I had never heard the phrase “More than a fat kid loves cake” before, and I was appalled to find it all over Café Press (a site I usually love).
I have seen many fat-negative slogans in my lifetime, but for some reason, this one truly troubled me, and I wasn’t sure why (I mean, besides that this is tantamount to bullying fat kids).
Last Sunday, Whaliam and I were out for breakfast and I saw a fat kid at the counter with an older man who seemed to be the kid’s father. The kid was eating a piece of toast with some jam on it, and the father said something to the kid. The change in the kid just hit me right in the heart. I can’t describe it, but to me it seemed like the kid was no longer enjoying his toast – he still ate it, but the whole mood had changed, and some very painful feelings came back to me.
I can’t remember the very first time this happened, but some time in my early childhood, I was eating something I truly loved, and someone questioned whether or not I should be eating that. My world went gray in that moment. The pleasure I had anticipated was replaced with pain, shame and anger. And I know I ate the food in question – every horrible bite of it, while I forced back the tears – furious with myself for still wanting the food, furious with the person for judging me and for robbing me of this little bit of joy.
That moment changed my relationship with food forever. I could no longer eat in front of people without the fear that I was being judged, was going to be humiliated and shamed.
Of course, that moment has been repeated over and over in my life – confirming that I could only enjoy food when I was alone. And each time it hurt and brought up all the same feelings of guilt, shame, and anger. And after awhile, this just becomes a part of your life and you don’t question why you eat in secret.
So now I know why I hid food to eat in private. Why I would anticipate time alone based on what I would eat. Why when I had the chance to eat in private I would gorge myself – because I didn’t know when I would have a chance to enjoy eating again.
I am surprised that it has taken all these years for this painful memory to come to the surface. It explains so much about my personal relationship with food. I am still struggling with the feelings that this has brought up for me. I feel betrayed by those who kept repeating this message and I feel betrayed by my own brain for accepting this message for so long without question. After all these years, I suddenly find this pain raw and fresh as the first time I felt it; but this time, I am not telling myself that it is okay, that I deserve to be treated this way. I appreciate this gift of self-knowledge and hope to use it to make myself a wiser (and hopefully, happier) person.
If this has happened to you, I cry for your pain. What a horrible thing to do to another person, much less a child.
A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching. – Sivananda
And by the way, I knew a guy who LOVED cake, more than anyone I had ever known – literally lick the plate love the cake – and he was thin. So fuck you whoever thinks only fatties love cake.