what it means to be thin.....

I started thinking about this when someone posted a comment asking me to talk about what it feels like to be on the other side of the thin wall.

Well, It's hard to explain.
Because much like being on the other side...You forget what it's like to not be the way you are now..
You remember in a kind of distant, hazy way...
But not like you are living it day to day.
You see...
There are things that are no longer a reality for me.
Things like:
Laying in bed at night and imagining what it would be like to be thin.
Then crying because you 'know' it will never happen...you are doomed to be fat.
Not wanting to go up the stairs to retrieve something because it sounds (and is) too tiring.
Trying to skip out on going to the zoo because you know you are going to pay for it the following day when you can barely stand, because the pain in your feet is epic.
Being afraid of going to the movie theater because you might not fit in the seat...
Feeling like every fatty piece of food that passes your lips is some sort of proof of your inability to get it together.
Being ignored in stores when trying to get help with an issue.
Getting nasty or disgusted stares from men.
It doesn't happen anymore.
So I decided to go back to some of my earlier posts....
when one section really leapt out at me..
In fact, it made me cry for the person I used to be...

All of us fat girls know this, we make up for our weight by using humor, being accomodating, and putting ourselves at the bottom of the totem pole. We put ourselves down before anyone else does. We make Jokes at our own expense that say "See, you don't have to feel bad, I know I am fat...I'll be the funny one, the nice one, the one who listens to everyone's problems while stuffing down my own with food. I don't want to get in anyones way, I am not worth taking up anyones time, even my own.". Let me get out of the way, make the cookies for the bake sale, listen to you drone on about your gout, accept backhanded compliments with grace, and not be a nuisance. Let me try to fit my exercise around your likes, dislikes, dinnertimes, dance class, piano lessons, phone calls, errands and cleaning. If I can find the time I will get myself healthy, if not, well then...that's okay because everyone else is happy and that's what matters.

See all that.
I don't do that anymore...not ANY of it.
In fact...I look in the mirror and like what i see...yes, even naked.
I can walk for miles...and love the zoo...we go all the time.
I walked my kids into the dirt on the last family hike.
If  someone says something mean or hurtful, I don't just accept it, internalize it and then eat it.
I tell them how I feel about it.
Man is THAT liberating.
Oh, I still take my kids around...
But I make my exercise a priority.
I make me a priority.
And as a result...my motivation for doing nearly everything has changed from have to, to want to.
From operating from a place of deficit and less than.
To operating from a place of love and self worth.
I didn't just get thin.
I got happy.
Because I deserve to be happy.
That was my biggest realization.
Because I am enough and though I may have moments of self doubt, they don't hang aroun d like they used to....
I am worth the time and effort, and so are you.
That is what it means to lose weight and grab hold of your health, and to reverence your life.
So hang in there.
It's worth doing.


downsizers said...

Amen. I think of all the times I felt bad about having a difference of opinion because I thought my opinions had no value because I was fat. I can identify with each of the points you made in your post from the old days. We have been second class citizens long enough. We have taken the back seat long enough. I am so happy that we get out there and live without apologizing for it.

Fatoutofskinny said...

Can't wait till I get there too!

Dagny said...

I read this and understood every word all too well. I live on the other side, down 170lbs myself. I'm going to say something very "un-PC" that this post reminded me of. The emergence in the last few years of the "sassy, proud, in-your-face" fat girl. Everytime I see another one of those "fat rants" online, I think it's a lie. I think it's a self-deception. I think it's a surrender, a resignation to accept something it's been decided can't be changed.

Every person has value, every person deserves respect. But I separated my identity from my weight. I always knew the person I was inside but I also accepted the reality that other people wouldn't see and embrace and respect that person if fat blocked their view and made them biased and judgmental. I didn't want to make a "fat rant" video or blog. I wanted to get the weight off me. But I also wanted to be physically comfortable and capable and HEALTHY. I was on seven prescriptions when I was fat.

