Size Acceptance

January 27, 2008 at 5:20 am 4 comments

I was catapulted back to my fat acceptance days when I read “In the Fatosphere, Big Is In, or at Least Accepted“. My official introduction to the fat acceptance movement began when I became a member of NAAFA, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, but I had actually started my FA journey well before then.

During my last two years of high school, I had decided I was always going to be fat and that, rather than fighting it and feeling bad about myself, I would celebrate myself in all my rotund glory. I wore funky clothes and generally enjoyed myself in spite of the ostracism from the “in” crowd.

In college, I felt the pressure of living with “healthy”, thin roommates and lost about 40 pounds in the first couple of years of my college career. Then, I revolted in my last year (I graduated in three years instead of the usual four) and put the weight back on. After graduating, I again decided fat was it for me, and I was gonna work it for all it was worth.

Doing that solo was tough at times, so NAAFA was like a breath of fresh air. It was a group of like-minded people who understood the self loathing and discrimination as well as the challenges of finding attractive clothing or a mate. It was through NAAFA that I learned about fat activists, those who vehemently spoke out against the medical establishment, contradicting much of the common wisdom that overweight equals ill health.

Blogging has given fat activists another voice, but the message is still the same as it was in earlier days. “The message from the fatosphere is not just that big is beautiful. Many of the bloggers dismiss the “obesity epidemic” as hysteria. They argue that Americans are not that much larger than they used to be and that being fat in and of itself is not necessarily bad for you.”

Reading the article was bittersweet. Having witnessed my ex-husband’s decline, I know that obesity – in many cases – is serious and has life threatening implications. That’s why I made my lifestyle change. But, I still believe we need to feel good about ourselves and not be abused by others because we don’t meet a physical ideal.

I wonder, though, have I conceded to the establishment by losing 114 pounds and focusing so much on eating and exercise? Have I given in to American cult of thinness? Have I lost something important by no longer bucking the system in a concrete, tangible way? I don’t think so, but it gives me pause. And while I have no intention of giving up on my program, I feel a bit sad about dropping out of the fight for the rights of societal underdogs.

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Entry filed under: about me, news around the blogosphere, self image, Weight Loss Philosophy. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Me! An Inspiration! What If?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bill Weitze  |  January 27, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    I don’t think anyone in NAAFA will attack you for your size. NAAFA is a size acceptance group. We have many thin allies, and some have even been on the Board of Directors.

    But you should keep in mind that, had you made improvements in food selection and physical activity, but had lost say 9 pounds rather than 114, you still would have achieved significant health benefits. And should the weight come back, as it does with most people, and you continue with healthy behaviors, you will continue to see health benefits. That’s the idea behind Health at Every Size (HAES), and many studies support its effectiveness.

    Reply
  • 2. sassysexyshapely  |  January 28, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Thanks for your great comment, Bill. I didn’t think anyone in NAAFA would attack me. They were always great people, very supportive and welcoming no matter how big or small you were. I think it’s a terrific organization. And, you’re also quite right about the health benefits of losing just a small amount of weight or even just improving the quality of the food you take in. Every little bit makes a difference in your well-being, and you don’t necessarily need to lose weight to achieve those benefits.

    What I’m concerned with is celebrating the choice I’ve made – and my success with it – while still supporting what I fundamentally believe to be true: that being fat does not mean you aren’t healthy and attractive and that you don’t deserve to be abused or discriminated against because you’re overweight. The two can seem at odds with each other, and the article made me wonder how well I was doing integrating them.

    Thanks again for reading my blog and posting!

    Reply
  • 3. Fat Bastard  |  September 20, 2008 at 5:02 am

    I have a problem with the notion of fat and fit. I am a fat accepter but NAAFA is full of crap. Overweight people are more often less fit than lean people. The obese always are less fit than lean people. The morbidly obese are worse off than the obese. The super morbidly obese are worse off than the morbidly obese and the super super morbidly obese are worse off than the super morbidly obese.

    NAAFA needs to shit or get off the pot and answer the question, is possible to be too fat.

    Reply
  • 4. How do you see yourself? « Sassy Sexy Shapely  |  November 6, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    […] there are more of “us”.  I remember vividly the sheer joy I felt when I walked into my first NAAFA meeting and saw all the people who looked like me, many of whom were wonderfully wider than I was by quite […]

    Reply

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