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Becca

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Why I don’t like the term ‘fat acceptance’

This is a bit of a weird thing to say on an FA blog but please hear me out.

Firstly ‘fat’ is not a generic quality. We can have a fat arse, or fat thighs, or fat arms, or a fat tummy. We can be short and fat or tall and fat. And all of the types of fat have varying levels of social acceptability. People can look social unacceptably fat at lower weights, but can also pass the socially acceptable/sexually attract bar at a different places. Different body parts have different social values. Fat boobs = SEX. Fat tummy = GROSS.

Secondly, fat is not the only the kind of OK. And ‘fat’ and ‘normal’ are not the only kinds of OK. Beauty takes on different shapes and sizes. To me I want to see diversity in body types, and for that to all be OK.  Female athletes often develop less ‘feminine’ body types and it should be OK to have bodies that look different. My mantra with the kids is ‘if everyone looked the same, we’d get tired of looking at each other’. We talk and seek out shapes in bodies. And our different racial features in our family are recognized and discussed, as are our bodies. We all have beauty to look at.

And thirdly, acceptance? Blah. Acceptance is putting up with. Recognizing. Tolerating. I like the idea of celebrating. Discussing. Embracing. I don’t find an emotional connection with acceptance.

So, when I asked I say that I favor body diversity. I talk about a media that would show old and young, representative races, different genders and different body types.


Love and other cat-astrophes

I have been thinking about love recently. I am coming up for my tenth anniversary with my husband (awww) and still in awe of how I got such a great guy. He is cute, funny, a great father, and an awesome partner in all regards. We are truly better together than apart and I feel quite lucky to have him.

I was talking with a dear friend recently, and we discussed the concept of fat love. It’s been kicking around the blogsphere recently with the Ashley Madison/Juicy Jacquelin add, and the idea that fat people don’t really warrant loving. Or intimacy. And where there is love with fat people, it tends to be two fat people in love. Which is cool. Love is cool. But equally, it would be weird for the only images we see of racial love to be white with white, asian with asian, black with black love. Anyway, we came up with the term “bi-fattual” to describe relationships where one person is skinnier than the other, or fatter, or however you want to draw the reference line. And that’s me and my hubby. He is at least 10 kgs lighter than me. It’s Ok. Because relationships that last years (and decades!) are not about looks. Because how many 80 years old look at a partner of 60 years and see the person they married. We change. The flesh suit is malleable. Relationships are about personality and connection. And we can get there regardless of size.

This the card I got my husband (by www.ableandgame.com). Adorbs, no?

Love me the way I am by able and game


Swimmers (yeah, have you got your SWIMSUIT BODY)

Its that time of year where all the magazines seem to have articles about swimsuits for every size. But, seriously, it’s swimsuits for every size up to size 16. It seems like the actual outfit of anyone of a larger size at my local pool is a one piece with a pair of boardshorts with a one piece swimsuits.

My choice was a polka dot swimmers from Kmart. They look very much like this this pair from asos but go up to a size 18 and cost $19.

If you are a bit shyer about your thighs and just want a splash around this is nice and goes up to a size 30 – available from figleaves.com.

For some Aussie brand Sue Rice are cute and go up to size 24. Yet, the corset fit kind of worries me. RELAX in your swimmers. BREATHE.

This is my current lemming from Kiyonna, a convertible swimsuit. I want this so bad for summer. Its available in a few colours, up to size 32 and $140 ish. Num num num.

So, yes. You have your swim suit body. It’s your body. Dunk it. Cool down. Enjoy yourself and be in your body rather than outside judging.

Oh and the final option, in the privacy of your own home or appropriate zoned swimming area is chunky dunking (thats skinny dipping for fats :) )


Hospital stays & independence

I’ve recently done what, even for me, is a truly bizarre injury. I fell over coming into my building on a rainy day, where the marble foyer floor becomes slippery slick when the weather turns. And as I fell I threw my hands down to break my fall and broke *both* wrists. It’s a surprisingly debilitating injury as you can’t do anything without help. You can’t eat (well other than face forward cat-like nibbles), you can’t type and you can’t drive. My assistant has been doing a remarkably buoyant job of taking down by dictation as voice recognition SUCKS. Especially if you have a broad accent as I do.

Being in hospital is always a strange experience. I was about 40 years younger than most other folks on the ward. We were all struggling with wanting to be home and wanting to get some independence back.

It reminded me more than anything that I have a (generally!) functional body. I don’t hate it. I want to be healthy. I want my kids to see me being present in my body and maintain their presence if their body. And when I forget, I can think about when I’m older how I will look back to this time as a time of energy and activity. And then I can look at my boys and remember that they naturally stay in the moment, eat when they are hungry and enjoy climbing and running and stretching. And use those thoughts to bring me into myself, today.


My health at my size

When my asthma is out of control I need to go on steroidal treatment (which is most often prednisone). Streoids tend to make me, for want of a better word, puffy. I gain weigh in my trunk which is a common side effect of prednisone. Abdominal weight gain is a common side effect of prednisone. I also have to accept other side effects of my treatment as cost of being able to breathe easily.

