This blog has been sitting in the Ali Vella folder on my computer for over a month now. I thought it was a great idea at the time but when I started writing, it sounded like a sad reflection; like a little girl rambling about her stupid scars.
I thought who is going to want to read this Ali and how the hell is it going to help them?
I ask myself those two questions every time I write a blog post.
It’s like a test for me – a process that helps me decide if something is worth publishing.
I fail it more than I pass which leaves hundreds of articles sitting in the backlog of my computer; in a folder labelled “complete” in the Ali Vella archive.
Today, I’m going to ignore my instincts and publish this blog because I made a promise to you. I said I was going to write about the highs and lows along the way and I said I was going to be as raw and authentic as I possibly can.
This is me delivering on that promise…
THE FIRST TIME SOMEONE CALLED ME FAT
I’ll never forget the first time someone called me fat. I was in year eight and had just turned fourteen years old. I had a “boyfriend” and by “boyfriend” I mean a sixteen-year-old boy that used to hold my hand and touch my butt from time to time.
Three weeks into our little romance he said he didn’t want to go out with me anymore because one of his mates said I was “fat” and he didn’t want to be seen dating a heffer.
As an insecure, pre-pubescent teenage girl the kid may as well have told me that I was going to die of a terminal illness.
I went home, stripped myself naked and looked in the mirror. I inspected every inch of excess fat on my body and I was disgusted. I ran into my bathroom, closed the door and sat on the floor like a distressed protagonist in some kind of Hollywood Drama.
For the first time in my life, I felt uncomfortable in the vehicle of my own flesh.
That single comment spiralled into three years of eating disorders; into a vicious cycle of self-hate and a disgusting relationship with my body and mind.
WHAT IT TAUGHT ME
As soon as I started to lose weight people came up to me and said I looked incredible!
The congratulated me for weight loss like they would congratulate me for getting engaged or buying a house.
In that moment I learnt that being fat was something to be ashamed of and being thin was something to be proud of; that fat was an insult and thin was a complement and holy shit that mentality fucked me up.
THE POINT OF THIS STORY
The point of this story is that words stick.
If you tell a girl she is fat, she will believe it.
If you tell her she is smart and brave and kind she will believe that too.
Your words have impact.
Choose them wisely.