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Thursday, August 9, 2012

WHY I'M FAT



We all know the scenario. An "overly" fat person is walking down the street, thighs touching, pace slowing, arms jiggling, breath heavy and the people... oh, the people, they gawk. Oh that poor thing they say, horrified. Or, look at the whale someone else spits. Society as a whole; mourning, berating, pitying, hating, and mentally crucifying a complete stranger's outer shell. But WHY? Why I ask you? Well, once again, it was the Mad Men. The guys who figured out that if they could create the impossible body and market it, they would make millions while everyone tried to attain the unattainable. There would be no money for them without the beauty myth and so... they eliminated fat folks from "the desirable list" all together. Too easy, not enough money to be made. Wanh wanh.

We are repulsed by fat people because our reality has no frame of reference for us to sort them out in. They are not represented in the majority by our media and we don't know how to visually process a human that isn't lean, airbrushed, and perfectly put together. They must be a mutant! we silently gasp. And... when we do see some fat people in the media? Well, they are usually portrayed as evil, silly, or stupid. Ursula, Suki, or Costello anyone? Evil, silly, stupid and sometimes old. Rad.

No matter how you slice the cake, fat people inevitably make others uncomfortable due to the societal consensus that they are and will always be unacceptable. The feeling of discomfort is what drives painfully deep into our insecurities and searches out our fear of ourselves not being okay. We get scared, and then we get angry. So you're scared and angry, I'm scared and angry, he's scared and angry, we're all scared of and angry about something that has absolutely nothing to do with us: a strangers body shape. Christallmighty y'know? In order to not sound like an absolutist I'll humor critics and say that yes, perhaps, maybe some  fat people could curb their consumption and slim down, but this would most likely cause grief, stress, suffering and/or pain... if it didn't cause these distresses, they probably would curb themselves naturally. But you're asking them to fight the urge and endure that internal hell... for what? So you don't have to experience the discomfort of your own insecurities? Come the fuck on.

It's shocking to me that the general public thinks that fat people delight in sickening others with their fatness. That we fatties roll around in desserts all day drinking milkshakes with pixie sticks just to make others squirm. I find this egocentric view to be nauseating and offensive... but it also sounds like fun. Fat is not as simple as a metabolic table or a caloric equation; the fact that most people think so insults my intelligence. We live in a society that has only begun to recognize mental health issues publicly, and we're talking major classifiable ones. The stigma attached to having any sort of mental illness is gargantuan and those who openly declare their brain health are met with a discerning eye. This is the problematic majority of our "obesity crisis". Which, I don't think anyone needs to be policing my "crises", but even when they do they go about it the wrong way. Case in point: The Partnership for a Healthier America.

Michelle Obama, I know you're just trying to help the fat kids in America get nutritious food and feel healthy, and that's great... but what about psychiatric support for children with predispositioned depression? When they eat to soothe, what about the larger issue? What about body love and acceptance ads that make kids feel GOOD about themselves? How can telling a child they are part of an obesity crisis motivate them to be healthier? What about the malnutrition they have no escape from because of their parents inability to work... what does giving them an apple do for the ramifications of that? Fucking apples.Why doesn't anyone understand that preventative mental healthcare supersedes and benefits all other types of care? Ugh.

The reality is this: fat is caused by a lot of things that I feel are gently classifiable into two areas: the biological part (physical health) and the psychological part (mental health). I also believe that socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds have a giant hand in this, but usually the reasons can be classified in the two major guys as well.

Biological. Some people are fat just because they have big fat bodies. I am not a nutritionist, doctor, or nurse, but I do know that some peoples bodies are just hereditary large. This size can also be compounded by medical issues that many people deal with. Any size frame can become fat simply from a hormone or glandular imbalance. Certain fat people have been known to eat legumes and spinach for months and lose only 3 pounds. Fact.

Psychological. This one is tough to put into a singular paragraph. Perhaps it will become clearer when I explain why I am personally fat, but lets just say this for now: food is more than sustenance. Food is what our culture thrives around ("Thanksgiving") and it has become the ultimate form of self care. Ever heard of "stress eating"?  People with depression tend to eat more for many reasons, one being self compassion or a tangible hug. Food is survival, we need it to live; farmers became wealthy and powerful because they were able to stockpile food and live longer. Food then became a means of control. Food also has a direct correlation with mood. Sugars and starches stimulate serotonin production; it's almost like a high. Fact is, our brain and our mouth are so excessively linked, to ignore this partnership would be foolish.

