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You’re gonna carry that weight; carry that weight a long time

I was a skinny kid. Photos of me from back then are all pigtails and smeary glasses and I’m usually covered in mud. And I’m sometimes brandishing things like frogs or buckets of mucky water, for whatever reason. I probably had a plan for those buckets. Maybe I was going to put the frog in them. I don’t know.

Then puberty hit. You can’t fight science, people. I come from hearty peasant stock on both sides of my family. Dad’s side are all, in his words, “built like tops – big on the top, skinny on the bottom.” (I attempted to explain to him that’s not exactly how tops work, and also we don’t spin very well, but he was all “WE ARE LIKE TOPS!” so who am I to argue with him?) and my mom’s side are all built like the Goddess of Willendorf. Curvy doesn’t even begin to explain it. Genetics decided I needed a little of both, apparently.

Now, Dad had been heavy growing up, and teased about it mercilessly. He lost quite a bit of weight when he married my mother (who was, and remains, thin; she’s the only one in her family that is.) Dad saw that I was starting to gain weight and immediately feared that I was going to be teased about it at school.

His solution? Constantly watch everything I put in my mouth, tell me how disgusting being fat was, tell me I needed to be working out and/or being active every single minute of every single day, tell me I was never going to find anyone to love me if I was fat, and call me things like “elephant.” If I got upset about this, he was genuinely confused. “I just want you to be happy,” he’d say. “I just want you to be pretty and thin.”

Now, I don’t know what size you’re imagining me in high school, but if I remember correctly, I was about a size twelve. A twelve. I was probably around…oh, I don’t know. 140 pounds, maybe? 150? Just about the thinnest I’ve ever been in my adulthood, anyway. I certainly wasn’t fat. And I’m fairly tall. 5’8.

I WAS COMPLETELY NORMAL.

However, years and years of being told, by the person you love and admire most in the whole world, that you are ugly, fat and worthless, take their toll. My self-esteem, never overly good to begin with, wasn’t getting much better.

Senior year, I was tired of being so ugly and fat (although I was neither – I look at photos of myself from that time and think “GOOD GRIEF, WHY DIDN”T YOU REALIZE HOW GORGEOUS YOU WERE?!?!”) and went on a crash diet. This diet was basically a bowl of cereal at breakfast and a can of Chinese vegetables at dinner. Sometimes some chicken. No lunch. This was what I ate every day for about 8 months. I worked out for hours at a time daily. I lost about fifty pounds. I could see my hipbones and my ribs and my cheekbones. My collarbones were so prominent I would sometimes accidentally bump them and leave bruises.

It was the first time my father ever told me I was beautiful. He followed it with “See? All you had to do was lose weight. I knew you were beautiful underneath that.”

I was starving. I had headaches constantly. I was tired all the time. But I was THIN. Boys were paying attention to me. One of my teachers told me, “Don’t you dare ever gain weight again. Don’t you DARE” which at the time I was all “Aw, nice!” and now, looking back, I’m all, “Um. CREEPSTER!”

I think you can see where this is going. Can anyone maintain that kind of diet and exercise regimen in the long-term? And not get scurvy? And not go CRAZY? I mean, I couldn’t eat ANYTHING. I was counting the calories in CORNSTARCH. I’m not even kidding you about this. This is not a way to live a life.

I gained the weight back over about a year. I felt terrible shame. I’d let everyone down. I was disgusting. I was ugly and fat again. I had no self-esteem; I didn’t like to go out in public, I didn’t like to go out with my friends, I didn’t date because who would have me? I drank a lot, though. Liquid courage, right? Mmm-hmm. Works every time, except when you start needing it for everything, ever. Like getting out of bed in the morning, or to get to sleep at night. Or for everything in between.

I’ve fluctuated in weight ever since. Sometimes I’m heavier; sometimes I’m lighter. And here’s the thing; as I age, it matters less to me. I still don’t love what I see in the mirror every day; I still see photos of myself and think, “Good grief, that’s an unflattering photo.” I still have residual shame. I still think “If only I was thinner, life would be easier, in a million different ways.” But it’s not a daily thing. It’s not even all that often anymore.

And before you start to hate him, Dad understands, and has repeatedly apologized, for what he did when I was younger. I often think most of parenting is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants affair. He really, truly thought he was doing the right thing. He thought he was stopping me from the ridicule he’d experienced as a teen. He didn’t realize – and did anyone, back then? – the long-standing effect that kind of treatment would have on my psyche. I’ve forgiven him. He doesn’t say a word now. And he’s said, without prompting, many times since, that I’m beautiful – no matter what size I am. He loves his daughter.

We live in a culture where it is not allowed (well, it still happens, but it’s not appropriate) to make racial jokes, or jokes about someone’s sexuality, or mental illness. But we’re still allowed to make fat jokes. Because fat jokes are funny. Fat PEOPLE are funny, right? Because, well, we CHOSE this. We chose this because we eat ALL the Twinkies and chips and cake and pie and sit around all day doing nothing. We chose this, and because we are fat, we are lazy and we also smell. Of course we do! And sometimes we fall. Ha ha! How funny!

So the best thing to do is make fun of us. To shame us. Because, as this VERY scientific study proves, it’s the only way to make us get off our lazy asses and get thin. Thin and therefore healthy. Oh, because, I don’t know if you’re aware – if you’re fat, you’re immediately unhealthy. There’s no such thing as a healthy fat person. We’re all one HoHo away from our first (or second, or third, or last) coronary. So the thing to do is shame us. According to this “prominent bioethicist” (I don’t see “ethics” coming into this at all) what you should say to any fat people you know, I mean, if you care about them at all, is “If you are overweight or obese, are you pleased with the way that you look?” Because of COURSE they’re not! And they just didn’t realize it until you shamed them! Oh, what a favor you are doing for them. They will thank you on the finish line of their first triathalon! They will shout your name from the top of Kilimanjaro!

Or they might tell you to shut your nosy piehole. Because I’m going to tell you something right now, and if you take anything away from this, I want it to be this.

My body, his body, her body, their bodies – anyone’s body but your own – ARE NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.

I don’t care if you’re fat-shaming them, thin-shaming them (yes, it exists, please read sj’s amazing post about it, and the comments, and I know from personal experience, as I have a dear loved one who has constantly been picked on about being too thin, which she can help JUST about as much as I can help my body shape, so it’s real) or ANYTHING shaming-them, or if you say you’re doing it because you’re worried about their health, or what, exactly, your impetus for putting your nose in someone else’s business is. You have no right. None. You have no right to tell them they should lose weight (unless you are their doctor, and even then, sometimes, it gets worrisome, because there are some doctors who prescribe weightloss as an easy out for everything from asthma to a sprained toe because they don’t treat the patient, they just see a fat person and think, “I KNOW WHAT’S WRONG IT IS FATNESS!”); you have no right to say things about their lifestyle choices, their clothing choices, who they’re dating, what they’re eating, how loud they’re talking, or anything whatsoever. Keep your eyes on your own test, buckaroo. I’m sure you have something you’re not proud of. Would you like someone walking up to you and saying, “Man, that’s a huge nose you have there. You should get that surgically reduced. You know, for health reasons.” Or, “I noticed you have a very small penis, Man I’m About to Have Sex With. Have you thought about getting that surgically enhanced? You know, for health reasons?” IT WOULD BE THE SAME THING.

Here’s some Fun With Fat-Shaming. Don’t even think I didn’t research the hell out of this.

First, we have Kate Upton. Who is, I think we can all agree, STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS.

She also really likes bikini shots, so it was hard to find a photo of her clothed. Hell, good for her. She is smoking hot.

She also really likes bikini shots, so it was hard to find a photo of her clothed. Hell, good for her. She is smoking hot.

Well! Were you also aware she is “well-marbled,” “thick,” “vulgar,” and – this one’s my favorite – a “little piggie?” Or – well, how about a whole paragraph of hate? Sure!

Huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition – she looks like a squishy brick. Is this what American women are “striving” for now? The lazy, lardy look? Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for? Sorry, but: eww!

YES! She has been called out as too fat to model by a VERY reputable blog site called Skinny Gossip. Two things I loathe! People who judge others’ bodies and gossip! (Also, she tagged the post with “fatties” and “thunder thighs,” because, well, why not?)

Guess why she’s not model-material? BECAUSE SHE’S NORMAL-HUMAN SIZED. Well, no. She’s actually quite a bit less than normal human sized, as normal humans are, what, a size 12 now? 14? Something like that? I don’t think she’s that size. But she’s not waif-thin, and apparently, Skinny Gossip thinks that’s what size you have to be to model clothing.

Psst, Skinny Gossip, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. She’s stunning. And it can’t possibly make you feel any better about yourself to call people pigs, can it? Really? Do you sleep well at night knowing you put something like that out there in the world? That kind of hate?

Next: employees at CVS will now be forced to take a BMI test and a blood-glucose screen to remain on their healthcare plan, or risk a fine. Why?

The company’s rationale? Coercing employees to submit to health testing will provide incentive for workers to get—and stay—in shape.

Huh. “Coercing.” Forcing, really, because the fine is $600 and they don’t pay much above minimum to work at CVS. And what happens once you take the test? Do you have to see a counselor about your totally fat fatness? Are you told if you don’t lose weight, you’ll be let go? Are your test results posted in the breakroom next to a photo of a bag of Cheetos with a red circle and a line through it? WHO KNOWS.

Or, how about, let’s fat-shame our children with this new ad campaign? Because there’s nothing that kids need more than to be shamed. I mean, it’s worked out so well for me, right?

Please read the article that accompanies this photo. It’s kickass. It has excellent examples of fat-shaming. HEARTBREAKING examples. And, sadly, TRUE examples. People think it is ok to walk up to perfect strangers in the grocery store and QUESTION THEIR FOOD CHOICES.

(True story: I had a woman come up to me in the grocery store and tell me she worked for Herbalife and they had an excellent line of diet pills I might like to try. First thought: shame. Second thought: WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE. Second thought won out over first thought; I told her I was not at all interested in a pyramid scheme for products that don’t work in the first place, and I was sorry she felt the need to walk up to strangers and judge their body type, and walked away. She was offering them to the next woman that walked past as I checked out. So apparently my words meant nothing.)

So, anyway. Yes, that’s an ad campaign for (well, against, I guess) childhood obesity, targeting overweight children. Because they probably aren’t aware they’re fat. So let’s do a whole ad campaign for it. That’s a good way to help kids with positive self-esteem. Way to go, guys.

Of course, there’s also good old Southwest Airlines, who expect their fat passengers to spring for two seats. And even their not-so-fat passengers. Whoever THEY deem as a little too fat. They SAY it’s if the passenger can’t put the armrests down, but as Kevin Smith found out a few years ago, that’s not it at all – it’s racial profiling, only with your weight. It’s fat-profiling. He was able to put his armrests down; the passengers on either side of him told the flight attendant they had plenty of room. They still kicked him off the plane. And when he got back on a later flight that they hurriedly put him on once they realized who he was and that he was tweeting millions of people about this practice, they fat-profiled another person, then put her in his row, so she’d tell him about it, and he’d know it wasn’t just him, and feel better.

DEFINITELY taking up way too much room. He should have purchased the WHOLE DAMN PLANE. *eyeroll*

DEFINITELY taking up way too much room. He should have purchased the WHOLE DAMN PLANE. *eyeroll*

Yes! Because nothing makes us feel better than to be shamed in front of a crowd of people than to do it to someone else. NOTHING. (I read his book Tough Shit recently which went in detail into the incident, and my heart just broke for him. Because no matter what you think of Kevin Smith – you all know I think he’s fantastic, but you can hate him if you want, just don’t tell me about it, ok? – when that happened, he was just an average guy, being fat-shamed in front of a full airplane of people. Worse, he was a FAMOUS guy being fat-shamed in front of a crowd of people, and if it was an average guy, it might be a laugh or two, but with a famous person, it’s news, you know? He took control of the news and labeled it “too fat to fly” himself – he’s very good at self-deprecating – but it hurt. Of course it did. Because no matter who you are, where you are in the world, being shamed for your body size is not something you can laugh off. It just isn’t. The shame should be on Southwest Airlines, not the people they’re profiling.)

Then there’s this. I can’t embed a Facebook thread, so sadly, you will have to click. Here’s a screenshot, though, because pretty pictures, right?

Now, you have to click to see the comments. The comments are really what makes this. Because this STARTS OUT as normal, then this person shows up who hates fat people. HATES THEM. Only, no no! She doesn’t HATE them. She has MANY FAT FRIENDS! (Does this sound at all like someone who makes a lot of racist comments, then says, “What? I’m not a racist! I have MANY MANY BLACK FRIENDS!” Yeah, to me, too.) So she starts writing things like “no, it’s a known fact that all fat people are unhealthy and many doctors refuse to operate on them because, well, they’ll just die on the table. Because, well, fat, you know?”

Don’t worry. There are some kickass commenters on there. They give her the smackdown. She doesn’t ever shut up, but they win intelligence. She doesn’t win anything but idiocy and mouth-flappery.

This is, by the way, called “concern-trolling.” It’s like being a troll, only you’re pretending it’s because you CARE. Isn’t that nice? A whole new way to be a douchecanoe!

Sara, from Laments and Lullabies, wrote an amazing post recently about fat-shaming, which you all should read. Her post, and the terrible comments on that Facebook post up there, were what finally made me realize I needed to write my own post. Here’s her post. You should all a., read, and b., comment. Oh, and c., follow her blog.

There are more. There are so many more. But this is edging into way too many words for a Saturday territory, and also I’d like to get to bed at some point.

I will leave you with some bullet points. Because, who doesn’t like bullet points, am I right?

  • Other people’s bodies are none of your business. Keep your words off them. Unless you’re telling them they’re beautiful. Everyone likes that shit. Even if they pretend they don’t.
  • Pretending you’re “worried about someone’s health” is not an excuse for commenting on someone’s weight, whether they’re heavy or thin. Again, see the first bullet point. Even if they’re naked with you, their size is none of your business. Whose business is it then, Amy? THEIRS. No one’s but theirs.
  • Making fat jokes is a., not funny, and b., lazy. There are actual funny things in the world to point out. Like misspellings. Who doesn’t like a good misplaced apostrophe or missing comma? The answer to that is NO ONE.
  • To reiterate what we learned in the first bullet point: before making a comment about someone’s weight, please think the following quietly to yourself: “What is my least-favorite attribute. Now, would I like someone to loudly mention it and say it is ugly and/or unhealthy for me to have, and publicly shame me about it?” The answer to that question is always no. ALWAYS.
  • Also: if you think you are too fat, and everyone’s judging you, and you’re ugly, and OMG I CANNOT LEAVE THE HOUSE, guess what. No, seriously, guess. Hardly anyone even notices. The only people that do are assholes. And who cares what assholes think? I hope you don’t.
  • Finally: I’m going to tell you something I’ve learned in my old age. Ready? Shh, don’t share this one around, it’s kind of radical. WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. I know! Every single last one of us. Fat. Thin. Tall. Short. We’re a lovely bunch of coconuts. Except – there is one thing that makes you ugly. Guess what that is? Hatefulness. Being hateful. You can’t be beautiful with hate in your mind, soul, or mouth. So get rid of that, and guess what? You’re gorgeous again. And everyone will see it. I can see it right now! Whoa, babe, dial that back, you’re blinding me with it.

