I’ve struggled with weight my entire life. My earliest memory of feeling fat was on the playground when I was in 3rd grade because the other girls were so skinny, and I was naturally “big boned”. My high school boyfriend encouraged me to lose weight, psychologically damaging, I became bulimic.
Years passed, and while teaching I gained weight and was considered morbidly obese. I made the decision to have bariatric surgery, which was essentially forced bulimia. I was down to 145 pounds and very fit from cycling. Friends pleaded with me to stop losing weight.
The University of the Arts held a book exchange and, as an alum, invited me to participate. The theme was Thesaurus. Needless to say, I had a plethora of names and phrases that described being fat and thin – some complimentary, some insulting. I made a book, arranging thin comments on the right and fat on the left. It depicts the rollercoaster of perceptions that our society places on weight - whether one is too fat or too thin.
"Jack Sprat could eat not fat, his wife could eat no lean, and so between them both - you see - they lick'd the platter clean."