The Fat Girl with a Pretty Face and Long Hair

240 pounds. No, that’s not the weight of my pet baby elephant- that was MY weight about two years ago at the very end of 2009. I knew I had been packing on a lot of excess pounds but I blamed the holiday season and a guy who had been spoiling me to meals out at restaurants on a regular basis.The moment I stepped on the scale and saw the digital numbers flashing in my face, there was NO MORE room for excuses….I couldn’t afford to put on another ounce!

My God-Daughter’s 1st Birthday- September 2009

I would love to say that my heaviness was a new issue due to some stress or trauma in my life at that particular time however, I have struggled with my weight and size my entire life. In 4th grade I used to sit with my sweater across my lap so that my thunder thighs weren’t so noticeable as they tumbled and rumbled out of my uniform shorts. In 5th grade, my nickname was “Big Cat” and my fellow classmate made it a point to let me know that it wasn’t because I was tall (which I was). In middle school I had the body of a grown woman; at 12 years old I was 5’6″ and completely developed. I was on the thicker side but not necessarily chunky. Boys noticed me for my “developments” and so I felt attractive and wasn’t unbearably insecure because I was constantly having my womanly body commented on; this caused a lot of hostility and problems between my female peers and myself. In High School I began to put the weight back on in 10th grade. I still got plenty of attention from my male peers and from grown men. I used to flaunt my larger breasts as a way of distraction from my larger stomach that was sitting underneath them. People always told me I was pretty- they would compliment my eyes, my teeth, my smile, my long hair, or my over-exposed top part, but I never felt like a total-package. Ever heard of the term, “Butter face”?: everything about her is fine “But(her) face”!…well, I felt like a “Butter face” too, except I would’ve described myself as “Nothing about her is fine “But(her) face“.

When I studied abroad in Costa Rica in 2004, my host family would ask me, “Why are you so fat?” In 2005 I began dating my ex-boyfriend and at one point he slipped up and made the comment that he had never been with a girl of my size before- he was used to dating athletes and models…we were together for almost four years and my weight fluctuated throughout that time and because of his comment in the beginning of the relationship, it was always an insecurity that I carried. Whenever I started to chunk up he would “encourage” me to go to the gym or start some kind of fitness routine and to watch what I ate. When our relationship ended at the beginning of 2009, I went on an all-alcohol, no food diet. I was in a dark place, depressed and distressed and lost a good bit of weight for all the wrong reasons and in all the wrong ways.

December 2008

….after a month of hardly eating…February 2009

Once I got my act together (or at least started to try), the weight started to come back on…. several months after the split, I met someone else. I knew I was a little chubby at this point but he said he didn’t mind and he would affirm his attraction to me….more time went on and so did more weight. I used to ask the guy I was involved with if he would find me more attractive if I lost some weight (what an insecure, girly question, right?)…when we first met, he would tell me that I was fine the way that I was….several months and several pounds later, his answered turned from, “You look good the way you are” to “Well, I think YOU would feel better and be happier if you did.” (pretty safe answer, huh?) And even though his answer changed…my weight, did not go down. I grew…and grew….and grew. No matter what he said, I felt less “pretty” the rounder I got.

May 2009

I would see pictures of myself and be absolutely disgusted with what I saw. I would do any and everything that I could to try to make myself appear smaller in pictures before I would post them on Facebook or send them to anyone. I would look at my face and see the “pretty girl” disappearing behind the fat pockets that were expanding in my cheeks and chin. How would you even know I had glowing hazel eyes when they were hidden and sinking into a face of fat? It certainly didn’t help my self-esteem when all my friends were measuring in under 5’4″ and 120 pounds…ALL of them! I had a few that would tug at their SKIN and talk about how “fat” they were- if they thought that they were fat, then they MUST have thought that I was morbidly obese! In pictures, I not only towered over them because of my height and high-heel obsession, but I looked like I beat them up for their snacks and lunch money.

November 2009

No matter what social situation I was in, I always knew that I was just the “fat girl with the pretty face and long hair” so I accentuated these features with make up and hair dye as often as possible. I already knew that I would never be looked at as “the fine one” (which was defining and important to me at the time). There were times that I felt self-conscious to eat in front of or around other people because I felt that I looked like a barn animal stuffing my face. (I know this may sound overly-dramatic, but this is how I felt throughout these times.) I felt like my weight issue was a neon arrow pointing to all my insecurities, my lack of self-control and my over-indulgence in food and alcohol which was led by my inability to deal with my excessive emotions. What man would walk proudly with an over-weight giant dragging on his arm?? Who wants to go shopping with their “fat” friend that will only complain and get depressed that she can’t fit into “normal” sizes?

This was my life. I had defined myself as “The fat girl with the pretty face and long hair”. There were times that my weight would fluctuate and I would lose 15-25 pounds; I would feel great but then for one reason or another, the weight would come back. I wasn’t consistent in my healthy habits and when life’s unexpected hit, I would turn to food to comfort me. It wasn’t until I was miraculously healed from chronic knee pain in September 2010 (which is another story for another time or click the link to see my video testimony) that I was able to become consistent in the gym. I had a friend who was getting married in October of that year and I was a bridesmaid in the wedding. I intentionally bought my dress TWO sizes too small and told myself that no matter what, I would fit into that dress! I would work out twice a day, EVERY day and count calories like my life depended on it! My family even became concerned about my drastic change of habits and would often try to intervene ….but guess who fit into their dress?? :-)

The fat girl became the chubby girl.

