I bet you weren't expecting a title like that.
But as every pop-psychologist worth their syndication rights would say, we only do these things to ourselves because we get some sort of benefit from it, however twisted that benefit may be.
I like being fat because it's easier to blame everything on my weight than it is to take responsibility and face up to my emotions.
You know the sort of thinking I mean.
"Oh, I'd be so much more [insert desired state here] if only I wasn't so fat!"
"Everything would be so much [insert desired state here] if I could just lose weight!"
I'm here to tell you, I lost a lot of weight and nothing changed. Well, it was easier to buy clothes, but I was still me with all my emotional denial in an albeit slimmer body.
Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting miracles when I got slimmer, but what I hadn't counted on is how much I was using my fat as literal insulation from the world around me. It was protecting me from having to take responsibility for my feelings.
When I lost weight, that protection was gone.
I was literally naked in the world.
And I couldn't cope.
Being fat stopped me from having to feel things too much. I could suppress my feelings with food and deny all the pain and heartache that came with them. I shovelled packets of biscuits, chocolate, chips, take aways, you name it, down my throat so that I didn't have to feel.
Anxiety? Nothing a packet of Shortbread Creams can't fix!
Sadness? Ooooh, seafood pizza with that lovely oily garlic sauce will take care of that pesky emotion!
Fear? Doritos coming to the rescue!
Fat was just the price I had to pay for denying it all. And, for a little while at least, it was worth it.
Being slim was nice and all, but not if it meant I had to feel. Nothing tastes as good as being slim feels? BULLSHIT.
These days, I totally understand addicts and people who self harm. Anything, anything at all to stop the hurt. Physical hurt? That's a piece of cake (literally). Emotional hurt? Please, bring on the physical pain. That I can cope with.
But now I've come to a point where the fat and the food isn't helping so much anymore (not that it really did anyway). I've come to a place where I'm not afraid of hurting anymore.
Hurting is OK.
We all do it.
And it ends.
That is what I was most afraid of. If I didn't squash it down, it would just keep flowing through me, a never-ending river of emotional pain.
Hurt ends. And we survive. It's OK to be sad. It's OK to be afraid. I don't need to react angrily to it all and cram food into my face. I can just be with it and feel it and ask the people around me to support me while it's happening.
I don't need to be alone, sheltered from the world in my fat suit.
I'm still learning this. I know there will be days where I will self-medicate with food. It's an old coping mechanism for me and to think that I can abandon it completely is foolishness. But I'm getting better at recognising what I'm doing and, instead of denying it all, digging to the root of my feelings, even as I'm scoffing chocolate.
Who knows, maybe I'll even stop before I finish the whole bar.
Irony is a mailout from Weight Watchers arriving in my letter box a day after I start blogging here again. But the good news is that this is day two of sensible eating and water consumption. Go me!