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Monday, July 22, 2013

My Dad, My Weight, My Fears, My Growth

Last night, I set out to write one measly Tweet. It turned into four or five. Evidently, I had more to say than I thought. Then I realized I have a lot to say. So, here I go again (on my own...I couldn't help it...and if you don't get the reference, you can't be my friend).

First, the Tweet-spiration:

"Seeing the pops always comes with mixed feelings. Love and miss him, but being overweight and remembering being told that the overweight woman at the drive-thru was a behemouth [sic], that fat people smell, talking to my grandma about my pooch with disgust like I wasn't even in the room... I don't want to go, but also don't want to let him rule me or my self-worth. So close to being good with my bod. Refuse to let him destroy my progress."

Let me expand for clarification's sake:

Next week, Zen Son and I are heading up to my dad's lake cabin to enjoy some time with our big extended family. I love them dearly and miss them since moving out of state. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to spend time with them. I was pregnant the last time I saw my dad. He has never met Zen Son. My little sisters have never met their nephew. It will be a nice sort-of homecoming.

However (big however), I feel trepidation, as I always do when I know I'll be seeing my dad. I recall countless incidents of my dad fat-bashing. Once, when my brother and I were on the way back to his house for a weekend visit, we stopped at the drive-thru. There was a very large woman working the window. My dad turned to us, probably 8 and 6 at the time, and said with a look of typical derision, "She is behemoth!" I didn't even know the word at the time, but context clues told me exactly what it meant and that it was a negative of the most egregious kind. Further, my dad's older sister and her husband were always overweight. My dad used to bash them relentlessly. Again, we were very young. I recall one such bashing, in particular, in which he said how much "fat people stink" and went on a mini-rant about that. "They do. They have a certain smell. It's gross." Finally, there was the time I was being fitted by my grandma for the dress I was to wear to my dad's wedding. Looking back at old pictures, I have seen what a slender, fit kid I was. I didn't believe this to be so, even then. Now, I know why. As I was there in my undies being measured on a pedestal in front of Grandma and Dad, my dad, as if I couldn't hear or understand, began saying to her while pointing to my "pooch" and looking absolutely disgusted, "What is that? Why does she have that? I mean, what is that?" I could go on with more examples, but I think you get the point. Fat is the worst thing one could possibly be.

Here I am now and I believe differently. I believe fat isn't even what someone is, rather, what some may have. I do have some extra fat that I don't need right now. This wasn't always so. In fact, I once did an ad campaign for a weight-loss company. I was tight. And now I'm not. Most of the time, I couldn't care less. More and more, I grow comfortable, happy even, with my body. My son has helped me do this (click here to see how) and I don't want my dad to undo all the good my son and I have done together. I won't allow it any more than I allowed it from my Zen Parents (click here to see how they tried to do the same thing just recently). But, there's still a small part of me, the child part, that fears this impending encounter, that worries and hurts for what I know is to come, that is so close to not even getting on that plane...


  1. Amy, you are beautiful inside and out. That is all. xo