For me, Fatness is a thing I have been trying to escape for as long as i can remember. To be fat is to be ashamed or week or stupid or selfish or just incorrect. I have been told over and over again that it is within my control and it is my fault that I can not or will not conform to the standard of a "normal" body weight and shape. I have been made to feel responsible for other people's discomfort with my size and shape.
Sometimes this makes me feel defeated. Other times, I feel obstinate and defiant. I experience phases of devout effort to change my body one molecule at a time. I become certain that my body is an important project and I am powerful enough to defeat fatness. I have ignored my body for long periods of time and taken up residence in my mind and just prayed that my body would continue to carry my head around the earth.
I have cried.
I went to my first weight watchers meeting at the age of 11. I went to a very special program at the age of 15 that was supposed to be a super fun time for fat kids to tell us about diet and nutrition. We occasionally met each others eyes with an understanding of one another's torment. The Mary Kay lady came to lift our self worth by telling us how to apply lotion and make-up. She was so very disappointed that we couldn't express our gratitude through our humiliation. We were scolded for being rude. For us, being fat was the worst possible outcome and our families were trying out this desperate hail mary to save our young lives.
I dieted. I did point systems, veganism, vegetarianism, paleo, atkins, southbeach, master cleanser, and whole 30. I did them all, weather they made sense or not. I ran. I walked. I swam. I did aerobics. I did crossfit, tae-bo, zumba, yoga, hot yoga, px 190, and spinning.
I went to doctors. I tried to have an honest conversation about this struggle. I tracked my food in 5 different apps. I took pictures of it. I fasted. I overate.
I said fuck it. I tried to forget again.
I began to feel the world get smaller as I got larger. That is a metaphor and a real thing. Chairs and doorways began to shrink, the amount of retailers that could provide me with shoes and clothes began to dissipate. The cars I wanted to ride in were fewer. Airplanes became a hell scape.
I got scared. What if I can't stop it? I began to freak out. It got worse.
I wondered why? What can I do if none of that stuff works? I felt misunderstood and judged. I haven't walked in a McDonalds in 15 years. I don't drink soda. I eat kale for fucks sake. (PS, I also eat cookies..sometimes..just sayin). I felt like I was becoming a non-person.
What I do now is try to not get involved in the why am I fat question. I instead try to understand my overall health, which seems to be pretty good. I could use less stress and more sleep, but I am pleased with everything I have figured out to live a good comfortable life.
Now, fatness has the power I assign it. I continue to practice giving it no power.
There is no way to be. There is no promise of a body that looks any way. I strive for function and a long life. When I feel discouraged, I find things that I love about my body.
My body can squat 230lbs.
My body can stand on its hands and its head.
My quads are a national treasure.
My eyes are mostly green with gold and brown flecks.
My body made a human being.
My body can bench press 190lbs.
My body supports a whole family.
My smile is magic.
My body will destroy every shred of injustice in her path.
My body has a resting heart rate of about 60.
My body runs touchdowns.
My body is constantly revealing more ability.
My body hosts my soul.
My body realizes my highest intentions.
My body will not be punished.
My body will not spend another day being held to someone else's standard.
My body will continually teach me and others.
My body is learning to rest.
My body is learning to bask in grace.