I was telling Hubby how excited I was that I’d done my first post on the Axis, and the more I enthused about Fat Acceptance, the more I could see his face cloud over. After a while it was hard to keep up the enthusiasm.
Then it struck me: “Do you think me getting more involved in body acceptance is just an excuse for me to pig out?”.
He didn’t know how to respond. Not because I’d hit the nail exactly on the head, I think, but I do think he’s not quite sure what to make of all this, why I want to get so involved or how it might change me or how I HOPE it might change me.
And in that moment I, for the first time, formulated the biggest reason this movement means something to me; what it’s meant in my life.
Let me preface this by saying that size isn’t the only issue here. I’m not the most motivated or dynamic person in the world. I have struggled with depression. I may lean towards a binge eating disorder. I am bad at facing pressure and challenges and stress and tend to escape into inaction, lethargy, reading, eating, or a combination of these things. I am innately lazy. And I really do love to eat. So his concern isn’t a function of being a fat-o-phobe, but of his knowing me well combined with a lack of understanding.
“No, this isn’t me looking for excuses or to stop trying to be healthy. But I’ve spent literally decades on-and-off obsessing about what I eat, how I look, diet and exercise, and about whether I’m good enough. And the net result of all of it was still being fat, and being unhappy. Now I’ve found a way to at least be fat and happy.”
So that was my big epiphany. I’m not giving up on some thing that I tried and failed at which would have, if I could just have been good enough at, changed me into my inner Perdita. I’m walking out of a bad relationship; tired of being lied to and having my self confidence eroded away.
If the physical result of yo-yo dieting (and all the rest) is the same* as learning to love who I am, just as I am; and the emotional result is far more damaging, it’s a pretty damned simple equation.
* and that’s not even touching on the topics of whether long term dieting actually leaves most people fatter, or the long term effect on health, both of which have been extensively discussed in the fatosphere by people far more eloquent and informed on the matter than myself.