Fat people battle demons in mean and unkind world

The writer says that people can be really mean towards overweight people.
The writer says that people can be really mean towards overweight people.
Image: 123RF/Andrea De Martin

In my language, Pedi, there's a saying:"Molomo o tshela noka e tletse."

English is really such a dull language because the translation lacks colour, "The mouth crosses a river even when it is full."

People run off their mouths, uninvited and without premise or context. Nowhere is this more visible than it is on social media.

I saw a tweet, a thread of tweets actually, that struck a nerve with me.

A group of adults, making comments and passing judgement on people who have put their children on special diets. As a fat adult, I can't even begin to imagine the level of stupidity that one would have to be at to not understand that relation.

I have been worried about my child's weight from the moment she was born. I try hard not to transfer my weight issues to her, but fail. Especially because she is showing signs that like me, her life will be peppered with weight struggles.

I would like to believe that had my parents had a bit more knowledge, they would have done differently for me. Who you become as an adult is hugely influenced by your childhood.

As parents, we have the responsibility to equip our children with tools that will help them with whatever demons they will face. Weight is one of those demons. If you have ever lost weight, you know that it creeps up again.

Growing up, we lived off a staple diet of pap and rice on Sundays. Now I struggle with eating healthy because lettuce really is a long way from pap, and it's cold.

For the idiots at the back, I hope I'm loud enough on this one, your limited understanding of what a diet is should not be everyone's problem. A diet, simply put, is a habitual way of eating, regardless of what that food is. The word has a negative diet only because the world holds and subjects fat people to negative and hateful views.

The world is unkind to fat people. We know this as adults and I can't ever imagine an adult being wrong for wanting to make sure that their child does not experience it.

We never know what people are dealing with, and what demons chill their beds at night, fighting for the peace and warmth that comes with comfort. This goes for strangers and loved ones equally.

That is why it is so important for our mouths to stay far away from river banks whose width and breadth remain a mystery for us.

It doesn't stop at weight and diets. If you think the relationship I am in is not the one, great stuff, congratulations on your thoughts, but don't try to make the decision for me to leave. It could be wrong, but it could be the closest thing to perfect that I have known. You never know where people have been and what trauma they are carrying. There is a fine line between passing judgement and offering advice that's not needed.

You would need to be willing to drown in the same waters I drown in for you to come at me about most of personal choices. Spend your time checking in on your own life. Are your taxes done? Is your partner still happy with your sex?

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