We’ve become a culture of shaming. We’re rape-shaming and we’re slut-shaming and we’re thin-shaming and we’re fat-shaming. It’s repulsive and this shit’s gotta stop. Like, immediately.

Stop shaming anyone. Including yourself. You are beautiful. The people around you are beautiful. No one should be shamed for how they look. The next time you look at yourself in the mirror, be amazed at how gorgeous you are. And tell the people around you how beautiful they are. Don’t allow them to blow it off and say things like, “Oh, I look like a cow in this top” or whatever, either. Nope. Not today, buckaroos. Tell them they’re beautiful AGAIN. Until they actually believe it.

Then, all of that stuff? Do quadruple that for your kids. Make sure your kids enter the world with the strongest self-esteem possible. They’re going to need it, and you can help them with that.

We might be surrounded by shame, but we can combat that with love. Is that the opposite of shame? Don’t care. For our purposes it is.

Love you guys. You’re gorgeous. Every last one of you.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

361 responses to “You’re gonna carry that weight; carry that weight a long time

  • sj

    I’m tall (just under 5’11” now), and even when I was at my healthiest weight (around 155), I was told that I was too fat and could never be skinny because of my hips. I had mono my junior year of high school and lost over 30 pounds. My pants wouldn’t stay up, I couldn’t find any clothes that fit, but I kind of didn’t care because for the first time in my life, people (my mom) weren’t telling me I was too fat. I was even proud when people told me I should eat something!

    The weight came back, obviously, and I spent a lot of my senior year just not eating, because I wanted to be skinny and pretty again. And because I had to work on a project with this boy, who came over while I was making dinner for my dad and he told the whole school that I was baking an entire chicken for myself, so…yeah. I just…I may not be the hugest fan of where I’m at right now, but I seriously don’t give a fuck what other people say. When I lose weight, it is for myself. My husband tells me I’m gorgeous no matter what I weigh, and who do I have to impress?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      You are beautiful. BEAUTIFUL.

      It makes me so sad that we were brought up to equate “skinny” and “pretty” as the same thing. I’m not saying they’re not, but by being taught that, we were also taught the converse was true – ugly and fat were the same thing. And as we know, they’re not. Beauty is in all sizes. (And honestly, if someone’s a good person? They are so beautiful. No matter what they look like. It makes them so beautiful, no matter what the mirror or the fashion magazines say.)

      Hubby’s right, my little tater tot. You ARE gorgeous no matter what. Smart man.

      Like

      • madonna25

        Very well written….REALLY inspiring and a must read for skinny
        teens.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked it!

          Like

          • madonna25

            well the only things i would want to ask you is..where do u live…in India or out of India?

            Like

          • Jon Newcombe

            This made me so sad. It really reminded me of growing up and being teased about my weight. I was a big kid and family, friends and nasty little gits in the playground would always remind me just how fat and ugly i was. I basically became anorexic at 18 and lost loads but it was really unhealthy weight loss. No matter how much weight I shredded or how good I looked the years of feeling inadequate meant I never had any confidence and it was never enough. All I want now is to be happy and all those people who made me miserable can go screw themselves.

            Like

            • lucysfootball

              I’m so sorry. Children are terrible. I hope things are better now – it’s hard to shake that off and leave it behind you. I know.

              I know you know you’re not fat or ugly. But I’m telling you anyway; you’re not. They were wrong. They were lying. They were cruel. You’re better than that.

              Like

  • A Pope

    When I was 14 the grandmother I saw once a year told me “You have such a pretty face but if you don’t lose weight you’ll never get a boyfriend” and honestly thought she was helping…and looking back, I now realize I was normal. Not fat. Normal. I have to be very careful about what I say about myself in front of my daughter who, despite being tallish, thin and leggy (opposite of me) absorbs my self-directed barbs into her own self image. The things people you love say has a lot of power.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Children absolutely do. I try to tell my nephew how intelligent he is, and that he can do anything, and how kind he is, as much as I can; I think as many positive affirmations as often as I can can’t be anything but positive. (And as he gets older, we’ll have conversations that are a little more in-depth than “You cleaned up those Legos so well! Great job, buddy, you’re so helpful!”)

      Isn’t it amazing, looking back, how much self-hatred we put on ourselves when we weren’t even heavy? Size 12. I was a size TWELVE. Good grief. What kind of jerk calls a size-twelve girl fat?

      Like

  • Stephanie

    Excellent post. Yes yes and yes. (Although I did read a compelling piece the other day about spelling and grammar shaming and its privledged/ elitist/sometimes racist/sometimes whatever it is when you mock people with learning disabilities background. Kind of made me want to stop doing that too.)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! (And I don’t really grammar-shame. Only once in a great while. Mostly I keep it in my head. I don’t like to make people feel badly for their mistakes. It feels petty and small.)

      Like

    • lucysfootball

      Damn them, but also love them, because they really can do amazing things, can’t they? Mine can be a pain in the butt, but I don’t think I’d trade it for anyone else’s.

      Well, it might be fun to be Prince Harry for a day. He seems to have a lot of fun, doesn’t he?

      Like

  • Mer

    YES! Love you! I think, with age, I am able to see shaming as a form of control or a way for mostly powerless people to assert power–telling other people what they *should* be, even if it’s out of “concern.” It doesn’t help that our whole culture is based on unattainable ideals in all aspects of life. How else can they keep us coming back for the latest “miracle” that will make our lives complete. Whoops, that got dark. More love, less judgment!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Love YOU!

      Much wisdom comes with age. I wish I had some of this when I was younger. Whoo, wouldn’t I have been a force of nature then?

      You’re completely right. It’s power. It’s power over us, and making us believe we’re powerless. That’s what a lot of things are in society, sadly enough. And it’s time it stops – but it probably never will, so we need to put a stop to it by refusing to play into it. We’re powerful, and we need to KEEP our power.

      Like

  • Charleen

    This is SUCH a hard topic. Because, first off, no, it’s no one’s business. And even if it was someone else’s business, shaming is obviously not the way to make a positive change in anyone’s life. And I have to continually remind myself that THAT’S the most important thing. Whether it honestly does come from a place of concern is irrelevant.

    But at the same time… I’ve been fat. I’m still fat. I’m trying to change that, not because I don’t want to be seen as fat (well, let’s not lie, that’s part of it), but because I don’t want to be unhealthy. A couple years ago, when I was actually working out and eating well and losing weight, I felt FANTASTIC. And not JUST because I thought I looked better, but because I was healthy, because I liked being active, and I was actually comfortable. (Not that I felt socially acceptable, not that kind of comfortable, I mean the PHYSICAL comfort of not having fat rolls everywhere.) And then I spent another year undoing all the progress I’d made because I got depressed and apathetic and just let it happen . . . and now I’m trying to do it all again.

    And that’s all ME. That’s my own opinion on what’s best for me, and not anyone else. I know that fat does not automatically equal unhealthy for everyone. I know that the BMI scale is crap (see this post/picture – http://playing-by-ear.blogspot.com/2011/08/theyre-more-like-guidelines-than-actual.html – for me near my lowest weight, when I was still “obese”).

    BUT… just like your dad, I want to be able to spare my (as-yet-unconceived) kids, not necessarily from the public shame, but all of the personal benefits. I want them to be healthy. I want them to be comfortable in their bodies because I know the pain that comes with not. And I know a million wrong ways to go about it, but I’m not really sure what the right way is. IS there even a right way? Because, ultimately, they’ll grow up and live their own lives in whatever way makes them happy.

    Like

    • Charleen

      And sorry for hijacking your comment section. I probably should have just written my own blog response.

      Like

    • lucysfootball

      It’s tough, how best to go about dealing with this with children. I think probably the best would be just to show them through your own example what a good relationship with your body and with food and exercise is *probably* the best way? I don’t have kids, so I’m not sure…but it’s my guess, anyway. But it’s a crapshoot. Who knows how the kid will actually turn out? I think we just do our best and hope all turns out well.

      I also think it’s whatever makes you feel healthy and happy and comfortable in your skin. Just the same as no one should fat-shame, no one should shame anyone for wanting to lose weight or getting themselves healthier. No one should judge anyone for ANY decisions about their body. Because, ultimately, its their body. And everyone should keep their nose our of others’ business.

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  • Melissa

    Thank you for writing this. Would that there were more people who had this viewpoint. It’s a shame that the only ones among us who DO seem to see things this way, are the ones who’ve been cut to the quick by the sometimes well-meaning (often not) people who see fit to single us out. I’ve been overweight all my life, and have been at the receiving end of shame, “jokes”, the “but you’ve got such a pretty face” line…I’m heavier than all of the women in my family, yet I’m the only one not on blood pressure medication, not in “pre-diabetes” territory, and not with worryingly high cholesterol or triglycerides. Yet people still judge me for being unhealthy simply because I am fat.
    I have too much muscle on my body (you get strong when you carry around extra weight) to ever weigh what the BMI charts say I should for my height. So even if I lose weight, I’ll never be “healthy” according to people who want to judge solely based on weight, even doctors. So I choose to live as the person I am, and try as hard as I can to be happy and healthy in my own skin.
    There’s way too much shaming, from so many sources and for so many reasons, in society. We need to love one another, and treat others with the respect we expect from them, rather than trying to hate each other into being the way we perceive they should be. Life is so full of so much joy and wonder and beauty, that to harbor so much ill-will against others really is missing the forest for the trees.

    Keep being your wonderful, beautiful self.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      This is a beautiful comment. Thank you so much for this.

      You’re right. The ones of us who see this are those of us who have been hurt. But so many of us have been hurt. SO many. So I can only hope that if all of us band together, and refuse to stand for this anymore, and protect each other from it happening anymore…well, we can make a real change. We can be each other’s support system. That can be the good that comes out of this.

      And YES. So, so much joy and wonder and beauty in the world. I’m trying to find more of it in my own life right now, and it’s there. More than people understand or know. And if they opened themselves up to it, they wouldn’t have time to shame people, because they’d be so utterly filled with the wonder of what’s going on around them, you know?

      Thank you. You keep being beautiful, too. And strong and wise. All of those things. Every last one.

      Like

  • Beth Johnson (@ladypembroke)

    My mom grounded me… GROUNDED me… when I was twelve for being overweight. She claims that it was because my eating habits were going to shit (they were… she was right), but that’s not how she phrased it. My brother called me a beached whale. I was maybe a 12 myself. My dance teacher when I was 8 informed me and my parents that I had no future in ballet because I was a) going to be too short and b) going to be “too curvy”. My mother apparently heard “fat” there, too. And I would LOVE to say that my mother has changed, but she hasn’t. I’m getting better at just fobbing her off or ignoring her, though. She still likes to give me dieting or exercise “advice” and show her concern for my health. I don’t do this to her. I never told her to quit smoking. How DARE she go on about my weight? And I know it’s because she’s self-conscious, too, and overweight as well (although not as much as me).

    My self-esteem is crap. And I am obsessed with my weight. I track all my calories and hate doing it. I step on the scale almost every day. Oddly, though, I’m getting better. I started taking Tae Kwon Do, and I was almost paralyzed with body shame the first few weeks… the uniforms are not designed for curvy women (or women in general really), so I was in a huge size, and the pants still didn’t fit, so I was wearing these grey sweatpants and feeling hot and heavy and out of place. Then I hunted the net for some white cotton pants in my own size, and they look fine with my uniform, and here it is two months later and I just got my yellow belt yesterday. How awesome is that??

    I’ve been going to the gym since the beginning of the year, walking and lifting weights. I was pretty regular until school got bogged down, but this next week I’m going to get back to my routine. I’ve been increasing my strength and stamina across the board.

    And you know what? I feel like a failure because the numbers on the fucking scale haven’t changed at all. Not. One. Bit.

    Logically, I know how off my thinking is. Emotionally, I am a wreck over it and I hate it. Now my husband has gotten all obsessed and pushy over our son’s eating habits and weight, and I want to smack him. I frequently tell him privately to knock that shit off. Bad enough my mom foisted her issues off on me; I refuse to do it to my kid. He’s awesome and handsome and adorable and mine.

    As you can see, I have my own blog posts in there to write. And a blog on this very topic… that I hardly ever post to because I figure a) nothing is really going to change with me so why document my failures and b) people don’t actually read it or care, so why bother?

    But today is Saturday, and calories don’t count today. (Even though I logged the doughnuts I just ate.) So I am off to read a book and then hang with friends and eat myself silly and pretend for a few hours that I am “normal” and don’t care about the number on a scale or in a file.

    Like

    • greengeekgirl

      Beth, I know how you feel so much. (Also how Amy feels.. it was my dad hounding me about my weight, saying unkind things.) You are doing amazing. I know that my saying that isn’t going to take away the shadows, but I want you to know you are doing amazing–and doing so much more than a lot of other people do, including thin people. And good on you, standing up to hubs–even if he wants to help encourage your son to eat healthily, there are positive ways to do that and they won’t hurt his psyche like ours have been hurt.

      Like

    • lucysfootball

      First: you don’t have to pretend you’re normal. Because you are. No, I take that back. You’re not normal. Because who wants to be normal? Normal’s boring. You, my dear, are EXTRAORDINARY. Which is better than normal. Better by far.

      So proud of you. So proud of you for getting out there and doing things you love; for being fierce mamma-bear about your amazing son; for understanding where your hangups come from and working to overcome that. That’s not normal. That? Extraordinary. Across the board.

      Blog about it. Whether or not people will read. Blog for yourself. It will help. Getting it out there always does.

      You’re beautiful and you’re extraordinary and you’re strong and you’re kicking ass and taking names. Keep going. The world’s all yours. Every last bit of it.

      Like

  • emmawolf

    I don’t want to go back to my doctor because I’m afraid he’ll be upset with me for not losing weight. I think I’ve had a sinus infection for about 4 weeks. This is the doctor that I like. The last doctor that I saw told me I had diabetes when all I had was a yeast infection.

    I’m a size 14/16.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I hate this. I HATE THIS. I want you to be able to go to the doctor without your diagnosis being “fatness.”

