I Never Wanted This

I am so not good at martyrdom. Or bearing challenges with silent stoicism. Or going quietly into the dark night.

I've never been peaceful about being fat. I've resented it from day one. I've felt uncomfortable in my own skin, unhappy that this was my challenge and so mad that I did not get the life I was supposed to have.

That may sound a bit ridiculous but I have often felt like I am living a parallel life to the "real" one I am supposed to be living. The one where I am not compromised by this burden and hidden under these layers. My family, my friends, my location, my beliefs are all the same--I am just different in this parallel life. I am my best self there. I wasn't the fat teenager there who hung back, insecure and angry. I was editor of the school newspaper, on the basketball team, lead in the school play, and in the show choir--my talents were not blanketed by my weight. In college, I was pretty and popular, dating lots of boys and doing well in school because I was confident and strong and not mortified to walk out the door each morning to face the world. I went on study abroad and was on the ballroom team and utilized my gifts rather than shroud them under my weight. My LDS mission would have been the same, only this time, I would have discovered a little sooner my strengths in teaching because I wasn't so hampered by my ever-present concern with losing weight.

During post-mission life I would have graduated, maybe started that first job but been dating up a storm and quickly found someone to share my life with rather than hanging back continually out of fear that I was just too ugly for any man to ever see beyond the layers of chub down to the best parts of my soul. Then these last ten years could have been spent just how they were meant to be spent in building a marriage, having babies, raising a family and growing as a writer and dreamer and not constantly pinned down by this great, overwhelming obstacle called "obesity."

In my parallel life I am the same--I have weaknesses and strengths and peculiarities and personality but it isn't compromised or filtered or diluted or even enhanced because I am fat. I am just "me." Being fat has never felt like me. It has never felt "right." Does any challenge ever? I don't know. I just know that this has felt uncomfortable and pinched and unsettled on my soul for as long as I can recall. And it still does to this day. I do not feel right here. And as my "real" life continues in parallel to this life, my two worlds move further and further apart and one day I will be fractured between them if I do not either reconcile myself to this existence, learn how to merge them together or let go of one of them entirely.

Mostly, I want peace. And I want to be comfortable in my skin AND in my life.


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