Mama Bunkfish

Navigating marriage, motherhood, and mental illness on Jesus, caffeine, and naps!

The Weight We Carry

I’m back in therapy. My rheumatologist suggested I see their in house therapist because one of the pillars of health is mental wellness. I was skeptical. I’ve been to a lot of therapy Usually I word vomit all my angst and feel better. This time has been different though. This therapist has been talking about goals and unhealed trauma and in our last session she brought up something I did not want to talk about – my weight.

Let me be clear – these appointments are virtual so it wasn’t like she looked and me and decided we needed to have this conversation. I can’t even remember how we decided to talk about losing weight but it most likely started around a discussion of me trying to figure out how to exercise when I feel like shit a lot lately. Then it most likely morphed into a conversation about my disordered eating. As I’m writing this – I remember where it started – me talking about my thyroid disease. She said something that I’m not 100% sure I believe but it’s why I’m writing again. She said sometimes people have problems with their thyroid because they can’t say what they need to. The full sensation you get in your throat is metaphorical for something you need to say but can’t. (We’ll unpack that at a later date.)

Back to my weight though. I said that basically I’d been fat my whole life. I’ve lost weight at times but that whole process spiraled out of control and I ended up trying to be a bulimic and exercising while extremely ill. Ultimately she said something that I think I knew but hadn’t been willing to say out loud – at this point in my life I’m resisting losing weight because I’m determined for people to accept me for who I am. All of who I am. I grew up hearing “You’re so pretty but you need to lose weight” or “friends” whispering at sleepovers that no one would ever date me because I was fat. When I finally lost about 100 pounds I got so many compliments on how great I looked. Once adulthood happened and I gained it all back, the compliments stopped. As I’ve fought to be my most authentic self, I’ve told myself that people should accept me, fat and all. My therapist said that a lot of times. people hold on to weight because it’s safe. I almost ended our call. I didn’t though because if I’m being honest with myself, she’s right. The part of me that wants to just live and be loved refuses to diet. Refuses to skip dessert. Refuses to be defined by numbers on a scale. I also need to be honest with myself that it’s okay if I lose weight and that it would help me some. But it’s also okay if I set very clear boundaries. I don’t want people to comment on the weight loss. I don’t want to hear about how inspirational it is or how proud folks are of me. If I’m being completely honest here – I still want to just be fully and wholly accepted where I am, no matter the size and if I’m being really honest – people often define beauty by weight and well that’s just some bullshit. I’m beautiful. Been beautiful. Fat or skinny ya girl is gorgeous.

I say all this to say – when I’m ready to be okay with losing weight for me, and me alone, I’ll do it. In the meantime – please don’t make assumptions about me or any other fat body you see. We don’t sit around and eat all day (if you know me you know I’m good to get in two meals a day) and we aren’t perpetually lazy. What we are, are people who want to be loved and respected where we are.

Until next time…

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