Monday, October 5th, 2009
Being a fat acceptance blogger doesn’t mean you won’t feel down sometimes. It doesn’t mean you will come across things that make you question what you believe. It doesn’t mean you can brush off all the hurtful words as ignorance. But that’s OK.
So over the last few weeks I’ve been feeling a bit anxious here and there when a few medical symptoms have come on. Also during the last few weeks, I’ve been really into myself about being fat yet again. I’ve equated fat as being bad and that to be healthy I need to not be fat. That doesn’t sound very fat accepting, and it isn’t. However I went there and I’m happy to admit to my flaws.
I’m fairly new to the fat acceptance concept compared to some of the other bloggers on AoF (like my wife) and so I still sometimes struggle with the idea. I still have thoughts of “well it’s not healthy to be fat, that’s why I’m sick” or “I feel so tired – if only I wasn’t so fat!” What is important to remember is that even the best of us at some stage can go back to old, more familiar habits without realising it.
When I think more clearly, the issue is clearly a health one. If I exercised more, I would be healthier. If I ate better (fresher foods; foods that don’t upset my reflux; smaller portions which is also important for reflux) then I would be healthier too. Doing these things would help me to be healthy.
“So?”, you say. That’s a weight loss program.
Yes, it is. But what if I lost no weight? You can eat the perfect diet, and do the perfect amount of exercise and still be fat and healthy. What’s so wrong with that? If I have a general level of fitness and a generally good, nutritious diet, then so what?
Weight loss isn’t the goal. Healthiness is the goal. If I aim for health and achieve it, it doesn’t matter if I’m fat or not. What matters is that you accept me no matter what shape I am, or what level of health I have.
To me, that’s fat acceptance as I understand it.
Disagree? Talk to me.
Monday, September 21st, 2009
In my moments of drifting off to sleep, I like to imagine that I’m running. I run all over my neighbourhood, up the hills and through the streets without regard for any body looking at me. In my reality, I am faced with many Australians who not only wish ill on me, simply because I’m fat, but wish not to see me. On nights like tonight my imaginings turn to anxiety and I am kept awake with panic, so I’m turning to blogging to express a few things on this particular topic. Hear my rage internet, indeed!
Any online news story on fat issues, or the “OMGbesity crisis” (thanks Fat Nutritionist for that one) will have a herd of representatives from the hive mind piling crap on fat people. “What about your health?” “What about my health care premiums?!!” “TRY A DIET, FATTY!” (As if we HAVEN’T!) This abuse extends beyond the URL into the IRL – many of my fat friends have experienced abuse hurled at them from automobiles while they are literally treading the footpath. Uh, hello… is there a supplement for irony deficiency?
Right now, the issue of exercise is something I’m battling with. I can’t afford a gym membership (nor am I sure I want one), home exercise equipment is too bulky for my unit, but worst of all I’m developing a severe phobia of exercising outside by myself. If I’m honest with myself, I can admit that I have never been abused while out exercising. I’ve had beeps and yells of appreciation (at least, that’s what my self esteem registered them as!) but I’ve never experienced the horrid displays of abuse that some of my friends have experienced. Yet… I fear them.
When I was trialling the services of a personal trainer (something I don’t have access to any more, much to my sadness) I felt like it was totally ok for me to be running in public. Because someone was there instructing me, someone I trusted to back me up if I did encounter that special brand of arsehole who doesn’t want people to focus on themselves and their fitness. Now and then when my husband and I can match up schedules we’ll go out together and have a clandestine run… through patches of footpath that are heavily shaded from view of the very busy main road.
But wait – that isn’t fair. It’s not fair that, in the act of doing something perfectly normal and healthy, I feel I have to shield myself from public view. It’s not fair that I’m afraid of exercising for fear of abuse. It’s not fair that making fun of fatties is acceptable, and it’s completely screwed up that people feel they are justified in making fun of a fat person when they are exercising.
Beth Ditto is on the cover of Italian Rolling Stone this month, licking her toes in a pose that requires an incredible amount of flexibility. Regardless, the Perez Hilton post is full of half-wits bleating on about how fat people are disgusting (as well as how unladylike the pose is – which is ANOTHER rant for me!) If you are honestly offended by someone exercising, stretching or using their body in any matter of ways – please GTFO off my planet. What kind of sensitive snowflake are you that you feel another person’s body should modify itself to fit your worldview?
I want to reclaim my world, my body and my health. I want to trot down the main street wearing skins (i.e: tights) and not give a shit. I know my body can do amazing things, but somehow… sometimes… I feel the world doesn’t want to see me doing them. And that’s really unfair and harmful to my mental and physical wellbeing.