ahhh the old “my size is larger than yours” deal
Lately on some blogs and sites I’ve been getting some flack because I am only a size 14. In fact, let me share a response with you dear readers, it was about my introduction post and about self acceptance:
“It is easier to accept oneself as ‘fat’ if one is a size 14 than if one is a size 20 or 26. I would LOVE to be a size 14.”
Now, this response made me feel discounted, trivialized and unwelcome because I am not “fat” enough. So I guess I have run into what other inbetweenie women such as myself have talked about when joining the FA and Intuitive Eating spheres of le’ realm.
There are several things going on here that I want to address and talk about dearest readers.
1. The ol’ “my story is worse than yours so stuff it” argument. This argument can be heard in many self help groups, AA circles and what not where people vie for who has it worst.
2. Your problem is not big enough to warrent my empathy or concern because you have it better than me, aka the “poor little rich girl” syndrome.
3. You dont know how I am feeling, you cant possibly understand how hard it is to accept oneself at my size because you are only a size 14.
Now… I have been anywhere from a size 10 (for about as many minutes) to a size 20. At the age of 12 I was going to Lane Bryant. I can list the fat girls litany here as well as anyone else full of its own heartbreak, denial and self loathing. But the sentence above seeks to create barriers, draw lines in the sand, fails to empathize with the trials and experiences of another and in short speaks to the pain that this person is going through.
The funny thing is at size 20 I was miserable. At size 10 I was miserable. At size 14 I was miserable. I have come to realize that my HAPPINESS WAS CONSTANTLY TIED TO A SIZE THAT WAS LACKING. In fact, my being miserable really had NOTHING to do with my size at all. Once I started through the FA movement to unhinge my self worth, my acceptance, nay my outright love and respect for my body started to grow within me. My goal here is to firmly lock in that constant positive self regard that is unchangeable to the ebbs and flows of my weight. This. Yes THIS is my goal finally realized after years of hatred, denial, you name it.
It is also through this perspective that I must try my hardest to stay in tune with the challenges and life stories of another. If a person who is a size 4 in in pain enough where she is starving her self, or the guy who is a size 52 pant won’t leave the house. Both people are in pain and both are deserving of my empathy, respect as a human being and concern that they are in distress. I dont want to discount ANYONE or push them away by making them feel their experience is irrelevant.
I just don’t want to get into these kinds of ego/control issues with others in group. I want to feel like others will respect my feelings and story in the same way I will for theirs.