, like you said. My husband would never in a million years say anything mean like that, but there are people in my family who use the term, "fat butt", not just with me but with a few people, like it doesn't make us feel bad. It may be a joke to them, but it certainly isn't for me.

    I will lose weight too. I will be healthy and sexy again. I will lose weight and just like you, when someone makes a fat joke, I will call them out. They aren't perfect either and I'm sure if people made mean-spirited jokes about their imperfections they wouldn't be too happy about it. People need to think before they say hurtful things.

    I love you like a sister and I'm always here for you like you have been for me.

  2. This one really hits home with me. I'm working on another intensely personal post myself, and I'm reeaaaalllly having trouble going that deep. I think when I finally do, I'll feel better.

    And we certainly will show all these dickheads, won't we! Who knew losing weight could be such a personal battle.

  3. I know how you feel-that is something which stays with you for the rest of your life. I know that's not what your mother intended, but it's true. I know that I've said some things to my kids which I've forgotten, but they will be able to recall them decades from now (after my memory of it-or me-are long gone).
    I STILL remember a conversation I had from the late 60s. We were having a barbecue something or other at my house. I don't remember what it was for, but I remember getting some sort of dessert after eating my lunch. I rushed up to my father who was sitting with an uncle-in-law. I held the treat aloft to show my dad.
    "Look what I have!"
    My father: "Wow, did you eat your lunch already?"
    "Yeah. I'm fast."
    The uncle-in-law: "Did you say you're fast? Or fat?"
    Yep. Over 40 years ago and I still can feel the red flush of my cheeks.
    And that my own father didn't even say "boo" to that asshole.

  4. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  5. I'm really glad you and your mum stayed close even after that. It really does hurt so much more when it's someone you love who says things to you like that. You've been through a lot of hurt, but you haven't let it take you out, you should be proud of that.

  6. Wow...have I ever had all of these feelings before! It really is worse when it comes from someone you love. Thank you for this wonderful post!!

  7. My mom once said to me "Your butt is getting as big as mine." And when I commented about how she used to be on my case for being too skinny and now apparently I was too fat, she answered "you're not fat, just plump." (And I'm not even overweight - I was just finally normal instead of underweight.) I told her last spring how much that hurt. She was in shock and we talked about it, and I felt so much better.

    maybe it would be a good thing to talk this out with your mom. Sometimes you have to let it out so the hurt can heal.

  8. Mean children grow up to be mean adults and it seems like they never tire of hurting other people. I think some of them have such low self esteem that the only way they can feel good about themselves is by making someone else feel bad. And women are good at hurting each other with words. We don't support each other like we should and harbor jealousy and envy against one another. I wish we could all stop it and realize that we all are more alike than not. That's what great about the "different paths" page. It's women helping women.

  9. Yes it hurts when those who love you and are closest to you say hurtful things I am lucky that my family have never said anything about my weight in fact they are always telling me they love me just the way I am and yes I am a big woman but there are bigger women around this is me and I do have trouble loving myself at times.

  10. Thank you for sharing, your honesty is one of the things I find so inspiring on your blog!