Bar and bat Mitzvah Photography- by Shani Barel – Serving the Great Los Angeles Area » modern photography with a twist of sarcasm

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today I was fat – tomorrow morning I’ll be thin.

This is a very personal post. Read with caution.

Every day when I get dressed, I look in the mirror. I don’t look at my face – I look at my body. Every morning I look and have a conversation with myself – I judge myself, then I judge my self judgement, then I determine if I think I look thin or if I look fat. Then I have a whole other conversation about why does it even matter and that I should love myself no matter what and that it’s all in my head anyway, and that even if I am a little more today, it will be gone tomorrow. I haven’t shifted in weight much, in the last 20 years or so… but I am now 41 and I begin to worry. And then I get dressed. This whole conversation takes about 37 seconds, and then I go on with my day. Not giving it another thought,  eating when Im hungry, not drinking enough water, making the kids eat something healthy, sending them to bed, and then preparing for bed.  And then I get angry. As I get undressed I find my flaws, my wrinkly legs, my flabby stomach, my round arms, my fallen breasts, my jiggly ass. I am not angry because I feel fat, I am angry because I judge myself. And because I didn’t defend myself when someone called me fat. Actually someone called me Obese.

Now, if you know me, you know I am anything but. If I weren’t judging myself, I would consider myself just fine. Not thin, not fat, just fine – “perfect – just the way you are” But this someone, who presented herself as a health specialist and nutritionist weighed my  one her high tech scale , calculated some numbers and delivered me the news, that I was dehydrated, my muscle mass was week, my body age was 45 and I was obese. But not to worry – she had some shakes I could drink to lose weight and no longer be obese.

I could send you to the Facebook link of the photo taken two weeks prior…Actually – I put it right here in this post  -

in a bikini, heck, go to any of my facebook  photos- you can call me a lot of things, nothing worse then I call myself on a bad day.. but OBESE?

I dont know why after so many months I am still so offended and upset. I think it hit a nerve. My mom has struggled with weight all her life – she’d always be on the latest diet, she’d always eat vegetables and salads, she’d always deprive herself of the foods she wanted because she was on a diet. And guess what – my mom is fat and my mom is obese. ANd yeah – I judge. She knows it and it hurts and I hate myself for it. So when this lady called me obese I took it hard. She touched a raw nerve. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and for months have tried to laugh it off. But tonight I got angry. Because when I looked in the mirror I couldn’t see beyond the tiredness of the day and the self judgment – tonight, all I could hear was OBESE OBESE OBESE. And tonight I got angry not because she told me I was obese but because I hadn’t told her anything- because I didn’t tell her ” ARE YOU F*&^ing KIDDING ME? Have you looked at me? I haven’t eaten for a month, I fit in clothes that I wore pre kids – my doctor told me I was perfectly healthy and you’re actually looking at me, and thinking it ok to call me OBESE???

Now I apologize in advance if I am coming across as offending anyone who is overweight or obese – I do not mean it as an insult at all- I feel those words are thrown around way too lightly – my problem is that I don’t struggle with my weight – I struggle with my mind – and as I raise a daughter in this body image obsessed world I want to be able to defend myself and to teach her to defend herself against people who may not be bullies per se but who say things with disregard of the damage they leave behind. And yes, I  may be super sensitive to the subject… so just don’t call me fat, only I can do that.

And this? – this os from yesterday.

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February 18, 2014 - 12:54 pm

Liesl Diesel - I agree, Shani. Only my doctor and myself have permission to pass judgements like that. According to those same numbers that “nutritionist” ran I also would be obese, simply because of my height to weight ratio. It’s ridiculous, because I am incredibly muscular, and I worked hard to get into this shape after having two children! BTW, I think you look super sexy in a bikini! =)

February 20, 2014 - 9:28 am

Karen D - Oh the sh*t people will say to get you to buy their product…ridiculous. You are not obese. You are not fat. I think you look fantastic. I can, however, relate to what you’re feeling.

On a side note, I love matkot! Great use of them ;-)

February 20, 2014 - 11:28 pm

Edith - Wow girl! You’re super cute! Screw ‘em! Good for you for putting this out there.

February 23, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Paige - First off I cannot believe anyone could ever call you obese or fat. You’ve always been slender. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that bullshit. More than that though, I’m sorry you fight that war with the mirror. I know what that’s like and it’s the worst. You wrote so vulnerably about it, which is so inspiring. It’s really a great post and eye opener.

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