The Struggles Of Being Overweight

I would like to share with you a very personal blog entry I wrote a couple years ago. I was in a very dark place, and severely unhappy. It sort of chronicles my life a bit too.

   Hi, my name is Brandon Hall. I’m from a modest sized town in Ohio called Middletown, and I’m overweight… by a lot. I’m obese, and for as long as I can remember I always have been, and for as far as I cant, there are pictures; thus I’ve pretty much always been fat.  When I was younger though my weight got me categorized as chubby, a size I wish I was now. Like a lot of overweight kids, I had to compensate for my extra baggage, so I was the class clown in school.  Tricking people into laughing with me was much better than them laughing at me. This was me for a while, and I was okay with it. It meant that I had a lot of friends, and a lot of people knew me, I wasn’t always a hit with the teachers, but that didn’t matter at the time. But it always sucked that no matter how funny I was, how many girls I made laugh, or how nice I was, they were never, ever interested in dating me.

    My first crush was in 1st grade, lets call her Robin, she was pretty as can be, cute as a button, and she dressed so fly. I was so into her, and I worked extra hard to get her attention, but one day it got out that she liked Doug, my then best friend. We were partners in crime, two peas in a pod, really he was like my sidekick, but once that news got out things changed. He and her eventually started unofficially dating, I had to watch them flirt and sit together, it was torture, but I eventually got over it, but I was scarred. This is a trend throughout my life, once you lose out on the girl of your dreams several times over, your self esteem starts to plummet, but there are other factors that promote the plunge.

   The first time I went to a public pool, it was both amazing and awful, I didn’t know how to swim and wanted to, but taking off my shirt… that was a no go. And so imagine how much it sucked that this particular pool wouldn’t even let you in the water with a shirt on. So for almost an hour, while my cousins lived it up, I sat on the side lines grossly self conscious. Finally I took off my shirt and entered the water. That would be that first and last time I enter a public pool without a shirt; when you look around and everyone is skinny, it kind of makes you feel abnormal, because I guess you are in that setting.

When I was 15 me and my friends went to a  public pool every day over summer, I wore a huge shirt every time and had little shame in it. One day, I seen my former childhood best friend Doug  and another girl I used to have a crush on together. He and her ended up making fun of me for some reason, and they were both in my gym glass in 7th grade, and the same thing. they looked at me like a monster, laughed at me. It was devastating  and once again I felt small, and alien. This had happened many a times, but I still had fight in me.

   8th grade happened  and I’m pretty sure that’s when my life, and mental state took a turn, the new seventh graders made my life hell, we had uniforms that year too, and i was just a size too big for their biggest size, and at times yes, my belly kind of hung out the bottom, and in the hallway one day some ugly troll faced fiendish girl literally screamed and backed up as i was coming down the hall, grasping her friend in dramatic fashion while they all laughed. I went through scenes like this all year. Finally I broke. I was feeling like no one wanted to be around me, I rarely went outside, i stayed in playing video games and watching cartoons. Shielding myself from the world.

    When you grow up and live fat all your life, little things overtime start weighing into you, like not being able to ride certain rides, not being able to go shopping certain places, worrying about the looks you get in restaurants  and avoiding kids like the plague because they have no fucking filter and will crush you to dust. Over a life time, you start knowing you are part of another people. The wrong people. Its okay to hate fat people, that much you know.

    Now I am 24, and I'm rather fucked up, I used to have plans for myself, I wanted things to be better, I wanted a life for myself, a name, something. but High school hit me hard, and once I graduated I pretty much hid from the world. Gaining more weight, loosing more self-esteem, and vaporizing my self confidence.  Every day is a struggle. I get up and realize that there is no difference from one day to the next, I am not living for anything, but just living to live. I have suicidal thoughts regularly.

   Under all the fat is a skinny guy, an intelligent guy, a  funny guy, a cool guy, a guy that can be something, a guy that can do something  a guy with talent, a guy with confidence. But for now he is drowned by obesity, and the masses with likely never get to see this person, myself included. All of those things used to be a part of who I am, but now they are gone.

I guess the reason I'm sharing this story is to be honest. I don't know how I come across on this blog sometimes, it may seem like I'm no longer the person who wrote that piece, but the truth is I remained in that dark place (fell deeper in fact) up until last year when I decided I wanted to change my life, when I started cutting back on my eating, when I said I'm going to make things happen. Right before I had my epiphany to change my life, I entered an incredibly dark period again, one that scared me, scares me now. I never want to slip back into that dark place, but I'm still a big guy, and there are still going to be dark days. But I know I'm on the right track to and there is happiness in that.

I just want people who aren't overweight to understand the emotional struggle that we deal with, the things we have to endure over our lifetimes. It isn't simple, it isn't just being called fat, it isn't just being stared at, its a lot of things, and its a lot of those things happening a lot of times, over a lot of years. A lot of people look at us as weak, pathetic, but the truth is there is so much strength in us. Most people don't know what its like to face public humiliation every single day, this is where our anxieties come from, our insecurities, our self-consciousness. Post people only experiences these things in instances, but the overweight deal with it in virtually every aspect of our life. The mental endurance we build up to compensate is commendable.

 A friend of mine had a nervous breakdown at work last year, and all I could think is why hasn't this happened to me? Why haven't I had an episode? I have so much anguish built up, but then the truth is I'm too self-conscious to have a nervous breakdown, especially a public one. I think I would just evaporate into thin air. There is a lot to being overweight than meets the eye, and I feel like socially we turn a blind eye to it because it isn't glamorous like racism, or homophobia, not that either of those are glamorous but the outcry that is received with those tends to be massive. If you watch on TV you regularly see kids, teen,  adults being bullied, but rarely is there much emphasis put on bullying when a fat kid is involved, its as if the public just says eh, well they deserve it. Its just all something to think about.


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