So me? Why am I so fat? I'm touched that you care, I would be happy to share.

The simple one is the biological factor. I inherited a fat lovin' body. My mom's entire side of the family struggles with weight and I find it a little funny that I have a body identical to my mothers... it's literally identical. I can see the similarities in the weight fluctuation, fat deposits, and general heaviness. I used to call it "big boned". I know better now, it's just fat. Oh well.

I also was born with a brain disease. A chemical imbalance in my brain that gives me chronic and severe depression. This is where the line between bio and psych gets preeeeeetty grey. My brain does not produce enough chemicals to keep me balanced and so while I went un-diagnosed and untreated... well, I ate to self medicate. Kind of like drinking and drugs only more frowned upon. That particular reason is physical... but the residual effects from it are all psychological.

My psychological reasons for eating have been present my entire life, as I developed Borderline Personality Disorder while raised in an emotionally abusive setting. I'd love to talk more about BPD another time, but now I'll just mention that along with this diagnosis comes a lot of shame and guilt which tends to compound upon each other. I would eat to sooth (or even just to nourish myself) and thanks to "the beauty myth" I would promptly feel awful about myself. I would then spiral into a worthlessness state of being and admit defeat to my body. I would give up ever trying to be okay, because the outcome seemed impossible at best.  I also ate for control. When I was vulnerable and young, I had very little input over my choices so I would eat to control at least something in my life. I sometimes still do this, I wonder if I always will. I also think that I grew up being told by everyone and everything that I was utterly unlovable. Sometimes when people feel this type of inadequacy all the way down to their core, their self protection mechanisms come flying out. My strategy was to MAKE myself unloveable (through being fat) so that no one could love me even if they wanted to. Again, with the control. Sigh. I may or may not be a control freak.

The cultural aspect also comes into play because the majority of my eating habits were learned. Excessive consumption (based off my parents bio/cultural/psych imbalances and needs) was common and my Dad reveled in late night snacking. Socioeconomics also comes into play when families endure poverty and then finally have enough to fill the table. Over consumption to compensate is common, and we had a touch of this as well.

So, in a word: it's really fucking complex. Fat people aren't out to get anyone, we are all just living our imperfect human lives just like you. Maybe you buy clothes every time you feel out of control and maybe I eat. We're doing the same self care type of thing... it's just that people view mine as socially unacceptable and I can be judged at a glance. Fortunately for the "hypothetical you", your closet is at home and is only evaluated by those you allow inside of your room. I don't have the same luxury. I wear my fat on my sleeve and I have come to be okay with this. Being fat is like being short. Or tall. Or bulky. Or blonde. Or bald. Or any of the other inherent characteristics that our bodies just are. Solving the appalling obesity crisis is not as easy as just not eating junk food. Its not as easy as getting your fat ass off the couch. It is backed by so many psych, social and bio components that we make ourselves look silly when we say "just stop eating so much!" Good god. I haven't even TOUCHED on the whole subject of fat and health and how that gets misconstrued.

Here's what you need to know about my fat body: it's only a small part of who I am, it's allllllll mine, and it's no one else's business.

I'm okay with being fat. Get over it.

58 comments:

  1. How have I never stumbled on this blog before? I love this post and you officially have a new reader!

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  2. Great post my dear! I feel ya.

    xx, C

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  3. You know how you said that eating is frowned upon for self medicating while drugs and alcohol aren't really. That is such a shame. One eating is way healthier than drinking and drugs, but the fact that it's frowned upon just makes me sick.

    Also, I have a book that you may want to read. It was a "textbook" for my philosophy class. Actually, the class was called Philosophy of Food. A lot of my friends make fun of me that I had a class like that and say that my school isn't "real" because there are classes like that. ANYWAY, the book is called "Cooking, Eating, Thinking. Transformative Philosophies of Food." It's a compilation that was edited by Deane W. Curtin and Lisa M. Heldke. There's an excerpt in there that talks about food and control. I think you would really like this book.

    Enjoy the rest of your day my dear.

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  4. Wonderful post! I am fairly new to trying to accept myself as I am. You would think that after being on the planet for 47 years I would realize that a thin me isn't going to happen and that I could either stay emotionally dead and hide or accept myself and live. I am trying to do the latter. I love your blog!

