Saturday, 19 April 2014

How It Really Felt Being Fat All These Years

For almost a decade in my life, I was either overweight or to plainly put it FAT. Despite growing up being rather skinny in my early childhood, the love for food took control in the later part of my life and I could never successfully contain it. For so many years, I kept eating and indulging in my favourite food which are mostly unhealthy like Char Koay Teow, fried chicken etc. Basically, anything fried is heavenly to me.

Being fat throughout high school and college and part of university life wasn’t something easy. Those around me probably would not realised what I actually felt because I was able to laugh off every single criticism and jokes about my weight. After a chat with my buddies recently, one of them suggested I should write about how I’ve felt. Well, here’s my account of how it was throughout the years.

To start off, it feels horrible 99% of the time. Although being with the group of my closest friends, jokes about my weight and how I look was commonly passed around from time to time. Well, they are my closest friends and I knew they find these jokes as harmless. Since I’ve never expressed how it actually hurt, it can’t be right to blame them for making such jokes. I’ve made a choice to bury the pain within myself and laugh it off so that’s how it had been for years. Once in a while, I would lose control and burst in anger at their jokes because it was offensive. But, since I was normally laughing along with them, many would ridicule my outburst.

Well, I wasn’t 100% okay with such sarcasm and jokes but I chose not to be bothered about it. However, as strong as anyone could be, it was impossible to not suffer any breakdown. At those times when those hurtful words bothered me, it felt like my weight was the measure of what sort of person I am. I also felt guilty for my love to eat; guilty for having no self control and guilty for not being self conscious like my peers resulting in my physique.

PE classes was something I dreaded, simply because I wasn’t as good as the rest. I  could not run as fast, I wasn’t as agile and I was always the last to finish any of the test. Every house practice and sports day felt a little like the walk of shame. Though friends would cheer me on to continue running etc, deep down it was really quite painful to be at the back of the pack. I wish I could be as fast as everyone else and as fit as my friends. So, from time to time I tried hard to shed some pounds and improve my fitness but each time to no avail.

At times, many would laugh at my lack of fashion sense and wearing similar Polo tops everyday. Like all girls out there, I would like to look pretty too. Although I always find inner beauty more important, there are times where I wish I wasn’t the ugly duckling.  My wardrobe was filled with Polo tops and stacks of knee length shorts and cargo pants because to be honest, it was the only thing that made me feel comfortable. Other apparels either made me look worst than I already am or simply wasn’t available in my size.

The worst moments was during my high school prom. For once, I would love to look stunning for prom. Being short and fat, shopping for a dress was just painful. Walking around malls and stores for several weekends only to find dresses I like which doesn’t fit, or simply to hear replies like “sorry we don’t have such big size”. Either that or even the largest XL could not fit.  While my friends were discussing which dress to get, I was only hoping to find one which would fit. Finding a dress for prom was ripping my self esteem apart in each and every moment. Finally clad in a formal-ish top and slacks, some would ask why didn’t I get a dress for prom and I’ve never actually told them the real reason simply because I didn’t know how to express my failure in getting a dress.

In social events, there are those who pass off comments about how I am less deserving because of my size. It may just come across as a joke to many but to the subject (me), it wasn’t funny. I wished to be judged for my character and not my size but in this cruel reality, the majority is just superficial.

Despite how it hurts, I am not afraid of how the world would poke fun at my layers of lipid. For years, I was called ‘elephant’ at home and referred to as ‘Ah Pui’ (meaning Fatty in Hokkien) by many. Whatever was said, I would try to tell myself to not be bothered and just let them act as they wished. My ignorance was the reason why I could continue to lead such unhealthy lifestyle and remained unfazed by future health complications.

It wasn’t until I came to realisation that it wasn’t just about my appearance but, my health was also at stake with uncontrolled indulgence. Seeing members of many of my loved ones troubled by the common problem of hypertension, I begin to realise the importance of being healthy and fit. After successfully gained control over my cravings, I am ready to embrace my past and how I’ve felt over the years. Standing firm on my belief in the importance of inner beauty over appearance, I am not vouching that looks are important. But, I would like to point out that anyone who is blessed with better genetics and appearance, one should not take their beauty as a right to make fun and belittle those who aren’t as lucky. Laughing at anyone who is worst off is simply cruel and a form of bullying. There is no difference in the rich laughing at one who is poor and those pretty laughing at one who is fat. Both are simply laughing at those who are less fortunate than them.

I would honestly admit, my excess weight had been a damage to my self esteem and confidence for many years but all the taunts and jeers was a great motivation for me during my weight loss journey. Through the years, I am lucky to successfully gain control over my health and to have some of my buddies had been supporting me throughout.

Thank you buddy! But being 300 pounds would probably result in my death
P/S: To those reading this, if you are blessed with great physiques, be grateful and don’t belittle those who aren’t because it may secretly hurt them.

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