What other people think.
I've spent a lot of my life trying to avoid conforming, trying to deliberately do whatever I shouldn't. As I've grown older, I've calmed a little and stuck to doing just what I think/feel is right, which as it happens tends not to be the norm anyway. It makes me frustrated and disappointed at myself to think that this one little reason has such widespread and life affecting connotations.
I decided today that I was sick. I was sick of hating myself. Of looking in the mirror and thinking that I shouldn't be fat and not liking that I obviously am.
I decided to make some changes.
Firstly, no reading diet pages in magazines. I don't often buy magazines because I regard them as a frivolous expense and I'm poor. However, I do spend £2.60 a week on buying Take a Break, Chat and That's Life! which are aimed at women older than me, but I still enjoy reading. I decided when I was 15 years old after reading two issues of the so called women's magazine Cosmopolitan, that most women's magazines were probably going to be glossy brochures of crap, designed to make me feel bad about being poor, fat and ugly and not wanting to subordinate myself to men. Now when I buy the three magazines mentioned, they still have articles about diets, how to lose weight, how happy someone is now that they've lost weight (despite the fact that they often look miserable!). If I feel calm, I'll just turn the page over and ignore them. If I feel pissy, and I'll rip them out and resign them to the recycling bin.
Secondly, dressing for comfort. It's ridiculously hot here currently and extremely humid, and being a fat person I get sweaty and uncomfortable. I'm fed up with wearing constricting clothes, uncomfortable bras and being too hot just because I'm trying to look less fat. So yesterday, I went to the doctors with my dad wearing Birkenstocks, blue cotton/Lycra shorts and a blue vest top. I have no doubt that I looked quite spectacularly awful, but I felt soooo cool and comfortable and that kept a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
Thirdly, I'm going to write down and record for posterity everything I love about being the size I am. All the wonderful things that there are about being fat. That's what this post is about.
Bear in mind before reading the rest of this entry, that I don't know a lot of slim people. I'm being very over simplistic here, but in general I've found most of the slim people I know to be very unhappy, fat negative and body conscious in a way that has made me feel stressed and distressed. I don't discount slim people as friends because that would be utterly ridiculous, but I do tend to gravitate towards fat positive and body positive people which help promote in me a sense of well being.
So, without further ado, The Things I Love About Being A Fat Person
- I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want. In my experience, this is a Very Big Thing. The giving of moral characteristics to food matter is so ingrained in people, that the joy of eating is taken away. I can bite into a fresh pear and love it, but I appreciate it all the more because if I fancy eating a piece or four of cheesecake, I can do that too. None of the slim people I know are naturally slim, they've all dieted and guilted and exercised themselves to the size they are, and most of them are unhappy. None of these people would feel comfortable with eating one piece of cheesecake, let alone four :-D
- I love the curve of my thigh, the undulation of my stomach, the swing of my breasts. It reminds me of some of the women I've seen in paintings.
- I love the feel of my skin, the softness and floppiness of my breasts, the dimples of my thighs, the tiger stripes on my stomach. I feel soft, gorgeous and amazing to myself and anyone I've made love to agrees.
- When my son jumps on me and otherwise plays with me, I have lots of cushioning from inadvertent elbow drops. Which happens a lot with 5 year olds!
- Clothes hang well, stretch well and drape well over me. I don't feel like a coat hanger wearing a dress, I feel like a woman.
- My lovers have always felt wonderful about snuggling into my fat, and it feels good for me too. Being completely unabashed about it, I love my OH's head snuggling between my breasts. I love his fingers running across my stretch marked belly.
- I love that whatever exercise I do is for my enjoyment. That I can stop whenever I want to, that I don't feel the need to do it for a certain length of time or until I've burned enough calories. I enjoy exercising much more since I developed this attitude. I roller blade, do pilates and yoga, take long walks and enjoy it for it's own sake.
- More space for tattoos and other body art!
- I am of a size where people are less likely to try and physically intimidate me.
- I take up more space. In a world where women are told and expected to be slim and unobtrusive, I like to be as attention grabbing as possible!
Thanks be to Anji of Shut Up Sit Down for reminding me of the last two!
I'm sure there are lots of other things, so I'm going to bookmark this post and add to it as I think of them. I invite everyone who reads this to comment with their suggestions. Let's turn this into a body positive thread!