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

It’s Not Your Fat That’s Holding You Back…


I have known many people who will listen and even spout the goodness of the fat movement and HAES and positivity in general. They will claim to not care about the opinions and judgments of others. They will have my back and I theirs. But when the subject of their own body enters the conversation it’s always, “I just know I would feel better if I lost XX lbs.”  *Sigh*

I had a friend once who refused to believe that it was her eating habits and inactivity that made her feel sick all of the time, she chose to blame her fat. When we talked about the foods we ate and the physical activities we enjoyed she did not understand how I was over 300 lbs and not gasping for air with every step. She blamed her fat for her asthma, her allergies…you name it!  As a food provider to her (I had my cafe) we often discussed food and as a former vegetarian I was flummoxed by her refusal to eat vegetables and rely almost entirely on breads and cheeses for her diet. She refused to see any correlation to how food can affect how you feel. It was her fat that was holding her back.

My roommate loves how confident I am and how I will wear what she could never even dream of wearing. She is a size smaller than me (by Lane Bryant standards anyway). She will listen to my proud fatty rhetoric and even chime in with some awesomeness. But again, the subject of her body is always, “I just gotta lose XX lbs! I know I’ll never be thin, I don’t even wanna be thin, I just want to be a size XX.” Ugh! I love her to pieces, best roommate ever, but on more than one occasion I have come  home to hearing a very loud but serious phone conversation about weight loss surgery and multiple diets and tricks and tips and so on. Every time I think to myself, “Is this happening? THIS CONVERSATION?! In my own house?!”

The thing is, fat isn’t holding them back. Fat isn’t holding me back. Fat most likely isn’t holding you back, either. It’s the ideas and concepts of the fat body stigma that society has been fooled (bought and sold) into believing thanks to the ever profitable weight cycling industry. These stigmas have not always existed and are quite new in the grand scheme of our civilization. It’s bullshit! All of it! All of the “data” and “numbers” they throw at us are all garbage! Their “studies” are a joke! And so many simply take this on face value. I mean, I used to as well. I didn’t know anything about that stuff, let alone how a study should or could be conducted.

When we never stop to question what’s being shoved down our throats or who’s paying for that message? That is when we stop thinking for ourselves. That is when we are in danger, real danger, of giving up our free will and thinking to corporations. I turn a suspicious eye to any entity with huge amounts of money, no matter where it originated. That kind of money equals power in our modern world and that power (nope, not quoting Spiderman!) is a dangerous weapon or a dangerous tool. I just cannot trust any good to come from such things. I have seen the damage it’s caused and so have you.

I believe that when we do question, when we do speak up and our and show that we aren’t backing down, that is when major sea changes happen. That is when socials norms shift! That is when the powers that be will have no choice but to listen to us. It takes work, it takes courage, it takes so much, I know…but it’s so worth it! I feel so fortunate to have the fat community in my life and to give all I can to it and take what I need from it, too.

“When life is hard, you have to change” came to mind while I was writing this, it’s from my favorite Blind Melon song. I present it to you for your enjoyment (video after the lyrics):

I don’t feel the suns comin’ out today
Its staying in, it’s gonna find another way.
As I sit here in this misery, I don’t
Think I’ll ever see the sun from here.
And oh as I fade away,
They’ll all look at me and say, and they’ll say,
Hey look at him! I’ll never live that way.
But that’s okay
They’re just afraid to change.
When you feel your life ain’t worth living
You’ve got to stand up and
Take a look around you then a look way up to the sky.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken,
Keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin’ it’s time to die.
And as we all play parts of tomorrow,
Some ways will work and other ways we’ll play.
But I know we all can’t stay here forever,
So I want to write my words on the face of today.
And then they’ll paint it
And oh as I fade away,
They’ll all look at me and they’ll say,
Hey look at him and where he is these days.
When life is hard, you have to change.

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3 Comments to

“It’s Not Your Fat That’s Holding You Back…”

  1. On November 8th, 2012 at 2:53 pm Patsy Nevins Says:

    Excellent post & very true. It is not fat that holds us back, but the lack of self-esteem & genuine self-love & the constant anti-fat messages of our culture which too many people take to heart. I have been a fat activist for more than 32 years & I still have to fight every day to ignore the messages, I still have to stiffen my spine & stand tall & speak what I know is truth.

    I have been going through self-acceptance & daily adjustment to aging & the changes my body has been going through. I am 63 years old, disabled by cerebral palsy since birth, I finished menopause some over 5 years ago, my arthritis is becoming more noticeable all the time, & I am the fattest I have ever been, a very natural part of aging & also a natural part of rebounding from my last period of compulsive exercise a few years ago, a period of 4 years of increasing my exercise to 4 hours per day (& lost a grand total of 18 pounds in those 4 years). I have found that it is always easier to accept other people’s fat bodies than it is to accept your own, but I have done so. I could see the beauty in others long before I could see it in myself, but I have for years believed passionately in total, unconditional, uncompromising fat liberation for ALL bodies of all sizes.

    I have to march to the beat of my own drum & ignore the opinions of others, as well as the toxic messages of the media & the weight loss industry. We all do, but when you are an older disabled woman, some people believe this gives them extra ammunition. “You need to lose weight for your health (despite the fact that my disability is a birth defect, not a disease & I have all my life enjoyed remarkable health, so much so that, if everyone were like me, a lot of doctors would be on welfare.) “Your joints cannot carry all that weight & losing weight would keep you out of a wheelchair sooner.” “You are more likely to fall because you are fat.” No, I am more likely to fall because I have CP. I am at about 225-230 pounds, active all my life, still active, about the same weight my able-bodied mother was for the bulk of her adult life & SHE was no more likely to fall than a 130-pound woman because she did not have a disability. She also lived to be 85 years old.

    Anyway, my point is that you 100% right. It is not our weight which holds us back. It is our attitude which holds us back, our lack of confidence, our fears, & it is listening to the bullshit we are fed by this fat-hating culture which holds us back.

  2. On November 9th, 2012 at 6:54 am Donna Skelton Says:

    This is a great article. I’m always amazed at the people who think that their own fat is what is holding them back. They cannot see that they are good, smart, attractive, active (in some cases) people who do not need to punish themselves with extreme calorie restriction and extreme exercise plans. They question their bodies at every turn, and wonder why they’re hungry when they’re exercising and restricting their intake. They buy into everything that the weight cycling/loss industry tells them, without even questioning the weight cycling that they’ve often been participating in the better part of their lives and the damage it is doing to their bodies, minds, and souls. It’s just sad to be surrounded by capable, beautiful, intelligent women who spend so much time fixated on counting and restricting. So much time and money and energy wasted!

  3. On November 11th, 2012 at 5:07 pm anna Says:

    Awesome! Love this. I have only recently realised that I am the only person holding me back. I’ve been running, learning parkour and capioera, and I have so many people say the same things to me. “I could do that if I lost weight!” NO. I AM FATTER THAN YOU. AND I AM DOING IT. IT IS AWESOME.

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