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    1. Its funny how elusive the concept of happiness is:)

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  5. so, i know i've left this comment a few times lately but i mean it. you are awesome.

    i'm pretty new to your blog but every post i read impresses me more than the last. thank you for being so open and honest about who and what you are.

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  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and I’m blown away (as always) by your ability to honestly and eloquently share your most personal experiences. But I do think you missed something big here – many, many of us have become obese NOT from genetics or mental illness, but from the “treatment” for our mental illnesses: psychiatric drugs are a major cause of obesity and metabolic changes and, in a country where at least 1 in 5 people are on psych meds, there are plenty of us dealing with massive weight gain as a result (and the societal shunning that entails). If you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend these starter resources for mental health activism (hope I haven’t gone off on too much of a tangent!):
    http://www.mindfreedom.org
    http://amzn.com/0307452425
    http://amzn.com/0465020143

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    1. Penelope, thank you SO much for bringing up this issue. It's one that while honed in to my major life experiences I forgot. So great.

      This is such a legitimate issue too.

      The number of american adults claiming a diagnosible mental illness just rose from 1-in-4 to 1-in-3. This is not saying that mental illness is spreading, but rather that more people are being treated. So YEAH, this will probably grow and grow as we become more and more accepting! ALSO... what about the weight gain from birth control or other meds that change our metabolism or hormones? SO YEAH! Whaddabout that?!?!?

      And no need to apologize for tangents. I am actually MH Professional and work in recovery/rehabilitation... so I'm allllllllllllll about advocacy! Thanks for the links!

      Xoxoxoxo

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    2. Such a good point! I've been medicated with steroids my whole life, and that has contributed to my fatness. I love you both.

      Stephanie
      www.bassability.blogspot.com

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    3. Thank you for bringing this up...I was going to do the same (until I saw your comment).

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  7. I just discovered this blog by means of your post on Sometimes Sweet. I decided to look at your blog and this is the first post, and I love it. Definitely coming back. :)

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    1. Lucy (I like Lucy:)) Welcome. I love your plus size problems the MOST. Welcome:)

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  8. " we are all just living our imperfect human lives just like you " <--- Love that quote.

    What a great entry.

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  9. It takes a lot for me to read that many words on a blog. Love your work :)

    Jacqui

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  10. I'll admit, I've had this post open for a couple days and I just completed reading it. And I love it. Jes, you write from such a personal place, but you write about it with a tone that is not overly emotional, but so so well informed. Body Image is an issue everyone deals with, and out society is so ingrained with the pressure to be and look perfect. I love to see women who talk about the obvious impossibility of this desired perfection, and how in fact sometimes that perfection can rob us of something so precious, or conflict with the way that we actually function as people.
    Though our bodies are judged daily by the people we interact with, we are all more than just bodies.

    Thanks for being rad, Jes!

    --Erin
    predictionspast.blogspot.ca

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  11. I love you. Have I told you that recently? This post is pure and simple beauty Jes and I love every word. Thanks for being you. And thanks for being my friend.

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  12. Hello gorgeous lady! Would you mind changing the link on this to my new blog?
    It's now morgueinblack.blogspot.com and I'm going under the name Morgue ;D

    Love! <3

    (previously Allie of Notesofadeadprofessor)

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  13. Wow this was really powerful stuff. My problem is when I get really depressed or stressed, food is detestable to me and I end up not eating. The body and mind really are complex and there's never a one step solution. Thanks for sharing your story, it meant a lot. =]

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  14. Hey Jes, just found your blog and I'm REALLY enjoying it. I'll probably be haunting the other posts soon with more comments! You write so well and I can see from your comments you inspire a lot of people! Just thought you should know... as a child, I got The Little Mermaid for my 7th birthday on video. I remember watching it and thinking 'Wow, Ursula looks like a lot of fun to hang around with'... I think it was the close up of her applying her lipstick.. so sassy! Anyway thanks for being so honest and cool, you've got a new reader here from the UK! *hugs*

