On fat

This has been sitting in my draft queue for over a week. I don’t know why I didn’t just publish it then; I think I forgot about it, or thought it needed more clean up than it did (I only tweaked a couple tiny things; no, it’s not perfect, but I’m posting it anyway, so there). Ah well, better late than never. Also, fair warning: it’s very rant-y and personal. Read elsewhere if your “fuck” quotient has been met for the day.

Did I mention I’m a fat acceptance advocate? ‘Cause, yea, I am. My own mother raised me so, God/dess bless her a thousand times.

So I’m reading with interest this post, and I find it really interesting, and then I read the comments, which are interesting in another way, and then comes this:

“Does there always need to be an ‘underlying cause’ though? ”

When you hit morbid obesity, yes, I think there has to be something that drove the individual to make the worst possible food choices (and continue making them, even if they have WLS).

And I just stop and want to scream at my computer FUCK YOU!!!

Because it’s so. fucking. wrong.

You know why my mom is fat? And I’m talking really fat, lose one or two hundred pounds and still be morbidly obese fat. You really wanna know why?

Because she dieted.

Because she was told that her 170 lb, 5’5″ body, her healthy, strong body, her beautiful, perfect body, was “too fat”.

So she dieted, and lost 20 pounds. And then gained 25.

And dieted again, and lost 20 pounds. And then gained 30.

And dieted and lost 20 and gained 40, and lost 30 and gained 40, and had one kid (while finishing medical school back when women were so small a minority there were “doctor” lockers for the men and “nurses” lockers for the women) and gained 40, and lost 40 and gained 80, and, and, and… Until her body, still beautiful, still perfect, still strong, was actually fat, and not quite as healthy, and in rather more pain.

And no, she doesn’t have the healthiest of eating habits. You wanna know why?

Because she dieted.

Because her entire life people have told her to clean her plate, to not eat so much, that these foods were “bad”, that these foods were “good”, that she could have cake if she were good, that she had to eat her veggies or she’d be bad, that she should just avoid fat, that she should just avoid carbs, that she should just use a sugar substitute, that she should eat small meals, that she should eat once a day, that she should swallow sponges, that she should count points, that she should chew 50 times, that she should drink more water, that she should stop drinking anything, that she should, she should, she should, she should, she should. Golly gee fucking wiz, you think maybe she lost touch with her hunger and her fullness and her inner guidance there just a little bit?

So no, she doesn’t make “perfect” eating choices. And you know what else? Neither do a fuck load of skinny people. In fact, she eats a lot less than a lot of not-fat people I know, and a lot “healthier”, and she’s moving around a whole lot more weight (pssst, weight bearing is good for your bones — her osteoporosis scans give her the bone density of a woman 20 years younger than she is), which, let me think, burns more calories.

So, perfect diet? No, even if there were such a thing. “Worst possible food choices”? FUCK YOU. What the hell does that mean, anyway?

Me? I’m just fat. Morbidly obese? Meh. I don’t keep track. I certainly was, at one point. Why, you ask? It’s called necessary medication, and it made me gain somewhere over 100 pounds (I was fat to start with, and fucking hot, thank you very much), without me doing a thing. When I got off it, I lost 75 pounds, without doing a thing. You know why? Because I’m just fat. Because my body has a weight it likes being at. Because I’m a sedentary American. Because both my parents are fat. Because half of my aunts and uncles are fat. Because I don’t have 40 hours a week to spend in a gym, nor the money to pay someone to oversee my continual starvation. Without starvation and a full time job exercising, I will never be thin. If I moved more, I would be healthier, and have more muscle mass, and maybe lose a little bit of weight, but I wouldn’t be thin. Why? Because I’m just fat. And I am beautiful. And I have a pretty healthy relationship with food. And I am strong. And I am smart.

“Worst possible food choices”? FUCK… well, you know.

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8 Responses to On fat

  1. Fabulous post.

    so says the skinny girl who eats more than most grown men.

  2. I think I love you!

    You are totally right… yes! I am fat *because I dieted*… hell yeah! You know, I hadn’t even thought of it that way. But yeah, of course!

  3. Heck yes, this makes sense. Re: skinny people who don’t make sense: my husband is obscenely skinny and eats about a pound of butter per week.

  4. Korin — Thanks!

    Ruth — the feeling is entirely mutual. And I grew up reading fat-acceptance literature, so it always surprises me that “dieting = weight gain” isn’t universally known, but I’m a narrow-sighted idealist that way.

    Broodmother — it’s actually about as hard for thin people to gain weight as it is for fat people to lose it (really, they should just diet, they’d get there eventually :p ). Although our set-points are changeable (such as via starvation), it’s pretty clear we have them to start with. And “eat a lot/eat very little” and “fat/thin” are two different spectrums (spectra?), with people falling along every possible combination. So a skinny eats-a-lot (hi Korin! ;-} ) makes just as much sense at a fattie lives-on-nothing. Except to our fatphobic kyriarchal culture, of course, but since when does mainstream culture pay attention to silly things like evidence? :p

  5. Americans (generalizing) have such a fucked (carrying the theme) relationship with food it’s amazing we aren’t all dead, or starving. Or wait, maybe we just haven’t reached the end yet.

    I am constantly amazed (I find that I spend a great deal of my life in awe; “How can that BE?”)at the number of people (particularly women) that I encounter who “Don’t eat carbs”, or “white after five” (I don’t even know wtf that is…I think it has something to do with the refusal to eat pasta…), or who are constantly “watching” what they eat. It’s a damn national past time.

    My little sister, she’s eleven, said at Christmas dinner a year ago, WHEN SHE WAS TEN, that she couldn’t eat butter because “she didn’t want to get fat.”

    WHAT. THE. HELL? What happened to being happy with how we are? And if we want to make changes, making them because we want to be stronger, and more capable? Not to fit some stupid, fucking model of cultural plastic perfection?

  6. mercy lawd, i needed this post today (having just gone clothes shopping … that’s a whole nother post in itself …)

    i ate nothing but craptastic junk when i was waify skinny (and at my most unstable too — no coincidence there, huh?), but everyone pretty much said “good for you, you look awesome!” our culture’s obsession with “thin=healthy” is messed. the. hell. up.

  7. This is so awesome. Thank you! Thank you!

  8. Pingback: Shame on shame: fat acceptance, fatphobia, and fitness « Raising My Boychick

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