      Also a 14/16 ISN’T FAT. IT IS NORMAL. Can I come to the doctor with you and just sit quietly in the corner unless they say something that pisses me off, and then go all Tasmanian Devil on them? I totally will, too.

      Like

  • becomingcliche

    Yeah, the weight gets carried forever. Forever. I was a fat kid. I weighed about 140lbs in 4th grade. My mom didn’t notice, but my grandmother did. She told me I wouldn’t fit into my costumes anymore. I gave up theatre. I struggled with my weight my whole life, developed an eating disorder I still battle with, and I realized recently that I will likely never know what I actually look like.

    Take note, people. Amy’s so right. Words hurt. Words haunt.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I know what you look like. Gorgeous, is what. Inside and out.

      I’m so sorry you had to go through that. So many of us have, in one way or another, haven’t we? I tend to think it’s just me. That no one else has this baggage. That everyone else is walking around whole and unscathed.

      I kind of wish everyone was – I hate that everyone went through their own personal hell – but it also makes me feel like I’m not alone, knowing that everyone has something. You know? And makes me feel like not everyone’s eyes are on me, because they’re probably too busy worrying about themselves.

      Like

  • Elizabeth

    I am a person who has dealt with body hatred all of my life. Reading these things makes me really want to believe that I am beautiful. Unfortunately, thirty years of negative messages cannot be undone so easily. I wish they could.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Everyone look away. This is just for Elizabeth.

      YOU *ARE* BEAUTIFUL. You are not just looks-beautiful, you are actions-beautiful and deeds-beautiful and words-beautiful and human-being-beautiful.

      I know all the years of negative messages are so hard to get over, and I know our brains are very good at lying to us.

      But you trust me, right? I’d never lie to you. And you’re gorgeous, babe. You shine like the sun with it.

      Like

    • Nico Flynn

      Hi Elizabeth!

      I am pathologically shy when it comes to commenting and general e-nteraction, so pardon my awkwardness.

      True beauty is something that comes through in your eyes and your words and the way you smile and your adorable mannerisms. It isn’t measured by floor length mirrors. Despite what you think you may look like, people find you beautiful for who you are and what you mean to them. So the next time you find a mirror, don’t look at your body, look into your own eyes. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with you, the way the people who really matter already have.

      Have a wonderful Easter, darling.

      Nico.

      Like

  • greengeekgirl

    (slow clap)

    I have many comments, but I am making myself go do dishes now in an attempt to be cleaner and more adult. I will be back LATER with comments. But for now, I have to say this is an amaaaaazing post.

    Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    This post makes me sad. Well, no: angry. And sad.

    Sad because I remember what it was like being bullied and having one’s self-esteem taken away. I really don’t want anyone else having to feel that way. Ever.

    Angry because fucking haters still go around hating other people – as if their secret self-loathing ever was a valid excuse for lashing out on people they perceive as weak and vulnerable.

    And sad because I’m not really surprised. Call me a cynic if you want (I am one) and a misanthrope if you must (I’m one of those too), but I don’t really expect people to behave decently. Not even grown-ups. Especially not grown-ups.

    But in all fairness, I must concede that there are some decent people out there. You are rare, but you do exist. And that’s what gives me a glimmer of hope: not every single person on this planet is evil. That must be a good thing, right? Right?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Aw, Andreas. You’re one of the decent people, too. You know that, right? You might be cynical (and what intelligent person isn’t, at least a little, in this day and age?) but you’re less of a misanthrope than you think. You’re one of the most caring people I know. Even though you probably don’t want people to know that.

      It does help, a little, with an adult perspective, knowing the people that are doing this are doing it from a place of self-loathing, from a small, petty place. It doesn’t make it hurt much less, but at least we know the psychology behind it.

      It IS a good thing. There are a lot of good people out there. More than we’re even aware of. And I’m lucky to know you.

      Like

  • Patrick Smith (@Patrixmyth)

    At some point, and I’m really looking forward to it, society will advance enough that stories like this will only have to be told about hateful people. ‘Don’t judge them because they hate. They can’t help it. Hateful people are beautiful, too.’ Of course, the problem with this hope, is who will we be telling not to judge them?
    In the meantime, beautiful sentiment, and a great reminder to me. At points in my life, I’ve taken the stupid route and criticized people with abhorrent ideas (racism, sexism, etc) about physical traits, not realizing for a long time, that I was hurting others without those ideas. Blanket sorry.

    Like

  • Kelly Naylor

    I don’t even know how people can even do what they do. I have to pretend they’re robots or aliens (but not from my planet), because… well, honest to everything, it would wear me down and before you know it, I’d be on antidepressants again. And I know sometimes they’re totally the right thing, but man, they mess me up in other ways. So. There’s that.

    My daughter got a lot of that, the fat shaming. AND IT PISSED ME OFF… first, because I’m her mother and nobody messes with my baby and lives. (Ok, no, I didn’t kill anyone. I wanted to, though.) Second, she wasn’t fat! She was 5’8″, weighed maybe 140 lbs, and worked out a lot. Those were muscles you dorky morons (I’m not going to swear on your blog, Amy, I’ll go do that on my FB page).

    She died; it will be eight weeks tomorrow. I’ve been thinking I need to sing for her at our upcoming concert. Not just the song I purchased for the chorus and dedicated to her, but one of the songs I sang to her all her life, whenever she hurt. But it’s for everyone. The words and music are by Libby Roderick.

    How could anyone ever tell you
    You were anything less than beautiful?
    How could anyone ever tell you
    You were less than whole?
    How could anyone fail to notice
    That your loving is a miracle…
    How deeply you’re connected to my soul?

    Yeah. I do need to sing that.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Oh, Kelly. I’m so sorry about your daughter. I didn’t know. Sending you all the love and strength.

      Like

      • Kelly Naylor

        Thanks, Amy. It’s not the sort of thing one just writes a blog post about, you know? At least, not this soon. Someday. How else do you let the world know, I wonder? Most people (including some family) learned on Facebook. Some when [no, no, Kelly… no cursing on Amy’s blog] the TU posted their “article” on their website.

        Knowing there’s one more person sending all the love and strength makes a difference. A HUGE difference. THANK YOU.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          (You can curse if you want. Cursing is allowed, if it’s necessary. Sometimes it totally is. All words have a reason, even the naughty ones.)

          I totally understand that. I have things I’ll never blog about. Some things aren’t for the internet.

          Like

    • Nerija S.

      I am so, so sorry, Kelly. I don’t know what else to say, just that your family is in my thoughts.

      Like

  • Heather

    You deserve another standing ovation for this.

    I think the comments that have already been made say it all.

    Thank you.

    Like

  • greengeekgirl

    True to my prediction, “Carry That Weight” has been stuck in my head all day. In a good way. It’s a good song.

    Like you, I think the story of my fatness struggles go back to my dad’s fatness struggles.. not just dad but many people in my family (on both sides.. whee). Nobody ever seems to know what I’m talking about when I bring up dad’s weight problems when he was younger, but I have seen the yearbook photos from middle school/freshman year, and he was chubby. He still struggles with his weight–never huge huge, but up and down, for sure.

    And I think I told you in an e-mail the other day, it was damn rare for us to see a vegetable around our house unless I brought it in. The Richards men are not salad-eaters; I got all of my love of veggies from my grandma and my mom, but I lived with my dad, so I picked up his eating habits. (And grandma fed me all kinds of fast food… stuff’s addictive.) So on the one hand, it was “If you don’t quit eatin’, you’re going to be as big as a house!” and on the other, it was a pantry stocked up with oatmeal creme pies and Fritos. I’m pretty sure he learned his brand of encouragement from HIS dad… I don’t really blame my dad, because if he knew better, he would have done better. He’s a good man at heart.

    Still. Totally screwed up for a long time. And you’re right about all of it, all of it, including not return-shaming thin people (why should we be hateful? We’ve been hated on all of our lives… we of all people know how it feels, and it sucks ass).

    Much love from me–you and everyone in the comments who are struggling against themselves <3

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      We used “Carry That Weight” in a show a few years ago (one of our actresses sang it; she had such an amazing voice) so I’ve had her in my head all day.

      I think it must be so hard, as a parent, not to pass your crazy onto your kids. Not your CRAZY, but, like, the things you’re neurotic about, you know? I have such admiration for my friends who are parents. It just seems so difficult. But also like the most rewarding, amazing thing.

      It’s tough. And it’s something I have such trouble getting over. I’ve gotten (mostly) over other childhood things – but this one sticks with me longer. And I think that might be because it’s the culture we live in, where it’s allowable to fat-shame us, so it keeps happening. It never goes away.

      Much love from ME. These comments are amazing. I’m loving them. What a kickass community I have here, right? We’re a force to be reckoned with.

      Like

    • Charleen

      I definitely inherited my unhealthy lifestyle from both of my parents. I never got any shame about my weight from them, which I’m grateful for, especially after reading Amy’s story and some of the comments here . . . but at the same time, it makes me worry about the issues I’ll be passing onto my kids. Because we always vow that we won’t repeat our parents’ mistakes . . . but since fat-shaming WASN’T one of their mistakes, and a lack of emphasis on health WAS . . . it just makes me worry where my priorities will lie when the time comes.

      Like

      • lucysfootball

        I think even worrying about it shows it’s on your mind, and in that, you’ve already won. You’re thinking about it, you’re aware of it – and you’ll do fine with it.

        You’ll do great, even if you don’t think you will. I know it.

        Like

  • Lina

    Well some people seem take pride in saying exactly what they are thinking, which is just another word for being mean and rude.
    Besides recent studies show that it is actually better for your health to be overweight than being to thin. With a BMI below 22 it can be diffucult to survive severe illnesses. So commenting a persons weight with the excuse that you’re concerned about the his or hers health is just not a valid argument anymore. We should be more concerned about all people trying to look like an underweight model.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      That’s exactly what it is – an excuse. An excuse to be mean and hateful, and then covering it with “oh, but I’m just CONCERNED.” Keep your concern, I’m not in need of it. And it isn’t concern, it’s cruelty, and it’s a way to assert power over someone else – two things I am absolutely not in need of in my life.

      (Off-topic, but hi! So happy to see you here!)

      Like

  • Anonymous

    Another home run. And I wouldn’t mind Prince Harry either.

    Like

  • mfennvt

    Another wonderful post, Amy. Thank you! I’ve had body image issues most of my life, too. It is so fun to cut into other women’s scripts when they’re hating on themselves to tell them they’re beautiful, isn’t it? They don’t seem to know what to do with it, but I hope it sticks, at least a little.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! Yes, it really is. My favorite is to tell someone who you can tell is having a terrible day, or is completely hating on themselves (and you can always tell, can’t you? I mean, I can. Since I’m doing it so often myself) and tell them something wonderful about themselves. Something as small as how great they look in that shirt, or even something they’ve said/done that you noticed that you think is amazing. The look on their face is priceless. And it’s a total win for BOTH of you, because as good as they feel, you feel just as good for having done it.

      Like

  • jgrace

    I have always been a big girl. Sometimes bigger than others but that’s life ya know? My grandmother was the world’s worst at making little digs and barbs about it. It’s a good thing I had pretty good self esteem as a young child/teenager or she would have really done some damage. My favorite run in with her was a couple of months before my wedding. I had gotten my wedding dress back from alterations and was modeling it for her (she paid for it.) Her comment? “Well, I hope you won’t be as fat on your wedding day as you are now. ” After the shock of what she had just said to me wore off, I muttered something to the effect that my husband liked me just fine and ran out of the room. If I had to do it all over, I would have ripped the thing off and thrown at her. My mom and my grandfather were in the room at the time too and let her have it. Looking back, I think it was the last time she ever said anything to me about my weight.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I hate that she attempted to ruin your wedding day – but I’m so proud you didn’t ALLOW her to ruin your wedding day. And she stopped mentioning your weight – your point was made. Good for you. GOOD FOR YOU. I’m lucky in that the women in my life (even the thinner ones) never participated in any sort of body-shaming – most of them had their own issues to deal with, so they didn’t say a word about mine. I thank them for that.

      And good for you for having good self-esteem. I think if you have that, your battle’s half-won, you know?

      Like

  • saradraws

    Is it too early to profess my love for you and this?
    Yes? Too bad.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It is NEVER too early. I’m all about developing potentially inappropriate-level admiration for people at early stages. Which scares some people off, but I think that’s because they weren’t worth my intensity in the first place.

      I think you’re amazing. So this comment made my whole day. Thank you for reading, and for commenting, and I’m so glad you liked it! It wouldn’t have happened without Eric telling me to check out the FB post and your subsequent post. So, thank you. So, so much.

      Like

  • Samantha

    This was a great post, Amy. I agree so much.

    I’ve always been on the other end of the spectrum, and there’s no doubt that most of the time, there’s a lot less thin-shaming than fat-shaming, but it’s absolutely true: everyone should just mind their own business, and not say anything unless they have something nice to say.

    I have a friend who has been fat-shamed all of her life, and been compared to her thinner, perceived prettier older sister. It saddens me that she not only fat-shames herself, tries to diet and exercise as much as possible to lose weight (she’s also one of the healthiest eating people I know), but also turns around and has shamed me for being thin. I have never enjoyed going shopping with her because she’ll always say, “Well that’ll look terrible on me, but of COURSE it looks GREAT on you!” I wish there was a way to tell her that we may not look the same, but we’re both beautiful. And she is so beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, doll-faced, Marilyn Monroe curves beautiful, and yet she doesn’t see it because people have been terrible. It’s anger-inducing.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you!

      Send her this post. With just “I hope you know how beautiful you are” as the message. Would that help?

      I seriously wish, if I could give people just one thing, it would be a good dose of self-esteem. I know so many amazing people who just don’t KNOW they’re amazing. And I love them so much. And I tell them, over and over, how amazing they are. But there’s only so much me telling them that can do against years of people cutting away at them. And it makes me murderous toward the people who have hurt them, and it makes me want to just let them see themselves through my eyes, because I feel like if they could, then how could they hate themselves? Because the people I love – I just love them so, so much. And if they could see how beautiful they are to me, how perfect, even in their flaws, there’s no way they could hate themselves. None.

      I’m ranting. Dammit. I promised myself no rantery today! Hee!

      Like

  • ProfMomEsq

    Sharing this everywhere I can possibly think of to share it. The words are beautiful, and so are you. Thank you so much for writing this.