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  15. Alexandria

    I don't know if this is the right place to comment, but I remembered something while reading this post. Have you ever seen the show Drop Dead Diva? It's about two women who die at the same time, one a kind of air-headed, thin aspiring model (who mysteriously develops a personality after she dies...), and the other a brilliant, successful lawyer who knows nothing/does not care about fashion and who is fat. Well, "fat". Probably like a 14-16. The model's soul ends up in the resuscitated lawyer's body, and she initially flips out, but slowly "comes to terms" with being fat. I was excited at first to watch a show with a "fat" star, but over time the actress changes the way she plays the character to this overly-acty, just kind of fake, annoying cutesy, everybody-look-at me thing with less intelligence. I really don't need to see that. But, what really pissed me off was, after she got over her body hate, was that she simply could NOT avoid eating treats and snacks! If someone brought in a plate of cookies and she ignored it to conduct business for a second, she would get this little cutesy thing and be all "excuse me tee he he" and grab a cookie, even if she didn't seem to want one, or always be grabbing the donuts, you know, all that. Like fat women have zero self control and always want sweets/food. So I never finished the show. It's too bad, because it had potential in the beginning. Fat female lead, skinny-for-life model learns a lesson, fat chick being intelligent.... it just devolved.

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    1. Bette
      Please DON'T dismiss the portrayal of this character. Some fat people DO crave sweets like that.....as do some "skinny chicks." Case in point, Kyra Sedwicke's character in "The Closer!" When she's stressed or just wants to relax, she goes to her office drawer FULL of candy bars and other sweets, and zones-out on them, eyes glazed over. As a fat person (mostly from age 9), I was amazed to find my teen daughter truly addicted to candy bars. I couldn't figure out the attraction and the need to hide it. She's now an adult, has her cravings more under control, and is about the same weight I am (also "fat", but don't gain huge amounts of weight every year....and also don't diet.....just "keeps an eye on things") MY weight gain was due to love of "regular" food....and BREAD, not sweets. The women I dine with regularly, always look to me for confirmation when they want to order dessert for all of us, and can never figure out why THIS "fat girl" just shrugs and says "get what you want; I'll just try a teaspoonful!" Of course, I asked the waitstaff to bring out more bread as MY "dessert!" BTW...I felt "fat" and awkward as a size 14-16 teen, and just feel like ME as a size 18-20 adult!

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  16. Wow! I am so glad to have "met you" through your blog. This post hits home for me. Thank you for sharing.

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  17. This is beautiful, thank you for sharing. I gained a lot of insight and your post generated a lot of different thoughts for me. You're so right about the complexities of everyone's lives, it seems like such a waste of time to pick apart somebody else's choices or assume anything about their lives. I especially appreciate your honesty regarding mental health, it is such a challenge to disclose our bouts with depression or any type of mental health concern. I'm so happy to have stumbled across this blog, consider me a follower!

    You're beautiful. I love your hair too, my hair is also purple :)

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  18. You're absolutely fantastic. I deal with mental illness as well, I have bipolar 2 disorder. You have made me rethink a few things with this article. You have a new fan here. You're fabulous!

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  19. Right on sister!
    People don't understand how mental weight can be. I have suffered from extreme depression and anxiety for a long time now. Though I really doubt mine is due to a chemical imbalance, and I wish it was that simple, mine is more because of my childhood. Or rather lack there of. Compounded by two sexual assaults, and a violent robbery, paired with a verbally abusive relationship, and a mother who promotes bad self image in early adulthood. Lets just say whatever shit hand the world could hand me, it has leading to a point I could no longer take it and then, BAM!! Depression in its darkest form.
    This just makes me feel better, and like I am not alone which was just what I needed today. I am currently in the process of making changes to my life that I am struggling with. So thank you for the courage to carry on.
    ~Myst~

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  20. I had to get a tattoo on my wrist to remind myself that I'm worth something. Before I was treated for my depression I constantly saw a knife (in my mind's eye) slashing my wrist. Food was definitely used for medication. In fact, when I started my SSRI I lost 6 lbs because I didn't have those overwhelming late night cravings anymore. The tattoo says, "valiosa," valuable in Spanish. I look at it when my father treats me like a housemaid and not his precious daughter and when my size 2 sister tells me that my cleavage is, "a bit much" for running errands. I talk about my depression like a born again Christian talks about being saved, because I want people to know they aren't alone. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Thank you so much for articulating this! Been there, done that, wept many tears into the plus-sized T-shirt. All my life, I've either been "too fat" or "too thin" (too much emphasis on the "fat" part led to a bout with anorexia nervosa when I was in college...but I wasn't acceptable then either!). It's such a complex issue, and people just don't seem to want to accept that.

