QOTD: Dealing with family

Because I don’t engage in fat hating comments or conversations I really just feel more and more like the black sheep from the family. Many of my family members have undergone bariatric surgery so the stress between them and myself is even worse. I have had one cousin who is a lot older than me tell me how proud she is of me for the work I am doing, but my aunt who is her mother left the room during the conversation because she acts like this portion of my life doesn’t exist to her.

— Amanda Levitt, quoted at Fat and the Ivy

4 thoughts on “QOTD: Dealing with family

  1. “Silent disapproval” I call it “benign neglect”. I barely know my sister’s family, though we live in the same county. I don’t know if the distance is due to my fatness or her family’s higher socioeconomic status. I think it’s both. Either way, I know I feel very much “out of place” with them. I’ve offered to go to kids’ events, but my offer was ignored. I think they don’t want this fat, middle class, childfree, scooter riding woman to be seen at their public events. They also know that I’ve been a size acceptance activist since I was 18. They react with amused bewilderment whenever I say something fat positive. So, I basically keep my mouth shut the once or twice a year that I see them. Bottom line – I think I’m kept away and out of sight because I’m not the kind of role model they want for their kids. Conformity is very important to them, in body size, religion, economic and educational achievement, and child-centric lifestyle. Compared to them, I’m a rebel, but with an important cause. It’s too bad, because I miss being part of a big family. I haven’t found my own “family of choice”, yet, at least not off the internet. I’m still hoping, though.

  2. I’m the only 400+ person to have existed in my family. The next closes is around 290, so I understand about being a black sheep. I am now 457. I (literally) feel your pain. Great job in not participating in the trash talking. Thanks for writing. I don’t feel so alone

  3. My family is dysfunctional and abusive so I avoid any controversial topics on the rare occasions I see them. My mother always used my weight as an excuse to bully and manipulate me, but she’d have found something else if I was thin. Any opinions I voice are automatically jumped on and ripped apart, no matter what they are, so I’ve given up on that, but they could all use some fat acceptance, as our body size is definitely genetic, compounded by disordered eating in the case of my siblings and myself. My mother would force me to diet, then as soon as I got down to the “overweight” category, she’d start ranting about anorexia and force feed me butter and ice cream.

    My in-laws, though not unkind, are just as dysfunctional, so I focus on telling my niece as often as I can that she is beautiful and that she’s fine just the way she is. I cannot overstate the importance of saying this to fat kids. They get so many negative messages pouring in from every side.

  4. I wrote this

    http://fivehundredpoundpeeps.blogspot.com/2012/01/social-stigma-of-being-supersized-in.html

    My family doesn’t know about my blog. Too personal. I have been a life long black sheep, but this also could be due as well not just to weight but different beliefs from family, and being a more artistic and emotional person. To the first poster, conformity comes first to my family as well and I never conformed.

    The thinner members do condemn my weight and I get constant subscriptions to Health magazine LOL from one who means well but seems to wait for some magic day when I’ll be thin and “acceptable”. What is ironic is I know I was rejected at 250lbs so todays 500lbs is a far different story. I am sure I eat healthier food.

    The fatter ones, are all now under 350lbs [one lost a bit] and just do not want to be me.

    Sometimes I feel like I am slowly vanishing from the family,and I am definitely losing touch, everyone lives hundreds of miles away. I can go two years without seeing 2 of my siblings, not by choice either.

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