I believe that fat people are more than just the fat they carry. They are more than the stereotyped image of the fat person who is lazy and eats all day. They have lives and families. Yet they seem to be open targets for public shame and humiliation. It seems that so many people are all too willing to poke fun at someone who is fat because of some preconceived notion that all fat people choose to be that way. Just because fat is so obvious. It cannot be hidden. It can't be tucked away within ourselves or stuffed in a box and stored under the bed. It can never be a secret.
I'm pro-fat acceptance because I am pro-human rights. Fat people have a right to feel comfortable in their own skin. They have a right to leave their houses without shame or fear of being mocked. Other people do not have to like it, but they certainly do not have a right to make someone feel less than human because of it.
Sometimes I love my body. Sometimes I feel like the sexiest freaking person in the universe. My husband thinks I’m sexy and we have awesome sexy times together. He’s the only one I’ve ever been with that has made me feel that way about my body. He appreciates me and my body…. not me despite my body. He is my best friend and he has helped me in my journey towards self-acceptance. My husband is my hero.
It hasn’t always been this way. I’ve been in a few relationships where my body was not sought after. Times when my body was used against me. When I was told it was ugly and not worth the passion I was willing to give. I believed that I was not worthy of love and that I should be grateful for any kind of affection that I received. As my high school crush so “eloquently” announced to the entire class, “No one wants a big fat cow.”
I guess that’s why, the night a man, my date, decided to rape me, that I translated it as love. He must love me if he was willing to have sex with me. Who would want to sleep with me unless they loved me. Who cares if he pinned me down and took off my clothes with tears in my eyes and a no on my lips. Who cares if he was so rough with me that he made me bleed and then yelled at me for doing so. He must love me, right? That’s why I stayed and endured his abuse for some time. He never cared that I cut myself because my heart ached so bad and I just wanted something to dull the pain in my soul.
I look back on that girl I used to be and she seems like a stranger. I don’t understand how I could have valued myself so little that I thought that I deserved to be treated with such hostility. I wish I could go to that young woman that I was back then and tell her that she was beautiful. To tell her that the size of her body didn’t define the worth of her life. I wish I could have told her that she didn’t have to hate herself. That it was okay for her to have sexual desires (because she felt ashamed and unworthy of those desires). Though I cannot, I cradle her in my memories.
I hear so many girls talk about how they want to lose weight so they will feel better about themselves, but that is flawed logic. That is trying to fix something based on the symptom, instead of the root of the problem.
The root of the problem is not your body. The root of the problem is your self esteem.
If you are losing weight so you can love yourself, feel beautiful, etc, that is conditional love. The thing is, life is unpredictable. You could break your leg, and not be able to exercise for a year, and gain 40 pounds. Your relationship could end. You could lose all your hair. And if your self esteem is that fragile, if you are only loving yourself because of the way you look, you aren’t REALLY loving yourself.
Really loving yourself is loving yourself unconditionally - the same way that the people closest to you you love unconditionally.
Would you ever, in a million years, say to a friend, “I love you so much… unless you gain ten pounds. Then we’re done.” or “I’ll think you’re pretty once you go down a few dress sizes.” No. Never. You love them for them, no matter what they are going through, how they feel, or what they look like.
You deserve the same respect.
Loving yourself, and taking care of yourself - that should be your number one priority. Because if you work at it, you get to a really safe place, where you know, you’ll be okay no matter what.
You know that even if you gain 20 pounds, even if the person you are in love with falls out of love with you, even if your hair falls out - even if things that really scare you happen - if you unconditionally love and take care of yourself, you will KNOW that you will be okay. No matter what. You will love yourself no matter what, and know that you are beautiful, no matter what. How nice would that be? To actually really, truly, feel worthy, and loved, and beautiful, regardless of a number on a scale? Just because of you. You you you. Because you fucking DESERVE that.
If you love yourself, you won’t need to lose weight. If you love yourself, you wont’ need anybody else to tell you for you to know that you are beautiful, brilliant, worthy, important, and awesome.
It’s the root of everything. You. You will be with yourself for the rest of your life - you are the most important thing. You might as well make the relationship between you and you a good one, since you’ll be committed to it for a while.