    Like

  • Le Clown

    Amy,
    What else can I add to this? I made a comment on that Everyday Feminism thread you linked to, about how being a man with a pot belly, or some extra weight, gives me some leeway in the fat shaming game… I know I have it easy compared to my wife, and some of my magnificent™ friends like you. It doesn’t make it right… There are a slew of great posts lately on WordPress, which help raise awareness. It’s humbling to see the community standing together, and speaking out about fat shaming, and the horrible Steubenville Rape, for instance… This is such a positive use of social media and blogging. Thank you, Amy.
    Le Clown

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you for reading and commenting. If you hadn’t pointed out the Facebook thread, I don’t know if this post would ever have happened – so doubly, thank you.

      I was ranty last week. Fat-shaming and Steubenville got the Lucy’s Football treatment. And so many people responded so positively.

      It really is, isn’t it? Inspiring, I mean. The community we’ve all built around our blogs just amazes and humbles me daily. I’m so proud to be a part of this group. Of all of these groups. We’re a kickass band of merry hooligans, and I wouldn’t want anyone else on my side when it all comes down to it.

      Like

  • 35JupiterDrive

    I have so much to say about this. And I just can’t get it together to say it right now. This is a big topic for me.

    At some point I’ll get it together enough to comment. In the meantime, thanks for writing this.

    Like

  • RebeccaScaglione - Love at First Book

    I REALLY appreciate you also sticking in to this rant something about skinny-shaming. I am a thin person, but sometimes I am really looked down upon and made to feel bad about myself because I’m thin. I’ve had people tell me I’m perfect or have a perfect body and they don’t want to hear anything otherwise. It’s not like I complain about my weight, but you can’t look at someone who is thin and think that everything about their body is perfect. I have a small butt, which sounds good to some people, but it means I can’t EVER fill out a skirt. I get a little ducktail thing going on in the back. And when I wear a halter top, my chest totally disappears and I look like a kid.

    Also, like you mentioned, you have no idea WHY someone is thin. Do they have an eating disorder? Are they naturally thin? Do they have a disease that causes them to be thin? You also don’t know that they are happy in their own body.

    Everyone’s body has “issues,” no matter what the size. The majority of people should eat healthier (not diet) and get some exercise.

    Have you read Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi? She’s Ellen’s wife, and had battled with an eating disorder/exercise disorder, etc. It’s the first book on eating disorders that I read that REALLY puts you in her mind. It’s well worth it!!!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I wish everyone understood – there are so few people happy with their bodies. Mostly because society is there screaming at us, “YOU ARE WEIRD AND WRONG AND NOT PERFECT!” and then everyone else picks up the chorus and that is so hard to hear, day after day, and not internalize.

      Ooh, I love Portia. She’s wonderful. (And so are you. The next time someone thin-shames you, point ’em over here and I’ll rip ’em a new one for you. Promise.)

      Like

  • Sphinx Akashaa Duncan

    Stars and Stones, where were you when I was a kid and being Thin-Shamed by EVERYONE!!?? This is a beautiful Post that seriously hit home with me. I used to eat and eat and eat hoping to get bigger because I thought it would make me more attractive to people or get them to like me (or, at the very least, get them to leave me alone about it).

    These were words I wish I could have heard back then, when my self esteem was at such a low, but I hear them now and I am touched and reminded that this is the kind of thing my little girl needs to hear ALWAYS.

    Thank you for this, we will make love the opposite of shame and we will beat this.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! One of my closest friends growing up was very thin, and had to hear about it all the time. “Eat a sandwich.” “Is she anorexic?” NO. She was just naturally very thin. The poor girl drank milkshakes, ate hamburgers, anything to gain weight. She just couldn’t. Still doesn’t, as an adult. And she’s stunningly beautiful, inside and out, and I love her as much as I love almost anyone in the world. It used to INFURIATE me. (Still does.)

      You are so welcome. With a mom like you on her side, your daughter will grow up so strong and so loved. I’m so proud of you for that. Thank YOU for THAT.

      Like

      • Sphinx Akashaa Duncan

        LOL! Well, I’m actually a Dad. But I take the sentiment just the same. ;)

        (and I meant to thank you, also, for getting that Beatles song stuck in my head again. Not that I’m complaining, because that song is AMAZEBALLS!!) :D

        Like

  • Sphinx Akashaa Duncan

    Reblogged this on The Geek√Me and commented:
    I seriously think that there are people who need to read this. She speaks much truth.

    Like

  • The Waiting

    I loved this. The little girl who got put on Weight Watchers when she was in fourth grade needed this. You are beautiful, inside and out.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      SO ARE YOU! And I want that fourth-grader to meet my borderline-anorexic twelfth-grader, and they could tell each other how beautiful and perfect they were and bond over some real food. Tiramisu, perhaps.

      Like

  • TAE

    I think everyone has a weight that they feel (the most) comfortable with, but society and mocking, especially from your closest peeps, removes your connection to that feeling and might even alter it for good. After all, can we look into a mirror and NOT judge by the standards we’re presented with all the time…no.
    For me, too, it’s a question of aging and caring less, and realizing what I do to others (degradation is so normal in my family that I probably have done my share of “mocking back”).

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I wish there was a way to look in the mirror and not judge by any standards other than “I’m a beautiful, powerful person, and my friends and family love me, and I love myself.” Maybe someday. Maybe for some people.

      Aging really has done wonders. I wish I’d known as an awkward teen that my late 30s would be my best years (yet), self-esteem-wise. I’d like to go back in time and give her a hug. And a cookie.

      Like

      • TAE

        Yeah, worrying too much about it turns out to be a waste of time eventually, but it’s a long road to figure out if you’re actually ok with yourself, and if you are not then yes, I think you should work on it, diet or whatever. If somebody else has a problem with how you look, well, that’s too bad for THEM.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Yes – and it’s tough, because you actually have to get to the place where you know you’re doing it for yourself, not for others. But once you do, and you have that inner strength – well, that’s unbeatable. That’s where I hope we’ll all be. That’s what we need to work towards.

          Like

  • The Bumble Files

    Thank you, Amy, for this powerful post. Everyone should read this. Everyone needs to feel good about themselves, to feel beautiful. Thank you for writing this. – Amy

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you for reading! I’m so glad people are taking that away from this. We are all so beautiful, and I just wish everyone could see that. I’ve been trying to put that out into the world a lot more lately. If we all do it – well, how much can we change things? Let’s find out. It might be the best experiment ever, self-esteem wise.

      Like

  • Happiness is a small rabibit in your heart. | The Waiting

    […] Ashley and Amy are on deck to be Freshly Pressed. My heart is just bursting with small rabibits. Please get them […]

    Like

  • Words for Worms

    I LOVE this post! LOVE IT!

    Like

  • writergirl259

    Thank you for this post! It made me cry. Thank you for bringing up this topic, because as I am ashamed to say sometimes I am a hateful person…to myself and to others. Body image is such a strange thing. I am 5’10 and before my 30s i was under 130 lbs….These days (post 2 kids) i am much bigger than that :). Its easy to hate myself and to speak badly of other people. ITS A LOT HARDER to accept yourself as beautiful and accept others as beautiful. Truth is its harder to be kind than to be a bitch. Thank you again. I am going to follow you to see what else moving you whip up :)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      You are so welcome. And you’re completely right – it IS much harder to be kind than it is to be mean. But I’ve found that once you do it more often, it becomes easier, like any habit or script you memorize. Start with being kinder to yourself, and once you do, you’ll be kinder to others almost automatically. It’s easier to love others when you love yourself.

      I hope I don’t disappoint! I’m usually much sillier than this. :) Thank you! I’m glad you’re here!

      Like

  • sortaginger

    I have been fighting eating disorders of one type or another for as long as I can remember. I only gained a lot of weight in the last 10 years. Want to talk about fat-shaming and stereotypes? Try seeking help as a fat person with bulimia. My first therapist just told me to exercise more and stop eating. Um, yeah. Luckily, I have another one that is awesome.

    One day I hope to be able accept myself as I am but I realize that is a long road to go. In the meantime, I get to watch the Today Show where they discuss the “controversial” new mannequin at a “totally huge” size 12.

    Thank you for this post :-)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’m so glad you found a good therapist. That makes me want to find the other one and kick him/her. Repeatedly. In the knee and/or ankle area.

      You are beautiful. No matter your size, no matter your body type. You are an amazing person; you are an amazing mind; and you are BEAUTIFUL.

      I want to come to everyone’s homes and just tell you all that. We are ALL so beautiful.

      Like

  • platsdevil

    Thanks for this post. It made me feel little better about myself and the fact that I’m not the only one who uses the word douchecanoe is also reassuring. XD

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Hee! You are most definitely not! I use it probably more than I should. I am also partial to douchekabob. You can have that one, too, if you want it!

      Thank you so much, and I’m so glad you’re here!

      Like

  • SocietyRed

    Holy crap Amy!
    This is one of the best posts I’ve read!
    How do I not already know you? Glad I do now!
    I was “big-boned” growing up according to mom and dad. Dad wanted him a football player for a son so I was signed up. When I was 11 I was required to wear a big red R on my helmet to identify me as a kid that was too big to carry the ball lest some opposing unfortunate got squashed trying to take me down. Ah, the memories.
    You really deserved the front page with this post; congrats!!!
    Red

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Well, I’ve done some background checking on you, and any friend of Le Clown is…suspicious, honestly. But I’ll trust you on a trial basis.

      Oh, I’m of course kidding. Thank you so much! I’m glad you’re here! I’m so honored WordPress chose this one. I’m just so pleased it’s getting out there to a wider audience. And humbled. And a little overwhelmed. My goodness, there are a lot of you! And how will I entertain you all? I’ll have to go out and buy cookies or something. Be back soon. With all the cookies.

      Like

      • SocietyRed

        Background checking? Do I have a dossier? (I always wanted to use that word). And I think what you meant was there are a lot of US, since you are included in that suspicious group as well!
        So glad to know you! Cookies are good!

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          I am SUSPICIOUS? Ooh, NICE. I have always wanted to be suspicious. You can totally have a dossier if I can be suspicious. (Can I have a hat? Like a FEDORA? I don’t think I can be suspicious without a fedora.)

          Like

  • Jan Wilberg

    Totally, totally loved this. The whole fat-shaming concept is right on. How is my weight, height, age, appearance fair game for comment? Great piece with a lot of smartness to it. Thanks.

    Like

  • segmation

    I think beauty is not only on the outside but in the inside. I love your blog. So honest. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  • Photo Girl

    Great blog! I really enjoyed it!!!!

    Like

  • Juliette

    Wow. I almost started to cry reading this. Good post. Great post.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! The response has been overwhelming. I didn’t cry while writing it, but I’ve certainly cried while reading the comments. What an amazing group of people we are here.

      Like

  • hrygth

    Thank you so much for this post. I have always struggled with my self perception. I’m 5’8 and generally move between 145-160lbs depending on the weather (no really). I had a similar experience in highschool- just that now I look back at photos and see this gorgeous thin girl (I topped out at 130), but at the time I was drinking castor oil after lunch, starving myself, and just absolutely hating myself. Similar to you again, as I age it doesn’t seem to matter as much. Even so- occasionally this self loathing crushes me. I look at myself and I see nothing but flaws. This blog just really gave me a reality check. It also makes me feel like I am not so alone in my struggles. Thanks so much for posting.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      You’re not alone – look how many of us there are! – and you are BEAUTIFUL. Tell your inner voice I said so. And that if it doesn’t stop hating on you, I’ll come over there and give it a stern talking-to. *glares at your mean inner voice*

      You’re beautiful. And if there’s an inner voice telling you you’re not, it is lying to you. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

      Like

  • You’re gonna carry that weight; carry that weight a long time | West Coast Review

    […] Powerful blog post: You’re gonna carry that weight; carry that weight a long time. […]

    Like

  • pianessa

    Such a “weighty” topic and you handled it well. Thank you for taking this kind of time to help many others.

    Like

  • simplysamiam

    Very well said.

    When I was a child it was ok for teachers and parents and scout leaders to try to teach with fear and shame.

    Sometimes I think things are getting better for kids, sometimes I don’t.

    This piece is excellent for awareness. Thank you.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! You’re right – they didn’t seem to think, back when I was younger, it was a problem to shame us about our weight. Now they know it’s wrong – and they’re still doing it. So which is worse, really?

      I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for reading!

      Like

  • onechicklette

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. I agree with you on pretty much every point.

    In my family, it has always been Dad who had ups and downs with weight. He’d gain and Mom and I would stalk his food choices. After he suffered a minor heart attack about fifteen years ago, we added guilt to the mix. But at some point, I realized the error of my ways. I talked to Dad about food, asked questions based on some suspicions about his access to food during childhood and listened. Sure enough, he wasn’t just poor growing up. He didn’t always have enough. I felt dumb. Then I explained why I had been hassling him, but also that I was done doing so. I never want my dear sweet dad to feel guilt or shame about eating or his physique.

    Do I encourage Dad, now 77, when he goes to the gym or picks an obviously healthy dish? Of course. But guilt and shame have no place in my relationship with him.

    Sorry for the long comment! Just wanted you to know that your post resonated.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Never apologize for long comments! I love them. I’m quite wordy myself, as you can see. :)

      I totally understand wanting someone you love to be healthy, and make healthier choices. My family has heart problems, so it worries me that the men are heavy. I’m with you, 100%. But I also love that you talked to your dad and you explained what had been going on, and he did, and you worked through things. That’s wonderful.

      I’m so glad you liked the post. Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’re here!

      Like

      • onechicklette

        Me too! Counterpoint: healthy eating, thin family friend just needed quintuple bypass. The surgeon couldn’t even do all he had hoped to accomplish.

        The reality is we don’t have all the answers.

        Day by day, I try to be kind (in between snarky comments), make eye contact with people and smile in the least creepy way possible.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Oh, snarky comments totally have a place. Where would we be without them? :)

          I’m working on beig more kind as well. It’s a process. Not because I hate people (“hate” is such a strong word, really) but mostly because I’m kind of introverted and living in my own head most of the time. I have to remember to come out and be nicer, because it goes a long way. Baby steps, I think.

          Like

  • Yuna

    nicely written. i feel this too, people around me really like to make fun of me being fat..that’s sad. when i just start to have my breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, they will say “you only know how to eat.” da*m. once i said to them “make another smart joke than I’ll join your jokes guys, this being fat jokes, it’s not fun anymore, its an insult!!”
    i though about people who love to make a fun of other physical just trying to cover their imperfectness too or they just stupid enough to make a smart-like jokes.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you for reading! It’s insecurity. And childishness. Or both, I think. Hopefully your comeback helped them understand they were being hurtful. Much love to you!

