Hi SPAs! I’m Alyssa from the Double Chin Diary. I blog about my attempts to lose weight without losing my sense of humor 🙂
I’ve always been the funny fat girl; the one who wears her largeness like a badge on her arm, slightly inconvenienced by the lack of cute clothing and shortness of breath on hikes, but for the most part, lives a happy, healthy life despite size. I’m fairly self-confident and have never really suffered the paralyzing insecurities that many overweight women do. However, there was a recent moment that made my confidence shattered, but in turn, it has inspired me to rise up like a chubby Phoenix and make losing weight and getting fit my ultimate goal.
My husband and I saved for years to take a bucket-list trip to Thailand. I dreamed of swimming in the azure waters of Maya Bay, eating freshly-made Chicken Sate, and seeing the exotic, jungle mountains rise up into the sky while I rode an elephant. I had previously busted my butt for two years, working full-time and earning a master’s degree, so a vacation was well-deserved. Our first day in Thailand, a man asked me when my baby was due. That would have been fine had I been pregnant, but embarrassed and with tears stinging in my eyes, I told him I wasn’t pregnant, just fat. I vowed not to wear that maxi dress again. The second day in Thailand, I was shopping for flip-flops in the local market and I asked for a size 11. I’m 5’9, girlfriend’s got big feet. The man giggled and replied “Your feet are big, You’re big all over!”. Again, tears stung at my eyes but I brushed it off, remembered that the local people were all petite, and they weren’t TRYING to hurt my feelings, they were just being blunt.
The day arrived that we went to an Orchid Farm and were told we’d be riding elephants to a nearby river bed. I already had some hesitation about the elephant riding because of my size, but again, I tried not to fret too much and enjoy the build up. I snapped this silly picture of me pretending to eat the elephant’s food.
As we climbed atop the Howdah, a wooden seat on the elephant’s back, the driver turned around and said “Ohhhhh my Buddha, very big body!!! Oooof!” My self-esteem shattered but once again but I swallowed back the knot in my throat and tried to enjoy the majestic mountains and the unreal scenery around us. I mean, c’mon- I was riding an elephant!
Eventually, our elephant lumbered into a river, and the elephant mahout (driver) on the elephant behind us took his hook and started to poke at my back. He was laughing as he poked at me, and said “Big!” I said, trying to just go along with it to get it over with, “Yes, big like elephant.” His reply was “Elephant not big, you big!”
I sat there in shock, completely taken out of my comfort zone. As I sat there I became furious, and humiliated. I may be obese, I may be big, but I am not an animal. I am a person and I do not deserve to be prodded at with a hook for the sake of a cheap laugh.
We got off the elephants and I tried to keep choking back my tears. As we stood in line for our lunch buffet (guess what? I wasn’t hungry), the great dam I had been holding back broke through, and my eyes unleashed like the river we had just been riding. I went off to the bathroom, where I sat in a smelly, dark stall with no toilet paper, sniffling, wishing for my hotel room, my bed, my mom, my cat. These things are comfortable with my fat. They know it, they understand it.
It’s like I said. I can’t deny the things they’re saying. When you’re fat, you can’t hide. Your flaw is exposed and you can’t tuck it away out of sight. All I wanted to do was run away and be alone, perhaps hug the giant sweet creature I had just ridden, tell him that unlike him, revered for his size, I am ridiculed.
This was my Aha! Moment. Perhaps it is not as inspiring or motivational as others, but this is my story. I never want to feel that way again and will FIGHT to get to a point where my scale no longer says “Obese”. While I am struggling with actual weight-loss now, I have recently discovered two medical conditions contributing to my problems with obesity, PCOS and subclinical hypothyroidism. I have begun medical treatment but above all, I am thrilled that I have run 5Ks, I can hike without being out of breath, and that the SweatPink community is a large part of inspiring me to get in shape. I know that despite my size, there’s a whole lot of goodness inside my big, but beautiful, body.