The Token Thick Girl.
The Designated Fat Friend.
Wasn’t there a movie about this person, this label, recently? I am going to have to look it up and watch it.
But basically, I am tired of being that person.
From early on I was the fat kid. Not always, at a VERY young age I was “Tiny Tina”. I can recall being very small and boney and seeing the bones poke out at my wrists and ankles. I remember my hip bones sticking out and the way my ribs looked in the mirror. But that stage of my life didn’t last long.
I don’t know when it happened exactly. I don’t know that there was necessarily a moment when I woke up and realized that I was fat. I can’t say that there was ever a day that I looked in the mirror and first thought, “Hey, you look big”. But I do know that puberty hit me fast, and it hit me hard, and it hit me early.
Having boobs before the rest of the girls in your class is humiliating. It doesn’t matter the reasoning, when you are different or you stand out to a group of children, they seize it as an opportunity to criticize you. But boobs weren’t the only thing I got with puberty. I got hips, and thighs, and a waistline. I got calves, and arms, and curves. It wasn’t fun for me at all. Now, years later, knowing that I have a number of auto immune diseases, this was likely a pre-cursor to the disorders and a sign that something was not functioning in my body the way it was supposed to. As a society though, these types of things often get swept under the rug and over looked. Doctors look more to treat the symptoms rather than looking at the cause.
Don’t get me wrong, my parents had done a wonderful job keeping me healthy. We always went to the doctor, had our shots, and were given the care we needed. But somethings are just hard to see when you aren’t taught them yourself.
As I grew older, the weight continued to grow. I always weighed a significant amount more than my peers. I was soon becoming the thick girl within all the groups I associated with. Sometimes it didn’t bother me, I had bigger boobs, and in some circles, that was a plus. But as much as I tried to convince myself that being thick was ok with me, my self-confidence was in the hole.
I can’t say it was all about my illnesses that made me big. I developed a taste for emotional eating. Basically any emotion made me eat. I caused a lot of damage to myself.
Now I am at a point in life where I am just done with it. I am tired of being the Token Thick Girl. I am tired of being the fat girl in group pictures. And I am finally doing something about it. I am not saying that there is any shame in being a thick girl. There is no shame or anything wrong with being comfortable in exactly who you are no matter your size, thick or thin or in between. It’s just that for me, in this place that I am in in my life, I need a change. I need to be the fit girl. I need to be seen as the girl that took control of her life and got her health together.
It’s more than just the physical parts. Being the token thick girl carries a lot of emotional weight too. It represents all the years that I let myself down. I let others control me. I let my health take a back seat. It’s time that I put these things in their rightful places.
It has taken a lot of habit changes to make myself take over 20 capsules/tablets per day. Taking pills isn’t something I like to do, but I need my vitamins and my meds to make my body function. I’ve learned to accept that while I want my body to do things on its own, it simply can’t, and I NEED these things to survive. My body is sick, and I have to have this medicine or I will become very ill again. I cannot afford to go back down that road. A lot of people don’t understand this. They see the plethora of pills that I take and make jokes about me being a walking pharmacy. They pick and say that I take these things for show. But you know what, it doesn’t’ matter. I know what happens when I miss a dose. I know how my body reacts when I go through withdrawal. I know how it feels to go without my meds. Shame on ANYONE who EVER talks down to a person for taking meds for an auto immune disease. You have no idea what it is like if you have never experienced the crippling traumas first hand. This shit is no joke. Its real life and it’s a battle people struggle with every day.
Being on my meds has given me the ability to get through the day. I have been able to go out with my lovely partner and not feel like I am going to pass out or fall asleep at the drop of a hat. It has given me hope that I can spend days at an amusement park, and get through an entire work week without crashing at my desk. It has even allowed me to start exercising small bits at a time. I can take short walks without tiring too much. Small steps have taken me long distances. I am getting where I need to go.
So this Token Thick Girl is shrinking, but only in numerical pounds. I am growing infinitely on the inside. My passions for helping people are rekindling and growing. I am finding my political and feminist voice again. My joy and love for photography is growing, my interest in cooking and meal planning is intensifying. My itch for drawing and crafting is becoming greater too. I hope that as I continue to find ways of leaning my body, I also find ways of strengthening my soul.
Again, I am so grateful for all of you for taking the time to read my mindless ramblings and support me throughout my growth and changes.