Monday, June 7, 2010

A post about fat.

I'm fat. It might make some people uncomfortable to hear a woman describe herself like that because the word "fat" is usually a put down. Fat, when used as an adjective describing a person, has become synonymous with some really negative words like-lazy, ugly, smelly, stupid and disorganized. It is often assumed that fat people have no will power or have "let themselves go", it even prejudices some people on the quality of a persons parenting or work ethic depending on their size. But the big one is health. If you are fat you are automatically unhealthy and any or all health issues are directly related to your weight, which is not always the case. Losing weight is the holy grail of health-regardless of how it's done. I cannot believe for a second that living on diet shakes or social experiments like "The Biggest Loser" are healthy for a person, not to mention the many studies that show not only is dieting (in the form of calorie restriction) BAD for your long term health, it causes weight gain. Yep, most people who lose weight through calorie restricted diets put the weight back on-with interest.

Imagine if all the "health specialists" and Doctors and society in general worried more about the actual health of a person, not their weight. Imagine if people who's weight was within the magic BMI had their diets and exercise frequency scrutinized when it came to their health. Imagine eating food that made your body feel good and exercising for the pleasure of moving your body. Imagine never having to see another Woman's trashy magazine worshiping a celebrity for losing ALL the baby weight in 4 weeks in a grueling diet and exercise regime. Imagine not seeing kilos and pounds put on and taken off as failures and successes but as just what they are.

I feel like somewhat of an expert on this subject. I've always been one of the largest fiends in my group-even in high school when I was a "whopping" Australian size 12-14. I've felt ashamed of my body and denied myself food as punishment for being so disgusting. I've exercised with the sole purpose of shifting those embarrassing kilos-even when I hated it. I've lost weight and been giddy with the compliments, I've put on weight and felt like a total failure. I've been worried about the health of my family based solely on their weight. I've avoided sex because I was sure my body would be repulsive. I've imagined that bad parts of my life would disappear when the weight did. But saddest of all I have disliked who I am based on how I looked.

I'm the fattest I've been in my life (discounting pregnancy but that's not really fat is it?)and I also feel the most OK with my body. I'm not as happy with my health-but weight and health are NOT synonymous. I've been thinner and much more unhealthy than I am now. I need to find time to move my body and get some alone time. There is nothing I am aiming to change about the way I eat. My current goal is to feel fitter and nurture myself more. Screw those who judge me on my size.


island girl said...

I agreed with you the other night while were downing enchiladas and Coronas at Montezumas and I agree with you now. Being in the dance group at school I repeatedly tortured myself over a body that now, looking back, was actually pretty damn good! However I too was always subjected to assumptions about my health and fitness, despite the fact that I could rip through 2 hour dance classes most nights, and 4 hours on a Saturday. While I must admit at the moment I can do a lot more for my health and fitness, I'm learning to accept that my body is what I've got.

katepickle said...

here here!

Spiralmumma said...

Great post. I wish I could love my body, but I don't. Being a size 18-20 automatically excludes one from many clothes shops for one thing. It's so much fun walking with size 10 friends down Chapel st for example and standing around awkwardly feeling like a huge (pun intended) loser while they try on clothes I'll never fit into again. And try being single and size 20 and attempting to find a partner-even the men who are larger themselves only want skinnier women. Gah. I do want to be fitter, which is why I'm starting at a gym next month, but have to admit i also am desperate to drop a couple of dress sizes at least :/

shae said...

Shopping for clothes is a great big suckhole! I HATE it-there is precious little to choose from in the op shops too.

Nic said...

Fantastic, absolutely agree.

I hate seeing a gp and getting them to take your pain, or health issue seriously - all the day is look at your weight and blame it on that.

Hands and Hearts said...

"I'm not as happy with my health-but weight and health are NOT synonymous. I've been thinner and much more unhealthy than I am now."

This part screamed out at me. It is so true. I too have been a lot thinner than I am right now and my health was awful and not thanks to the images and opinions in society about the shape of women. I say shape, as that wat it felt like to me. There was only one acceptable shape in our world.

I am and will work hard with my 3 girls and body image, health and the truth about advertising and marketing in our world.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a timely read for me. Feeling crappy about my weight and I need to get over it.

Thanks for the reality check.

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