I was the fat kid growing up, and my peers delighted in informing me of such at every possible opportunity. I tried to change,
I tried SO hard.
But failure after failure, I hated sport and I hated being teased and when I felt sad the mars bars didn’t tease me, so from about year three I had the skill of comfort eating down to a fine art.
By the time I reached age 15 the teasing had reached epic proportions and so had my weight. I was 75kg and quite short, I hit breaking point and decided to do something about it, the world wanted me to lose weight so lose weight I would.
Around 3 months later I weighed in at 55kgs and I did 500 sit ups in the morning and 500 at night. The teasing continued fatty boombah, thunder thighs and the like – god these people were so hard to please.
But I had to please them.
So I didn’t eat over 10 calories per day and even then I had to run or walk them off ASAP I had to be in minus calories, I couldn’t swim them off though - I was far too fat to be seen dead in a bathing suit. More sit ups.
I was a vegetarian so I did all my own cooking and became an expert in eating two bites and hiding the rest in the compost bin, a little bit under the top layer so nobody could see. Lying became second nature and I wouldn’t cook anything in the kitchen when my mother was in there because I was terrified she would poison me by adding oil or butter to my foods.
She didn’t understand how important it was for me to be thin. I HAD to be thin.
Mid way through year 10 I was expertly maintaining my 42kg frame, by not eating and lots of walking even though it was getting harder to run because I would pass out so easily – oh well no pain no gain they always say.
I had a steady group of genuine friends, but I didn’t care that they didn’t think I was fat, because they were real friends I naturally assumed they were lying to me to make me feel better. But I found one friend through all this, who was just like me – a little bit fucked up and desperate to lose weight.
I egged her on, I showed her how to lie to parents and friends to make it appear you are eating when you aren’t, I taught her how to count calories and how to push past the exhaustion point when you are exercising.
She hit 39kg and over took me, she HAD to over take me she was competing, and I started to realise what was happening as we tried on clothes in Supre one day and they were all miles to big for her.
She ended up in the hospital I had always managed to evade through my lies and empty promises. A drip up her nose force feeding her as she screamed.
I will never forgive myself for what I did to her.
She has been in and out of hospitals with mental health issues ever since, if you are a regular reader you will have seen my posts about her.
When I went to school one day shortly after my friend was hospitalized, a kid who had teased me mercilessly since year 7 called me a 'skinny bitch' and 'why don’t I go eat something?'.
I got so angry about how I had lost all this weight to please them and maybe gain their friendship and they didnt even care that I ended up getting into a fight with a different kid that afternoon when she put grass down another friend’s top, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back I guess. I punched her in the face and never went back to school.
The place where I was working casually on weekends took me on full time and about 6 months later I moved out of home, by that time I had gained a little bit of weight and was around a size 7-8, I didn’t like it but it no longer occupied every thought. I met the man I am now married to and have since gained and lost weight fairly yo-yo style, but I have had 4 kids in that time too.
I still think about my weight, but I will eat the profiteroles on offer and my desire to have less Mc Donald’s is more related to the health benefits than the fat grams themselves. I haven’t owned a set of scales for around 5 years and I prefer it that way, it doesn’t let me dwell.
I am so thankful to have a wonderful husband who loves me for who I am, has never tried to change me and never will. I am lucky that it all worked out for me and I escaped the cycle that so many people live in everyday.
I wrote this as posts related to school yard bullying and its lasting effect have been floating round the blogosphere the last few days “madam bipolar” & “the things I’d tell you” to name a few.
While I don’t blame the kids that teased me for what happened and I know that I had choices, I do feel that the long term impact of bullying is often underestimated and it’s a topic that needs more awareness.
Have you been impacted by bullying?