Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fat Me in the Eyes of a Thin Friend

I have a very thin friend who just does not understand my struggle.  By the end of my journey down Highway 150, I will have lost at least one and a half times her body weight. She cannot comprehend that. When I told her I had lost 35 pounds, she asked me if that was really possible.  She has no frame of reference for the idea of being fat.  She eats what she wants, when she wants, and often has to struggle to maintain her weight without losing. 

My friend knows that I am blogging about my journey, but no matter how often she asks I will not tell her how to find this blog. She is a writer, and she wants to read what I write. But she cannot understand what I write. She might read what I write with curiosity or fascination or horror, but she will never be able to understand. She has no way to even imagine losing 50, 100, 150 pounds. I get irritated by her failure to understand, but I do not want to be the person who tells her what it is like to be fat.

My friend is one of the few people I know who truly sees me as a fat person. I am uncomfortable with her perceptions of me. One of the things that bothers me the most is her assumption that I have limitations because of my weight. I do, of course, but I have always believed that I was the one who should place them, not allow others to do it for me. This is not a new condition; I have been fat for a long time. I know what I can and cannot do. I do not want anyone to tell me that I am not able.

My friend told me one day that she feared I would have a massive heart attack. Not at some indefinable point in the future, but right then, right in front of her. We were walking down a path from the beach, and I had stopped to readjust my hold on the things I carried. She assumed that I stopped because the walk was too strenuous, that I was about to keel over. Embarrassment, shame, ridicule... I felt all those things. But the sharpest emotion I felt was anger. I know that my friend felt concern for me, but it was concern tainted by her thinness. 

We are still friends and have grown close again after I allowed a great distance to come between us. My friend is still thin and I am still fat, but I am changing. The truth, as much as I hated it, was that I could not do many things because of my size. I am changing that. Every day I am changing, transforming, remaking and reshaping myself into the person thin people think I should be. I am becoming the person I think I should be. On my journey I will meet many people. I hope that I will not make judgments about their abilities based on their size or shape. 


  1. From across the miles, anonymously and via cyberspace, you have an army of new friends who know you for your wit, your smarts, your determination, and the way your words inspire us in our own weight-loss journey. We understand! We applaud. ANd you know what? Speaking for myself, I know with absolute certainty, totally and unconditionally, that you will not fail at hitting 150. I gain from your words each day; thank you. I am blessed to share your journey, my friend.

  2. I understand what it is like to have skinny friends and family. My sisters are ashamed of me for I am large and they are size 0 and 3. I don't get asked out to join them in their fun. Some friends well...I am not up to their standards. I applaud you for your goals and posting on this site. Looking forward to seeing your goal accomplished!

  3. Argh! I hate hearing about intolerant people, especially family and so-called friends. People can be so cruel. You will always have friends here, friends who accept you just as you are!