Comparing to Non-Chubbies

Growing up with a sister a year apart had it’s ups and downs. We were always compared on every level. Mostly on academics and good-looks. I failed on the good-looks department. We had very different eating habits and metabolism (mine was completely damaged due to erratic cycles of deprivation and bingeing). 

Growing up, I was always the chubby one hiding behind my books while my sister was the skinny fashionista with the camera. I accepted this. I decided brains were better than looks anyway. I continued to get chubbier and chubbier. I somehow felt in control because I “chose” to identify myself as the chubby one. But it still hurt and my parents continued to give me “constructive criticism” daily, in hopes that I would change. The pressure only lead me to eat more.

In a last stitch effort, my parents restricted the sweets that entered the home and would cut me off saying “that’s enough” in my attempts for second helpings. 

For years I would hear comments both direct and indirect saying that I should “slow down,” “you got fat,” join a gym, stop eating sweets, PORTION CONTROL, etc. But somehow the comments that affected me the most would be the compliments given to my sister. Because let’s face it, when you’re slim EVERYTHING looks good on you. I would hate going dress shopping, bathing suit shopping or any form of shopping with her. Because my body would always be compared to hers. My shopping experience would always be compared to her. It would take one fitting room visit for her to score an adorable outfit. But it would take me several trips to the fitting room until I found something halfway decent that could cover my big arms, pudgy belly and muscular calves.

I’ve gone through phases of some severe dieting and excessive exercise regimes. They were of course very effective, but never long lasting. Twice I got down to the “ideal” weight and size. The funny thing is when I dropped the weight, everyone treated me differently. I heard more compliments and more people wanted to take selfies with me. It was almost reflex to scurry out of a photo when my cousins were doing their little photoshoots (lol). 

It was a strange feeling. I was happy and satisfied with my appearance. But I knew there was absolutely no way it would be permanent. I didn’t like what I was doing to by body. It looked good, yes. But I knew I was harming myself on every level. My outside appearance didn’t match my inside. I didn’t love myself. They say discipline is good for the body and soul. But I felt like I was punishing my body. I was forcing a fat-kid into a skinny mold. These persistent thoughts were enough to make me feel like it wasn’t worth it. So, like every pro-yo-yo-dieter. I gained the weight back. I’d like to say I’m at a better place with my insecurities. But that would be false, I still compare myself to my former slim self and to others. My ears still perk up at very subtle hint to my need to be slimmer. Although I’m not 100% happy with my body (not sure if I ever will be) I am happy with the life I lead and how I live. My thoughts and efforts are not wasted with the number on the scale. 

Kristine | Rhode Island

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