Saturday, October 15, 2011

Born to be Big

She started getting chubby when she was about 9 years old. I'd watched her grow up without a father and with an obese mother and as she hit puberty the little girl got stouter but not taller. She was short like the rest of her family... short and "heavy-set" as they put it. It was in her genes, obviously, and anyone could tell as the girl went through her teens that she was just one of those girls who was big boned. Destined to be large. Hard to imagine her thin. You know the type. Kind of like I see myself... "I could never be super thin. I am just not made that way. I have a large frame. My body is curvy." And her mother had the same body type, so, you know, no one questioned it.

And then the chubby little girl, heavy set teen, grew into her young womanhood and DECIDED to lose weight.

Poof! In less than a year, instead of the young heavy chick coming out the doorway down the street, there was a waif of a woman... a thin yet still healthy-looking young lady who most decidedly does NOT have big bones or a large frame or a body that simply MUST have an extra layer of curvy fat to look good. She looks great. She exudes happiness and energy. Frankly, I was astounded. How could this be? All this time, the woman (and her mother) had this can't-be-thin body type (visually) and now, she looks like one of those girls you see and think, "she was born with it. She just has that thin fit body type. She must have a great metabolism."

I speak from my own experience, as well as the things I hear around me. People look and take in body types and make assumptions based on how hefty or sturdy or tiny a person appears. We even make those assumptions about *ourselves.* I have. Maybe I am wrong. I was certainly wrong about her. How about her mother? My mother? Were they just more woman 'destined' to be fat because they were short and big boned and just "the heavy type?" How would anyone ever truly know what is under there unless they make the change?

Just food for thought. Makes me take a second look at the way I see myself.


Joyful Noise for a Joyful Life said...

I really believe there are not thin people only thin eaters. Those who never take a bite past full no matter if that bite is there favorite food. My sister is a thin eater. She is truly repulsed by food the minute her tummy is full. Food doesn't call her unless she is hungry and when she is look out there is no time to wait. She has spent her adult life around 100 pounds in her thin eater's body.

Anonymous said...

I guess "Joyful"'s sister could be seen as someone who doesn't lie to herself with food, like the rest of us do. I wonder what she turns to to offer satisfactory substitution life's disappointments and shortcomings.

In those moments, I just don't want to admit that there is not true solution in that bite of whatever.

Recently, I have become that thin girl you talk of - my closest friends, along with others, don't recognize me at first glance. That feels like a lie, too, though. Like, "maybe I should keep on these last 20 extra lbs, so no one mistakes me for functional." Sick, huh.

I'm off to drink a glass of water. And to wake up for a run to get rid of this lethargic slump.

Maren said...

That's and interesting way to think.. I've always been a fan of the big boned theory, because it supposedly made me less fat. Though it didn't!

Diandra said...

I think genetics are overrated when it comes to weight. Of course your genetic set influences how your metabolism works, but apart from that... Heavy families are more likely to remain heavy together because they all eat the same thing. I can see that in my family... we were all heavy (mother with more than 360lbs, at times, father around 250lbs, four girls all heavier than they should be). And since we girls left home, we have all changed in different directions, body-wise: The oldest one gains and loses weight with drastic changes of her lifestyle (as do most women), but never goes beyond "really chubby". The second has a hard time not gaining (she is around 250-260lbs all the time), the youngest is slowly losing weight (and fighting hard for it). Well, and me... I first gianed weight when leaving for university ("Yay! Finally I can eat what I want and no one can steal my food!" (We were poor.)), and now have lost more than 15kg and am close to my ideal weight, all with changing my cooking and exercising habits. Now, keep in mind that we all have comparable genetic circumstances... yet when I look at the dinner tables of my sisters, I think I know why we do have different body types.

(To be fair, I have to say that I am the only one without children, and the only one not yet married. Of course I do have more time to look after myself.)

Anonymous said...


You're right about the body type thing (what we think). But people didn't get there alone. The weight charts list weight for small, medium and large frame (boned) people. Don't you think that had something to do with the way we think of ourselves in addition to numbers? Just saying!

Patience said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyn said...

Oh yes, I know there are all sizes and types of people. Not questioning that! But I do think some folks assume just by looking at a person (including themselves) that they have a large frame when in fact they don't. Appearances can be deceiving!

deezer said...

I used to feel that there were people who were naturally thin, and those, like me, that were big boned - until i lost my weight. I started off 2011 at 200 pounds. I am now 154 pounds, I've never felt better, fitter, or happier with myself.

Of course, there is the other side of things, I thought that losing weight would make the rest of my life ok, and that there would not be any other issues in my life. But i was wrong, there are some things that being skinny don't fix.