He Told Me I Was Fat

By
He was seventeen. He was handsome. He was popular. He was the guy all the girls wanted, and I had him. I did. I was normal, but I had never cared what I looked like.

Until he told me I was fat.

Afterward, I looked in the mirror. It was like I had never seen the real me. Fat was hanging off my skin, everywhere, enough to cover another person. And I had two chins. How could I not have known? How could I have gone to school today, gone on a first date, not noticing that I looked disgusting? I was disgusted. I vowed that unless I never wanted to show my face in public again, I would be thin. I would be beautiful.

He told me I was fat.

For the next couple of weeks I tried diet after diet: South Beach, Zone, Weight Watchers. But none of them worked. I was still disgustingly overweight. I was obese. I was becoming yet another statistic for those health surveys, and I couldn't let that happen.

I then started to lower my food intake. Breakfast: one bowl of Cheerios with skim milk. Lunch: tuna sandwich on whole-wheat bread with an apple. Dinner: whatever was served, only half that. But after two weeks, I had only managed to lose a pound.

Soon breakfast was only a banana. Lunch became carrot sticks and an apple. I eventually learned that scooting food around your dinner plate makes it look like you're eating. And I did eat, but only a few peas. Maybe a small chunk of potato.

He told me I was fat.

Two weeks later I weighed myself again: six pounds. Only six pounds lost. What was wrong with me? But the next day he came up to me and told me I looked better than usual. That I looked great. I smiled and thanked him. He invited me out to dinner for the next night, and I accepted.

That same day I allowed myself a cupcake. After all, it was my best friend's birthday. I deserved a prize for my hard work, didn't I?

The following night was our date. I hadn't eaten at all that day save for a single carrot stick. I was furious with myself for losing ground so easily: I had gained a pound after eating the cupcake. One whole pound. One whole pound of fat, frosting fat, fluffy cake fat, one whole pound of sugar. And fat. Lots of fat. So by the time I reached the restaurant, I was starving. I tore off a chunk of an Italian roll and bit into it hungrily. He told me I was eating like a pig. He told me that if I were to keep that up, I'd gain back all the weight. He told me I looked beautiful.

He told me I was fat.
I ran into the bathroom and locked myself into a stall. I put a finger down my throat. It was like I had never eaten that bread. I grabbed a peppermint from the basket and walked back to the table, ignoring the burning sensation in my throat.

He drove me home as I struggled not to cry. He walked me up to the door, even in the pouring rain. He asked me if I was crying. I told him no, it was the rain. He smiled and kissed me goodbye and drove off in his fancy sports car. I ran up to my room and slammed the door, yelling at my parents to leave me alone. I cried myself to sleep.

The following day began the weekend. I spent both afternoons exercising. Six, seven, eight miles an hour on the treadmill without stopping. Two hours went by. The muscles in my legs screamed for a break. My heart pounded painfully against my chest, threatening to rip out of my body. Sweat dripped off my forehead, my chin, my back: huge droplets of fat leaving my body. I smiled. Good riddance. I was starving, but I didn't care. The hunger cramps were excruciating, but I didn't care. There's no beauty without pain, I once heard, and they were right. I had to do this.

He told me I was fat.

One night it was my little sister's birthday party. There were little kids everywhere. Tall ones, short ones, blonde haired, brown haired, dark skinned and light skinned, all running around with globs of chocolate frosting coating their faces. It was nauseating. I wanted to scream at them, to slap some sense into them. Didn't they know how fattening frosting was? Didn't they know they were destined to be big and fat and ugly? They were going to grow up to be fat kids. Fat, fat, fat. Fat would be rolling off their face and they would look repulsive. They would be fat. Disgusting kids, they were all so disgusting.

My mom handed me a piece of cake. I looked at it, willing myself not to throw up. Then I turned around. She walked up to me and delicately placed a hand on my shoulder, as if I were so feeble as to crumble at the slightest touch. Eat, she said. She told me to eat it. Eat that? Eat that fat? I looked at it again. There were my fat thighs, resting on a pink plastic plate. I said no, I wasn't hungry. She said I had to, that I was looking too thin. She said I hadn't been eating enough lately. I grabbed it from her. I dug my fork into that piece of fat and shoved it into my mouth, letting her see me swallow the pieces. She looked away before I said I had to pee. I went to the bathroom and locked myself into a stall. No more cake.

He told me I was fat.

My mom told me if I wasn't eating, she would take me to the doctor. So I had to eat an apple. An apple a day. An apple a day to keep the doctor away. Doctors, monsters who would ruin all my hard work. I couldn't let them win. I had to win. It was my body, my rules. No one could stop me. I was going to win.

Fifteen pounds now, I had lost fifteen pounds. We went out again last night to see a movie. He had asked me if I wanted popcorn. No, I had said, I had eaten beforehand. He had smiled. You look beautiful tonight, he had said. I'd thanked him, then I'd smiled: my plan was working. I was going to win.

