Dear Husband of mine,
Thank you so much for loving me for the last 34 years.
It can’t have been easy to be married to a fat woman.
By the time we met at age 20, I was already lacking in body confidence.
I first understood that I was fat when I was 7 years old. It was from that point onwards that I became body conscious and started to compare myself to others.
I’m not sure that I ever told you about my anorexic behaviours? They persisted on and off, from my fourteenth year to when I was 18. And you definitely don’t know that I dabbled with bulimia for a year whilst I was at university.
I don’t even think that you knew how self conscious I was, eating in front of people. I felt comfortable eating in front of you though!
It’s how I knew you were ‘the one’. (So many other reasons too of course!)
I wonder if you understood why I behaved the way I did?
….why I was jealous if you even glanced at another female. Terribly jealous.
I know at times I was irrational, temperamental, moody and yes spiteful too. I was prone to shouting and crying. I wasn’t always easy to live with.
I wonder if you realised that I behaved in this way because I was afraid?
I was afraid you’d realise that there were better girls than me out there. And that you wouldn’t want me anymore.
But you married me anyway.
I wanted to be a size 12 on our wedding day. You told me I looked beautiful in my size 16.
And after we were married I no longer worried that you’d leave me. I felt secure.
But my lack of body confidence still caused issues.
You wanted to have holidays abroad. I didn’t.
I made excuses about money and the children being too young. But truthfully, I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where I knew I’d be comparing myself to other women in swim suits. I didn’t want to be reminded that I wasn’t good enough. I was ashamed.
Over the years I’ve made excuses not to socialise. I’ve avoided reunions for the same reasons. And in the process you have ended up missing out too.
Becoming slimmer caused it’s own issues.
As you know I lost some weight when we were in our early 30s. But I feel sorry now that during the ‘weight loss years’, I wouldn’t allow us to go to an Indian restaurant because of the calories. You mentioned going so many times, and I always said ‘When I’m back at goal again, we’ll go!’.
Well that never happened, so we never went.
We didn’t have takeaways ever either. Often I ate differently to the rest of the family.
I became a bit obsessed I think. (‘You think?’ I hear you ask!)
I remember you once saying to me ‘Don’t worry about it so much! Just live a little! We don’t know how long we have left on this earth!’
And you were so right. The weight gradually came back on anyway, as it does for most of us who lose weight.
It seems the deprivation wasn’t worth it.
We’re in our 50s now
And finally I have started to see things your way. I have left diet culture behind me and I am learning to embrace my body just as it is. My days of restriction, food and otherwise are over.
It’s taken me SO many years to get to this point of self acceptance. I now know that my body is love-worthy. It’s beautiful in it’s own way. It allows me to do everything I want to do.
And let’s not forget the magnificent work it did in growing our 3 wonderful children.
It’s time for us to start to really enjoy life.
I’m sorry it took me so long darling.
A few years ago I might have thanked you for loving me inspite of my fatness. But now I realise what you knew all along- that me and my body were always worthy of love, no matter our size.
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