My Big Fat Obese Story
Hitting rock bottom doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Before I tell you the hows and whys of my success so far, I’ll tell you how I got here.
I haven’t always been fat. None of us have. I’m sure atleast some of you have been comforted by someone before, with lines such as “You’re just big boned!” or how about “Not everyone is mean’t to be skinny!”. For the most part, it’s bullshit. For whatever reason, we ended up this way. But it doesn’t define you, it shouldn’t, and you don’t have to be this way if you don’t want to be.
But if I wasn’t born fat, how did I get here? Well, you’re about to find out. Complete with terrible, terrible photos.
So, as I said, I wasn’t always fat. Whilst I wasn’t a sporty child (I wasn’t terribly interested in Football, I just wanted the kits cause the other kids had them), I was very active. I was a member of the Beavers and the Cubs for many years, and was only indoors when it was time for tea. Other than that, we were out playing!
I don’t believe that my diet was terribly healthy, but like most people my age, growing up in a working class family in the UK, my diet mostly consisted of animal shaped reformed meat, chips and beans. God bless turkey twizzlers.
Naturally my activity levels decreased as I got older. Technology took a hold, and as with the screen obsessed generation of today - I also took great enjoyment from staring at screens more and more. Whether it was an N64, a Playstation or eventually our own computers, laptops and mobiles - I was a very digital child, living in an ever increasingly digital world. This will come to no surprise to people that know me, as I grew up to be a graphic designer and huge technology nerd.
My social life also took a turn; from climbing up trees, making dens and getting upto mischeif, suddenly we were sitting in random peoples houses getting drunk, eating shit and smoking weed. And whilst none of this helped, it certainly wasn’t the cause. I did this with plenty of people and they didn’t turn out to be obese, so why was I?
They Told Me I Was Fat, I Made It So.
Looking at the photos of me in high school below, nobody could argue that I wasn’t overweight. However, I wasn’t obese. That didn’t stop the harsh words, however, and it didn’t stop me from feeling that way.
I was never scared of an argument in school, and I feel like my sharp bite and quick wit made people hate arguing with me. When they became frustrated they would resort to the easiest comeback of all time, calling me fat. I wouldn’t say I was bullied because I would never allow myself to be a victim, but I did take those words and use them against myself. And I think that was the start of the problem.
People told me I was fat, and I listened, and I turned myself into what they said I was. Is that called a self fulfilling prophecy?
Depression, Take The Wheel.
I don’t use the word depression lightly, but following school I found myself in the early stages. I isolated myself from the world as much as possible, because I didn’t want to see people, and I didn’t want them to see me. In a short space of time my weight increased dramatically.
When I did have to see people, I was amazing at creating a class clown facade that would make you think I didn’t have a care in the world. I didn’t spend 5 years learning how to act for nothing!
You’ll see that in most of the photos I’ve posted I’m smiling, but as I grew bigger and unhappier that smile started to fade. I had absolutely nothing to smile about, and most of the time felt numb inside.
Family gatherings and social events which should have been times of joy, filled me with dread. I neglected my friends regularly, instead staying home and further fuelling my own self loathing.
On the occasions I was forced to go out, I would try desperately to find an outfit that didn’t make me feel even fatter than I was, trying not to feel like the literal elephant in the room. Just being fat alone got in the way of my chances of ever being content in a room full of people.
College & University
When it was time to go to college, I really enjoyed the course I was doing, so was able to focus on that a lot of the time. More independence and less time at home however allowed me to be extra lazy and extra unhealthy with my diet. Lunches on most days consisted of garbage be it from a Chinese, Subway or McDonalds, and dinner wasn’t much better. Then I got a job at KFC and suddenly I was eating the stuff 6 times a week. I didn’t know how to cook, I knew nothing of nutrition and quite frankly I didn’t fucking care.
This trend continued onto University. University was a little better in terms of diet, but only because of the lack of options. It was still mostly meal deal type stuff, not terribly unhealthy — but again not great.
During my time at University my depression continued. Unlike College I was no longer excelling, but struggling very much to adapt, which added to my feelings of inadequacy. It was then I started to develop a deep, deep depression with frequent suicidal thoughts.
If you’ve been to this place in your life where you’re having suicical thoughts, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. If you haven’t you’re probably reading this and thinking I sound completely dramatic and ridiculous. That’s okay. I knew myself that even though I was having these thoughts, realistically I was too much of a coward to ever do anything about it. So luckily I never made an attempt on my own life like sadly so many do. I never developed a habit of self harming, although I suppose to a certain degree treating my body the way that I did was a form of self harm and self destruction.
So, I had hit rock bottom.
I had no job; I felt fat, ugly and inadequate. Multiple times a day I would just contemplate my desire to die. God knows I had plenty of time to think about it. I’d wish someone would kill me, or I’d get hit by a bus, so I didn’t have to do it myself. It was one of the most emotionally painful experiences of my life.
I spoke to doctors, yet I avoided antidepressants, and I avoided therapy sessions. They were trying to help me, and I didn’t take it.
I wanted to do it on my own, but how do you climb out of a deep hole without a rope?
My climb started with a brand new job, and a friend called Ray.