There are a lot more BETTER reasons to lose weight than to change your looks and the way the world will look at you. I'm so healthy now I've kind of forgotten what it used to be like to live in that bulky and limited body. But every day I do notice the little things about how I fit into society now. And I do remember all too clearly what it was like when I didn't fit in.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

It is wonderful to revisit the 'other side of the wall'. You're right, you do tend to forget in a way.
Although I was never too far from "average", there were things I notice now that I wasn't doing for myself when I was heavier. My hair looked greasy and stringy, my clothes were sad, etc. My husband and I laugh at the idea of looking at old photos and wishing you were still young. We both look better now! It's so much more than the weight.
And I do agree with some of those who have commented here about the 'fat rants'. My mother was a horrendous yo-yo dieter and would have times when she declared that she would rather be 'fat & happy', yet I knew she never really was happy at all. Society may treat people harshly that are fat, yet I do understand that sometimes some judgement can kick a person into gear even if it is for the wrong reasons. It may not be fair, but then life is NOT fair.

E. Jane said...

Very well said, Chris. This past weekend someone in the family was very unfair to me in their comments. Granted, this person was processing a personal crisis, but chose to "get on my case" because of something I had said that was innocent and they knew it. I realized it was a case of displaced anger. This person who was rude to me has done this before when stressed. Why me? I asked a few people, and they don't understand it either. I think I know. I am an easy target beause I am overweight, and I wear my sadness and lack of self esteem on my face. I don't like to be a victim, but being a doormat for the anger of others makes it easy if we are ashamed of what we look like. I think that's me. That has to change. It's not good for me or for a couple of family members who use my weakness.

"KT" said...

This is so powerful. I'm just getting started on this journey but I've already noticed that I'm willing to stick up for myself more. Caring for yourself physically seems to lead to nurturing yourself mentally too, and it's a wonderful thing.

Tony said...

I would like those post a hundred times if I could!

Hanlie said...

Two people have told me this week that they've kind of forgotten what it felt like to be fat. Now, they weren't all that fat, but still, they are enjoying being thin.

This is such an important post, because some bloggers are fond of saying that weight loss will not solve all your problems. Now, you'd have to be stupid to think that it would magically transform every area of your life, but it certainly changes many areas. So either those people were just not very aware, or they were still emotionally attached to their weight. I know for a fact that even a 20 pound weight loss would make a huge difference for me and I am determined to enjoy every step of the way.

Robin said...


Carbie Girl said...

just came across your blog tonight, what a touching entry. I'm not sure I can say I've let my weight affect me in the same way it affected you but it definitely HAS affected me and kept me from doing certain things. Your transformation is amazing and I have a lot of reading up on your blog entries to do :0)

Susy said...

Yet another awesome post Chris, as usual. The comments were awesome as well! =) I feel that I'm finally starting to become VISIBLE again. It sometimes seems as if I don't even EXIST when I'm over weight. Like I'm not worth even looking at or acknowledging...

carla said...

it means, to me, precisely what you said: I AM WORTH THE TIME AND EFFORT.

I remind myself of that phrase with all things that feel challenging in my life.


Maria said...

Hi Chris, my sister brought dme to you this morning, I am exactly 264.8 lbs. and am 5" 4'right now. I had the lapband put in 2 years ago and found a way to eat around it. I have seen alot of people lose an enourmous amount of weight with no surgery and always wonder "how did they do that?" I was very inspired to see the pictures that you have posted, the change is amazing. I hope to follow in your footsteps very soon! Thanks for the inspiration!!

MB said...


Joy said...

I wonder if I will ever forget what it feels like to be fat....I'm down 66 pounds...well 61 pounds now, as I gained while on vacation. With this extra 5 pounds, I feel the old feelings of self hatred, fear of fitting into seats and my clothes, fear of ridicule etc. All this with just 5 extra pounds. I tell you...I'm very motivated to get these pounds off and get back to my health and fitness plan. I feel terrible right now....

Keep focused!!