Sunday, October 31, 2010

When Fears Become Reality

Things continue to be, well, interesting in regards to that Marie Claire post. At first, I thought that the author's apology added at the end of the piece was a load of bs that she was forced to write, but it turns out that Maura Kelly really has had a long, documented history of anorexia. She was even hospitalized at one point at 70 pounds. Yikes.

That said, I'm still angry with the magazine for encouraging her to write the piece -- apparently her boss assigned it to Kelly after seeing an article on CNN about MIKE & MOLLY -- and am feeling sorry for Kelly. For one thing, what kind of crappy boss assigns an article fat prejudice to a recovering anorexic? And how much must Kelly b going through personally, if she got herself to the point where she was hospitalized for her weight issues? No wonder why overweight people disgust her -- she's seeing her greatest fear come alive right in front of her face!

I still don't agree with a word she said in her editorial, but I can at least understand what prompted her to write such a thing. Your world view can be extremely twisted when you fear something so much -- and fear that you can become said thing. It was definitely like that for me when I battled anorexia and bulimia (though I never got down to 70 pounds). I was definitely prejudiced against the overweight.

I still regret the fact that I made fat jokes against this chubby girl on our bus. To be fair, she was a total bitch and made Jewish jokes against me, but two wrongs didn't make a right here. But then there were the times I treated perfectly nice overweight people like crap. There was this girl in junior high -- let's just call her Evelyn -- who always wanted to sit with us at lunch and we'd let her; but my friends and I would make snide comments about her when she was out of earshot. She knew it, too, and was always trying to diet. All she wanted was for us to be her friends.

Part of this had to do with me being a stupid kid, but I know that a lot had to do with my own fears of gaining weight and being fat. I'd weigh myself obsessively and my mood would be predicated on what number appeared. No matter how good I looked in an outfit, I always noticed the "fat rolls" that popped out (which was ridiculous because I didn't have any!). Back then, I had the same stereotypes as everyone else -- that overweight people are lazy and ignorant. I wish I could go back in time and bitch slap the 13-year-old me!

The thing is, I didn't even like myself then. I HATED myself. I hesitate to share this, but I was 14 when I seriously considered committing suicide. So yeah, I wasn't fat, but I kinda thought I was anyway, and I was miserable with my own existence. What kind of life was that? No wonder I had so much prejudice -- it's difficult to feel love and compassion for others when you're dealing with your own shit.

What's interesting is that one of my best friends is gay and admits that when he was younger, he thought being gay was "disgusting." He's been out for 10 years now and has obviously changed his world view, but it was a similar thing in that he "hated" the thing that he feared himself being.

There are many things that I don't like about being obese, but in some ways, gaining weight has been good for me. I don't hate myself these days and think that I'm more compassionate toward others. I'm definitely less selfish than I was when I was younger and don't care quite as much about being perfect. Yes, I want to lose weight for health purposes, but I don't think that thinner equals better. For a one-time anorexic, that's a big deal.

It's pretty ironic that it took me becoming obese to become my best self so far. Hopefully, I'll take everything that I've learned during this time and continue to be who I am as the pounds come off.

No comments:

Post a Comment