October 2010

When I was finaly able to see that I was more than capable of setting goals and accomplishing them, I became more consistent. I had no more excuses. My body was healed from asthma and chronic knee pain and it was my responsibility to take care of this temple that the Lord had given me stewardship over. Luke 16:10 states, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much…”. I needed to prove to God that I was thankful for my healing, that I FULLY RECEIVED IT and that He could trust me to be faithful in the small things. He took away every excuse I had and every limitation that I had put on myself. I was reminded that I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE (Psalm 139:14) and that I am NOT just “the fat girl with a pretty face and long hair”. I am perfect. I am made in God’s image and He has equipped me with all that I need to take care of, not only myself, but others.

January 2011

I can honestly say, that even if NO ONE ever reads this, it has meant so much for me to take the time to look back and reflect on how far i’ve come. I AM AN OVERCOMER! Food. Alcohol. My Emotions…they no longer control me! I am led by Christ, MY LORD & SAVIOR! He has saved me from myself and my co-dependency on food while healing me of all physical ailments that limited me. I will only look back to remind myself of where I came from so that I can praise HIM more! I can say with confidence and assuredness that I will NEVER go back to the place of being a prisoner in my own body again. The Holy Spirit now has a comfortable place to reside in this temple and I will only updgrade His dwellings- no more clutter, no more mess, no more extra! I am  dead to sin and sin will no longer rule or have control over my physical body. I AM PERFECT IN CHRIST.

January 2012 #Dechunkification is still a work in progress

March 2012

July 2012

(SIDE NOTE: I have recently been dealing with some health issues that have contributed to some of my more recent weight-loss however, clearly our God is still in the healing business and I am confident that whatever my body goes through or is made to endure, God will continue to get ALL THE GLORY!)

23 thoughts on “The Fat Girl with a Pretty Face and Long Hair

  1. “I was reminded that I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE (Psalm 139:14) and that I am NOT just “the fat girl with a pretty face and long hair”. I am perfect. I am made in God’s image and He has equipped me with all that I need to take care of, not only myself, but others.”

    So proud of you! You my dear have the fine makings of a women who will lead other women to the heart of Jesus. You have what it takes to help women know their value and their identity and to bring them out despair and darkness. God has special plans for you. <3

    • *blushes* Gee Amber, thanks for making me cry! Lol
      But seriously, all these kind words mean a lot…I never even imagined that others would find it inspiring or “brave”. I just felt I had a story to tell and working on my #dechunkification has forced me to look back at this life-long struggle. It has been overwhelming and emotional but absolutely awesome to know that everyday I that I make better food choices and everyday that I go to the gym, I’m becoming more & more free. I no longer feel helpless bc I know that what I’m doing now is what God intended for me all along and I’m doing it in a healthy way. Its an incredible journey-I’m learning so much about myself, drawing closer to God, and overcoming struggles. Yay! :)

  2. Aww!!! Thank ypu for takin the time to share that. I admire your strength,determination,and honesty. I never knew you were goin through so much but im glad you have over come it all. You look great! And not just because ur smaller,but because ur glowing with happiness. Congrats lady. Now I need to get in the gym. My son is one I have no excuse for this tummy anymore!!

  3. I’m so proud of you. I know this was hard for you to put out there for everyone to see and hear. But, it must feel good to release. You can ask K.R. because I tell her all the time. From the first time I met you (4 yrs ago), I seen a very beautiful woman. Headstrong, confident, caring and oh so much fun to be around and although our time together has been limited, my feelings nor my views about you haven’t changed. If there is anything I can do to help, you know I’m a call away.

    xoxo

    Orange Juice Jones

    • Thank you for always being such an encouraging and uplifting presence in my life. Somehow you always find the perfect words for the perfect time and when they are most needed. I appreciate you so much! Just keep being who you are to me and my Ace- we adore you!

  4. Wow Cat, reading this brought tears to my eyes. You truly are an inspiration and everyone should have someone like you in their life. I am so glad that even though we don’t see each other as often as before, I can still count on you for anything. Keep up the good work. and i’m sure i was one the pulling at my cheeks… LOL!! love ya cat!

    • :) yes ma’am….you know I’m only a call away, always! Thank you for reading it, bc you are also one of the few who knew the old Catharine and have watched me grow and transform to who I am now, 8 years later.

  5. You’ll never know just how much this has inspired me. Wow. You have taking being transparent and humble to an entirely different level. You are beautiful. At least u know I’ve always thought so. Through it all, from bffs, to side kicks, to the “unfortunate” distance we have now… i have, still do, and will always only see “Cathariiiiine”. :) i love you!
    ~BrittBrat

    • THANK YOU! Your words mean a lot and I appreciate you always speaking uplifting words into my life bc I know you watched me struggle and yo-yo. I love u too, graham Cracka. (teeheehee, I couldn’t resist!)

    • Thanks Ghnonghy! The fact that you read it kind of caught me off guard but I appreciate that you did :-)
      Knowing that your grandmother is hearing your story and having to look at you like a woman and not just a grandbaby is humbling. But I’m proud to be in a place where I can be open and unashamed!

  6. Pingback: The Fat Girl with a Pretty Face and Long Hair – Overcomers

  7. I think God makes us in all shapes and sizes. Looking around at His creation proves he like variation. You look your best with curves. Make sure to find a happy medium… Let Him heal your heart as well as your body! 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look at (her) appearance… For The Lord does not see as mankind sees; for people look at the outward appearance, but The Lord looks at the heart.”

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