Somedays; I am tired of fighting. Of raising my voice. Of telling others that
“it is okay to be fat” – Ali Thompson.
That fat people matter. That your weight doesn’t define you. That you are so much more than a body. That bodies changes and whatever shape it takes is normal. That you are worthy of love and respect; no matter what.
I am tired of hearing fake health concern. Tired of hearing that fat people are unhealthy. The never-ending equation of weight and health. The “obesity epidemic” which is not even a thing. The over-medicalization of fat bodies. That because your weight is outside of the “norm”’; you are doomed to an early death; diabetes; cardiovascular disease; high blood pressure; Alleluia.
I am tired of seeing friends be approached by strangers with their “concerns” for their health. Food has no morality. There is no bad or good food. You shouldn’t feel guilty for eating a piece of cake. This is your body; you have the freedom to do whatever you want with it and no one has the right to tell you otherwise.
I am tired of being so self-conscious. Of hearing diet talks whenever I go; whatever I watch. Diet ads get to me. They make it seem so easy. 16 pounds in 4 weeks. 7 inches in 14 days. Lose X amount forever. “Be your thin happy self easily” claims proudly the ads; full of overly radiant “fulfilled” women, having shed all those “unwanted” extra pounds. This weight distancing them from their true happy self.
I want to be happy too. I want to find clothes that fit. I want to feel socially accepted. I want to feel pretty. I want to feel good about myself.
And I know these things come from inside. Critically; I know how diet culture is pervasive in its discourse. Trying hard to convince us that being thinner will open all the doors. Chase sadness and solitude. Make all our dreams come true.
I know the diet industry is a multi-dollar billion market. It works for profit. If their products were efficient; they would be out of business soon enough. They sell a dream. They sell an image. They try to convince us that they sell something that can not be bought.
Reconnecting with your body and soul.
Fat people, in particular, are conditioned to act violently toward themselves. It is so pervasive that it goes unnoticed; or can be even celebrated by folks of smaller size;
Starving/ Extreme diets;
Weight loss surgery;
Lack of representation;
Lack of accommodation in public spaces;
Targets of stares; insults; harassment; comments; judgements.
Excessive attention and social rewards related to weight loss (unwanted or not)
Even our own family and friends can partake in that culture; aimed to make us want to reduce ourselves; fit into the social mold. It may not be conscious, but the effects on the fat person can be devastating; harmful and lead to even more self-destructive behaviours.
The Health At Every Size Movement claims that “diets are harmful; leading to inflammation of the body; loss of bodily cues and disordered eating”. It has also been established that 95% of people who diets will gain back the weight they lost and sometimes even more. It is also considered that of that 5%; at least 2-3% are dealing with eating disorders or disordered eating.
Furthermore; yo-yo dieting will increase the risk of early death; diseases and metabolic problems.
Knowing all these facts can be quite convincing to drop these diet culture shenanigans. However; the road to self-acceptance and self-love is not always rooted in the rational but in childhood wounds and scars. It is not a linear journey. I am not bulletproof to the social discourse.
Not to fall into old habits can be even harder. Life is hard enough; easy solutions are more than tempting and I am only human. Flawed and all.
I would like to be like everyone else sometimes. Change myself to fit the mold. Be someone else. Look differently. Look like everyone else. A few months of liquid nutrition; sounds very appealing and easy if it would bring me unlimited happiness; love and acceptance. But these are lies.
Deep down; I know better now. I did those things before and it left me in shattered pieces. Feelings of guilt, self-hatred, anxiety, depression, anger, hunger, sense of failure.
So even now, when I am tired; I know I will pick myself up eventually and continue to fight. For a better future. One where people are not discriminated against based on their size; weight; appearance.
For a future where little children don’t feel the need to starve themselves to be accepted. That they are not bullied for something outside of their control such as weight and appearance. That people don’t feel the need to butchered themselves to get a more “acceptable weight”.
We can all strive to eat better and adopt healthier habits. There is a balance and one day; this is where you’ll find me. Happy and loved.
Until Then, Take Care of Yourselves dear readers;
Catherine the cynical mermaid.
Body Respect – Linda Bacon
Body positive power – Megan Crabbe
Www.fatlip.com (podcast – infinity fat and fat rights)
Www.christyharrison.com (RD – Intuitive eating – podcast and community)
Www.dixoctobre.com (in French)
People to follow
– Virgie Tovar
– Militant Baker
– Ali Thompson
– Christy Harrison
– Gabrielle Lisa Collard