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  22. I so agree with you. I love your blog. This particular entry was the same as my story as far as hereditary and depression. Unfortunately, I was not diagnosed until I was 42. By that time, a lot of damage had been done. Thank you for putting into words what a lot of us are thinking and for standing up for yourself, and us in the process.

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  23. umm not sure how i found this blog but is amazingly inspiring, im only 18 years old and have ben constantly harassed about being fat and overweight. as a little kid its not something you want to hear, iv always ben fat, both my parents are fat as well so it may be some genetics, i get depressed alot and at times never new why, but reading this blog and all the things youv posted helps me see a new light at the end of this tunnel. your words have helped me become more open and pursue the guy i love even tho i though hell never like me because im fat and insecure. my life has had an astonishing turn, i found i can love myself and its ok, and in turn even the hot guy i love, finds he loves all of me, mind and body, not just ok with it but adoring me. so thank you for helping me find that hope in my young yet still learning life!

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  24. Wow you understand me. I need to find people like you in real life. Where r u?! ;)

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  25. "It's complicated" yep. Isn't it funny how our weight bothers other people more than it bothers us? And of course it's like you said...their own insecurities.

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  26. I've said this before and I'm saying it again... I LOVE the things you post!! When I was first going through social anxiety in high school, I would vomit all the time (before going to school, once I got to school and again at lunch), I was soooo skinny from barely eating then throwing up my dinner I had eaten. I had a boyfriend who was quite a bit older than I was, he cheated on me a few times and would make me feel horrible about myself, I became depressed and slowly began to gain weight. We eventually broke up and I started vomiting once again and lost a lot of weight. I was decent until things began to happen with the guy I'm with now. We've been together for over 6 years now but it's been a HELL of a ride with him calling me names (fat, worthless, useless and so on) which made my disorders skyrocket. We've gotten thru it all though and he doesn't do any of that anymore but my mental disorders are still around and I'm at the most I've ever weighed. I'm not ashamed of it; I use to be but slowly have been being proud of who I am. And all I have to say to you is I REALLY look up to you and YOU GO GIRL!!! :D

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  27. Since I was a kid, I was always too tall, and from junior high on I was forced to shop in the women's section because the "Junior/Teen" clothes were way too small. I can’t remember the last time my mom bought me less than an XL shirt. I also live with my LITTLE sister, who is a taller, thinner, healthier, smarter, (meaner but) much more popular version of me. It seems weird for me to look up to her because she's younger, but I really do, and she knows this and is really condescending sometimes. She wants to be a Nutritionist, of all things, so you can imagine what I hear every day. I'm squishy, but I've done a lot of self-acceptance recently, so I feel better about it. But the (admittedly small) things I deal with every day make me hate myself sometimes.

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  28. I am so glad you re-posted this today. I have fallen in love with your frankness and insight in just 24 hours. I don't know how I've never seen you before, but you can bet I'll be reading everything you post now. You have SO hit the nail on it's chubby little head here! You wrote my life. Thank you.

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  29. very well put,especially the last line :)

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  30. I'm not usually one to leave comments on blogs, but I ran into yours yesterday on facebook & fell in love. I'm a girl with a little extra to love and now that I'm older I'm learning you have to love your body no matter its imperfections. Things that I'd never wear before like sleeveless shirts or strapless tops, because I'm top heavy & had to find good breast support, I'm now wearing & loving it. I'm currently warm encouraging friends and family members to live their bodies, whether they lose weight or not, because when if that hatred weight is lost they'll just find something else about themselves to hate. So thanks for the encouragement!

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  31. You inspire me :)

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  32. I only realized last year that I am an emotional eater.
    I found out I wouldn't be getting any FAFSA money to help with school and would have to pay for it out of pocket. I immediately went to the circle K on sixth and speedway and bought twenty dollars worth of doughnuts and chips and chocolate then sat on my floor and ate it all. Even while stuffing my face I knew why I was doing it but I couldn't stop myself. I was too overwhelmed. I had gone into auto-pilot.

