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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I'm Fat and Don't You Dare Tell Me Otherwise

So here's something that has me worked up enough that I'm actually going to finish and publish a post.

Being fat has come up for me quite a bit lately or at least this year. It started with a partner who told me that sometimes he simply didn't find my body attractive. He started telling me this when he met me and I was more than a hundred pounds overweight. I perfectly well understood what he meant. At the time, I never found my body attractive so the idea that he ever could was something of a surprise for me.

So over a year went by and we come to early this year. I hit my lowest weight ever (in my adult life anyway) and I was pretty well exuding sexy. No matter whose numbers you looked at, I wasn't more than a hundred pounds overweight. I have no idea what's a healthy weight for me, but at my best guess, I was at the point where I was only 65 pounds overweight. At the same time, I was getting attention from the male half of the species pretty much everywhere I went.

And then I got stressed, for a number of reasons which are not important here. And I was dating, a lot, so I was eating...a lot. And I gained five or so pounds. And then one partner didn't find me much attractive anymore. For that and other reasons, he stopped wanting to have sex. And the first partner broke up with me. Ouch. Two blows to my ego. But I had one remaining. The one that bristles anytime I call myself fat. So I wasn't in too bad of a way in self-image. Great!

But wait...not great.

I have a problem with this. I have a problem with fat acceptance that is so damn accepting that it denies who a person is.

And honestly, I bristle at most fat acceptance articles and memes I see. And I bristle at people telling me I'm not fat.

Are you kidding me?! I am five foot two and weigh over 200 pounds. THAT. IS. FAT.

And the point here is not "being self-accepting": I love me. In fact, I really love me. I am a great person. I am goal oriented and achieving of goals I set for myself. I take pretty good care of myself, there's nothing wrong with me at a fundamental level.

But none of those facts change the fact that I am not at a good physical weight. Yes, my "numbers" are all phenomenal. Blood pressure, cholesterol, et al are great, perfect even. But carrying what I calculate to be 74 extra pounds as of this morning is not healthy and you can't convince me otherwise.

But that doesn't stop you. No, not you. Not a specific person, I'm talking about the general population. More than half the time, the first time I say something about being fat or feeling body conscious, somebody has to argue with me.  Somebody has to argue that I'm not fat or I look good or something of that nature.

And hey, that's fine. I understand that some days I still have the sexy going on, I know I do. But my clothes have all gotten tight and that's simply not acceptable. And what I'd like to bring to your attention, yes you, dear reader who may well be guilty of this: When I say I'm fat, if I sound like I'm depressed, sure, remind me I'm pretty or I have a great personality, but please don't tell me I'm not fat.

And here's why: By telling me I'm not fat, by telling me it's okay to be 74 pounds (or whatever) overweight, you are by commission telling me it's okay to be not healthy. And you are telling me that my desire to change myself for the better is not okay. You are saying that all of the health problems I am already starting to experience at 33 years of age are okay.

But they're not. I want to live a long life. And I want to be able to enjoy that long life. And realistically, it's not going to happen if I stay this way. My recovery from my recent car accident is hindered by my extra weight. I told the doctor I've been working to lose weight and he replied, "Yeah, it'd help a lot if you dropped about 50 pounds." And yes, he was being insensitive or whatever, but he was not wrong.

And I understand that part of this fat acceptance campaign is all about being nicer to our fellow human being and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I have never once told a partner that I didn't find them attractive this day or that because they carried some extra weight, because I believe that what makes me want to spend time with someone or not depends in large part on their personality, not their body. And I don't want to lose weight because I want to look like Kate Moss or some other such public figure because I don't care how thin or not anyone else on the planet is.

So please, I beg you, stop undermining my weight loss efforts. Stop telling me it's okay for me to be overweight when I tell you I don't feel good in my body. Stop telling me it's okay for me to eat whatever I want when I know it damn well isn't. And for the love of all that is good in this world, stop treating me like I have self-esteem issues just because I want to change something about myself. I can love me and be happy with me and still want to improve.

--Signed, A disgruntled fat chick

P.S. The partner mentioned above only bristles when he smells potential esteem issues. He is completely supportive of my desire to be healthy and lose weight. More on how everyone can do that in a future post.

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