I’ve always been ‘big’. Even as a size 12 (which used to be a goal, and is now considered huge) bulimic 14 year old, who would pass out at school because she hadn’t eaten; was embarrassed to be seen eating (another story for another day). I was called fat, and all the other permutations of what I then believed to be a slur. Fat it not a slur, it is a descriptor. I am fat. I have fat. I have friends and we are fat. Call me fat 20 years later and I’ll say, “yeah, no shit”! I am proud to be who I am. Proud to be big and beautiful, on the inside and the outside.
So why a post like this? Why am I setting myself up for some serious snark and a metric ton of spam emails wanting to sell me slimming wraps and juice and shakes? If you flip back through my blog you’ll see I have tried such things, much to the scorn of some die hard ‘fat is a feminist issue’ people, even though fat is a feminist issue.
Because I am to fat!
If you plan stop reading right there and comment, please don’t, because I am just about to do on to qualify that assertion. While I won’t keep stopping during this post to say, “hold on, wait up, let me explain”, I will be explaining (which is not the same as making excuses). I was going to title this piece “how to piss off your plus size friends” but it wasn’t good for SEO.
Weight loss is a touchy subject for the plus size community (which I very much consider myself to be a part of), and in part rightly so. When you have a body that others have decided is too big, there is an assumption that you are just going to get round to taking care of that and losing the flab just as soon as you can. It even comes at us from plus size clothing companies, the people who want our money. Fat people money! Touched by greedy fat people hands! If that’s the attitude of the people to whom it is financially beneficial for is to stay fat, can you imagine the comments we get from companies in whose financial interest it is, not necessarily for us to actually lose weight, but ideally to yo-yo for years, so we just keep coming back for those shakes and meetings and food boxes where every single meal, from chicken curry to macaroni cheese has the same taste to it? Tell instagram you’re plus size and you’ll get 50 instant subscribers from people wanting to sell you ‘that weird wrap thing’. You don’t even need to try it, just stand up straight, get some good lighting and some flattering panties, and HOLY SHIT, what a transformation! WE don’t like those people to much, us fatties. What many tolerate even less, is dissension in the ranks…
How can you say you’re too fat when you wear the same size as me?
How can you say you’re too fat when you wear a smaller size than me?
How can you believe in body positivity and not be positive about your body?
Because this one is not about you, it’s about me. Just me. It’s about this one 34 year old woman with a butt load of disabilities & chronic conditions under her ever widening belt. It’s about life getting harder as my weight has increased. I love my life, for the first time in a long time, and I want to get out and live it. I can’t do that at this weight. I physically can’t.
Over the last 4 years I’ve put on 4 stone. Some of that has been the odd take away and one mince pie to many, most of it has not. I’ve had an untreated under active thyroid for as long as 4 years. I’ve had 5 pregnancies and lost 5 babies, probably due to the thyroid issue. I have had the disbelieving stares of a slender female Doctor who says I can’t possibly be sticking to 1200 calories a day and not lose weight. The disbelieving stares of your slimming group leader as you gain and lose and gain and lose the same pound for weeks. Her going over your food diary verbally to try and work out where your going wrong, and still not believing you when it turns out you’re not.
It is possible to be healthy when you’re fat and unhealthy when you’re not (rewind to 14 year old me if you want a quick illustration of that point). Fat people aren’t greedy, aren’t lazy. We aren’t all the disgusting words that get thrown at us if we’re seen eating a burger in public. Maybe the only treat of the week we’ve allowed ourselves, that we’ve ‘budgeted’ for and looked forward to all week. Maybe this is what we eat for lunch every day. It’s nobodies business but ours. I love that about the plus size community, we know what the world thinks of us and we don’t care, on our own or as a “murder of fatties”.
I speak to and for a great number of plus size men and women when I say that it’s my body and my choice. For me it is a medical issue, but even if it isn’t I think that a person should be able to lose weight at any time without engendering criticism or losing friends, just as would be expected were we to lose weight. My confidence is quite high enough. I do not need the constant edification of someone telling me ‘wow, you look so well (read: you’ve lost weight)’. I have the scales to tell me that, and I have plenty of amazing friends who tell me I’m beautiful, just as I tell them. Get me within 50 feet of a gorgeous man of woman, from tiny to roly poly and you will catch me saying “damn, your hair, bag, coat, figure, lipstick is slammin'” [side note: don’t presume the big girls and boys don’t get my stares, because I love a curve most anywhere on a persons body, don’t even get me started].
I want to fix my body, it’s health, and for be that includes addressing my weight. I want to make a body to put a healthy baby in.
Thank you for reading