He told me I was fat.

I used to be one of the best athletes in gym, but lately I had been too tired to put forward my best effort. These days I usually just sat on the sidelines and watched. Today we were playing soccer. I used to love soccer. But today I sat. My gym teacher came up to me and asked me if anything was wrong. Wrong? I wanted to laugh. Nothing was wrong. I was winning my own game, one even better than soccer. But I didn't say that, I couldn't. This was my game and my game only. No, I said, everything was fine. I even threw in a smile. She gave me a look. I knew what she was thinking because I'd been getting that look a lot lately. But those people didn’t know what they were talking about because they didn’t know the rules. My rules. I told her I was fine, really. She smiled back and told me that if anything did go wrong, I was to talk to her. Talk? Not to you, fat lady.

He told me I was fat.

I was babysitting my sister. She wanted dinner. Dinner. Food. Macaroni and cheese. Oh god, cheese. I wanted to throw up, but I didn't. I smiled and gave her the plate of noodles and cheese full of carbs and calories and fat. She asked me if I was hungry. I said I was fine. She smiled and said since I’m never hungry, I must have super powers. I smiled back. Yes, I said, I do. It's my own special magic. I left her to go upstairs to my scale. I had now lost a total of twenty five pounds since I started my game. Had I won it yet? Had I done well enough? I looked in the mirror, at all that fat. No, no, no, I had not won the game. I was still losing. I had to work harder.

He told me I was fat.

The next afternoon after school I went to his house. He said I looked fabulous, that I was making a big improvement. I thanked him. We went downstairs to his couch and watched a movie. Soon his lips were on mine, really on mine. He loved me, didn't he? He did. It was because I was thin. I was beautiful. So had I won the game yet? I asked him if he had anything to eat because I was hungry. He gave me a look. He told me there was nothing for me, but would I like a glass of water instead? Yes, I would. I watched as he made himself a bowl of popcorn. He ate it like a pig. I wanted to shout, you can eat like a pig but I can't? You can stuff your face but I can't? But I didn't. I was thin and beautiful.

He told me I was fat.

I was making my sister dinner again: a grilled cheese sandwich. Full of fat, fat, calories, carbs, and more fat. I was putting the sandwich in the toaster…I was on the floor. The sandwich was on the floor, too. I stood up quickly. Good, she hadn't seen and I hadn't either. I could forget. It was just one obstacle, just one. I was strong. I could do this.

The next day at school my best friend came to my locker. She looked serious. I asked her what was wrong, had she flunked her AP test? No, she said, she was worried. I asked her about what. She pointed at me. I laughed and said I was fine. I told her not to worry, but she said I needed help. Then I glared at her. I told her to f*** off. I expected her to tell me the same, but she didn't. She only said I should go see the counselor. That I was loosing control. Please? Just for her? No, I wouldn't. I was fine.

I went to bed that night, replaying that morning’s conversation in my head. It got me even angrier. I didn't need help because help was cheating and cheating meant forfeiture of the game. I couldn't forfeit because I had to win. If I didn't, I would lose. I couldn't lose. I ate a whole quart of ice cream from our freezer, all by myself, and then threw it up. See? I had control.

He told me I was fat.

I fainted again, going from the bathroom to my room. My mom was home. She shouted to ask if I was okay. Yes, I said, I just tripped. But I wasn't okay, not really. I had gained two pounds back even after I threw up. God, what was wrong with me? I vowed to punish myself the next day. I wouldn't even drink.

He told me I was fat.

I woke up the next morning and I was cold. Very cold. And it was unnaturally dark. I saw my mom and my dad and my little sister hanging over me. I screamed at them to get out of my room: they were meddling again, weren't they? But I didn't, not really. I couldn't. No words came out. And hey, where was I? This wasn't my bed. This wasn't even my room. I was in white sheets; mine were light blue. I got scared. Had I been kidnapped? I looked back up at my family to see they were crying. What's wrong? I wanted to ask. But again, I couldn't. I felt myself start to cry, but I didn't. There was nothing to cry with. I wasn't anything, really. I felt a little hand grasp my own. My sister's. She asked me why there was a bad guy in my body. A bad guy? What? There wasn't anything in my body; I had made sure of that. Will she survive? That was my mother. She sounded sadder than ever and I wanted to say, it's okay, I'm here. But I couldn't. Some woman said, no, she's too far gone; her body has nothing left to fight with. More sobbing. Then they were gone and I heard nothing. I felt nothing. I was nothing.

Because he told me I was fat.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

hi7675654586 said...
Sept. 19, 2008 at 12:52 am
The story makes a good point; it was a great read, I loved it, but it was sad.
 
HealthyEater01 said...
Sept. 14, 2008 at 7:33 pm
jeez! I almost cried! it was a very well written, yet very sad story! great job!
 
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