Thursday, 12 July 2012
I subscribe to the -ish sites, because I enjoy the occasional article, but lately reading them has made me feel even more of an alien in my own body than I already did.
There are so many people who are offended by those of us who they consider to be overweight. Now, I am not going to lie to anyone. I am overweight and I know it, there's no sugar coating that. I have been considered overweight for approximately 90% of my life. It wasn't a gradual change from thin to chubby either, I remember not ever being skinny. I've always been a woman with curves, and that's just all there is to it.
Not once since middle school on was I ever able to enter a shop and purchase clothing that wasn't in plus size. This is in part my fault, but also in part to faults of my genetics. I was born with Congenital Hypothyroidism that went undiagnosed until I was 14. It was a minor case, but without medication it affected my growth. Until I started the hormone, if I grew anywhere it always seemed to be out and not up. When I finally did start to mature, it seemed to me that my parents were not in fact the people who raised me, but a pair of giants.
My mother is a relatively petite woman. She's bordering on above average height at five foot seven, and always had a slender structure. My father is also not a tall man, he's barely five foot eleven and he also is of slender build. Upon maturity, it became painfully apparent that I did not resemble each of them. There is a term that is so loosely thrown around, called big boned. "I'm not fat, I'm big boned...." Heard it? Be aware that sometimes this is exactly the case.
Because of my condition, I did not mature until I was nearing the age of 15. But it eventually happened, and I found myself the subject of ridicule. I went from being a short, pudgy kid to being a tall, large woman. And because of this I became the subject of ridicule. The boys liked me because I developed some nice T&A, but only to stare at. And the girls were as cruel as girls can be. I developed an eating disorder at the age of 16, in desperation to be thin and to fit in.
It was only after my starvation diet gave me a pretty nasty ulcer, did my parents realize there was a problem. My mom took me to our physician, who brought in his dietician to talk to me. It was then, at the age of sixteen and at the weight of one hundred and eighty pounds, that I learned the painful truth.
I was /Never/ going to be thin. Not without the expense of good health. As the years go by, there are demographics that are put out that say what the current healthy weight/average size for people should be. This, however, is based on a demographic and is not personalized to you. There are factors that everyone as an individual possess that can alter this to fit you. And while this demographic based chart can be used as a guide, you should always consult with your doctor to find out just exactly what you as a person need to find a healthy lifestyle.
Based on that demographic, at my height I should weigh no more than one hundred and fifty pounds. At one hundred and eighty pounds, I was unhealthy. How is that possible? I was malnourished. My hair was falling out. I looked thin, gaunt, and my blood pressure was atrociously low. My doctor and dietician looked at the size of my bones, and told me that I might just have to sell myself on never looking cheerleader thin. My fingers were long, but large around the second knuckle. My wrists were huge. My femur was long, and very dense. And my feet were some of the largest he'd seen on a woman. My pelvis and hips were big, and my ribcage had a wide diameter. I had huge bones. Thanks to a strong heritage of Scottish, Irish, and other anglo-descent, I was built as them.
I have never been under 200 pounds ever since that day, and while I am still overweight I have learned that there is a difference in fat and healthy. You can be healthy, and still be what the world calls fat. You can be as skinny as a rail, and be one of the most unhealthy people out there. The key is, don't let people judge you. Be proud in who you are, despite your size, and what you do. They may be able to run a mile farther than you, but you shouldn't have shame for just being what you are. And if you decide to buy clothes, or have to buy clothes from a big and tall shop, so what.
Look in history and see the iconic people of the world who would be considered big. People like Marilyn Monroe, who is considered one of history's most beautiful women. Theodore Roosevelt, who was one of our nations most iconic leaders. There's so many more: Winston Churchill, Elvis Presley, Queen Victoria, Benjamin Franklin, Winfield Scott... The list goes on and on.
The measure of a person isn't in the size of their waist, but in the depth of their character.