Because everyone has one, right? You can call it being overweight, chubby, big-boned, overly muscular, not keen to athletics, couch potato, or whatever you wish to label it as. I call it fat. Fat is fat. I see it for what it is. We need some fat to function properly and too much of it can obviously weigh your fat ass down.
I was a fat baby. When I was born, I weighed in at an impressive 9 pounds. My cheeks were bulbous, my little arms and legs had enough rolls to go around and everyone mistook me for a boy. My mom had to pin ribbons in my hair so I would look respectable as a girl. At the peak of my weight gain in high school, I remember my mom saying that while most babies drink 1 three-ounce bottle of formula, I would guzzle down 2-3 six-ounce bottles at a time. Exasperated that this was the sole reason for my big size, I wailed, “Why didn’t you stop feeding me?!” My mom looked at me like I was stupid.
I was always chubby as a child and as a teenager. I have this one memory at the age of 8. I was sitting in front of my mother’s dresser and fishing out all the marshmallows from a box of Lucky Charms cereal. I lined them up all in a row in front of the mirror and as I consumed them by shape, I saw my stomach rolls for the first time. There were 3. With my hands, I molded them into 2 rolls. I found it entertaining. And frankly, that was that. One great thing about my fat story? No one ever mentioned to me that I was fat. I say I was lucky because I never suffered through that mental and emotional anguish as a child. My parents nary said a thing about eating too much, my friends didn’t ostracize me for being chubby, and the media only gave my mom a headache when I would beg for more Barbie‘s and Polly Pockets.
In a nut shell, I don’t think I had a negative perception of my body because my parents never put that kind of idea into my head. Yes, I played with Barbie’s and even owned a sweet white convertible. However, it never crossed my mind that I was to look like Barbie. I always knew I didn’t look like her but that fact never bothered me. I also looked at countless fashion magazines like Vogue. My mom was into fashion designing at the time. I would tear the models I liked best and paste them into my poorly-made-construction-paper catalog of pretty women.
When did I know I was fat? In senior year of high school. I was 155 pounds at 5’4. Stereotypically, I was a far cry from the norm. I didn’t weigh myself since I was a freshman so I remember being quite shocked. I asked the nurse, “Is this scale broken?” She said it wasn’t. “Well, aren’t you going to tell me that I’m fat?” She said I might be a little overweight but not fat. That was the moment I started to diet without knowing what I was doing. I didn’t know how to diet. Even at the age of 17, I couldn’t wrap my head around not eating. It just didn’t make sense to me. I started researching online and tried the Atkins. Utter fail. I gave up in a matter of days. I didn’t know how much I loved bread and rice until I tried abstaining from it. Hence, much easier for me to be a vegetarian than an Atkins follower.
How did I lose the weight? At an excruciatingly slow pace. I lost 5-10 pounds in one year and gained 5 back the next. Up and down depending on what was going on in my life at the time. IE: my first heartbreak, studying for midterms in college, binge drinking phase, homesickness, fights with friends, first job, and the list is endless. I realized I got fat because I was eating like a child. I was full but would keep eating because it just tasted so damn good. I had to revamp how I saw food. Food will always be there. If I can have it at anytime, there is no need to stuff myself silly. It wasn’t easy. It took awhile to sink in.
I still ate what I ate before but was more conscious of the portion size. I also grew 2 inches in college. I think that helped distribute my weight more evenly. The result? I shed about 30 pounds in 10 years. That’s a long ass time, yo. I was skinnier at one point and thicker the next. Like, this year, I’m the thinnest I have ever been due to leaving home and stressing over wedding details. By the end of this year, I’m probably going to be 5-7 pounds heavier since I’ll be gorging on delicious Italian delicacies on our honeymoon. Whichever the case, I have learned not to fight it. My body knows what it wants and it will go up and down gauging on whatever life throws at me. I made my peace with the battle of the bulge. Have you?