      Like

      • Yuna

        i always love to read this kind of post, it’s me, victim…people who hurt others in this way really grab the victim self-esteem and confidence,,,sometimes.
        But when i think back, there will be always people like that everywhere and we can avoid them, so when i come to my “stable-state” i will take this kind of joke as “that bully stress release time’, so i just ignore them and won’t let them grab my happiness :)

        Much love to you too.. :)

        Like

  • cookie1986

    Your childhood story sounds exactly like mine. Only my parents never once recognized their comments as hurtful or shameful. They have never apologized to me for it.
    I think I may always carry a bit of that insecurity with my body no matter how old I get, how good I look or how healthy I feel.
    I will always be a fat girl in my head. NO matter what the scale says or what the tag on my pants say.
    Sad, huh?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I think we all do. We carry that insecurity for a very long time. Possibly forever.

      But look at you over there. You’re GORGEOUS. So save this, and the next time your inner voice calls you fat (shush, inner voice) you bring this up and say, “Nope. Not fat. I’m gorgeous. I AM UTTERLY GORGEOUS.”

      Because you are. You’re not the number on your scale or the tag in your pants or any arbitrary rating. You’re a gorgeous human being.

      Like

      • cookie1986

        omg. The perfect thing to say to a girl in her 7th month of pregnancy! And you know what else? When you’re this pregnant, everything is tight. So there inner voice. So there.
        Thank you for this, and for your post.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          You’re welcome! And congratulations! Inner Voice can say NOTHING to someone who’s 7 months pregnant! ALL pregnant women are IMMEDIATELY gorgeous! It is the RULE! You’re making a little PERSON, for the love of Pete! :)

          Like

  • Ashana M

    I’m a thin person. Not on purpose, but I get busy and don’t eat right and lose weight, just like other people get busy and don’t eat right and gain weight. I think it’s important to know that being thin has not made my life perfect, nor has it made me beautiful or feel good about myself. It has not made me better at my job or helped me find the perfect person to live happily ever after with. I do have fantastic cardiovascular health–wonderful cholesterol, a slow heartrate, and low blood pressure. But that is all. And I have my bones to worry about, because the only health risk associated with being too thin (but not dangerously so) is osteoporosis. There is nothing great about being thin, any more than there is anything great about being white, male, or anything else that human beings seem to value for no reason.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It’s the “ideal,” which is, I think, why people covet it so much. Someday, maybe, it won’t be. Who knows where society’s heading?

      You sound like you have a very healthy relationship with your body, which is wonderful. I love that!

      Like

  • Another Clean Slate

    Found you from Freshly Pressed. Thanks for sharing your story- it seems to have hit home with a lot of people!

    Like

  • Freshly Riffed 25: At Night, The Ice Weasels Come | A VERY STRANGE PLACE

    […] You’re Gonna Carry That Weight; Carry That Weight A Long Time: “In retrospect, getting that livelong ‘carry weight forever’ job was perhaps not my best idea.” […]

    Like

  • Storm

    I am overweight right now, but I am really trying to change that. I was raised with horrible eating habits, if it didn’t come from a box or can it wasn’t served in my house, or fast food, or bar food. Now I am trying to eat more veggies than anything else and lose the weight.

    I do everything skinny people do though. I date, have a great social life, am going to go to law school, have a job, but I just am not a skinny mini. One thing that pisses me off though, I am a dress size 14 pants 16, and I can not find fashionable, fun clothes in stores. It’s as if they are telling me, oh, no, you’re too big for flirty young clothes, you will have to shop in the grandma section now. I wish the fashion industry wasn’t ran by people who thing size 0 and bony is beautiful. Bring in the curves. Embrace the boobs and butt. They’re bigger when you’re above a size 0, and isn’t that…sexier?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you for commenting!

      You sound wonderful and amazing and self-confident and someone who would be so much fun to hang around with. And I’m so with you on the clothes! I recently found a place I really like (it’s a local outlet store) but I totally understand, it’s like you get past size 10 or so, and POOF! you no longer get to dress fashionably. (I totally got the cutest tops the last time I was there. I. Am. ADORABLE.)

      You’re gorgeous. And your self-confidence makes me so happy. And I bet you ROCK gramma clothes, if that’s all you can find! :)

      Like

  • besoil

    Thanks for writing this, it’s hard when even when you get just a little overweight or outside that perfect box and you suddenly start feeling like crap and loosing self confidence. When really it’s just about the inside and the quality of what you can give as a person.

    Like

  • allthoughtswork

    It’s real simple: people who are hurting inside lash outside. It’s a way to deflect their own attention from themselves and project it on something else that can take the blame for their discomfort. Much easier than working on the problem, which is usually self-esteem. We don’t see the world the way it is, we see the world the way we are; when we feel awful, we get a dark tint on our lens that makes even the most glorious things around us seem flawed.

    Number two, the very idea that any human being is not beautiful is just stupid. The human body is a wonder. If the haters are Christian, tell them that everyone was made in God’s image. If they are atheist, tell them that nature forms a perfect balance, nothing left out, nothing without value, and it doesn’t need any help from unenlightened observers. In the end, there is a lid for every kettle: no matter who you are, there’s somebody out there drooling over you. Trust me on this one.

    The best advice you can give any person is to fill their address book with the cheerleaders and erase the rest. Then, tell them to practice grinning in public like they know a juicy secret. It’s more alluring than cash.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      This is a lovely comment. Thank you so much for this. And you’re right – people who lash out are hurting inside. Which is easy to tell ourselves, but it’s still hard to deal with the hurtful words.

      I like filling your address book with cheerleaders. That’s wonderful.

      Thank you so much for being here!

      Like

  • brady720

    We live in a society that paints a picture basically saying that if you are not slim you are not pretty and its a shame because everyone is beautiful in their own way.

    Like

  • Christ-Follower

    Wow, love your post. I hate how we’re shamed and beaten into submission over the most ridiculous of things. Why can’t society just say “you’re good enough just the way you are.”? I remember going through this except it was with grades. If you weren’t perfect, you weren’t good enough. Proud of you for overcoming. You rock!

    ChristFollower

    Like

  • Jessica

    Well done. I can relate.

    Like

  • maryvanderluit

    This really made me chuckle but you also have the serious tone which makes me stand up and take notice! I have struggled with my weight the last couple of years – friends that have somehow become ‘skinnier’ than me… And I am now looked at as ‘the fat friend’ and am scared to eat anything in front of them As theyll ask me ‘thought you were on a diet?!” And seeing them grin when i reach for the carbs! You’ve just made me realise its not me who has the problem.. It’s them! They’re not trying to help me – they’re scared I will be slimmer than them and they won’t be the pretty one anymore!! You have empowered me! Thank you!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Good! I am all about the empowerment. And yes, they have the problem, not you – they shouldn’t be shaming you about what you’re eating or how you look. Not ever. That is never ok.

      You’re beautiful NOW. It’s not that you’ll be the pretty one if you lose weight – they’re afraid you’ll realize you’re beautiful NOW.

      Wait til they see you’ve realized it. Oh, they’re gonna be PISSED!

      Like

  • moodsnmoments

    wow wow wow…i bow to thee..this is one of the best services anyone can ever do to the clan called FAT…all we people need is a bit of acknowledgement from the world – acknowledgement of existence.
    And, perhaps, it is okay to let us be the way we are. We definitely don’t need advice in how to become leaner, thinner, (perhaps) healthier. (we have read, researched, tried enough).
    Reading your blog, re-affirmed so many things in my head. especially parts where you mentioned that grandma said – you have such a pretty face, lose some weight otherwise you will never have a boyfriend? or the doctors and family suggesting – why dont you lose some weight? etc
    i’ve lived through so many of these (and I may die with some more). Am single and supposedly old as per the community from where i come – the country where i come from – marriage is a must and that too when you are about 23-25, if for once you’ve crossed that – the whole community looks at you with pity and imagine, to top it, if you were fat – OMG – people ensure to haunt you, taunt you, mock you, stress you and even take direct digs at you – why because you are fat, you will definitely not get married – so why the f**k are you not doing something about that lard? ahem ahem, my reply is just a smile – nothing else. The reason is simple – (oh btw, am no angel) I feel sorry for them because they are the people who think that the world is a better place because they are alive. They are God’s children as they pray, fend for their families, show concern for fat people like me and are LEAN. (there is laughing in my head, even as i type this). I just feel sorry that how shallow can we be and then cover it up in the mask of sympathy and concern.
    Dear Lucy, reading your blog gave me some other kind of reassurance today – can’t spell what it is but i feel warmer, fuzzier and PRETTIER inside. Thank you so much for keeping the (small) spirit inside a (fat) body alive. Thank you so very much. (i have never ever written so much in any comment ever before…thanks again as I just feel you will know how i felt and understand)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you for this comment. And I LOVE long comments!

      Your spirit is huge. Nothing small about it. You’re brave, you’re strong, you’re funny, and you most definitely have the right to exist – just as you are. Married, unmarried, fat, thin, however you’d like. You are perfect and beautiful. Not just pretty. Pretty is too small. You are BEAUTIFUL. Even better: you are so strong. And anyone who would try to knock you down is small, petty, and childish. Feeling sorry for them is exactly the right way to go.

      Stay strong. You’re wonderful.

      Like

  • scorpionglow

    Reblogged this on …..And The Moon Sees All and commented:
    Finally, someone said everything I have been thinking!

    Like

  • Cheryl Petersen

    The picture of Kate Upton is not near as beautiful as when you said you forgave your dad. Thanks

    Like

  • Michael O in Munich

    Hello Ken’s friend! Congrats and well done. All of those sayings about ‘…beauty is skin deep…’ or ‘…it’s what’s on the inside…’ are hills of beans for most. But once you really believe them and begin to live those sayings, then all of sudden a change comes over you and other people see it. And it can’t hurt at the pearly gates…

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Well, Michael! Hello! How did I not know you had a blog? And it’s lovely!

      Thank you so much for reading. And, agreed – the inner strength is where it all starts. You’re able to be kinder to others. You’re able to be kinder to yourself. You’re able to do things you didn’t think you ever could.

      Eh, who knows about the pearly gates…I’ll do what I can here.

      Glad to see you. Stop in more often, yeah?

      Like

  • lilycatherine

    Weight; why? It influences the lives of so many people in such a negative way. Why did it once take over our lives?

    Like

  • sharpkitty

    thank you for writing this. I’m always deemed too thin for everything. Too thin to wear this, too skinny to look good in that. When a shop attendant told me that they couldn’t get trousers altered to my size, I actually cried when I got home. It’s just that maddening. It almost felt like people who aren’t the ‘right’ body weight have no right to exist. But reading your blog really helped. Thanks a ton..:)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you for reading! Clothes are an issue. I’m with you on that. For both thin and heavy people, actually. My mother’s very slim – and has trouble finding things small enough for her. We both pick on each other – I’ll tell her “oh, I wish I had THAT problem!” when her clothes are too big, she’ll say the same thing to me when mine are too small. (In this case it is NOT body-shaming, as we are both kidding. Kidding is ok, my lovely readers, as long as both parties are on board!)

      I’m so sorry that it’s upset you so much. I wish you lived nearby. We would go shopping and find you perfect clothes. And if we could not, we would find you an excellent tailor who would MAKE things fit, dammit.

      You have the right to exist. You absolutely do. You’re beautiful and wonderful. I’m so glad you’re here!

      Like

  • keyla

    Great post! :)
    Thanks for inspiring :)

    Like

  • Kim

    This is great- people need the reminder to not be jerks sometimes. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  • mindfulofchatter

    This is a wonderful post. I was the tall (5’10”) skinny kid most of my life. Once, in high school, I lost a bunch weight due to illness. All my bones stuck out. I looked like I had starved myself for months. One of the popular girls stopped me in the hall to tell me how fantastic I looked. I was appalled. Lunch that day was chocolate cake and lots of carbs.

    Later in life, I was married to a man who constantly told me how fat I was. I had had two kids by then and was in my 40’s. Yeah, I was heavier. So what? The marriage didn’t last, and I am still heavier than that high school kid.

    It’s tough to love the heavier me, but I am getting better. I have curves. I don’t need to be that skinny little girl anymore.

    I can be who I am now, and if the single men don’t like it, they can stay home and pout.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you got out of that poisonous relationship, and I’m so glad you’re learning to love yourself. I know, it’s hard, but it’s worth it. We’re always with ourselves. We need to be our own best friends, you know?

      And ha! YES. Those men CAN stay home and pout. You’re fabulous, and they just can’t handle that, the jerks.

      Thank you so much for reading! So glad you’re here!

      Like

  • shadowmousey

    So much love for this post! I am in the process of reforming my eating habits and level of activity for health reasons. I won’t call it a diet, because my goal is not to drop a few pounds and go about my merry way, but to get healthy, and to learn to nourish my body and, also, NOT get diabetes and heart disease (both of which run in my family.) I will never be “thin”, it’s just not in my genetics to look that way. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that, no matter what my body actually looks like, in my mind it will always be the same as it was in high school, when I got teased and rejected because of my weight.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! And congratulations! It’s tough to overcome the damage done to our minds in high school. I know. I deal with that every day. Tell your inner voice to shush – you’re a grownup now, you’re beautiful, strong, and brave, and you are no longer that person and no longer hostage to those kids. And if it keeps saying mean things to you, kick it in the knee. :)

      You’re gorgeous. Thank you so much for reading!

      Like

  • katrinamillen

    Very powerful story and message!!!! I think a lot of parents should read this and allow their children to feel beautiful and loved and let them love and respect others in return. Thank you for a great post :)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! And yes, absolutely – the stronger we make our children, the more tools we give them to face the world, the better adults they’ll be. And the better adults we make, the better world we’ll have. Thank you for reading! So glad you’re here!

      Like

  • Szuzanna

    Great message.

    Like

  • ginniesjournal

    Yes to this whole post, last night I spent the evening setting the world to rights with a glass of wine and good friend. We got onto the topic of society and did that ever open a whole can of worms!! But yes your right we all do feel at that venerable age of a teenager how we should conform the need and wants of the people around us, I look back now and just think screw them!! and why did I care, but the sad truth is we did and it still affects me now and I guess in some way it always will, but I have learnt to love myself and accept the way I am, although in saying that I could lose a few pounds around my bum just so I don’t feel guilty stuffing my face!!

    I admire you, defiantly someone to look up to :) Thank you

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! It’s easy to let people tell you what to do, how to act, how to BE as a teen. And looking back now, it makes me so sad that I wasted so much time CARING so much. If I’d just done my own thing, I’d have been so much more secure, so much more stable, so much happier, you know?

      I’m so glad you’re here! Thank you for reading!

