FAT Is Not A Four-Letter Word! Part I
I used to hate the word FAT – It was as vile to me as poison. It was what I have run from most of my entire life. I didn’t want to be it, I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to eat it. I would have probably rather been called the most disgraceful words on the planet rather then be called those three letters.
My whole upbringing was centered around being thin and beautiful, and being anything less was not acceptable. From a very young age I knew my mothers weight – 125 lbs. She never went above it, she took great measures not to go above it. She taught aerobics, back in the day where high impact and high reps were the rage. Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons were always on the TV, and very seldom remember my mother wearing anything but leotards and leg warmers, doing frantic leg lifts, chanting “feel the burn.”
I think I knew Fat was the enemy, because it was never in my house. I don’t think I knew that milk wasn’t just “skim” until I had whole milk at a neighbor’s house one day. I spit it out and told her there was something wrong with it. I later found out, that it was because it was “real.” My little sister once ate a whole stick of butter at my grandmother’s house, I chalk it up now to she was “Jonesing” for some saturation.
I never ate a whole stick of butter, but junk food became like crack to me. I seized every opportunity I had when my mother wasn’t looking to eat it, which meant I had to eat it in Secret. I used to stuff bags of candy bars in my underwear drawer, and would eat them at night in my closet with the lights out. I always felt very ashamed and guilty, like I was doing something terribly terribly wrong.
When I was 13 my mother drew a picture of a body with all of these circles in them. She explained to me that the circles represented “fat cells” and that at certain times in my life, infancy, puberty, and pregnancy they could expand. That picture still burns a hole through my head, but at the time I figured I wasn’t a baby, or an infant, so I was in the clear for at least another year or two.
Well lucky for me I bloomed late, so it wasn’t until about the age of 16 that all that living on the edge of a 3 Musketeers bar caught up with my mother noticing my wardrobe wasn’t fitting. My poor “grandmother” brought me clothes shopping for jeans,where I discovered I had shot up by more then a couple numbers. I had a complete full blown “meltdown” in the middle of the dressing room, which scared her quite a bit. I was devastated that my mother’s diagram of my connective tissue had come to “bite me in the ass” – literally!!
She tried to console me telling me, “it was just a little “baby fat”…and that it was cute. Thanks Grandma.
To make matters worse my mother made me stand on the scale and to my horrification it read 135. Now for somebody my height that wasn’t crazy horrible, but that didn’t really matter. What mattered to me was that I weighed more then my mother, and that fact was just not acceptable.
From that day on I vowed I would never weigh as much as her again..and I kept my promise. Because Fat is what I figured made me Fat…I completely cut it out of my diet. It didn’t help that it was during the early 90’s when Fat was being taken out of everything. Thus the “fat free” craze started, and I ran with it.
Fat has gotten a bad rep for years – but for not all the right reasons.
In part two of my blog, I will examine what happens to you when you exclude fat from your diet, and why it plays such an important role in your daily diet.