Friday, January 3, 2014

It's Not Okay To Be Fat

You know what I am thinking about? How many people are trying to lose weight for their resolution.

A couple weeks ago a guy posted a comment about how it has become 'okay' to be fat. And how it is so not okay. I've heard enough fatist comments to understand they stem from ignorance and you can't change that sort of way of thinking. Not with a blog. Not with carefully crafted responses. Not even with a 'fuck you'.

But this is my place, space, home. And I am wondering where this guy came up with his information? Who ever said it was okay to be fat?

I have heard it out of zero mouths. That's a whole lot of no one.

Besides, who decides what fat is?

My boyfriend doesn't think I am fat, but I know a lot of other people do. My weight alone puts me in an overweight category, according to Dr. Googles (thanks for that, Dr. Googles, I thought we had something special). There are plenty of people who would be horrified if my thighs were their thighs. Or ass, for that matter. And men and women alike, all over the world, think I should dedicate more time and energy to upgrading this outer shell of mine.

But here's the thing. I like it - this shell. It's awesome, because it works. I mean, there are weird hairs and cellulite, stretch marks and jiggly bits, but it's mine. It functions. And it's kind of fabulous, if you squint and cock your head to the side.

For that I am grateful.

And is it not okay for me to be this size?

To some, yes. To others, no.

Fine, I am not obese, or gigantic, but I've been a lot heavier than this. I know how hard it is to lose ten pounds, twenty pounds, thirty pounds - actually, I lost fifty. Fifty pounds. It took a long time. A lot of work. And a complete mental overhaul. And even when I was 210 pounds, or 190, or 175, didn't I have the right to be okay?

Isn't it exhausting thinking you can lose fifty pounds and still be considered overweight?

That's the world we live in. If it isn't one thing, it's another.

So, no it isn't okay to be fat.

And, hey, even when you drop the weight, or half the weight, or get to your goal, it still won't be okay. Because we live in this incredibly messed up world where how you look will never be okay. Not to them. The masses. Society. Beauty magazines and peddlers of face cream and lip liner. They don't want you to be okay. Because if you're okay, you aren't buying into the diet fads and multi-billion dollar fashion/make up industry.

The truth is, I want you to be okay. Happy. Content. No matter what your weight is.

The facts are:

Every single woman (and a lot of men) in my life has made a comment about wanting to lose weight.

My friends, which there are a surprising ten, are not happy with the way they look in a bathing suit.

My Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr feeds all had people talking about how they are going to get in shape, drop the weight, stop eating poorly, exercise more.

No one seems okay with their weight.

You can't argue with that. It isn't okay to be fat. Not for any of the people I know - it isn't what people want for themselves. Except that one women whose goal was to weigh a ton.

It's why they count calories, feel guilty about eating a box of cookies for dinner on a Saturday night, skip meals, jiggle their bellies in disgust when they look in the mirror, obsess over how little exercise they get, and get sucked into crazy things like Isogenics, where they limit themselves to four hundred calories a day. They feel uncomfortable in their clothes, and out of them.

But isn't that the goal?

Discomfort means someone in the marketing world is doing something right.

I guess the 'why is it okay to be fat' comment irritated me because I know how un-okay it is. I don't consider anyone I know to be fat, or myself for that matter. That's the honest truth. But I know society does. I know how hard it is to lose weight. I know how frustrating it is. How sometimes it feels impossible to drop the bullshit, to let go of what's holding you back, and take the first step. Celebrating who you are is important, if you are skinny, average, chubby, obese. Just look inside and see the person you want to be. Strive to be them.

I know how damaging words can be, even stupid Facebook status updates that aren't 'directed towards you' but that hurt. Words cut deep. Because they are the greatest weapon ever used. And this thing called life? It's defeating. It's not easy. Some days, it's down right inconceivable to be okay. Sometimes just getting out of bed is a chore. And I get it. Digging yourself out of a slump requires tenacity, which is another word for energy, and that stuff doesn't come cheap. Change isn't a walk in the park on a sunny day. Change is a swim in the ocean during the most tempestuous storm Mother Nature ever conjured up and your companions are ravenous sharks. Oh, you have a cut on your knee too.

I know. I get it. I see how we are raised to dislike ourselves. To think there is always room for improvement. And how much money marketing and advertising companies make. They wouldn't make those kind of bones if it didn't work. Not to mention the chemicals in food, how they effect our bodies and brains. How over-processed what we eat and drink is. Also, how by the time we have the knowledge to make an informed decision, the damage has usually been done. High glucose corn syrup, I'm looking at you.  Did you know there are addictive chemicals in food? It's why you have cravings, and it exists.

In the end, there are a lot of things working against us. Because the FDA and big business love to cut corners, we kind of got screwed. But why do we continue to allow ourselves to be screwed? It's time to take responsibility, inform ourselves, and say no. I see a hell of a lot of people doing that, working towards just being okay.

And I think it SHOULD be okay for everyone to be okay. No matter what their weight is. There has been a huge 'love yourself' movement in the past decade with companies focusing on advertising with 'real' women. Laws to cut down on photo shopping. Fashion companies being forced to use models in all sizes. How is this bad? Why is it wrong for people to be happy with who they are? Accept who they are? Love who they are?

It is okay to be fat. Because I say so. 

Just like it is okay to be Christian, Asian, skinny, freckle-faced, tattooed and hairy.

I believe everyone has the right to just be. And maybe that's another thing I am grateful for. Being open-minded and compassionate enough to understand.

Besides, you're beautiful. Don't you know?

No comments: