Sunday, 2 November 2008

Fat Acceptance

I am fat. It's one of the things that has been a constant source of misery and pain to me. When I started school the bullying for being fat started. By the time I got old enough to like boys I already knew that I was too fat to ever get a decent guy who would love me and want to be with me because I was me. Basically, before I had even hit puberty I knew that I was unattractive. By the time I hit my late teens I knew that I was destined to be alone forever. Having been single these last 7 years (basically my entire 20s) I'm starting to think that my theory has been proven, but at the same time I know that I'm being a bit extremist in this because, get this, I haven't tried. Largely because, after the few relationships I had post-Asshole also made me miserable, I realised that I am happier single. I am happier not giving a crap about having to have a man to validate my existence. Because, men can't validate the existence of women. Our existence is our validation.

I've been wandering about the feminist blogosphere for a while and I quite like it here. It is what prompted me to make myself a blog. I wanted a set handle; I wanted a place where I could talk about things that came up. Considering that I wrote this post last weekend and then never got round to posting it shows how well I've been doing so far but, you know, it's all a learning curve right. However, while I was wandering the blogosphere I did, on occasions, come accross fat acceptance blogs. And, everytime I did, my gut reaction was to reject them. 95% of diets don't work? We should be happy the way we are? Diets are bad? Even diets that we call something else are bad? Other people don't like us- that's their problem for being asshats? Fat isn't unhealthy, that's just bs mainstream propaganda to undermine us? These sentiments bothered me, they felt defensive, they made me feel defensive, and I dispute their underpinnings. Also, I consider myself to be so much more fat than the women in these blogs who, from the pictures, are what I would call "normal". I realise that this is problematic of me because I am trying to undermine their self-belief that they are fat but, to my mind, our culture is geared up to make normal women feel fat. Hell it is geared up to make way too fucking thin women feel fat. So I understand why they feel fat, but having women who look so vastly slimmer than I do tell me that I just have to accept myself and stop dieting and then all will be fucking fine in my world sounds like just one more group of people attacking me for being the way I am.

There's also another aspect of that mindset, those principles, that bother me. I don't ovulate. I want to be a mother. In order to ovulate again, according to the many many books, websites, articles, etc. that I have read the one thing that would help is losing weight. So, since I do have a specific health issue whose key treatment plan is become a healthier weight, does this mean that I can't participate in the fat acceptance blogosphere? Same with my insulin resistance. According to all I've read losing weight will help my body deal with that. So does the fact that I would like to lose weight to help my weight make it unacceptable for me to participate in those blogs? Does it mean that I have no place in a community that claims acceptance of fat and fatness? Does the fact that I am on medication to try and make myself more able to lose weight negate this problem in that medication = non-diet related treatment= not a diet and therefore not WrongBadEvil?

I don't know. I do wonder whether I just haven't seen enough of the fat acceptance space to really judge. But given that reading those blogs actually undermines me- because if 95% of diets fail that means I have a 95% chance of never being of a weight where I can then deal with my PCOS to have babies- and then, really, what is the point in even trying to be healthy when I am never going to be the one thing I have always been certain that I've wanted to be? And if diets that call themselves something else (i.e. healthy eating or lifestyle changes) are bad then all food is bad because, you know what, what you eat on a day to day basis is your fucking diet. Deal with it. And certain foods, i.e. the foods that clog arteries and kill you, are bad when you eat them all the time. Moderation hons. And balance. Then again surely trying to eat a balanced diet also make you anti the fat acceptance movement? Because, surely, every doctor out there can't be evil bastards trying to make everyone miserable. And those governmental 5 a day recommendations- that is just them trying to make us keep Britain's farms going by buying unnecessary 'healthy' foods?

I am in this space at the moment where I want to become a healthier and happier person. Part of this is by getting myself into a headspace where I don't spend every day berating myself for not eating properly or for forgetting to take that pill or for having that "I don't think I can leave the house today" feeling. It's about recognising what I feel. It's about working on what makes me feel better. It's about trying to accept myself for who I am. It's about exploring what I think. It's about trying to resolve the issues that mean I expect people to hate me without even speaking to me. It's about trying to stop blaming myself for what happened with Asshole. It's about trying to work out how to live with who I am while trying to make healthier the things I do have control over- without it taking over my life and making me miserable. But what I don't know is whether or not reading fat acceptance blogs will help or hinder my progress. I guess I just need to wait and see.

Perhaps I've just been looking at the wrong fat acceptance blogs? Anyone got any recommendations?

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