Those against fat shaming would say it is a state of mind not a number. That is garbage – state of mind? I think not. States of mind pass. Fat stays put. “The only way out is through,” says the inspirational kitchen magnet at Whole Foods. New age is so old school. I am unpickupable by any ol’ wave of hope. Seems senseless in the face of a heavy-lidded belly, pulling too tightly for comfort.

Fat is two half-half pints of ice cream for breakfast. No need for coffee because one of them was mocha chip.

Fat is putting yoga on your calendar but never going. Car dancing and feeling how alive if is to move your body, but then not moving again for the rest of the weekend.

Fat is feeling your body announce you as you enter a room.  Its size your calling card.

Fat is sad lying in bed on a Saturday morning. Wishing you were joyful. Yet the view from your forehead is a blank void. You will have to strong-arm yourself to show up for your kid – batting practice and CBT and out for lunch in between. The eye lids hang heavy all day long. Plus the ice cream cramping your solar plexus is distracting.

Fat is remembering when your mother was your age (and your size), and you swore you would never be here, like her. And now you are jealous of her withering size – dementia compromising her attention to food and her ability to swallow – good diet. Maybe I should try it? Maybe I will, and it won’t be my choice. I said I wouldn’t be like her at 45 – fat and slovenly – eating alone – throwing away the evidence. And look at what happened? Ice creamed caffeine.

Fat is forgetting a relative’s birthday until the day-of when it is too late to send flowers. Your son asks you why you have to send flowers. You say it’s the polite thing to do. He asks will the relative be mad if you don’t. You say you don’t know but why risk it. That is fat.

Fat knows it is time to pull yourself up out of the eating and start moving your body like you used to, but you don’t. Fat is the exhaustion of not caring. Of remembering when you were 130 or 132 lbs, and you did hot yoga every day and you ate “low to the ground” – nothing processed, no sugars or carbs – and some thought you were too skinny. You hoped you’d stay “in the practice” for the rest of your life – and by “practice” you mean, obviously, thin.   But even as your outside façade said “yoga is my stress reliever – better than any anti-depressant I’ve ever tried,” your inside knew it would only last so long. You collapsed (as you knew you would) from the effort of trying – trying to be healthy and happy and not like your mother.

Fat is taking double the time to get dressed in the morning because you can’t find the thing that will drape perfectly over this morning’s engorgement of heft and binge. Fat is not caring. Fat is sad. Lonely. Exhausting – your face to the world remains,  “Everything will be okay. Fine. Just fine.” Carry on.

© Gabriella Strecker, 2016

photo courtesy of http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/10/skinny-shaming-not-reverse-discrimination/