      Like

      • ginniesjournal

        I compleatly agree but then again what’s done is done… and part of me is thankful for all those things that where said and done in my teens, becasue at the end of it all they have made me who I am today and that I like. Plus if I lined all those people up and I was really nasty to them it wouldn’t take any of it away!! So I say be thankful and keep smiling, because you like who you are now and that’s all that matters

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          True – our experiences make us who we are today, and I am happy with who I am as well. I wouldn’t mind losing a LITTLE bit of what’s happened to me, though. Just a few things. Here and there. The more hurtful ones. Who wouldn’t?

          Like

  • angie

    Wow, I love this. Everyone is so different and it’s hard to get hard headed people to realize that it would be soooo boring if we were all the same.

    Like

  • yellowragelingerie

    I love this so much. I have a friend who fat trolls as you say and I had to explain to him why him doing this is a bad thing. Your weight and size is your own business nobody else’s. bravo on this post! I will be sharing it with everyone I know!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! You are much more patient than I am. I think that friend would no longer want to hang out with me, because I would be yelly. SO YELLY. :) So glad you’re here!

      Like

  • Sue Ghosh

    I grew up hating the slim and thin girls/women because the fat jokes made me so depressed. Then in my mid-twenties (recently) I suddenly stopped caring about what other people think of me – weight or otherwise. So they can go on expressing their fake concern for my single status and overweight body – I actually don’t give a shit and feel nothing.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I know what you mean – it’s easy (especially when you’re young) to hate the people who seem to have what you want – the better bodies, the boy/girlfriends, the money, the clothes. As we age, it’s easier to see things from all sides, I think. I hate that you have people in your life that are shaming you about your body and being single – neither of which are anything to be ashamed of. And I hope you’re not really feeling nothing – don’t let them take your emotions away. Let yourself feel the anger and the outrage. Just channel it into changing things for the better – for yourself, for others. You’ll feel amazing. (And guess what? You already ARE amazing. And gorgeous. And strong. And I *love* how much you love animals – yep, I totally checked out your blog. Animals are one of my loves, as well, so I just KNOW you’re fantastic. Much love to you!)

      Like

  • eric wignes

    people who shame others are setting themselves up for some serious ongoing midlife crisis. it was not until i experienced homelessness that i realized that people in typical american society are living next each other instead of with each other and are not treating each other as humans- we’re not even seeing each other as humans, or brothers or sisters or even neighbors. we instead see each other as sense objects and competitors to be shamed or acted against. this makes sense because so long as we’re not sharing our resources then competitors and objects to be had is all we will see. it hurts every day to live in this depraved society 4 real. i stay in touch with my brothers and sisters on the streets because often thats the only place i find where people are still people. Thanks 4 being real, thanks 4 being human- got love 4 you too sister.

    ps- everyone comes into this world with a certain inclination and specific body type- all bodies are beautiful. tell anyone saying there aint no such thing as healthy fat to explain Buddha. after going to Italy once, i realized it’s more a reflection on our processed diets than it is a reflection on anyone’s habits. people eat all day over there and can’t seem to get big like us because they’re not eating processed junk (all our food is crap over here, organic food stores and fancy restauraunts included, i know because i’ve worked in them).

    lastly, girls quit looking at me when i caught a bad case of acne and started shaving my head and not looking people in the eye as a teenager. ten years later i had been through phases of thinking it was becasue of acne, not fitting in, or lack of money etc. one day i decided to say fuck what people thought and grow my hair out and suddenly they started looking again- what can i say they love me for whats inside right? not. shows what state of mind we’re in. I ignore them bitches cuz they’re not being human.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I agree – we don’t see each other. We’re too caught up in our own lives and dramas to relate to each other as much as we should.

      And I’m sorry people are so superficial, as you saw from the girls in your high school. But please, please don’t call women bitches! Even if they’re…well, acting poorly! It’s a terrible term and you’re better than that. I know you are.

      Keep your head up, keep being brave, and keep your amazing outlook on life. It’ll take you a very long way!

      Like

  • Ashley Austrew

    Thank you. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. A million times, thank you.

    Like

  • Dounia

    This is a beautifully written post. I loved it from beginning to end, and I agree with every point you make – if only more people could think like this! Congrats on being freshly pressed – these are the kinds of posts that deserve that honor!

    Like

  • shahjehan1976

    Great blog. It’s really important that we challenge body fascists. It’s a feminist issue and a human rights issue. People don’t fit one mould. Look at the athletes at the Olympics. They are people at the peak of physical fitness and they are completely different shapes and sizes. The difficulty at the moment is that body fascists justify their vicious and damaging position using legitimate public health concerns over obesity. But as you have asserted, body fascism is just another form of judgement and prejudice like racism and sexism. People like you are essential in challenging the prejudice and showing that we are all responsible for our words and actions and the terrible damage that they can cause.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! You’re right – it’s a lot of things, and I think it all boils down to control. Control and people with self-hatred, who want to bring others down to build themselves up.

      Words can hurt. Anyone who thinks they can’t has never been bullied.

      Like

  • chinks

    It’s a must read for everybody. I mean everybody. Lean or fat. Totally loved it. Such a beautiful piece.

    Like

  • Nagzilla

    Thank you. The end almost made me cry. My mom had weight issues when I was a kid, and every time she went on a diet I went on with her because “this is what you’ll end up like if you don’t.” I totally relate to your story with your dad because I lived that too. You are brave and beautiful and thank you so much for sharing.

    Like

  • FincastleMom

    Our son went through a period of about a year when he wasn’t growing as much – I guess his metablism took a mini-break(?) – and he was close to being labelled “obese”. My husband and I were (I hope) very careful to avoid puting an emphasis on how much he weighs, and whether he has gained weight. I remind him when he worries (even though he has added almost 6 inches in height and very few pounds since then) that you have to weigh more to grow. We encourage him to be active in sports, and generally limit sugary snacks for everyone’s health. I do worry about kids at school throwing around labels, although I probably can’t control it. But no matter what size he finally grows into, he is always our son. Kids do listen, and I pray that when he looks back, my son will have heard the right things.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      You and your husband sound like you’re saying all the right things. This made my heart so happy. You sound so supportive, and the very fact that you’re worrying about it speaks volumes about you and your relationship about your son. He’s going to grow up so strong and knowing that you both love him so much. You’re giving him the foundation he needs to be an amazing man. I want to give you a round of applause and a huge hug. Thank you for raising a great kid.

      Like

  • thehappyhealthfreak

    As someone who has been on both sides of the spectrum, I can certainly relate. I decided to change my eating habits to be healthy – not skinny, although the weight did come off. I’ve managed to maintain this for over a year and it’s because it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. Beauty comes from within, you have to LOVE yourself first not matter what shape or size you are. Being thin won’t make you happy – I still sometimes struggle with body image issues, then I slap myself – deep down I know I am truly happy and I love myself! People need to stop being so negative, gossipy and judgmental! Enjoyed your article and will spread the love :) :)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thanks so much! And I agree completely – loving yourself is the first step, and the most important one. Having others around you who are loving and supportive helps with that – but having that self-confidence helps you when you have to be around people who aren’t as loving. Congratulations on your lifestyle change, and whenever your inner voice is being especially shouty, just give it a big old “hell, no!” and tell yourself how beautiful you are!

      Like

  • vegan farm girl in the city

    I just did a similar post about how people feel they have the right to comment on your food choices. BTW – excellent use of the word ‘douchecanoe”. Kudos on being freshly pressed! You’re beautiful.
    http://www.countdownfrom50.wordpress.com

    Like

  • brain4rent

    First congrats on being freshly pressed. Second what a tough read, been heavy, been thinner, but never been thin and everything you say about adults speaking to and in front of children is true. It seems the good answers haven’t been discovered yet, but I keep hoping they are to save another generation from a) unhealthy weight and b) the haters who feel it is there right to force their ideal on others.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! I have a nephew and am conscious of everything I say/do about food around him – I want him to have a healthy relationship with food, and I don’t want him to grow up with hate – either for others, or for himself. (It’s easy to do, as he is the most wonderful little human I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.)

      Like

  • primalnights

    I saw a special on weight and there was a kid that on one side of his body he was WAY over weight, on the other side he was thin. No lie. It was liked they drew a line down his center and one half was fat the other slim. T me that’s as clear as it can be that genetics decides. One person,two different shapes. Super ingesting. Tere was nothing he could do. Zero. Great post.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It’s tough to fight genetics. I realized that when I was in my early teens and went to a family reunion and looked at some of my female relatives on my father’s side: exact same body shape as mine. Not an amazing revelation for an adult, maybe, but for a kid, it was so shocking and so cool that there was a reason I was built the way I was – it came from my genes.

      Thank you for reading! Glad to have you here!

      Like

  • mormongirl11450

    I’m on the edge of 113 pounds and the girls I see in high school are thinner than me….sometimes I feel a little chunky and I constantly stress about it since my family has a history of being over weight…but lately I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin.
    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!!!!!!!!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I want to give you a huge hug. 113 is not heavy. Please don’t compare yourself to the other girls at school; you’re wonderful and intelligent and write well and the fact that you’re even thinking about body image in high school shows you’re leaps and bounds ahead of other kids your age.

      Keep being comfortable in your skin. It’s perfect. YOU are perfect. You are beautiful. You are just right. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are wrong. Let me repeat: THEY ARE WRONG.

      You are so welcome, and I’m so glad you’re here. So much love for you. High school is so tough. But so are you. You can do this.

      Like

    • sj

      I am so glad I saw your comment because I was just thinking earlier today about something I’d forgotten about that STILL bothers me from when I was a kid.

      I have no idea if they still do this, but when I was young, we had twice yearly weigh ins at school. I was always at least 6 inches taller than all the other girls in my class, so I always weighed more.

      And this was done in front of everyone.

      Sweetie, I haven’t weighed 113 since I was 10 years old, and at that point I was already 5’6″.

      But because I weighed at LEAST 20 pounds more than the rest of the girls in my class, there were always snickers and giggles.

      Please don’t worry about your weight while you’re so young. Get out, be healthy, but don’t let what other people think of you colour your perception of yourself.

      You’re awesome.

      Like

  • obstructedbynone

    There’s skinny, and then there’s skeleton. For whatever reason, we think that being more of a skeleton is attractive.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Some people do. Some don’t. And some people can’t help what size they are, and some people are starving themselves to attain something they think they need.

      Everyone’s beautiful, and even more beautiful if they have self-confidence and love themselves.

      Like

      • obstructedbynone

        Yes, people are definitely more attractive when they have faith that they’re attractive. When it happens to be a facade though, it can get kind of ugly. Self-hatred ain’t a beautiful thang.

        Like

  • mormongirl11450

    Thank you Lucy!!!
    I honestly don’t think I’d get a response like that. I almost cried when I read it….trust me my writing isn’t that great honestly I think my blogs are just crap. But I do really love the message type trying to send out
    Bless you!!!!!!

    Like

  • andy1076

    Beauty is in the heart and your soul through your actions, Not through people’s opinions about what they think. At least, that’s my thought on it anyways :)

    Like

  • billieraspberry

    Uuughhh it’s so common isn’t it the “You’re gonna die of fatness, I’m telling you because I care” thing. That kid campaign is shameful, how dare they bully kids like that?

    I went through a similar thing. I lost weight in a very unhealthy way and then, of course, gained it all back because the ‘don’t eat and exercise a lot diet’ doesn’t exactly work… I was moody all the time as well and frankly, I looked terrible. I’ve seen pictures, I looked sick but everybody congratulated me on “finally making the choice to lose weight” to no end.

    Odd enough gaining back all the weight also came with self-esteem. I somehow realised I didn’t have to see myself through other people’s eyes, that I was much more than ‘fat’ (or ‘thin’) and that opposite to popular belief, I didn’t need to put my life on hold until I lost weight because who knows if that day will ever happen, and honestly, who cares. Life won’t wait and I shouldn’t either. I just get angry some times because I feel like I wasted so much time of my life being “traumatised” instead of living my life normally.

    It’s disgusting how average people are referred to as ‘fat’ too. It’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed, I think. I was reading the other day something about Jennifer Lawrence and on the comment section of the website, a hell of a lot of people were saying… she’s chubby, she’s got big arms, etc etc … I couldn’t believe it! That girl is not even average, she’s thin!

    Anyway, sorry for the blog-length reply :P
    Thank you for writing this post, I’m sure it will help heaps of people to realise fat does not equal ugly and that if you’re fat you don’t need to be taking shit from people.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I love long comments. Never apologize for those!

      I feel terrible for celebrities. Imagine the comments we get, then multiply those times a million. Jennifer Lawrence is LUMINOUS. And she has a beautiful body. And I’ve seen too many times her being called fat. It’s infuriating. (Luckily, she seems very down-to-earth and I don’t think she’ll take the comments seriously!)

      I’m so glad your self-esteem is good – that’s the most important step. Good for you!

      Thank you so much for reading! So glad to have you here!

      Like

  • iameuna

    Reblogged this on I Am Euna :).

    Like

  • ckwhymeanonymous

    Wonderful read. Really, I loved it. I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and be unhappy with what I see. But then feeling like that just makes me feel crappier. I then realize as a person I am happy who I am…so what’s a little cellulite. There is power in positive thinking I have learned

    Like

  • Jeff

    Excellent article! And congrats on getting freshly pressed. I’ve been overweight for a long time, and am working it off. But it’s not because I care about what anyone else thinks (I spent a long time imagining that people were judging me, when, for the most part, no one was). I actually am not healthy. So I’m trying to get my type 2 diabetes gone, and my blood pressure regulated. I’ve lost 110 pounds in three years. I feel better. That’s the most important thing. I may not make it below 200 pounds. Who knows. All the “charts” say I’m supposed to weigh around 150-160. I think I would be able to see my ribs if I got that light. No way I will ever get that skinny. I’ll stop when I feel comfortable with who I am.

    I’m still waiting for the time when it becomes illegal to be obese. I’m not joking, either. I really believe that will happen some day. I pray that I’m wrong.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      That’s the worst, isn’t it? It’s so easy to assume people are judging us, and I think people have so much of their own self-hatred going on they’re not judging us half as much as we think.

      Congratulations on your weight loss! And I know what you mean – the world’s a scary place. I wouldn’t be surprised to see things go in that direction, either.

      Like

  • julyruelle

    thanks for spreading love and positive energy through your blog. keep up the good work. i’ve spent the last couple years purging jealousy which has in turn helped me love myself. i still am hurt when others judge me (i live in Paris which is hard because i am not exactly a parisienne woman…) but you know what? instead of lashing out and feeding the negative, i exchange it with a positive feeeling. peace & love.xo july

    Like

  • tamberrinoartstudio

    I loved your story–Growing up, I didn’t realize I had a ‘big nose’ until other people pointed it out. People can be so cruel. The pain we go through in life makes us compassionate, caring people. And yes, we are all beautiful–big noses and big bellies, too! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!! :)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! Yes, it’s funny – we don’t realize our flaws are even FLAWS until someone oh-so-helpfully points it out to us, right? Thanks so much, people! Sigh. But you’re right – what we go through does help us become the people we are today. So glad you’re here!

