Dear Fat Rachel, I Love You

Dear Fat Rachel, I Love You

Okay y’all, I have to get this out before I forget.  I don’t usually get super personal or mushy on my blog, but I’m 42 and it’s time to get some things out in the open 😀  First of all, I have always referred to myself as “fat”.  If that offends you, I am truly sorry.  I do not want to offend, so please don’t take it that way.  There is power in saying it before someone else says it though, so I’m quick to claim that title before someone else sticks it on me.  I have been watching This Is Us on NBC and am in love with the character Kate (played by Chrissy Metz).  She is morbidly obese (Lord, I hate that term).  The show talks about so many important social issues, but this is one that just calls out to me.  So, I wrote a post on Facebook about my own personal struggles with obesity and a commitment I am making to my readers who struggle with body image.    The Facebook post wasn’t enough, this needed to make it to an official blog post.  So, here it goes!

I have always been obese, not overweight or a little chubby, but obese…morbidly obese….I was a freak in the late 70’s/early 80’s. It was very rare to see overweight children then and I was way more than overweight. I was one of those kids that everyone stares at and talks about in Walmart because, yes, I was that overweight in 1st grade. As you can imagine, in the late 70’s, I might as well have had 2 heads, because I was that HUGE. I distinctly remember weighing 120 pounds in 3rd grade and that was the first time my mother enrolled me in Weight Watchers. Now, my family will tell you that I was SO cute, because, well, I was 😉 Being fat is who I am. It is who I have always been. It is who I will always be. Yes, I take measures to lose weight and get healthy, but the truth is that (at 42 years old) my metabolism is set. My brain is hard-wired to be who I am. I’m not saying this for anything other than to make people aware. I’m not lazy. I do overeat. I have terrible eating habits, but these habits have been ingrained in who I am for, at least 36 years. I didn’t “get fat” after high school. I didn’t “put on a little weight” after having children. I’m not depressed and gained weight. This is who I was raised to be. Like it or not, it is who I am.

THIS IS US -- "The Pool" Episode 104 -- Pictured: Chrissy Metz as Kate -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
THIS IS US — “The Pool” Episode 104 — Pictured: Chrissy Metz as Kate — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

I have echos of friends and family chanting “fatty fatty two by four.  Can’t fit through the bathroom door.  So she did it on the floor.  Licked it up and asked for more.”  Yes, I am crying just typing this.  Maybe this is therapy for me.  I can, distinctly remember thinking “Do they really think I drink my pee?”  I know, a crazy question, huh?  But, I heard this, at least weekly, from various different people when I was a child.  I cannot imagine any of my children enduring this type of torture, yes torture.  I always thought I was fine and, “hey, they were kids!”  because they were…..but so was I.  The truth is, it did hurt.  It did shape who I became.  I don’t blame anyone, but the truth of the matter is that it did shape who I am today.

Now, I have a commitment to my readers. I am committed to NEVER promote any weight loss product or program that does not take into account the vast array of emotional struggles that are entangled in any weight loss journey.  I have promoted a few in the past and now regret doing so.  I am quite sick of all of the weight loss and get healthy programs that cost entirely too much and NEVER take into account the emotional side of weight loss. The emotional side is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of any successful weight loss program PERIOD! So, please, spare me! Stop posting that if we had the right amount or type of motivation we would lose weight or get healthy. I have more motivation than anyone I know, but motivation has NOTHING to do with it, at least not for me. I will not support any program or weight loss system that does not include, at its core, extensive emotional support. Too many HUGE companies are making millions of dollars each year from the failures of already emotionally fragile people.


22 Replies to “Dear Fat Rachel, I Love You”

  1. I love you just the way you are! Kid’s can be mean and don’t realize what they say today can impact somebody for life. I have had my own issue and lord knows I have never thought you were lazy. There are times I wish I had your energy lol. Just because somebody is overweight does not mean they are lazy or that they sit and do nothing but eat. People are fast to judge these day’s and I was taught that was the 1 thing that wasn’t our place to do ever, no matter what! Hugs ????????

  2. Rachel, you just rock. And I agree completely with you. Whether you’re trying to lose 10 or 20 pounds or 200 or 300 even, the mental aspect of it is most definitely the hardest. Motivation is great, but it generally only lives in the “now.” I try on a shirt and think how great I’d look in it if only I would lose those last 10 stubborn pounds. So I’m motivated to get back to eating right and exercising. And then the next day, I’m snarfing down pizza. It really is a very mental part of life and more of an overall lifestyle than just a “diet.”

    If you’re happy with the way you are, then be who you are and own it just as you’re doing. If you’re worried about your health or other aspects, then definitely try to get that help and support (particularly on the mental side) and go for it. Either way, I think you’re pretty darn awesome just the way you are. 🙂

  3. I adore you Rachel! I’ve struggled with the mental side of it for a long time. And I have to agree that This Is us has only magnified it. It might be why I don’t like Toby.. lol but seriously as I sit here preparing for a detox I wonder how it’s going to help.. so I’m gonna pray on it.

    Sending you a big hug my beautiful friend! Lucky to know you!! ????????????

    1. Thank you so much Ruth <3 I was thinking about our conversations about this subject when I was writing it. You definitely helped me work up the courage to talk, publicly, about it...

  4. This feels like Deja Vu to me….like our books were written by the same author… I’m a few years younger, but every word rang eerily true within my inner dialogue…

    The only difference is that, even though the pages of our distant past are very similar, my book had a significant plot twist and is divided into an Old and New Testament, respectively…

    You see, I have overcome my lifelong steuggle with morbid obesity. It was a very long journey with many triumphs and fails. In the end, after all the gruelling trial and error, there was no magic potion, no big secret or perfect strategy. It was the most basic and simple (I’m definitely not claiming it to be easy though) knowledge, that had been staring me in the face all along, that made my success possible. Success that includes a 240 lb weight loss that has been kept off for many years now.

    I applaud your honesty and bravery because, until I knew I’d be successful, my journey was very private. And I completely agree that a huge part of the struggle is emotional. If you ever need any extra support, feel free to reach out to me. Good Luck Mammacita!!!

  5. Hey Rachel,

    I love you too. And I love “This is Us.” And I”m fat too. And some time ago, about when I was your age, I made the decision to appreciate my body and all that it can do for me. I refused to wait to love myself until I got skinny again. I was skinny, but never thin enough for others. I see those pictures now, and I wonder why I let them get into my head. I was fit and thin, and I still had all the same problems I have now. People say kids are cruel. And they are. But they grow up, and they’re cruel adults. I would NEVER look at someone coming down the aisle of an airplane and give them stink face….that happens all the time. And I’d never make a condescending remark literally behind someone’s back while you’re waiting to load a bus like, “Oh my, that’s a lot of fabric in that blouse.” Yep, people do that on a constant basis.

    The only thing we can do not let anyone tell us how to feel about ourselves. So I won’t call you Fat Rachel because I don’t care what you look like on the outside. I’ll call you Kind Rachel because that’s the side you’ve shown me.


  6. Some things in life are harder than others, enjoy your life. Ignore what people say, especially kids. Find the right diet or weight loss program that isn’t lying to you or giving you half trues. You rock Rachel!!

  7. Oh this hits home in so many ways. You have taken the words right out of my mouth. I loved this blog so much and truly connected with it. I am fat and fabulous. I have always been comfortable in my own skin but now that I’m a mother, I worry if my child will have to go through the cruel name calling one day. For now, I will spend my time boosting him up as my parents always did with me. Just wanted to let you know, you are beautiful!!

    P.S. I’m obsessed with your clothes!

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