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  33. Thank you so much for this!! I stole your idea and wrote my own but I did link back to you :) apt35.com ... I love your blog I am a silent (until now) loyal follower

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  34. Where have you been hiding? I've just stumbled across you, and you have a new reader for life. Thank you for being so open and honest

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  35. You are a joy! Count me in as another reader for life. I'm a size 14 and tired of being shamed by my supermodel size 2 stepdaughter. My husband loves my curves and I am working hard at loving myself. Keep sending us the truth, girl!

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  36. Jes-
    Where have you been all my life? You are the best friend I never had...I have been a curvy girl my entire life. I honestly appreciate your candid honesty (a trait I wish I had) You know it's funny, I was just stressing out this morning ohmygah what will I wear etc etc etc. I am a new mom and am carrying a smidge extra weight and it is hotter than hades where I live. I try to cover myself up but a friend pointed me in your direction to this blog. I took my cardigan off! I am sleevless for the first time in a year! What an empowering woman you are!

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  37. Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to combat psychological disorders is just, if not more frowned upon than eating. Unless you are saying it's more frowned upon than just using those substances recreationally, which is true, but then eating recreationally isn't frowned on more than drugging recreationally either. Michelle Obama's campaign to end childhood obesity isn't about everyone being disgusted with someone who isn't "airbrushed" (which is a ridiculous over generalization), it's about parents feeding their 95lb five-year-old McDonalds and Soda every day. That is completely irresponsible as a parent. To just say "let parents make their kids fat, and then when they are you have to love them that way" is detrimental to the children because countless (literally, try to count them all) scientific studies correlate obesity with a multitude of illnesses like diabetes, congestive heart failure, and general shortened lifespan (to name three). I'm not speaking for the MINORITY of obese people with genetic abnormalities (hypothyroidism, etc.) but the MAJORITY that are fat because we live in a country whose citizenry is pacified with excess and placated with Baconators and 24/7 digital screen time. If you are over 18 and you are fat and you don't care if it shortens your life and you believe you are beautiful than that is wonderful and you are a stronger person than most of the "thin" people out there because loving yourself is the most important thing in the world. But a child doesn't understand the repercussions of living that type of lifestyle.

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  38. I love this post! And, I love that you live in Tucson. It's my hometown, and I now live in Tempe but I often visit Tucson to see friends and family.
    I'm glad you're so empowered and that you are comfortable loving yourself. I find that to be my biggest struggle, and also find it really hard to block out all of society's noise. I don't often think of myself as fat (5'5", about 179) but I'm sure lots of people in the world might. Funny thing is, when I was in high school and lots of time during college, I thought I was fat and I wish to God that I looked now, the way that I did then. A few years ago, I dropped 34 lbs by running regularly and eating a more nutritious diet. I'd love to get back to that state, but there's a whole host of things holding me back. I hope to one day get back to where I was, because I felt better, even if I still wasn't rail thin even at my lightest. Thank you for your blog, you now have a new follower. Feel free to check out my blog as well, www.ovenandapron.com (food blog!)

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  39. Rolling around in desserts drinking milkshakes with pixie sticks all day sounds like a lot of fun. I want to join you.

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  40. After loving everything I've seen so far(just discovered you an hour ago), I am so thrilled that you understand me, without even knowing me. I was diagnosed with BPD a few years ago, and diagnosed with Depression at age 18(seven years ago). I feel like every person who truly has that personality disorder is a member of a special exclusive club of strange folks who are just trying to get along with the world.

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  41. I just came across your blog today and I am already OBSESSED! There needs to be more of you in this world! xo Katie

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  42. I'm so shocked, all you are saying are excuses not to do efforts. Go to the gym, eat lettuce and stop moanning that it isn't your fault. Spoiler alert : YOU are responsible for being fat, not the society, not your parents, not the biology, only you and your lazy behavior. I've been to california once, and i've witnessed fat people in a motorised wheeling chair, not because they can't walk but because they are too lazy to do it on their own. The same people were claiming that they could't loose weight, that it was genetic. Shame on you fat lazy americans.

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    1. YOU are probably the biggest arsewhole I have ever read! OK, miss knobby knees, walk straight, get knee surgery, wear longer dresses, its your fault your knees are knobby!

