Growing up the fat little sister is not really fun.
Now being 41 years old, wearing between size 2-4, there are still those fat little sister moments. There are days when I drive my husband crazy with my inability to see past my fat and bloated days. The torment that will go through my mind every time I pass by a mirror used to be debilitating. However, now that I am 41 and working with others to help them overcome their self loathing, I have learned how to love myself for who I am at this moment while appreciating that fat little sister in me.
Some may feel that putting yourself on a diet at the age of 12 may have been a little on the drastic side, yet I didn’t see anything wrong with the way I handled being the fat little sister. The boys my age found it funny to make fun of my large butt, calling me wide load. If felt agony as a young woman growing up with three beautiful older sisters—all were cheerleaders, on homecoming court and very popular.
Although I was born with blonde hair and blue eyes, I was always the shortest, with the fat chubby face, short stubby legs and failed to ever achieve any semblance of a chest (even with the excess weight I carried). The rest of my siblings had brown hair and either brown or hazel eyes; and they all had great figures to boot. Overall I was just different, and that showed as my older sisters’ clothing was passed down and the clothes just didn’t fit me the way they fit them.
My belly would stick out further than my chest in the front and my butt would be pulling my pants to the max. I had horrible allergies, blood shot eyes and was constantly sneezing. My allergies were so bad I had to get allergy shots on a weekly basis to help control the symptoms. My skin was also pimply and to add to that, I started my period when I was 10 years old. Always feeling like the ugly duckling, my decisions of who I am today are based on that fat little sister's reaction to the world.
My reality has changed significantly. I grew up and now run my own business, my skin cleared up, I lost the weight and slimmed down; however, when I get together with my sisters there are still those fat little awkward sister moments that are my safety or not so safe zone. My unsafe zone has always been my emotional connection to food. The control I can maintain on a daily basis is totally on an emotional basis. When I am feeling like that chubby little sister, I find the nearest food item that may fill my sad little void, then I get even more down and back to my old self not just because of the lack of control but the altered state the fatty, sugary, non-nutritional food puts me in... The funny part is I forget everything I know, and much like an addict, I go right for the thing that is going to make me feel worse, because it is familiar.
Just this past week I spent the whole week with my sister’s introducing them to my world. As soon as they arrived I could feel that old self trying to re-emerge, but with age and experience the moment passed and I was able to enjoy the company of my sisters. What was truly amazing was the discussion, truly honest discussion about all of our shortcomings and how as adults we are able to come together and enjoy our individuality, uniqueness and our similarities as well.
The things that they say to themselves in the mirror and to their husbands is not too far off from what I have said myself many times over. Both of my sisters are still beautiful and physically fit, and yes, it still irks me at times but as wisdom takes hold it inspires me and gives me the drive I need to continue my path of wellness. This visit was one of realizing I can experience my sisters on an adult level, enjoy those sister moments of eating cake together, exercising together and crying over lost time together.
It was OK to feel like the little sister; however, I am no longer the “fat” little sister, I am just the younger little sister. I certainly will take that over my fat former self.
Each day is a day closer to losing that “fat” little sister. She will pop out every once in a while; however, I don’t hate her anymore—I give her the love she failed to accept years ago. She walks with me on a daily basis reminding me how far I have come and how much farther I will go.