Fat. I am fat.
Automatically the connotation of that one little word has many of you readers shifting around uncomfortably in your seat, readying your fingers to type the oh-so-cliche words: “You are beautiful!” “You just do you.” “You’re not fat!” “You were made that way. You’re just big-boned.”
I’m holding my tongue on the big-boned argument. For now.
But you’ve been warned: a rant is coming.
I’ve been wanting to talk about this issue for awhile. In fact, I’ve been talking about it for more than a decade of my life. I remember crying when I reached 100 pounds at 8 or 9, but that was nothing in comparison with what I would have to deal with later on.
I remember talking to my friends at sleepovers about my weight, grabbing my stomach and saying, “I’m so fat!”
And they’d just say something random to change the subject and move on.
I remember looking at my legs and thinking they resembled turkey legs. It’s kind of funny when you think about it. . .
I remember being fourteen and looking myself over in the mirror, clad in a pink and white plaid top, and running my hands over my waist. “Maybe I would have a figure. . .if I was skinny,” I remember thinking.
If, if, if.
And then I remember being 18 and standing in a Bojangles line with my dad. One of those sharp pains that had been bothering me for several months shot down my left arm. And I recall saying, “I don’t want anything, Dad.” For the first time.
That started an eight-month period of mind-numbing fear that I would have a heart attack as a freshman in college. Irrational, yes. But part of my journey, all the same.
Then, the fear evaporated and college was in full swing. And cupcakes go really well with French tests. Let me tell you.
I want to talk about this because it’s part of my journey. I want to talk about this right now because I feel different about myself. I’m finally getting to the point where I’m okay with being myself. Not Amanda Lee Russell, the perfectly beautiful and talented woman I planned on becoming. Not Amanda Lee Russell, heart-breaker and narcissist extraordinaire.
No. Mandie Russell–the broken, messy sinner in need of grace. The girl who struggles with weight and struggles with self-discipline, yes. But also. . .the girl who God created in His image. The girl who loves star gazing and her little world. The girl who will never get it all right, but has value and purpose anyway. The girl who can sum up her life story in two little words: But God.
No. I need to shout that out: BUT GOD. BUT GOD. BUT GOD.
Oh Jesus, you lifted me up out of the miry clay. YOU LOVED ME WHEN I HATED ME AND WAS ANGRY AT YOU. YOU LOVE ME. YOU. LOVE. ME. And You WILL redeem this life. YOU WILL.
How can I keep what He’s done for me a secret? How can I not write about my own journey and my own battles?
So, yes. I’m starting this series of blog posts and, yes. I’m calling it the Fat Girl Diaries. In it, I believe I’m called to write about what it feels like to struggle with obesity.
This is part of who I am, but it’s not all that I am. It will affect where I’m going, but it’s not my life.
I’m gaining my wings.