Accepting Fat

10 Jan

As I posted on Facebook sometime last week, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of fat acceptance.

In general, I think the fat acceptance movement tries to promote equality.  I am the first to agree that anyone who is physically and mental able to perform the job at hand ought to be given the chance to do so regardless of their body size, skin color, or who they choose to love.  I have often wondered if the world might not work a bit better if employers could look at resumes without names or addresses and just evaluate candidates based on their qualifications.  In public settings too, I am all for accommodating everyone.  No matter who you are, you should have access to adequate health care, a good education, and a chance for a happy life.

I think it’s important that we learn to love ourselves despite, or even because of our flaws.  I think that no matter your size, and no matter the cause of your size, you should be able to name at least five things you love about yourself.  Not about your life, not about your job or your friends, but about YOU.  At least two of those things should be physical.  To be fair, here are my five things:

  1. I really love the color of my eyes, and how expressive they can be.
  2. I have a lovely shape.  It may be larger than I’d like right now, but the shape itself is really great.
  3. I’m a smart girl who loves learning and will work hard to do so.
  4. I am a good friend.  I listen, I offer advice and support, and I genuinely care about my friends’ happiness.
  5. I have a tremendous capacity to love.  Just ask my beautiful family.

Having said all of this, I sometimes worry about what movements like fat acceptance are doing to our overall health.  Why does loving yourself and being proud of who you are suddenly mean that you shouldn’t be as healthy as possible?  Shouldn’t a genuine love and respect for yourself mean being the healthiest you can be?  Shouldn’t it mean wanting to be around for as long as possible, to share every beautiful thing you have to give with the world?  I really like me, and that’s part of why I am trying to make the right choices.  It’s hard, and I will slip more than once.

When I slip, does that mean I should hate myself?  When I go for months not doing the right things for my health, should I beat myself up over it?  Of course not.  I think THIS is where self-acceptance should come in.  Love yourself enough to give yourself a break, to forgive yourself for whatever you may have done or not done in the past.  Let go of issues and excuses and guilt, and just give yourself permission to start over.  Start over ten thousand times if that is what it takes, but keep starting.

Keep going because you’re worth it.  Keep going because you’re too beautiful, fabulous, smart, and loving to let your health deteriorate because of a misguided notion that loving yourself means letting it all go.  Love yourself enough to be the best you possible.

I’m trying.  Try with me?

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5 Responses to “Accepting Fat”

  1. Rasee January 10, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    This is beautifully written.

  2. Patty Horst January 11, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly!

  3. elizabethsheryl January 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    For awhile, I really liked the FA movement and read some of the less-political blogs about it and had my fair share of outrage over things like charging more for airline seats and the like. I think that the fat acceptance movement has their hearts in the right place, but I feel a lot of it is SO politically correct that it verges on mania.

    The problem I faced, was that I was 278lbs, and NOT healthy. I was having health problems, and I fit the stereotype of the obese person they are always talking about on the news (something that annoys me and I still believe is bigoted, also the headless obese bodies make me want to scream). I was 22, pre-diabetic, having sciatic nerve pain because my hip was going out of alignment due to so much weight in my stomach…i am apple shaped so that’s the “bad” shape to have as far as weight issues, i also had sleep apnea, borderline high blood pressure and high cholesterol. NOT. HEALTHY. But…because I wanted to lose weight and take care of myself, that somehow means that I didn’t accept myself how I was. That was the frustration I had with FA. I chose to have wls as a tool to help me get better control of my health, and I was a traitor. It upset me, because I DO believe that there are people who are 250 (or more, or less) pounds and who run marathons and are not unhealthy, they don’t have insulin resistance, or blood pressure issues etc…but that was not me, and that is not the norm. I learned from my time absorbing FA mottos/values that I have value no matter what my size, but that I could not ignore the fact that for ME, MYSELF AND I, I was not healthy the weight that I was. As you can tell, this is a touchy subject for me! haha. I wish that it wasn’t such a militant and political movement and people could be more honest, but it seems like you have to be all or nothing and that is flustering.

  4. Wondy January 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Brilliant. And yes, I’m so totally with you.

  5. Beautiful Mess January 12, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    I’ll try it with you! I’ve tried very hard to love myself and keep me healthy. I sometimes get discouraged when I reach my limits and I tend to get down on myself. I will try not to get TOO discouraged with myself and my physical limits. Such as not being able to reach items high on shelves or carrying a heavy box of china by myself. I won’t get mad at myself when my jeans are a little snug. I will also try to put healthier things inside my body.

    I like the curves of my body. I accept them and won’t roll my eyes when Dirty comments on them.
    I am a caring, loving woman.
    I am smart and love learning new things.
    I am patient. Not all the time, but generally I am.
    I like my lips. They are full, round and the perfect color.

    Thank you for this! I needed it today!
    *HUGS*

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