Three… prongs? Aspects? Things? Yes, three things about fatness.

Cake scoffing is already a guilty activity for Innes, aged ten...

So, with all this discussion about the flattering outfit and trying to lose weight or not trying to lose weight and defiantly standing up on my own two cottage cheese-thighs and going fuckyouIwillwearmyhorizontalstripesandthinkmyselfdivine and being socially acceptable and worrying about being diabetic or speeding the onset of arthritis of the knees and fat acceptance and beauty at every size. I have thought about whether I want to be smaller, whether I would be significantly happier or better off at a size 12 and why.

Looking at all this overeating shebang and trying to fat accept myself and abandon any desire to lose weight (after which I will become so zen and at one that the weight will just fall off without even trying aaahahahhaaaaa!) has become a little circular. It boils, methinks, down to three main points.

1. Health

I want to be healthy and active when I am a pensioner. Now, it’s controversial, linking fatness and health, as I’ve been careful to point out that fatness and fitness are not mutually exclusive and being too heavy is certainly not a death sentence. I completely agree that it’s more important to be active and eat lots of fruit and veg rather than to diet and be a skinny wee slip of a thing. After all, being thin does not guarantee an excellent state of health. Hell, according to some statistics from some place that I read once, people who are 30% over their ‘ideal weight’ (i.e. people who are overweight) have the lowest morbidity rates. That means they’re the healthiest, d’oh. It seems that bigger pensioners are also better of as packing a few extra pounds protects against various ailments and, it seems, breakages from osteoporosis. Hand me the chocolate eclair… Still, lack of exercise and poor diet are linked to bad health and these two… things are associated with being overweight. Personally, I have problems with my knees that I think are exacerbated by my elephantine weight and I eat too much sugar so I have diabetes paranoia. Thusly, my weight is sometimes a cause of health related concern for me. Not to mention the NHS freaking me out and yelling at me about heart disease and all.

2. Visuals

Obviously, being fat is akin to having a monkey grafted onto your face in the beauty stakes. It’s a no no. Now, this is the source of endless reading, fighting, writing and mental and social wrangling for me and in my heart of hearts I know that, bigger bottomed though I may be, I am not so ugly as to offend people – damn, I scrub up pretty good. Plus, there’s fat acceptance/hot fat people/freedom of choice in the attraction stakes so, really, this is a crap reason for wanting to stop overeating, even if it’s a very persuasive and omnipresently unavoidable one. Shame on me.

3. The very fact of overeating

Even if I grow to love my body just as it is, to become resistant to diabetes and magazines of thin people, I still want to stop overeating. Because even thought the outcome of overeating may no longer bother me, I object to the act of overeating for weird emotional and mental reasons. If I was just fat because I had a big appetite, if I ate when I was hungry, ate when I wanted to eat and then stopped and din’t obsess about food, didn’t feel confused about why I’d eaten a packet of croissants I didn’t want, then I think I could learn to accept myself at the size I am. But even if I accept my size I don’t accept my behaviour. Yes, fat people shouldn’t be abused in the street, marginalised or neutered, but much as I think we should accept people at all sizes but even though my size and shape might be perfectly ok, the reason that I am this size (my cock a hoop eating patterns) are not.

 

The first two, I can talk myself out of worrying about, but I can’t escape number three. Number three always stops me from thinking I’m ok just the way that I am. And here’s the thing; when I think about fat acceptance I think yes, we should respect people at every size but no, we shouldn’t be accepting bad eating habits and disordered relationships with food if it makes us unhappy. At any size. In other words bad food shit happens to skinny people and fat people alike and it probably needs dealing with*. But then if I truly accept my size, myself, my bottom in all it’s rotund glory, stop worrying about my health and relative gorgeousness, then my disordered eating wouldn’t make me unhappy. Or perhaps my disordered relationship with food sort itself out?

Does my disordered eating make me unhappy per se or is it just the effects(being fat) that make me unhappy? And am I disordered eating because I’m unhappy with my size? Wrong in the head because I’m fat and fat because I’m wrong in the head? Perhaps what I eat is fine, it’s just what I think about what I eat is bad…

Gah.

The brilliant thing is, is that if I want to successfully lose weight I first have to accept myself enough to not want to lose weight, so that when I’ve managed to learn not to want to lose weight, I’ll start losing weight. I suppose what I’m wondering is, far from current approaches to tackling obesity making fat people feel really crap about themselves, if we made fat people feel really great about themselves, made them poster girls and boys for the fashion nation, maybe the self-destructive eating patterns would stop. Or maybe we wouldn’t care about the disordered eating patterns so we’d be a bit cheerier. Either way, surely it’s worth a try….

*I’m sure a lot of people would say that any person who is obese obviously has a disordered relationship with food so it’s fair to point the finger at every fat person but I would say try reading celeb mags to find out that they are full of diet-horror stories regurgitated by thin celebrities that try to follow them. Cotton wool soaked in orange juice anyone?

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