I’ll never forget that one time when my husband and I were at Target, and I noticed this lady. She was about my size, but she was rocking a cute maxi dress and wedges. Her hair was fixed, cute make-up and was just simply gorgeous to me. I’m sure she was thinking…I don’t care about what size this dress is…I’m going to just rock what I got. I have to admit, I was super jealous.
I’ve always had self-image issues. I’ll never forget the day when I wore my cheerleading uniform for spirit day, and overhearing a few people in social studies say whale jokes about me in my uniform. I’m not sure if that started my issues with the way that I looked, but comments like that never helped. In middle school, I also had a serious bully who was pretty popular, and I really think her goal in school was to make me miserable…she won. She made my school years miserable, and she knew it. She knew exactly what to say to make me feel worthless…to make me tear up. You know that pain in your gut that you get when you’re on the verge of crying, but you want to hold back? That. That just…sucks. One time, two of the buses had to combine passengers since they couldn’t find a sub and everyone was sitting three to a seat. As a larger gal, I was on the edge, with my butt hanging over. All it took was one big turn, and I fell out of my seat. I was so embarrassed, and to add insult to injury, as people were laughing, one guy (who was good friends with said bully) walked up to me, told me to go back to the ocean and spit on me.
I don’t think I ever told my parents what happened that day. I cried on the walk home from the bus and took a minute to hide the tears so my parents/siblings wouldn’t notice. That night, when my Mom was washing a load of clothes, I threw the jacket in to make sure no one in the house saw what happened.
High school bullying wasn’t as harsh, but my luck with boys was zilch. I’d watch my friends go to dances with guys, have boyfriends and I was just so bummed. My junior year prom date left me the majority of the prom to hang out with another girl. Thankfully, my senior year prom date, who was a dear friend, stuck with me….glitter shedding dress and all.
All of those experiences in school (except senior prom, of course), led me to the conclusion of believing if people don’t notice me, they won’t make fun of me. Or perhaps if I just don’t look at someone’s reaction to me, that would be for the best. In high school, I just started staring at the ground when I walked. I didn’t care how I looked, because if I tried to get into make-up or fixing my hair, people would notice me, which is NOT what I wanted at all.
I carried myself that way in college a good bit…doing this for years made me very shy and intimidated to approach others. To this day, I would prefer to be alone than in a group of people socializing. I mean, don’t get me wrong…I love to talk to others and hang out, but I always have this constant worry in my head about what people think of me. If I’m at a store and notice someone staring at me, I wonder if they’re just disgusted by what they see. I know this is terrible, but it’s just how I am.
Since I started losing weight, I thought that would all disappear. I’d have a pep in my step or feel beautiful or…just something. I don’t. I still worry that people see a fat girl, and I worry about what they think. If I have a bag of candy in my cart, do people judge me? If I order something fried at a restaurant, are people going to stare at me? This past weekend, I went with my friend to a dress fitting and I was venting about how dress companies charge extra for more length (tall girl problems) and being plus sized. The guy doing alterations seemed surprised that I was plus size, and for a moment, I was excited, but that night in the mirror, I stared at all of my flaws and started bashing myself again.
It’s so strange to me, and I honestly wonder if people see what I see. I still see every fat roll, and while things are getting smaller, my overall shape seems the same. I still feel like that 300 lb. girl from last January. I’m surprised by my progress, and I’m not afraid to share it because it’s cool to see, but I still carry myself the way I did before. It’s really hard to change the way that I feel about myself, and while I really want to feel better about the way that I look, I’m just not sure if that will happen anytime soon. I really hope so, though.
Is there anyone out there who feels the same way?