On being called fat
November 19, 2011 2 Comments
I was inspired by this post by the Anti-Jared to be a little candid about my formerly fatter existence. I wouldn’t click on the link unless you’re ready to read some pretty harsh stories about people being called fat or being belittled for being fat.
I’ve been pretty lucky as a fat person and I don’t remember ever being called fat to my face. I’m sure people said stuff behind my back, but as far as I can recall I was never called any names to my face on account of my weight. I think part of the reason for that is because I was fairly comfortable joking about my weight in front of people. It was a coping mechanism for me. In my head, if I could get people to laugh with me about my weight then they wouldn’t be laughing at me.
I try to keep this blog upbeat for the most part, but every now and then I have to reflect and talk about the ugly stuff. This is one of the moments. So I’ve mentioned before that one of the reasons I was inspired to change my life around was a very candid talk with a friend who told me that he was worried about my health due to my weight. That’s the kind of being called fat that is okay, and close friends should always feel comfortable saying things like that because let’s face it, somebody has to. And that moment played a huge role in where I am now. But the ugly side of that, a part that I am pretty sure I have never mentioned on this blog since I think I’ve only mentioned it to a few people, is another conversation with a different friend who essentially called me fat while making a joke about me.
I think it was actually the same night as the other conversation, but I’m not sure about that. I was with a group of my friends hanging out, and we were drinking and joking around. Like I said earlier, I was pretty comfortable joking about my weight. I would joke; people would laugh. It was all good. Then, something different happened. One of my friends apparently felt comfortable enough to crack a joke about my weight unprompted by me. I was stunned, but I didn’t want anyone to know so I played it off and laughed at the joke. What could have been an incredibly awkward moment went on as if nothing had happened.
It stung at that moment. It really hurt; I’m not going to lie. It’s one thing when a complete stranger says something to you, but it’s a completely different animal when someone you consider a good friend says something. I won’t name names because I don’t think that’s important and really, it could have been anybody. I had set myself up for it. If I hadn’t made everyone comfortable laughing at me with my own jokes then that friend wouldn’t have felt comfortable cracking his own joke about me. And to be completely honest, I was pretty much over the “hurt” of being made fun of by a friend almost immediately. I knew it wasn’t intended to be hurtful, and as I said, the real person to be mad at was myself, not the friend. I mean, had it been about anything other than my weight no feelings would have been hurt. I would have brushed it off without a thought.
The event did stick with me, though, and played as big a role as the previously mentioned conversation did in inspiring this journey. Those two moments are what inspired me to make a life-changing New Year’s Resolution and stick to it. Maybe it was just the kick in the pants I needed!