      Like

  • mormongirl11450

    Thanks Lucy!
    More and more people are starting to look at my blog! YAY!!!! The 1/8 of me is a lot more popular, four people already are following it and like six have liked my “moms are super hero’s”post! My numbers keep getting bigger! I’m so excited thanks so so so so so so much!!!!!!!!

    Like

  • swingstatevoter

    I <3 this post! I can't tell you how difficult it is to see/hear how much judgment comes in the media for those of us who are not a size 2. It's sad…I still cry when I have to buy clothes, because nothing ever fits my large ass…and then I have to remind myself I need to dress for my size and no one else's. When I read this post, it makes me want to stand up and shout "fuck all you skinny judging bitches, I'm beautiful too!!!" :)

    You are beautiful, don't ever forget that.

    Marilyn Monroe would have been a "fatty" but she's STILL the symbol of beauty men and women adore. That tells us something. :)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! You ARE beautiful, and I know, clothes shopping is tough – but when you find something you feel beautiful in, it’s worth it. I’ve been lucky and found some adorable clothes lately – and my self-esteem being higher doesn’t hurt, either!

      You are beautiful. Thank you so much. I’m so glad you’re here!

      Like

  • purpleperceptions

    This was an amazing, amazing read. I can identify with you on so many levels, it’s a little crazy. The difference would probably be that my mum’s one of the most effortlessly skinny people I know. She’s been in the same weight range since she was a teenager, and tht’s mostly genes. She eats what she likes and when she likes, and I’ve never seen her diet in my whole life. Me? I’m the complete opposite. Inherited my dad’s top heavy built, big boobs and a pot belly ish shape, even though my butt is decent. And I’m just 5 2, so the weight gain looks apparent very very quick. Something my dad was quick to pounce on. He’a pretty tubby himself, but apparently being a healthy ish girl was a crime. Or he was too concerned I’d start dating or whatever. So he developed this childhood tradition where he’d stand me in front of the mirror at least once a day, and point out exactly how fat, squat and ugly I was. No joke. He was brutally punctual about it. From when I was a little above nine till today. Not one time does he miss the chance to tell me that since I’m so repulsive to look at, I’d better pay more attention to my books. Cause yknow, you’re no beauty so you might as well be a brain.

    Kinda worked too. I still cringe every time I look in the mirror, and avoid photographs like the plague. Thanks a bunch dad. =/

    I’m happy you’re out of that loop though. It’s good to see you working past and through that weight which, well, weighs your self esteem down. Good for you!!!! =)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      That’s terrible. I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope you tell him you don’t have to put up with that anymore. You’re beautiful, you’re strong, and you don’t need the shaming. Don’t let him do that to you. He’s just one person, and he has no right to do that to you. None. (And honestly, he’s probably looking at you, seeing his own body shape, and saying to you the things he’d like to say to himself. It’s about him and about his low self-esteem. Not about you at all.)

      Don’t avoid the mirror or photographs. Tell his voice in your head to get out of there. It doesn’t belong there. There’s not enough room for both of your voices.

      You’re wonderful and you’re amazing and you’re so strong. Look yourself in the eye and tell yourself that. And keep telling yourself that. Until you believe it. Because *I* believe it.

      Like

  • Show Me the Belly | Twisted Positions

    […] “You’re gonna carry that weight…” […]

    Like

  • Lori Lipsky

    What a brave and genius post. Marvelous. Now I encourage you to take this topic and rewrite it in all sorts of ways and submit the heck out of it to magazines galore. Brace yourself and gird your loins for the haters, but it’s obvious by the comments here that your message is needed out there. Well done…and keep going!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! I don’t know if I’m quite ready to take over the publishing world just yet…but the encouragement is much appreciated. Thank you! So glad you’re here!

      Like

  • doesmybumlookbiginthis

    I’ll keep this short and sweet. Similar situation with my Dad, even though he’s amazing and lovely, and wanted me to be happy, it worked the complete opposite way. This post is well deserved of it’s freshly pressedishness, congratulations :) xx

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It usually works the opposite way, it seems. I hope people stop “encouraging” us into negative relationships with food and our bodies. Thank you so much! Big hugs to you!

      Like

  • flanorina

    Awh so many people have had these feelings. I was one of those uber skinny kids. People would always say it to me. I’d actually get embarassed. Started to fill out between 14 and 16 and I don’t get those whoa you’re so skinny comments anymore. I’m not fat. I’m a fairly average weight. But my dad too recently said to me my face was looking “fuller”. It defo made me think “oh God if my dad will say it what must other people think”. I think sometimes comments from parents are harder to take than from anyone else. Someone else you can put it down to them being cruel. But you defo feel if a parent says it it must be true.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Parents have a lot of influence over us, sometimes without even knowing it. They have to be so careful.

      You have a beautiful face. You’re a beautiful person. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

      Like

  • Nicola

    This is such a fantastic post – and I am also totally in awe of the amazing commenters who are out and and about today! It makes me so angry when people automatically equate thinness with health and fatness with unhealthyness (if that’s even a word). I’m so pleased to have found you out here in the blogosphere.

    Like

  • hdfloyd73

    WOW….This has got to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever read!! THANK YOU!! <3 <3 <3 I can feel the absolute love in your words! This needs to be read by everyone.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked it and I’m so glad you’re here!

      Like

      • hdfloyd73

        Thank you. I think this should be mandatory reading for everyone! I am going to have my teenage daughters read this. I can see the love and heart you put into this piece, and it is really wonderful. I am officially hanging around! ;) “following you”…

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Thank you so much! That means the world to me, having your daughters read it. I wish I’d read something like this when I was a teenager. (However, that was so long ago, the internet hadn’t been born yet. We had magazines! And paper books! And microfiche!)

          Like

  • sowingmercy

    Okay….I am going to weight watchers right after I finish writing this, because it seems to be my habit….and I have paid for this month. I haven’t really varied much in my weight since five years after I was freed from pain by having a hysterectomy (Severe endometriosis). I was skinny before the hysterectomy because I was too sick to eat enough. So within five years of that wonderful, life changing, event, I weighed what I have weighed for the last 15 years, plus or minus 20 pounds. I would like to lose enough weight to be in the higher “Misses” sizes because those clothes fit my body type better than the “W” sizes. But I said to my husband last week, after going to a scrapbooking retreat where several pictures of me and everyone were taken (Due to our obsessive need to take pictures of our lives), that in my older years, I think I am quite photogenic. When people take pictures of me, they almost always say, That is a great picture of you. I am much more satisfied with my looks than I was when I was younger.

    This is a great post, and I think you say some very important things about the way we view ourselves.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! I had no idea, when I was younger, that as we age, self-confidence comes with knowledge and acceptance. But then again, I never imagined, when I was a teenager, myself as being a grownup. I never thought I’d be almost (SO OLD!) forty!!! Hee!

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going to Weight Watchers at all. You have a plan – you know you look better in the smaller sizes, and you have your priorities straight. You know you’re still beautiful either way. So do what you love, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong either way.

      Like

  • lifeinbelfast

    Absolutely loved reading this, and identified completely. Feeling inspired to tell the next sales rep who assures me that I need this gym membership or that diet pill exactly where to go!

    Like

  • Sinkwriter

    I wish I had more time to write a novel in response to what you’ve written here, because I feel like I have so much to SAY. How much I appreciate your words on this subject. (Because oh what a subject it is, and how it has affected me over the years.) But until I have time to come back and respond properly and browse the rest of your marvelous blog, I just want to say thank you for saying all of this. I can’t say that enough. You’re awesome and your words were SPOT ON. Everyone should read this and absorb its message.

    Like

  • sweetyums

    I have struggled with yo-yo dieting for years. In high school, I lost about 40lbs, and suddenly the attention, the friends, the boys, everything changed. I also faced the shame that comes with gaining it all back. I now found a balance with respecting my body and learning to love who I am. I respect your honesty and your courage for posting something so necessary and poignant. This is a blog I will be following :)

    Like

  • Hilda Steyn

    Stunning blog. Real women have curves. Real women do not look like skinny schoolboys. Well done for this blog. I love my body, curves and all!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! I think we’re all real women – thin, fat, curvy, thin – and no one should be judging us, no matter what we look like. It’s just as hard for the thin people as it is for the heavy ones to deal with the body shaming. I’m so glad you’re here! Welcome!

      Like

  • trainlikeyoucare

    This blog says it all. I love it

    Like

  • zaiclara

    Oh my, just yesterday, I was heartbroken (AGAIN) when my grandma pointedly told me that my arms are too fat, along with my tummy, my waist, .. and the list goes on. And she said this while I was having my breakfast. She meant it as a lighthearted joke, but it wasn’t funny anymore. Confidence is something I have so little of, and it’s just so painful hearing them talk about my body figure as if I’m deliberately stuffing myself with foams. And the aftermath? I browsed AGAIN the albums on FB, checked out the photos with me and my friends…. thinking and believing, yes, look, you silly, they’re right, you’re FAT. It’s DEPRESSING. I haven’t eaten a meal that day after breakfast. It’s like making a sin to open up my mouth and feed my stomach. …..

    I have so much to say… you pulled the trigger! Thank you so much for this blog, it’s nice to know someone out there understands. You very well deserved to be freshly pressed!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’m so sorry. I wish I had the words to make it better. Just know you are beautiful. And no one can change that and no one can take that away from you. No one has the right to cut you down with their words, and they shouldn’t be doing that. And yes, it’s easy to look at people’s photos on Facebook and think they’re having a better time, they look better, etc. – but they’re all struggling with something, too. They probably stressed out about what photos to post that didn’t show THEIR flaws.

      You’re welcome. I’m glad you’re here. You’re beautiful, you’re worthy, and don’t let anything, anyone, ever, take that from you. Tell yourself you’re amazing every chance you get. You’ve got the chance to be your own best friend or your own worst enemy – choose to be your best friend. I promise you’re worth it.

      Like

  • Ana

    I just realised that by hypocritical and distorted American standards, I’m a little fat. :P
    Not that I care much! :D

    Like

  • shaheena82

    I almost cried whilst reading this…it resonated with me so much. People be so hurtful and claiming ignorance is just not an excuse anymore. Thank you for this and you’re right we are all beautiful

    Like

  • mrsron

    Thank you for sharing. Thank you so much :)

    Like

  • You’re gonna carry that weight; carry that weight a long time | Coffee Break

    […] You’re gonna carry that weight; carry that weight a long time. […]

    Like

  • iamtheinvisiblehand

    Well done, excellent blog!

    I’ve been on the heavy side of the scale my whole life and know well what it’s like to be shamed about it by my not-that-thin family members.

    At some point I decided to live my life as I chose and forget about the rest, but it is really hard, because of everything you mentioned in your blog, especially how normal people are stamped as “too fat”.
    Jeez, I’d kill to look like Kate Winslet, but when she was filming Titanic James Cameron would call her “Kate Weighs A Lot”. Sick, huh? I’d love to have Adele’s talent and even look like her (I think she is stunning), but no, Karl Lagerfeld had to come out and say she was “a little too fat”. Good thing that same week she won an insane amount of Grammies.

    And about Herbalife, I tried it once many years ago and threw up for about 2 days. I don’t know if maybe I was allergic to something in it, but I’m never trying that again. The best part was that my mother called the lady who sold the product to us and she said that it was probably part of the detox process…puh-leez.

    Anyway, thank you for this blog.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you!

      I knew James Cameron was a dick. Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses. And humans. She saved a woman from a FIRE recently! I want to hang out with her. She seems so down-to-earth.

      And I LOVE Adele. And I love that whenever anyone says anything about her weight, she has some sort of comeback for it. She’s got self-esteem to spare. She’s tough.

      Keep telling yourself how strong and how beautiful you are. Ignore everyone else. They don’t get to stamp any labels on you. You’re the only one that gets to do that, and you get to decide what those labels say.

      You’re welcome. And I’m so glad you’re here!

      Like

  • Deena Siddle

    I loved your blogs it spoke about so many of the same things that I struggled with growing up with. I am a beautiful health 215lb at only 5’4″. So I’m short and round but very fit, me and my husband backpack, and hike you would not believe the looks I get. My Dr said that I say over weight on purpose because I have big boobs. That I should get a reduction then I would lose weight. I found a new Dr. I look forward to reading more from you.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! That doctor sounds idiotic. And it doesn’t surprise me much – doctors often overlook a lot of things wrong with heavier patients and concentrate on the weight, not anything else. Thanks for reading, and I’m so glad you’re here!

      Like

  • jnnfrklayer

    Everytime someone decides to judge me about something I try not to think hateful things, but instead I wonder:

    What happened to you to make you the kind of person you are?

    Then I automatically assume they were treated badly by someone else, or that they feel like they need to compensate for something they don’t think they have, and I feel sorry for them. In the end they realize that their negativity will continue to snowball through the system and eventually it will come back and hit them full force. Until the negative person realizes what is going to happen it will just be a continous feedback loop.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I agree completely, but it’s still hard when they’re treating you so badly to be that kind to them. I try, and sometimes am more successful than others. There’s also only so far I can extend that kind of excuse. We’ve all had terrible things happen in our past, but some people rise above them, and some people let them drag them down – and choose to drag people down with them. If they keep doing that, it’s not an excuse, although they’re using it as one, you know? We can learn from and grow from our past, but some people just don’t, and I can’t continue to interact with someone who refuses to treat others with kindness and courtesy.

      But I’m not the world’s biggest person in that manner, and I do admire people who are. I admire you for being much kinder than I am, I really do.

      Like

      • jnnfrklayer

        Thanks. I don’t think of myself as world’s biggest or strongest person in that sense, but I’ve been so far depressed to where I was one of those people who wanted to drag everyone down with them. So yeah, I can kinda see where all these negative people are coming from. I know I’ll never be all “sunshine and rainbows” kind of happy 24/7 and 365. But considering where I used to be and where I am now, I’m very happy with my progress. I’m also very glad you decided to share your story, because sometimes the more you talk about a hurtful experience and share that with others…Well, it will heal you better and faster than what time alone could ever do. Be strong and stay positive :)

        Like

  • shiggs91

    You are amazing. Thank you for writing this, thank you for sharing this, and just thank you.

    Like

  • figurynna

    Every single day people are saying that I look ‘bigger’ than before. Because I am a petite girl, so even small changes can easily be seen.

    My doctor said I have a healthy BMI, but my body still look bulgy to some bulgy eyes’ people. I usually just agreed with them (maybe they really care? Or they don’t have enough things to care about their lives, so they care about me growing few inches?) I don’t know.