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    2. Excuse you, Miss/Mr. hateful fatphobe...you have no idea what it's like for us, so you can just find your own way out (this is for the arsehole, not the person who replied above me ;) )

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  43. Don't hate me because I am a man, please. I just wanted to say a few things. I relate to a lot of things that you all say. I am fat, but I was always big even when I was a kid. I was skinny during my teen years, but that was because I raced bicycles all the time, and riding 10 miles wasn't even a thought. I am VERY big now though. 38 jeans and 2x shirts, although if I wear a tank top it's just an extra large. I'm only 5'9". My soon to be wife thinks I am sexy, but I don't. I have a nice looking face, but it all goes downhill from there. I have a big belly, and I am working on getting rid of it, but I can't. It's just there getting in the way when I try to get in booths at restaraunts. The problem has gotten worse since I became the blacksmith at my local museum. I may have to go to 3x shirts. I do eat a lot, but for me it's because it takes a lot of energy to keep somebody as big as me active. And I try to stay active. I'm getting ready to get my bike back from my dad, and although the 10 mile rides are way out, a couple may be possible. I'm not trying to delude myself into thinking I'll be skinny again because I never will. I've accepted this. But I do enjoy riding my bike. Just realize, it's not only women who have body issues.

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    Replies
    1. You are SEXY! Because you have more to give your bride than a buff body. Feel good about who you are, and be active because you just like bike riding past new scenery. When I look at what you said about "the world out there is not made for me", meaning the booths being too small - Protest! Because it is the greedy restaurant owner who wants to pack just 6 more tables in to make more during the lunch hour, that he doesnt really care about any of his guests! Tell him he needs to find a comfortable table or you will eat somewhere else! He is just a small person wanting to control you for the sake of his wealth!

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  44. Jes,

    How have I never found your blog???!!! You're amazing and I'm in love! I just found you from your spotlight on CNN living. Props sister on that!

    Been reading through your blog now for 4 hours. I've gotta say, you're incredible and it's refreshing to know you won't let anyone tell you any different.

    I am a "normal" sized guy (whatever that means) but my wife is a big girl (size 18) and I'm crazy about her! We've been married 14 years and she is the girl of my dreams. I say that to explain that I totally understand your plight. I have passed on your blog to her and I know she will become a frequent reader (as will I).

    Please know that you are crazy sexy and beautiful and I am so happy we have found your blog. Keep blasting along! I see amazing things in your future!

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  45. My metabolism was screwed when I was a baby. Fact.

    My mother worked full-time so I was left with a nanny. One who didn't feed me. She would drink my formula and claim I was well-fed. Also fact.

    After they found out and got rid of the nanny, they found another one who vowed to fatten me up. So she did. By overfeeding me.

    As such, I have no memory of EVER being thin. I grew up in an Asian country, so you imagine the social pressure as well. Every parental figure I had would tell me I would die young and alone because I wasn't thin. They were openly ashamed of me. I had to wear clothes from men's department as a teenager because nothing else fit. I STILL have to import my bra.

    I'm 26, I'm at my largest now, and even then I'm only a size 16/18. Yet society didn't want me to exist, they pretended I didn't exist, and they continue to pretend I don't exist. Or at least, if I existed, that I should wear nothing more than burlap sack.

    Of course, I was also born with Borderline Personality Disorder, and I'm still fighting to get my family to accept that I didn't "make it up so I'd have an excuse for my behavior". I'm mentally ill, and no, I didn't CHOOSE to be.

    Thank you SO much for putting your writing for everyone to read.

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  46. I can relate. As a fat kid, I was teased by my own family/friends/kids at school growing up. When I would hang out with my prettier skinnier cousins, I wondered why I couldn't look like them. I felt pretty worthless growing up, and still do (I'm 31 now). I have major self-esteem and body image issues. I'm just now beginning to like my body, but most days I hate myself. After a very painful breakup, I decided to start exercising. I was a size 22, and now I'm a size 16. I lost 50 pounds so far, and I'm just trying to tone up now. I don't care so much about sizes or what the scale says. I base it all on how good I feel when I stand naked in front of the mirror. I'm still not fully happy with my body (the jiggly bits bug me), but I feel a whole lot better about myself than I ever did. I'm losing weight for me. I exercise because it is the best form of therapy I have found, and I absolutely love it. I love food too. I have had bad eating habits and a problem with portion control since I was a kid, but I'm learning to make better choices. I will never be a size 2, 6, or even a 12. I don't want to be. I love my curves. I don't want to be skinny. I just want to tone the jiggly bits, but still be a curvy girl. I admire any girl who's confident whatever her size is. I want to get to that point one day.

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