For me the relationship between health and weight is not linear or causal. My weight (or at least size) tends to fluctuate with my health but I have decided that I will focus on the directly controllable parts of asthma management;
- regular exercise
- avoiding the allergens I can (ie cigarette smoke)
- flu vaccinations
- healthy diet (in the sense of avoiding my allergens)
- appropriate asthma medications

Within my plan I need to accept some things are not directly controllable. I cannot control when pollens bloom, when I catch various respiratory viruses, or when bushfires occur,.

There are plenty of resources that suggest there is a relationship between obesity and asthma. And yet, for me I’m divorcing the issues. My health is not my thighs. My health is not pants size. My health is being able to breathe and laugh and live my life.


FATsion – sometimes it’s about covering your butt

A lot of the FATsion articles I see have really gorgeous dresses and skirts. The kind of retro cool clothing I wear in my head with swooshy skirts and cool fabrics. But it my life I am either in the office in a reasonable corporate environment, or in my other job I am looking after my kids and I wear the unofficial uniform of the stay-at-home mother which is a nice-ish pair of jeans and a top. I spend a lot of the day either giving chase to runaway toddlers, crawling across playgrounds doing my best impersonation of lions or leaning down to wipe down most noticeable dirt. By elimination I have discovered that most of the somewhat stylish jeans in my size either assume a waist that I do not have, or drift down to show significantly more of my body that I want to share with the playground crowd. (Or indeed anyone who is not a medical professional or related to me).

There are some gorgeous plus size brands out there include SVOBODA and Embody, but I’m a little worried about paying $150+ for something I haven’t tried on and potentially could make me look like a toadstool. My current favourite pair is Lee “Slender Secret” jeans. They come in plus sizes to a 24W in my favourite style (and up to 30W in some others). I am a ~18-20 at the moment and wear the 16W. They have a waist band that is much higher in the back than the front and avoid both muffin top and sit a good 12cm higher than my target jeans. They have a range of leg cuts and colours, and the sale price sits around $US30. I tend to order from JCPenny who are usually good for a 20% off discount on retailmenot.com. This means I pay about $40 with postage for a decent, flattering, long wearing, and ass covering pair of jeans. I’m not convinced they have a slender secret by any means but they get points for not riding southwards easily…

So what’s your favourite pair of jeans? Any tips on local Australian retailers with decent jeans under $150 – please leave me a comment below. I live in jeans!


Hello world

Hello world, I’m the latest member of the Axis of Fat . I’m a mother of 2 boys who are 4 years old and 1.5 years old. I’m 33 at the moment and had my first child at 29. It was a pretty big shock for me in more ways than one. I’d always been a professional working in high intensity, very make dominated fields with little though to the ‘feminine sphere’ – house, family, child rearing.

As some one who had tended towards chub (at my skinniest I sit around a sz14-16, currently I sit around at 18-20) , I wasn’t as alarmed as many women are about the changes in my body during pregnancy. They all seemed very alarmed about stretchmark, but fuck that noise, I had stretchmarks at 14. Now my stretchmarks had friends. The mind uck for me came after my kids where born. You see my oldest boy was skinny. Really skinny. And having a baby is a through the looking glass experience for anyone who has struggled with weight because it’s all about getting your child to gain weight healthily and this was especially true with my first son who was born slightly prematurely (at the same gestation as myself, which is relatively common for children of prematurely born mothers). And instead of women boasting or commiserating about weight loss they boasted about how much weight their baby had gained that week. Weird. And my kid, somehow given both his parents build, was tiny. I had no end of doctors telling me to make him eat more and offer him more food. Our house has no shortage of food and it’s not like we ration I felt like yelling. Somewhere along the line, at about 18 months old I realize that my kid has stayed about the same weight percentile (and indeed height percentile) no matter what I did. Huh.

Then I got pregnant with baby 2. And this child cooked a longer and came out looking plump. He fed well and had rolls on his rolls on his chubby thigh rolls. People stopped me to tell me “That’s what a baby should look like” and the nurses told me what a good job I had been doing.
Huh.

Now the boys are eating (or at least being offered) the same food. And it continues. They are both very active and eat pretty healthy meals. But I have one boy who nibbles everything on the plate, squirms and talks until he’s allowed to get down from the table and one who eats everything in front of him then scavenges his brothers left overs, anything from his parents plates, anything he can find in the kitchen! One is so slim the doctor comments on how he has no meat on the bones while the other boy, well, the doctor comments on how much he looks like his parents.

And then I realized;
I love them both with no regard to their body shape. They are beautiful and the size they will be, and their beauty to me is not in spite of their bodies but due to their perfect little bodies.
And then I realized;
That must mean that I have beauty in me. Not in spite of what I look like, but because of what I look like and who I am.

And here I am talking about body image. Not accepting yourself in spite of, but finding the beauty that is in you. That was always into you. That we can all see.


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