So, I am in a play called 'Fat Pig'. My part is the fat pig of the title. And sure, Helen is just one part among the others I have played, just another person whose skin I am stepping into, whose thoughts I am creating. But this time it is a bit different. This time it touches a little bit closer to home, because - let's face it - I, too, am overweight. Chubby. A fat pig. I have enjoyed being Helen immensly, but she has also gotten me thinking about my own attitudes and feelings towards my fatness. And, putting it mildly, these thoughts haven't been exactly easy.
We all have our issues with ourselves and our appearances (or at least most of us do), mine just have to do with the whole weight issue. "It is not a shame thing for me," Helens says at one point. Not delving that deep into whether I think she actually means it or not, I truly wish I could say this same thing myself. That there is no shame, that I am perfectly okay with who I am and what I look like. There are days when I think I do feel like that. Honestly. But most of the times, when I think about this particular matter, really think about it, the thoughts that come to my head are somewhat confusing. Conflicting. And not necessarily always so rational.
Often I do feel ashamed. Because fatness is something that you should be able to change by just deciding to do it and then working for it, right? Simple as that. And the fact that I am not able to be so determined and hard-working that I could solve this problem called fatness makes me feel like a failure. Except, well, nothing in life is that simple and the process of losing weight is not so black-and-white - and luckily on many days I also remember this.
Another strong feeling, the one that keeps coming back to me, is guilt. And there are so many levels to this feeling of guilt that I have already lost count. I feel guilty for being a ticking time bomb and a possible burden to society (even though I am healthy now that might change any second, tick tick tick...) I feel guilty for not sticking to the healthy life changes that I very often try to make. And on some sad occasions, I feel guilty for wanting to eat.
Then again, there is also the guilt I feel for wanting to change, for not just being happy with the way I look. Because doesn't the fact that I cannot accept myself and the way I look make me a bad role model for my little niece? (But, doesn't the fact that I cannot work really hard for something that I want also make me a bad role model? See, conflicting.) And then there is the biggest question: do I want to change the way I look because of how I feel about myself or because of what I think other people think about me? Can these two things even be separated? And, in the end, does it even matter?
'Fat Pig' is a comedy. It is a brilliant comedy that I am proud to be a part of. It is a comedy that provokes thoughts. For me, it has been quite a struggle at points to process the thougths that have emerged, and as you may notice, a lot of these thoughts I haven't been able to process completely yet and some I probably never will. But I think it is a good thing that with being involved in this play, I have been analysing these thoughts that have been with me for most of my life a bit more deeply than I normally would. Because by not escaping these thoughts but actually going through them maybe one day I will be in a place where I can with full honesty say "It is not a shame thing for me. Not anymore." Or who knows, maybe I will be able to find a way to make those heatlhier life choices stick. Or maybe I will just go on another diet. We'll see.
And just to not take myself too seriously, here is a silly picture of myself. :)