Fat Fridays – Couch to 5k – Scotch Tape and Feeling Fat

Hindes Christmas Party 2012 006

The series “Fat Fridays” is based off of my new journey of couch to 5k for the Spring Girls on the Run on April 20, 2013. I am trying to raise 300 dollars for the local chapter of girls on the run, the donation link can be found here. While I am training for the 5k I am also self-reflecting using some of the themes from the GOTR biweekly lessons that the girls go through. I do not claim to be fat (although “Feeling Fat” -definitely) but I am taking the perceptions of myself in reflection to help compile this series.

I’ve thought a bit more about the title of these “essays” and I thought I would share a little more. I grew up very aware of my size. I don’t think this has anything specific to do with my family or my growing up, but I remember being very, very, aware of my size. I don’t know what my size was when I was growing up but I remember feeling like I was the wrong size. Too big.

This feeling has carried through my adulthood. I reflect back at pictures, and moments, and realize I looked very similar to every other kid, girl, and person. I felt big though and as soon as I heard the word, I felt like I fit in the category fat. Now I’m sure there was some time when I was completely unaware of the size categories and comparisons of persons, but sadly, I only vaguely remember this time as if I made it up to tell myself that at some point in my life I felt “normal.”

I’ll share a few stories today and more to come about my struggle with weight and size. I remember with a sting of sadness feeling fat in the fifth grade. I remember because the classroom was one of my favorite places to learn and grow. I felt empowered in this classroom but my free time was spent worrying about how I looked in relation to how I fit in.

I had realized that the whole of me was fairly skinny, my arms were nice, my chest was nonexistent, my head seemed okay shaped – but – my stomach was protruding and big. It was fat according to fifth grade me. I remember holding all my breath and “sucking it in” and realizing how “beautiful” I was if I just lost my stomach. I saw commercials for machines that gave you a gentle “zap” and created abs in just minutes a day! I didn’t want abs, but I wanted to have my stomach look like it did when I sucked it in.

So I did what any intelligent fifth grader would do. I created a belt of scotch tape around my stomach. At first my idea was literally that the tape would hold in my fat and allow me to lie to everyone and become skinny. However after only a few minutes (seconds probably) of wearing the scotch tape the sticky came off and left me with a plastic awkward tight belt around my midsection. I didn’t want to give up on my plan and my vision of being beautiful so I thought that I would leave the “belt” as a reminder to suck it in. And that’s exactly what I did for an entire class day. I remember feeling like people must know that I’m cheating at being skinny that or they knew I had a scotch tape belt around my tummy.

I took off the belt and continued to think harder as to how exactly I could become skinny. It never occurred to me to accept myself, or love myself. It never occurred that there was nothing wrong with me.

It’s this story and many others why I call this series “fat Fridays.” The truth is that for years I’ve struggled with the word and my own internal understanding of how it is I look. I have more stories that I will share that make up my discomfort with myself. It’s not that I am fat, or that fat is bad, it’s that I’ve been unhappy associating fat as negative, as personal, and as a struggle against who I am – smart, amazing, kind, and beautiful – versus the unobtainable “perfect skinny.”

Remember I was in fifth grade when I tried this scotch tape disaster. Imagine if I had joined girls on the run in third grade? Or fourth? Or Fifth? Or sixth? Or seventh? Or even eighth? The reason I am diving back into my own past and using a couch to 5k program is to train for the Girls on the Run 5k in the Spring and to raise money so that fifth grader who thinks a “tape belt” is a good idea can instead say a spirit cheer my Wesley GOTREIC group came up with – “I’m strong. I’m girls on the run. I’m strong.I’m girls on the run.”

Just finished Week 1 – Day 3 (ran 2.10mi with run pace of 10:09 min/mi) of Ease into 5K

– Tomato Funds

%d bloggers like this: