Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stop Making Excuses For Being Fat

I realize the title of this post sounds really harsh and offensive, but trust me, it's totally fitting.

For 12+ years of my life I suffered from diagnosed eating disorders, namely bulimia.  My entire goal for myself was to be thin.  This was the primary objective of my life.  Of course, I was thin at times and was never technically fat, but telling that to someone with an eating disorder is often a waste of time.  At the time I was thin to average, but I had the clear goal of wanting to be thin.

Here I am 29 years old and at 5'2 ~150lbs, I'm the "fattest" I've ever been.  I no longer suffer from disordered eating and while I'd like to lose a bit of weight so my old clothes would fit, I simply don't have the time to be working out constantly or watching everything I eat because well... I just can't be arsed at the moment.  Right now I get to the gym to work out when I can, we go for hikes, we go biking, etc.  At the same time, when the alarm goes off in the morning for me to go to the gym, 75% of the time I hit snooze in favor of getting an extra hour of sleep instead of putting on my clothes and trudging to the elliptical trainer and weight room.  I also nurse a 2.5 year old and eat a billion calories a day of my own food and food I nab from said toddler.

Recovering from my eating disorder, and educating myself in general, has brought to my attention the concepts of "fat shaming" and being "body positive."  I strongly believe that fat shaming is a horrible thing to do and being body positive is absolutely amazing.

I'm getting to my point, I promise.

What drives me nuts is that there is rhetoric that goes along with fat shaming and oftentimes I see comments like these made:

"You don't know why they are fat, they could have thyroid issues!"
"I've done EVERYTHING I can to not be fat, I just can't seem to lose weight!"
"I eat perfectly healthy, exercise everyday, and I'm STILL fat so screw off!"
"I have a disability so I can't work out/change my diet!"
"I'm fat but I just had a baby so it's ok"

All that is great and they are valid reasons to STFU up about people who are fat.  It's also true, there are some people who have thyroid (or other health) issues.  There are also people who literally try 100% to alter their diet and exercise and they still stay the same size.  There are also some people who simply can't exercise because they are disabled. 

You know why I hate those statements, even though they are perfectly valid?

Because they are excuses.  YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE EXCUSED FOR BEING FAT.  You are not doing ANYTHING WRONG by being "fat" or "overweight" or whatever term you want to use.  You do NOT need to answer to skinny people OR society for why you aren't 5'2 100lbs soaking wet.  Even if you have what you feel is a "valid reason" for being fat, that doesn't actually matter, because NO ONE needs a "valid reason" for being fat. 

You DO NOT need to answer to people because there's nothing wrong with being whatever size you are as long as you are comfortable with it. Even if you aren't comfortable with it, it's no ones business what size you are.  Don't give people an excuse. If someone has a problem with your body shape or size, they can go take a long walk off a short pier.

This making excuses for being fat thing reminds me a lot of the breastfeeding vs. formula debate.  Tons of people use formula, and most of them make excuses for doing so, because even though they are comfortable with it, they feel like they need to answer to society for formula feeding.  Even people who are uncomfortable and sad about it, they feel like they need to give an excuse for it so that they can be perceived as a decent human being.  If you talk to a million people who formula feed, it seems like 75% of them will give you an excuse about why nursing didn't work out for them, whether it's the truth or not.  They do this because they think people will expect them to have one because so many say breast feeding is superior to formula feeding.  The same goes with being fat.  Society pushes that thin is better and if you are fat, so if you are fat, you feel like you better have a good excuse.

Making these excuses perpetuates the idea that you need an excuse in the first place.  Whether it's your baby drinking formula or your body being larger than society would like, stop making excuses.  You don't NEED to.  It's none of anyone's business.

Sometimes I find myself wanting to excuse myself for being this size by saying "I try, I really do, to eat healthy."  It's true sometimes, but it's only sorta true.  The truth is, since having Aias, I've discovered a lot of delicious things and breastfeeding has made me so ravenously hungry that no Lay's potato chip is safe within 100 yards of me.  I could say no to second servings and chips, and cut the milk and sugar in my much needed coffee, and I could put the alarm clock across the room in the morning so I can't skip out on the gym.  I know exactly why I'm the "fattest" I've ever been, and I'm sick of making excuses for it.

If being thin is a priority of yours, I think that's fine.  We all have our own priorities.  But please, understand that being thin is not everyone's number one priority.  Right now I'd love to be able to fit into my old size 6 jeans, but for now, 10 will have to do, because I like sleep and chips a hell of a lot more than I like the gym. The heart wants what it wants, I guess.

So what's my excuse for being fat? I can't be bothered to try not to be.  Maybe someday soon, but as for now, sleep > gym.  

If you are feeling down about your fat and feel like you are making excuses, check out this book Fat?So!  It's one of the books that helped me during my own recover from disordered eating.


If you are a fuller bodied mama, I suggest you check out this adorable book.  Your kids will love it as much as you do. 


 





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I've adopted the same commenting policy as seen here at Off Beat Mama (http://offbeatmama.com/about/comments). I won't post comments if they strike me as attacking, judgmental, rude, or unproductive. In general if you are willing to put your name to something, I'll post it, but remember to keep your words sweet, because someday you may have to eat them.