NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

“I don’t want to be skinny. I just…”

June28

It has been surprising and wonderful for me to get to know fellow size acceptance activists. I have been educated, enlightened, lifted and delighted. I have seen and experienced things I wouldn’t trade for the world. Yet I am often shocked to hear the following phrase from the lips of quite a few who claim to love and accept themselves,

“I don’t want to be skinny. I just…”

…want to be healthy
…want to be a size 18
…want to be less than this *MakesSweepingGestureToTheirBody*
…want to feel beautiful
…want to stop struggling all of the time
…want to be comfortable
…want to be happy

What?! This is not acceptance. I usually feel the need to bite my tongue in such moments, but it depends on the person and my relationship with them. Sometimes I will call bullshit on the whole thing and tell them exactly what I think on the subject. It’s hard though. Who am I to tell someone that how they feel about their body is wrong? Well, I have been there and know what it’s like to live on the other side of that way of thinking. Also, I guess I just hate to see incredible and amazing people hold themselves back.

We could be doing so much more in our lives by simply letting go of this way of thinking. To believe that if you change your body that your life will magically be what you’ve always wanted it to be? Um…NO! I love me some fairy tales and magic and fantasy, but that’s not reality. I chose to live the life I do. I choose to love it and my body everyday. It is a conscious decision. It is a necessary one, too. It is one that allows me and all 325 lbs of my awesomesauce to go about this world in a way that I generally like and appreciate.

I also believe that you’re not only holding yourself back by hating your body, but you’re also allowing others to drag you down, too. You’re allowing them to influence and judge you. Fuck that! Especially when this comes from people who knows the facts, the science and the truth of living in a fat body. I know it’s hard. I know people are ignorant and mean. It doesn’t mean that we should relent or quit. The truth is the truth. You can’t change it. You can certainly choose to ignore it, but it’s still the truth. *Sigh*

I know that when I stopped wanting to change my body that my life improved greatly. When I stopped hating myself and my body I had more energy to focus on the things I love and enjoy. Go figure that soon I was making better choices for myself in my daily life. I’m not just talking about food and movement, here. I’m talking about the people in my life, the ways in which I chose to give attention or not, just everything, ya know?

It is a journey, not a destination. I still have bad days. I have days where there’s not an ounce of fight in me. But there is always love, even if it’s just a tiny bit. I will always find something in myself to love and appreciate. And I will always have it in me to keep going. It’s not easy, but I wouldn’t know easy if it slapped me across the face and introduced itself to me. Ha-ha! I just know that life is better for me this way. I get up in the morning with a sense of ownership I didn’t have before. That makes such a difference!

When you want to be something else, to change your body, you are dissociating and disconnecting from your body. You live in your body. It is your home. If you hate your home you’re never happy or comfortable. I lived this way for a long time both in the physical and mental sense of “home” and walking away from the abuse and choosing to love the body that survived it all was nothing short of the best thing I ever did! Had I not done that I never would have opened my own cafe or started Fatty Affair or any of the cool stuff I’ve done (and yes I often need to be reminded of what I’m capable of, it’s a journey, remember).

I often talk about my wonderful friends, but let me tell you, I wouldn’t have them if I still hated myself. Sometimes faking it to make it works. Sometimes just being as neutral as possible works. But actively harming, hurting, or talking negatively about yourself has repercussions.  Just as what you put into your body, what you expose it to (your own words/thoughts, too) has an effect!

And in this we always have a choice! How we treat ourselves and talk to ourselves is a choice. I hope that one day this type of thing will no longer be an issue. I think it’s possible. Awareness is the first step in the right direction. Leading my example is the next step. I’m doing my best, for me. I hope that you can and will, too.

<3
S

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7 Comments to

““I don’t want to be skinny. I just…””

  1. On June 28th, 2013 at 6:21 pm Erika Says:

    Not sure what’s wrong with “I don’t want to be skinny, I just want to be healthy”?

    That’s certainly true of me. I made a lot of changes to my diet and exercise last year and the aim was not to change my body, except as it pertained to feeling better. And now I do feel pretty good. I did have to accept myself where I was in order to make those changes though — I had to accept that exercise was going to be difficult until I got more used to it, and it was, then it wasn’t. I had to accept that my old way of eating wasn’t working for me anymore, because it wasn’t.

