For literally as long as I can remember, I’ve been a big person.
When I was young the other school kids were at the top of their game in terms of being brutally cruel with harsh terms. In the beginning you try to ignore it. It doesn’t help. The verbal tirade continues day in and day out although out primary school.
The bar gets raised a notch when you enter high school. The kids are smarter, the language more abusive. Unfortunately for me I had a tormentor whom inflicted physically pain on top of all the verbal pain. That went on throughout high school.
Throughout all that time, I grew, and I don’t mean physically. Sure, I got older but I also got smarter and more mature. It wasn’t a case of ignoring what was happening to me but more of building up a resistance to it. The words ceased bringing on a torrent of tears, the beatings stopped hurting.
When school ended, I quietly hoped that all the excess attention from being big would stop too. Not the case. Getting “the look” from people when you go somewhere. You know exactly what they are thinking. For a really long time what others thought of my physically appearance was the controlling aspect of my life. I was intelligent enough to know that fad diets and the like just don’t work. So I didn’t pursue them. I knew deep down that what it needed was a life style change but I couldn’t work out a way to achieve that.
So for the better part of the last twenty years, what others; even complete strangers whom I will likely never encounter again; was the dominant control factor. I go to great lengths to dress well and have a good appearance even though my stature is by no means concealable. The advent of the iPod has been one of my saving graces though. People now are often so self-absorbed they don’t notice me, or anyone else.
Being big has its challenges though. There may only be one or two bricks’n’mortar stores per state in this country where I can buy clothes and try it on first. More often its order online, hope it fits and if not go through the hassle of returning it. In my college days I would decline trips to the mall, as it was invariably shopping for clothes and nothing to fit me, so why bother. Sleeping has its own problems and living will continual back and neck pain isn’t a walk in the park. Some nights I sleep in my chair, and while not the most restful of sleeps, at least the pains subsides. I take care in what I eat, and try hard to eat well. Short of starving myself, which is no solution, some weight gain does take place.
Now and again people will say “why don’t you just do some exercise”. Really, I’d never have thought of that on my own. I have several times attempted a life style change to include exercise and all have failed. I have a defect in my ankle, same as my mum, whereby it can give way and I fall over without warning. This has happened several times, a sign that this change was not the right one.
It’s easy to put weight on, seemingly without any effort at all. Getting it off, proving somewhat more difficult. Slowly though the pieces of the puzzle slowly fit into place. Having a few friends that accept me as I am was a very important aspect of this. For one such friend, her friendship has been be invaluable to me. I would hug her if she lived here. One day though I may visit and give her that hug. A supportive family to be there when you start to waiver and lose the will to continue helps too. Its so easy to find an excuse to not do something, but persisting and doing it even when I fell crap, and its raining outside is really hard.
I eventually made my life style change, some 20 years after I acknowledged that it was what was needed. A very long time coming. Every night now I exercise for 15 mins. I’m slowly trying to work that duration up but its hard going. I’ve been doing this now for two months. While I appear to be the same, I do feel better about myself and I know that at least I have started down the path. I honestly don’t know if I will ever be more normal sized and in that there is some fear, as I’ve only ever know what its like to be big.
This was hard for me to write, its deeply personal and has brought back memories, both good and bad. Maybe someone, somewhere who struggles with weight will find this helpful.