Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Have You Always Been Fat?

I have always been fat.

My tendency now is to let this dip into a "Woe is me, look at my horrible life" kind of monologue. I'd like to stay away from that. Yet, I have been thinking a lot lately about men and women who spend childhood and significant portions of their adulthood with only a skinny or athletic body.

What is that kind of life like?

I don't even know. I've always been chubby. At least as long as I can remember. There were brief periods of forcefully imposed slenderness--6 months when I was 11 years old, another year when I was fifteen years old and a dip towards normal body proportions when I was 22 years old. Other than that I've always carried a tummy, meaty thighs and a round face.

I grew up with five brothers and two sisters. None of them have ever been a hundred pounds overweight. Some of them in adulthood have edged up the scale thirty or forty pounds but no one has ever approached morbid obesity like me. Why is that?

What is so different about my body, my habits or my chemistry so that my body stockpiled weight? I have asked myself similar questions most of my life.

Right now, my theory tends towards a disruption in my endocrine system, an insulin sensitivity and food allergies. All of these natural tendencies leant themselves to a chubbier frame which induced some emotional eating as a way to soothe myself from the negative attention that my looks presented. Like I said: just a theory and likely one that leans a bit too heavily on the "woe is me" category that I vowed to stay away from earlier.

I think why this has all come up is that I look at adults around me, ones who have never suffered with a weight problem and I wonder What happened to me? Why am I so different? Why didn't I ever have a skinny time in my youth?

I don't know the answer to this and many other questions. I also don't know if the answers are really that important. I just know that these thoughts have occurred to me more and more often over the past few months.

Likely because right now, the fat thing seems patently unfair to me. It is unfair that I am still dealing with, working on, and learning the whys and hows of living in a fat body. I'm still uncomfortable in it, I still wish I didn't have to go down this road, I still wish things had turned out differently for me.

But the reality is, this is my life. This is my body. This is the hand that was dealt to me. And none of my whining or crying or pleading is going to change that. I can't change the past, the future is unknown, and all I have is today.

So, yes, I've always been fat. Even today. And some days it feels harder than others. And some days I barely notice it. Mostly, it is a topic that fills my mind constantly like a bad rerun. But I refuse to believe that it won't change. I've always felt like a big change is just around the corner.

At least that belief keeps me hoping and smiling through the ups and downs.

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