    Thank you for such a beautiful post. You are beautiful, Lucy.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      People should mind their own business. Who tells someone they look bigger? What a rude thing to say. I’m really mouthy. Like, REALLY mouthy. And if someone told me I looked bigger than before, I would snap back with, “And you look stupider than before.” I’d feel guilty about it later, but it’d still get said. This is probably why people don’t say things about my weight to me, ever. They never know what’s going to come out of my mouth.

      Thank you for reading. YOU are beautiful. The next time someone tells you that you look bigger or bulgier, just laugh and walk away. You’re better than that. They’re just trying to bring you down, and you deserve so much better.

      Like

  • E.H.

    Awesome post about shame, in general, and being mean to people as a poor practice. Compassion and treating people well pretty much excludes shaming them for qualities one doesn’t share, or doesn’t like. I love how firmly you take a stand on this.

    I’m not thin. I once was – it was on the highly successful Domestic Violence Diet. The one where your fat-hating spouse mocks and beats you regularly until you are too nauseated by anxiety to eat. I got to a size 3 (5’6″)… not ‘model thin’ I guess, but close enough to be called ‘skeletor’ by guys who prefer thick girls. Mocking someone’s appearance is just mean, lacks value, and is more a demonstration of someone’s desire to control other people than any attempt to be ‘well meaning’. lol. BUT – I did reach a point in my life where I was unhealthy, and not fit, and it was indeed eventually likely to kill me. So, ok. I changed my nutritional habits, and my level of exertion, and committed to improving my lifestyle to improve my health. I don’t focus on how many pounds. I do focus on feeling good and being able to easily enjoy activities I love. :-D

    …and there’s no need to make fun of fat girls, or thin girls, or heavily made up ones, or girls going natural. There are as many sorts of beauty as there are individuals. Thank you for noticing, too!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much – and thank you for your comment. I hope you were able to get out of your relationship – it sounds like you were, and that you’re in a better place now. I so hope that’s the case.

      Beauty is everywhere, and in all of us. And honestly, I feel terrible for anyone who can’t see that. It’s a horrible kind of blindness, and one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The ability to see beauty in anyone, and how it’s all around us – it’s such a gift.

      Like

  • qitospare

    This was a great read and I totally agree with you. The number of people saying nasty things to eachother especially online needs to stop. Love is the answer that will lift us out of this rut. The light is comming and bless you for your effort!

    Like

  • Bella

    I love this! I had a similar experience with my dad and it’s stayed with me for 30 years. Thanks.

    Like

  • linnettg

    Wow this is a powerful post. I personally have days when I feel fat, and some where I feel very slim and great. But overall I try not to think about it because it isn’t very important, there are a few things higher on the list of things I’d like to change. When I think of my friends, the most beautiful ones are those who some of society would deem as fat; how dare people knock their confidence down for that! My boyfriend would also be placed in that camp, and I love him for it. I’m not a petit flower and so having a larger companion makes me feel at ease and I quite like it. However I easily fall into the trap of trying to help him make healthier choices because his confidence is destroyed by his weight. Many a time do I feel shame for doing this, which I cry about and am always reassured by HIM. But after reading this post, I’m going to give him a big squeeze tonight and tell him how handsome I think he is, and LEAVE HIM ALONE about his weight. Like you said, it’s no one else’s business and I, like everyone else MUST RESPECT that.
    Thank you for writing this post, very thought provoking as you can see.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you for your comment and thank you for reading! I love that you’re thinking about what you’re saying to your boyfriend. That really shows how much you care about him, and your respect for him. That’s a beautiful thing. I’m so glad you’re here!

      Like

  • maeveala

    I cannot even put into words how much I love this post. On every level. The last bullet point made me audibly gasp. Hatefulness. There it is. Well said. And instead of fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, rape-shaming, how about getting back to shaming where it should be: hateful behavior. So much more I want to say, but, this will have to do – I love you. And thank you.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much. I’m so glad you liked it and I’m so glad it hit home for you. And yes. The hatefulness is the problem. Unfortunately, it will always be there. It’s always been there. And all we can do is fight it with all the love we have. And based on all these comments – oh, there’s a lot of love out there. I’m so honored and so humbled by the comments. I can’t even tell you.

      Thank you. You’re beautiful and wonderful and strong and awesome.

      Like

  • thethinkingofthoughts2013

    Thank you so much for sharing this. As someone who also grew up believing I was fat when photographs of the time would suggest otherwise, I continue to be overweight and to struggle to maintain any loss of weight. Being overweight is an issue of the mind as well as the body. I love the way you have tackled this subject and hope the world hurries up and catches up to your point of view

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you for reading. I’m so glad you’re here. Isn’t it terrible, looking back at those old photos and thinking about how “fat” we thought we were, when we were so beautiful the whole time? It breaks my heart. I want to go back in time and just give young-me a hug. Keep positive thoughts, and remember you’re beautiful, no matter what size you are – it’s important you know that!

      Like

  • aliceatwonderland

    This is a beautiful – and heartbreaking – post. I almost cried in several places. I just went through a “I must lose weight” phase and just decided to hell with that. I already have so much stress in my life with work, kids, chronic allergies, etc. so of course I add that on top. I’m a size 14 and 5’7″ and according to BMI I am well into the overweight category. Seriously? My 12-year-old daughter told me I was beautiful just as I was. She was right.

    My father has made me feel bad about my weight. Not directly – he tells me how my mother and brother are overweight and they’re killing themselves. It hurts. And I wonder – if I gain too much weight, will he look on me with that same disgust? He has never said mean things about my appearance, but I just wonder. He works himself so hard (he’s 71) that I’m amazed he hasn’t given himself a heart attack from exertion. He goes way too far one way, and my mother not enough the other. She doesn’t get exercise, especially since her knee replacement.

    I don’t know if you’ve read it, but I found “The Obesity Myth” to be an enlightening book. Not only is fat shaming mean, it’s UNTRUE. Losing weight is often the last thing someone should do for their health, especially if they are likely to gain it back. You can be fat and as long as you stay active and eat decently, you can be in good health. You can be skinny, sedentary, eat lousy food, and be very unhealthy.

    Sorry I wrote a novel comment, but I was really touched by your post. I also read and follow Sara’s blog (she is great) and I have written some about fat shaming too. The sad thing is that people assume you are saying it’s great to just sit on your butt and eat twinkies (cause that’s what all fat people do) when that’s not it at all. When will people listen?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I love your daughter. What a great kid. She IS right.

      Never apologize for long comments. I love them. I love that people take the time to read what I’ve written and to comment in any fashion. And you’re right – I mean, if I’m talking about stopping fat-shaming, I must be talking about sitting around eating all the Twinkies! Because, ha ha, lazy fat people! It’s ridiculous, and it’s hurtful, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Worse, if anything.

      I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for reading.

      Like

  • songmistress

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I have a lot of “fat-baggage” left over from a failed marriage where my husband shamed me a lot like your father did to you. Now, I have a wonderful husband who loves me and my body as is (and it’s changed a lot since we got married and I’m older and heavier now than ever), but I still fight those demons and society stigma. Thank you for the reminder to not listen to the assholes (not even to listen to myself when I’m the one beating myself up). And,”douchecanoe”? Awesome!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Sometimes the voice that’s hardest to ignore is our own. Because we know ourselves the best, so we know what words will hurt ourselves the most. But once you replace your inner monologue with positive words, it’s easier. (I tell my inner harpy to shut up a lot. I cuss at her. She quiets down eventually.)

      Hee! Douchecanoe’s all yours. Use it all you’d like!

      I’m glad you’re here! Thank you so much for reading!

      Like

  • madonna25

    Reblogged this on Miss Madonna and commented:
    Loved it!!!!

    Like

  • ashginther85

    All I can say is thank you, and I am going to pass this on like crazy. I have been heavy since I was 10, and my parents (who were at the time, also heavy) idea of encouragement and loving criticism was calling me fat, and laughing at my 3 younger brothers jokes/name calling. This still goes on as we speak, and I am 27. Fat shaming is one of the worst things we could ever do to children. To me it makes it impossible for anyone to become a confident adult without a lifetime prescription of xanax and therapy. Just know that what you wrote is truly amazing. Thanks. Ashley

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked it! I hate that it’s still happening to you. I wish I could be there. I’d have some choice words for anyone who thought it was funny to fat-shame a family member. I’m…not someone anyone wants to mess with when I’m riled up. Let’s just leave it at that. I get loud.

      You’re better than their words. You’re strong, you’re capable, and you’re beautiful. They can keep trying to tear you down, but they’re just doing it out of a sense of self-loathing on their own end. Hold your head up high. You’re amazing. You deserve better than that.

      Like

  • alaisfairlight

    You make a lot of good points. As a mother (and a daughter who was not “fat” but had her ego stepped on all the same) I understand how easy it is to damage a child’s sense of self and how important it is to respect our children (not something you heard when we were growing up, eh? Respect was for adults not children!) and allow them to keep their dignity in-tact.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Absolutely. Children have such malleable little self-esteems. And people don’t realize we can help them, or hurt them. Why would we WANT to hurt children? We have the ability to help them become amazing, strong, self-assured adults. Why aren’t we using it more?

      Like

  • cndaussin

    wow sorry that you went through that. i’m glad you’re making such a great blog! go you! go you!

    Like

  • Dixie Blue Moon

    Oh my word. How did you break into the cold, dark recesses of my heart and empty the blood of my damaged soul onto the pages of your blog?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’m so glad you liked it. Thank you. It seems to have resonated with a lot of people, which makes me both happy and sad at the same time. I hate that so many of us have gone through this.

      Thank you so much for reading!

      Like

  • Anastaisha

    Reblogged this on Always wandering, Never lost and commented:
    I feel like this is especially relevant right now. Everybody I know seems to be “getting their body ready to be seen” As somebody who has been fat shamed their entire life, this blog holds so much truth.

    Tell someone they’re beautiful. Everyone likes that shit.

    Like

  • Liv

    This was just what I needed to read! Thank you so much for posting this beautiful piece. I’ve always struggled with body issues and am working o making peace with my imperfections. Thanks again :)

    Like

  • artsygenius

    Sadly, I think many of us had parents who made us insecure and ashamed for one thing or another. With me and my dad, it was the color of my skin. He used to say I was pretty during winter because I was “lighter/whiter”. And if you think losing weight is hard, try changing the color of your skin! Can’t be done, unless you’re crazy like Michael Jackson. It took me years to understand that people might like this flesh that surrounds me, but I finally did it, and my life changed. I became a happier person. Nowdays the thing I’d like to change is my weight and body shape. I’m short with skinny arms, so a little weight around my middle might as well be 50 lbs on a taller person. But thanks for reminding me to focus on the happy me, instead of on the weight obsession!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It infuriates me that anyone ever criticizes others’ bodies. Who gives them that right, you know? We’re hard enough on ourselves, we shouldn’t have to be getting it externally as well.

      Yes. Focus on being happy, not on hating yourself. (And I’m TOTALLY envious you can tan in the summer! I burn to a crisp, then fade right back to white. I can’t get any color to save my life. See? Your dad might have thought it was “unpretty” but I think it’s lovely and I’ve always wanted to be able to get a little tan!)

      Like

  • franhunne4u

    Just want to say: Spot on. Morbidly obese woman here – with fantastic blood values. In my mid forties I still have not an alarming blood pressure, my knees and hips are ok – and my risk for breast cancer is higher, because my grannie died of it, not because I am FAT.

    I have made my peace with myself. (That I had to I can blame on my family, sounds literally familiar, I know …). Calling myself gorgeous? No, why? Why do I have to be gorgeous? I just try to be not too much of the inconvenient feeling in the place you usually sit on. And if people do not like how I look – let them close their eyes, look the other way or be unhappy. I have to bear with those uhm – intellectually challenged? – people, too.

    Hey, at my age I do not have to compete with 18year old teenagers. I will enter into those invisible years pretty soon – maybe I am in them and just haven’t realized it ;)
    I wish my 18 months younger sister would accept the truth, that being obese is not always the reason behind an illness. Not even when it is an illness usually linked with obesity. You can hurt your joints from accidents as much as from wearing them out prematurely by that extra load.

    *If you find any spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes – I am a generous person, you may keep them. :P After all – your language is a foreign one to me.There should be plenty to be found. Easy game for spellingmistake-bashers. And even easier with punctuation. *

    When the story went viral during anti-bullying week about the not so slim anchor woman of an american TV-station, I wrote a piece on fattie-bashing, too – in German. We got that attitude right here as well.

    My standard-answer is: I am fat, I can diet, you are dumb, and sorry, there is no known cure for that.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      No worries – I won’t say a word about your grammar. I have plenty of foreign readers. I’m glad you’re here. Thank you for reading.

      You don’t have to be gorgeous, no. But KNOWING you are, being confident in yourself, loving yourself – I wish that for you. I most certainly do.

      You sound confident, and sure of yourself, and I love that about you. Good for you. I wish you peace, and love, and all the beauty in the world. You deserve all those things. You’re not invisible. No matter what age you reach. None of us are.

      Like

  • carmenthesimpleme

    Love your post! (: people should really stop judging each other’s physical appearance. I have pimples on my face (hormone imbalance I guess) and i used to be upset about it. People would just ask me,”why is your face like that?” Oh, what a good question I’d would really like to know the answer too! Or start giving me advices and lectures on how I should take care of my face (like I wasn’t taking care of it good enough! Come on, it’s my own face!). I KNOW there are pimples on my face and I can’t help it! It’s not like I would purposely make them pop out on my face.
    But those were past tense, I had enough of it and I’m not even going to listen to them. We are all beautiful just the way we are, because nobody on this whole wide world could be the same like you. You are unique!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you for reading! Yes, exactly – it’s no one’s business what’s going on with your body, or mine, or anyone else’s. We should be building each other up, not tearing each other down. You ARE unique!

      Like

  • janetries

    Douchecanoe? lol
    Loved your post. Thank you for educating through your story. I tell my girls they are beautiful; their big feet, their chubby cheeks, at 8 & 10 they sadly have hang ups already! We don’t focus on looks but eating healthy. I tell them if we don’t love ourselves who will? My own negative influence growing up was the media. Thank goodness at 41 I can look in the mirror and tell myself how beautiful and fit and healthy I am. I don’t follow the rich and famous though either.

    If you look for beauty you will find. If you look for ugly you will find. What are you looking for? Or better yet what do you want to find?

    You seem like a shining star guiding many. Thank you.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you, and thank you for commenting. And I’m so glad you’re raising your daughters to have positive body image. That’s so important. They’ll thank you for that later.

      Like

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