[the fat friend]

At work the other day I was discussing weight loss with a co-worker. Like me, she had once been much heavier than she is right now.

The discussion turned at one point to how people who are overweight are treated.

Back when I was at my heaviest, I went through a lot of different emotions that I don't really experience now that I've lost weight.

Every time I went out to eat I felt like people were judging me. If I ordered something unhealthy, I was overwhelmed by shame. I knew that probably no one was paying attention. But at the same time I've heard people make comments about others along the lines of "well that's why he's fat". Who's to say they weren't saying that about me?

The same thing happened at the grocery store. I did the self check out whenever I could because I didn't want to feel like someone was passing judgment based on the contents of my cart and my size. Again, I knew that they probably didn't care. But still, the feeling was there.

The worst part though?

Being the "fat friend".

Now there were certain groups I never felt that way in. The people I'm still extremely close with now always made me feel loved and accepted and like they didn't see my weight. 

But others didn't.

When we would go out for drinks, it was a different. story. One night, a man came up and asked out each of my friends in turn. When he got to me he said, "well since they all said no, how about you?". 

The implication was clear: you're my last choice but in a pinch you'll do.

That wasn't a one time experience.

I spent most of my time in my most recent study abroad being shunted to the side in favor of the smaller girls on the trip. I can't say that there was anything deliberate about the actions of that group but it happened never the less. 

Men would be friendly but never flirty. 

It's not that I wanted a date. It's not that I particularly wanted to be hit on.

But I'm a person too. 

More than that, I'm a woman too. Just because I'm not a size 2, doesn't mean I'm not a woman. 

And sometimes, I want to feel attractive too. I don't want to be described as "nice" or "sweet" or "funny". What about pretty? 

Now I'm not saying that only skinny people are pretty. That's far from true. But I do know that I never felt very pretty.

Mostly I felt invisible. 

That's just not a fun feeling for anyone. 

It's not something I really talk about much (while sober anyways) because it's not something I like to acknowledge. It makes me feel...shallow. But it's there. And I'm hoping that by acknowledging it, I can find a way to feel differently. Yes, I'm smaller now but I'm still not where I want to be. And I still see that girl in the mirror everyday.

I want to reach out and hug her, and every girl like her, and tell her that it's okay. That she's not invisible. That she is pretty. 

And that she's not just the fat friend.

She's so much more than that. 


  1. Great post Courtney! I think you're really brave for opening up about your innermost feelings (that's tough), and my heart goes out to you. I think it's sad the world of intense judgement that we live in now. I don't think you're shallow or that there's anything wrong with any of your feelings. I'm glad that you have people that care about you, and I hope you're able to find what you're looking for. You're not invisible, and you are pretty :)

    1. Thank you so much gabby!! That really does mean a lot to me :)

  2. You are my beautiful daughter! Strong, smart and beautiful inside and out! Love you!!