Been told I’ve become fat…

I come to Indonesia, I’m reunited with my relatives whom I haven’t seen for two years, and I get told I’m now fat. Okay, so maybe not quite that way. But that’s my interpretation of it.

“You’re not so skinny anymore, that’s good huh?” my uncle remarks to me. I give a humourless laugh in response.

The next day, my grandma comments to my aunt in Hakka, a Chinese dialect, “She’s grown fatter.” “Do you know what she said?” my aunt asks me in Mandarin. I confirm in the affirmative. A minute later, I’m being offered food, deep fried food, and is it any wonder I decline? “She’s not going to eat, now that you’ve said she’s gained weight!’ my aunt chided, speaking Hakka to my grandma. “When we (her and her husband) saw her at the airport, we noticed she had gained weight too, but we didn’t tell her so!” Gosh, well thanks for telling me now, though indirectly and in a language you think I cannot understand.

I don’t have the symptoms of an eating disorder anymore, except for the occasional binge and purge. For the most part I’m glad to be rid of it. The obsessive weighing. The lying and sneaking around. The absoulte disgust at one’s self. The hunger. The physical effects on your body. But comments like these, I almost find myself wanting to go back to those days where I was underweight and if comments were made it was on how skinny I was- not how fat.

Logic tells me I’m not fat, a BMI of 18 is still on the lower and of the ‘healthy BMI’ scale. Everything else is telling me otherwise.

I also received a call today. A social worker from the Self Harm And Crisis Counselling Service. Finally. It’s only been… over a month since I was discharged from the psych ward. The result of that phone call is, I have an appointment with their counselling service on 8th of Febrauary. Let’s see how this turns out then…

12 thoughts on “Been told I’ve become fat…

  1. For anyone who’s dealt with an eating disorder, hearing body-related comments is hugely upsetting. Doesn’t matter what sort of comment; doesn’t matter whether you’re in the depths of the illness or well into recovery.

    Try to remember that, although misguided, your family’s words are well-intentioned. Surely they worried about you during your disorder and are relieved to see you’re no longer extremely emaciated. You’re right that your BMI is not fat; in fact, most systems would still describe you as underweight anywhere below 18.5. But that’s not the point–the point is that you’re getting better and regaining yourself. Try your best to move beyond these comments. Perhaps it would help to mention, or have a parent mention, that you’d rather not focus on your body?

    Either way, you know where you’ve been and that you can’t afford to return there. Keep fighting!

  2. im not fat either but i feel fat i allways think i eat to mutch saying that my tablets make me eat otherwise i would not eat i do dinners everynight with vege and that because i love dinners like that but i was reading today it takes something like 2 hours to burn off a choclete bar witch supprised me

  3. A BMI of 18 is NOT fat at all. I can’t believe family would say that about you indirectly and to your face. That is so incredibly rude. I hope this doesn’t kick start your ED because you and I both know that EDs suck and not having them in our lives is aweesome. I hope you’re okay and I’m glad you finally got your appointment on Feb 8

  4. I agree with Sarah – you’re not fat, but indirect and in-your-face comments like that do carry a risk with them. I hope you are able to lay them aside and not think about them too much. And good luck with your appointment on Feb 8.

  5. I’m sorry they said that to/about you. But don’t let your relatives’ comments affect your behavior. It sounds like your eating is in a really good place– don’t give that up because that is tangible progress!

    Wishing you well,

  6. I’m so sorry that you had to experience such hurtful words. Please try not to take them to heart. As you said, your BMI is only 18 — that’s a fact, plain and simple, so you’re definitely not fat. *hugs* I know how hurtful and damaging words can be. You’re a beautiful, strong woman. Don’t ever forget that. I hope everything works out with your upcoming appointment in Feb. ❤ 🙂

  7. You are NOT fat. I think people just sometimes don’t know what to say and end up saying things that upset us. A BMI of 18 simply cannot be fat. Maybe you were offered food because the offerer was so pleased to see you looking healthier and wanted to tell everyone and to support and encourage your improved health in their own (albeit tactless) way? I don’t know them, but I DO know that a BMI of 18 cannot be fat. Please don’t be disgusted with yourself. You made it out of that hell and I’m proud of you. (I made it out, too — BMI is 19 and I would laugh in the face of anyone who called me fat.) Hold your head high, young lady. You’ve earned the right.

  8. Fat?! With a BMI of 18?! Christ, I’d kill for a BMI of double that! But I don’t really have any ED-related issues, so don’t know how it feels for you. I just know that such a remark is not just offensive and derogatory, but potentially damaging, and I am horrified she’d willingly hurt you like that 😦 *massive hugs*

    Lots of luck for the counselling session next week. xxx

  9. Wow, its one thing when a friend or boyfriend tells you they think you’re fat, but it’s a much deeper scar when it’s your family. You’re family should be the one sanctuary where you aren’t judged so superficially, but I hope you don’t take it too harshly. She didn’t actually say you were fat persay, but I know if that was me I’d flip a shit. Logic doesn’t matter with BPD. We may be the smartest, most aware people but our volatile emotions usually get the best of us. Good luck 🙂

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