I do understand that generally, the people you surround yourself with in life don’t want to hurt your feelings.

 

For the most part, difficult subjects will either be avoided or treated with great tact. If a difficult issue has to be broached these people would still have your best interests at heart. With that in mind, I’m asking for a favour.

 

Don’t tell me I’m not fat.

 

There's a mixture of reasons people tell me I'm not fat. They are trying to be kind and the sentiment is appreciated. I wonder sometimes are people so desensitised by size that they don't think I'm fat. That's a whole other issue. Men who are trying to flatter me which I don't mind, but darling, I said I was fat, I didn't say I was ugly. Fatness doesn't mean unattractive.

 

I’m a serial dieter and perpetual failure. I have never actively managed to lose any more than 7 pounds. I’ve been steadily gaining weight since I was 19. I now stand 5 foot 6 inches tall and weigh 17 stone.

 

I’d like to tell you that I don’t know how I got to this point. It would be a lie. I remember all the times I ate to excess. I remember the greed that took over. I remember the gorging to the point of throwing up. I long for food all day every day and that’s my affliction. I feel the guilt, I see the consequences, I ignore it, I continue to eat.

 

Each step of the way I’ve vowed to change my ways. Oh, I’m not interested in diets or fads I want to change my lifestyle!! I’ll just have the final supper. Oh, I’m starting Monday or the first of the month or the New Year or never. Take your pick.

 

I’m vocal about my weight, often getting the joke in before anyone else would get the chance. I would refer to it often because it’s always on my mind. You’d think I would do something about it if that was the case, but I just don’t seem to be able to master my demons. So when I reference my weight the usual response is; 'sure you are not fat, will you stop'.

 

Well, I’m sorry if 7 stone overweight is not fat I don’t know what is? I get that you are trying to not hurt my feelings but saying nothing at all would be better than a fallacy.

 

I’m not talking about fat shaming by any stretch or means. I’m merely asking you not to disagree with me. I’m also not asking you to solve my fatness by telling me the offer on in the local gym. I haven’t solved the problem in over 20 years of trying so you are not gonna solve it with one motivational sentence.

 

I think the lesson I need to take from my frustrations with people telling me that I’m not fat is that I need to reduce the amount of time that I spend talking about it. It's natural to want to offer guidance. We all want to help someone who we see is in pain. It’s not fair to burden people with not knowing what to say but just remember this, don’t tell me I’m not fat. I won’t thank you for it.

Ellen Brophy is a mum of three; She calls them her sun (eldest boy) her moon (youngest boy) and her stars (her little girl). She has just qualified as a beauty therapist and make-up artist and loves to write about everything from mental health issues to life as a single parent. She describes her writing as honest, funny and fearless and we tend to agree.

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