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Susan's Spa

Your number one stop for beauty and blogging tips, all in one fabulous blog!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Phantom Fat

Sounds like the name of a band, doesn't it? I've actually never heard the term 'phantom fat' until I saw it in a book the other day. It's not an actual term from a medical or psychiatric reference book though. I saw it in a short story about a woman who was once fat. She spent her whole childhood and adolesence being overweight and finally lost all her extra pounds as an adult. Even after a number of years of being thin, she said she could still feel her fat and all the pain that it brought her all those years every time she stepped in front of a mirror. She was the one who called it 'phantom fat'. She compared herself to someone who had lost a limb and, years later, was still experiencing pain in the empty space which one held an arm or a leg. Probably many wouldn't agree with this analogy, but for those who were once overweight, especially as children and teenagers, they can surely relate to the pain and isolation that comes from being different. I certainly could relate to it. In fact, I could have been her. I carried around an extra forty pounds of fat before I finally took it off right before my high school graduation. I never had a date in high school, not many friends and certainly didn't go to my prom because of it. Years later, I can still feel that 'phantom fat' with me. Thankfully, not all the time, but sometimes definitely. Whenever I see a young child who is overweight or a teenager who is struggling with their body image because they are not skinny, I can feel their pain.


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