You know, fat is pretty much the worst thing you can be. It’s worse than kicking puppies or using the wrong your-you’re-yore. It’s worse than war and worse than disease.
Oh yeah. It’s not.
So why do we all get so hung up over being fat? Either someone is hung up about it because they’re carrying too many pounds, or they’re all judgy because someone else is. I have a thin friend who occasionally says that she’s “channeling her inner fatty” when she indulges in food cravings. Once, I said that I was fat in front of a friend’s mother, and she said, “Oh, don’t say that. That’s the worst word you can say.”
Really? It’s worse than stupid? Or boring? Because I’d rather be called fat than stupid or boring. But those are my priorities.
Look, I’m fat. Not using the word doesn’t magically make me shed pounds. When I was in high school, I was called fat (even though I looked amazing), so I squeezed into the smallest size jeans I could, bruising my internal organs and never being able to inhale. I thought I looked great. It wasn’t until years later, hearing the word “muffin top” for the first time, that I realized that perhaps jeans in a size larger would have been better.
I have a double chin. It’s not contagious. It’s not a moral failing.
I’d like to lose some weight. I eat mostly vegetables and exercise. I almost never sit still. And I don’t lose weight.
I really hate how fat people are portrayed, and even worse, I hate that some of it’s true. I recently read a book called The Big, Not-So-Small, Curvy Girls Dating Agency by Ava Catori. I wanted to like the book, but the character spent most of the book drooling over a hot guy and feeling insecure because “guys like him don’t date girls like me.” I know that for a lot of overweight women, that’s how it works; that’s how they feel. And how sad is that? That she’s simultaneously drooling over his looks and hoping he’s not so superficial that he won’t be put off by hers?
In Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg (amazing book, by the way), the main character eats all the candy and junk food she can gets her hands on, complains about being “fat,” and at one point reveals she’s a size 16. If I ate junk food the way she does, I’d probably be twice my weight. Listen: not everyone who’s fat is fat because they eat junk food. And not everyone who’s thin gets there by way of diet and exercise.
And who cares, anyway?
If you’re fat because you eat junk food and never exercise, who am I to judge you? Why is that even part of any discussion? Now, if you eat junk food because you feel lonely or depressed, that’s a different story. That’s sad and I’d love for you to work on that so you don’t have to feel that way, BUT, it’s not judgement-worthy. We all have choices.
I’ve mostly stopped being self-conscious about my weight. Yeah, I have bad days, and sometimes I see pictures of myself taken at a bad angle, and hate the way I look. But most of the time, I like the way I look. It’s nice to be able to say that and mean it.
We get all hung up on the word “fat,” and honestly, I don’t mind it. It’s accurate. You can say “overweight,” and it still means the same thing. Euphemisms don’t make the word mean something else. It just means you’re trying to be politically correct and obscure what you really mean.
News flash: I know overweight means fat. It’s okay.
Personally, I hate the word “obese.” That one gets thrown around a lot because of BMI, and it makes me think of people who are so large they can’t get out of their homes. But that’s not what obese means. I’m obese, of course, but I have friends who look like they’re at “normal” weights who are technically “obese.” *sigh*
We’re all different. Shapes, sizes, colors. It’s what makes the world go round. Whether you’re fat or thin, tall or short, black or white or brown (or some shade in between), just be the best you that you can be. Own it.
I sent this to a friend of mine:
Best compliment ever.
Tune in for tomorrow’s tips about dealing with being fat. And no, I’m not writing about exercise.