    There also isn’t anything wrong with not aiming for health, but in this case, it is what I wanted. If that’s wrong, I’m not sure why.

  2. On June 28th, 2013 at 11:41 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Erika: Yeah, I don’t think I explained that one properly. I absolutely agree with your thoughts here. I meant the whole weight loss equals health frame of mind. I’m glad that you were able to find what works for you and makes you feel better. To me that is what it’s all about. 😉

  3. On June 29th, 2013 at 10:14 pm Veronica Says:

    You know what? I lost all the weight, and my life was still crap. I still got treated badly. I never knew WHY, because I had LOST THE WEIGHT, right? The prince was supposed to show up in the carriage with the glass slipper. Instead I got some compliments, some cruelty (from friends who hadn’t lost the weight), and more sex, but not necessarily good sex.

    I became able to shop in “normal” stores. However, while getting to a size 10/12 was a huge (ignore unfortunate pun) accomplishment for me, the people in the “normal” stores still considered that “big.” I actually think there are cuter clothes available in plus sizes than in the high end of the standard size range. Stores always “run out” of the 10s, 12s, and 14s, while there is a constant supply of extra smalls. When there are sales, ever notice that the only sizes left are the extra smalls? That’s because stores order too many of them.

    I worked out 5 times a week, and ten years later, all I got were herniated disks and bad knees.

    When you lose a lot of weight, the compliments stop after six months. And then you are on your own with your disappointment that all that hard work didn’t magically transform your life.

    Now I have a chronic illness and can’t work out. I am as stigmatized for being sick as I was for being fat. And even though I only gained back 15 lbs. of a 70-lb. weight loss, I still take crap about that from people who didn’t know me at my high weight. I’m just tired.

    You have a point about not being hateful to yourself. But really it’s all I’ve been trained to do.

  4. On June 29th, 2013 at 10:17 pm Veronica Says:

    “I often talk about my wonderful friends, but let me tell you, I wouldn’t have them if I still hated myself. Sometimes faking it to make it works. Sometimes just being as neutral as possible works. But actively harming, hurting, or talking negatively about yourself has repercussions. ”

    Beautifully put. Perhaps this is what I was missing. Even at my lowest weight (which society still didn’t consider skinny enough), the self-loathing was there.

  5. On June 30th, 2013 at 4:05 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Veronica: The self loathing/body image/pressure thing is such a vicious cycle. We all just want to be accepted, loved and supported somehow. We think doing “the right things” is the ticket but it really never is. So glad you’re seeing the better side of things now. I know how much time and energy I wasted on all of that. Sad, but happy with my life, now thank the stars. *Hugs*

  6. On July 1st, 2013 at 4:26 pm Em Says:

    It’s confusing sometimes, because as I have relinquished diet behaviors and taken up a joyful, non-punitive active hobby, I have in fact lost a chunk of weight, and I have had a host of conflicting feelings about that size shift, from resentment of the change in my social identity to fear of an unknown future to pleasure at looking a little more like the way I am “supposed” to look. I know that the last one, in particular, rides on the back of internalized fat stigma. I would like to feel more neutral, but I try not to beat myself up for it, because fat hate wasn’t my own brilliant idea, it was something I, like most of us, learned from an early age. This isn’t to say we can’t change those feelings—I think we can, eventually!—but for me personally, it helps to put primacy on behavior towards the body, not feelings about it. “No matter how I feel about how my upper arms look, I’m hungry and that means I should eat breakfast.” I eat and move in ways I enjoy, ones that I find nurturing and empowering, and I try to keep the focus on self-care rather than on meta-analysis of my feelings about my size. It’s not perfect, but it keeps me sane, and I’m happier and more self-accepting when I’m supporting myself in those ways.

    I hope that this ethos allows me to be a good ally to other fatties. That’s really important to me, and I hope that my internal life doesn’t have to be perfectly size-neutral in order to be a positive force for fat politics and fat people. Could this, too, be a place where we fake it ’til we make it?

  7. On July 1st, 2013 at 9:46 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Em: Oh yes! I understand completely. I’d lost weight last year due to stress and felt all sorts of emotions about it. In the end I did my best to put it all out of my mind and just go about my life and finding what makes me happy. You sound like a great ally and “fake it ’til you make it”? You betcha! 😉

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