Gastric Sleeve Surgery

I’ve always been fat,
And they don’t let me forget that at home.
They tell me I need to stop eating.
My father always embarrasses me during gatherings,
Especially when we’re visiting friends or relatives.
He’d give me a disapproving look if I take an extra serving of food.

Mama took me to a famous dietician when I was 11 years old.
It made me very upset.
It made me want to eat a big bag of chips.
I used to hesitate to ask my parent to buy me candy,
Because I knew that they would yell at me.
I would instead wait for my weekly cheat meal,
So I’d feel better.

It makes me sad to think that food is the only thing that makes me happy.
I’d be scolded if I asked my parents to allow me a cheat day instead of a cheat meal.
My dietician used to berate me,
If I didn’t lose weight.
I lost 25 kilos,
And gained them back within two years.

At school, they used to make fun of me and my clothes.
It made me feel embarrassed,
It made me feel like I was different from all the other girls
I always had to visit a tailor to have my school uniform custom made,
Since my size was never available at the store.
At home, my father would always comment on my clothes or what I ate.
I was constantly criticized.

I had to deal with this until I graduated from University.
There was a time when I was completely against the idea of going on a diet.
I rebelled against my parents.
Their actions hurt me.
I used to think to myself, ‘If my own parents see me this way,
Then how do other people see me?’

For the longest time, I ate chocolate behind their backs.
I’d buy candy and hide it from them—to spite them and myself.
I was constantly depressed,
But depression made me discover new things about myself
And look at myself differently.

I’m a normal person,
And my eating habits are normal.
I never felt that I loved food.
I felt neutral about it.
But as time passed,
It became the one good thing in my life,
And after years of dieting.
I realized that dieting isn’t just about what you eat,
But it’s about resisting eating the things you love.
It’s about drawing attention to yourself
the second you reach out for food at a gathering
It’s truly a horrible thing.

I once watched a film in English about fat girls,
Who worked at a fashion house.
Their manager always made mean remarks,
About how they’re not fit to work in a place like that,
So they created their own clothing line for plus size women.
It made me realize that I was normal.
I still like to watch those kinds of films.

I’m 32 years old now,
And I underwent gastric sleeve surgery.
I did it because my mental health deteriorated when I got really fat,
And because of other things I went through.
It wasn’t easy.
I still get the desire to eat,
But I’m unable to.
People don’t look at me now because of how much I eat,
But because my mother keeps insisting on making me eat and I’m unable to.

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