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    AMBIENTRAYN   12,229
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I'm Fat, Not Stupid

Sunday, February 03, 2013

I'm fat, and I don't use that word to insult myself. If I were thin, I would say it just as matter-of-factly: "I'm thin." I use the word 'fat' like the adjective that it is. I'm fat, female, near-sighted, a bibliophile, human... it's just a word.

So why do people try to fit so much meaning into those three letters?

As many fat people have, I've received lots and lots of "great" advice about how to reduce my level of fat. I've gotten tons of tips on how to "drop a few pounds," "lose some weight," "get down to a healthy size," or "start a weight-loss program." Fortunately for me, although most of the advice was unsolicited, it was at least kindly stated. Rarely have I ever heard intentionally rude or derogatory comments about my weight. No one means to hurt my feelings, but occasionally they have. Mostly, though, they've just baffled me. Why was everyone so focused on the how? What about the why?

Do people truly think that I am fat because I simply did not have the access to a good health plan? The right diet book? I just didn't understand how to navigate the complex aisles of the grocery store? Could they really think it was that simple?

I wondered if people imagined me standing next to my refrigerator, chugging soda and cramming doughnuts into my mouth at a frenetic pace. Perhaps they envisioned me making a trip down fast-food lane for every meal, and then topping off every cheeseburger with a gallon of ice cream. Maybe I skipped brushing my teeth in the mornings in favor of waking up to chomp a few candy bars before my 25 pancake breakfast. Surely they didn't think that... right?

Even if that was how I gained weight, rather than being a sign of ignorance, such destructive eating would obviously be a symptom of a more drastic problem. I am not a stupid woman. My food choices had nothing to do with a lack of common sense. My decision to remain fat for many years was not a natural consequence of having no other options available. It went much deeper than a love of sweets. And that is why I nodded at the great weight loss advice, thanked those who truly wanted to help me de-fat myself, and went on my merry way. Because they didn't get it and taking the time to explain it just wasn't worth the effort at the time.

To be fair, the why of my unhealthy living is a deeply personal issue. If someone had taken the time to ask, I'm not sure what my answer would've been in the past. I have a pat answer prepared now though: "I'm rethinking my relationship with food," is what I'll say.

If anyone ever bothers to ask.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSGOAT9699 2/13/2013 1:02PM

    I really enjoy your blog, you're a very eloquent writer. Isn't it something that people assume others are stupid b/c they're fat? I once had someone tell me to, "just push away from the table", and then laughed in my face. I once had a group of college kids follow me across campus taunting and harassing me, some of it very lewd behavior, it was very demeaning. Fat shaming is gaining ground and its just another sign of the moral decline in today's society. UGH! I could go on and on! Anyhoo, great biog! emoticon

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PICTUREME40 2/4/2013 11:10AM

    You are so right. I had to learn about being a emotional eater and how and why it began. If we try diets but don't give ourselves different coping options we will turn right back to eating because it works and is something we are use to doing. It's a habit. The good news is it can be replaced. If this has been a issue for you than check out this book that I read " 50 ways to self-soothe yourself with out food." by Susan Albers. You just might learn some different coping skills.
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KIMS_SHNOOKY 2/4/2013 9:33AM

    Insightful and thought provoking Blog! Excellent!

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KIMS_SHNOOKY 2/4/2013 9:32AM

    Insightful and thought provoking Blog! Excellent!

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LYN-EDWY 2/4/2013 1:54AM

    emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 2/4/2013 12:16AM

    Fantastic blog! emoticon

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JASI27 2/3/2013 12:49PM

    EXCELLENT BLOG!!! You hit the nail right on the head. It is much more of an internal emotional battle than a food one! Good luck to you on your journey and may you find all the healing you deserve!

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BOOKWERME 2/3/2013 10:26AM

    Excellent blog. emoticon

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AHGIRLS 2/3/2013 10:24AM

    You are so right! There is so much more to it than how to lose weight. Different things work for different people, but the first thing we have to address is why we are struggling. Once we do that, our weight loss journey can really begin.

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KIDMIFFY1 2/3/2013 10:06AM

    You are so right. People always seem to want to provide you with a stock standard way, or counsel you on how they lost their weight....but as you and im sure all of us know we all have our own relationships with food, exercise and ourselves we need to resolve. But it is a significantly more complex issue to ask why are you 'fat' not how can you change. Only when you realise what is holding you back from a more healthy lifestyle (note the use of words.....i didnt say thin) then you can make a difference. Its such a healthy attitude you have, and you should be proud that you are aware that the core issue here is not whether you have the right tools, resources or knowledge, but that you have the motivation to reevaluate your relationship with yourself and food.

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EOWYN2424 2/3/2013 9:50AM

    I hate it when people keep saying how fat I am too!

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MAMISHELI53 2/3/2013 9:32AM

    I clicked on your link. You're indeed off to a good start. Take advantage of Spark's many resources. Their articles are veryinformative. They also have some great workout videos. I take advantage of some of the seated workouts because i have to be considerate of my joints which are dealing with arthritis. It gets harder to work off the weight the older you get, so it's great that you're doing this now. Blessings on your journey to a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE! "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. " Gal. 6:9

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