So I was talking to a female relative of mine, who was positively GLOWING with pride because I’ve lost some weight this year (2 stone/28lbs since February), a sentiment which I let slide because, okay, yes, it’s generally accepted that weight loss is a big achievement in our society, for whatever reason. Fine.
It was when I said “I won’t get much smaller than this; I’ll always be fat” that the tone changed.
“Well that’s a very defeatist attitude” she curtly replied.
Is it? Is it defeatist to have accepted myself and my body shape for what it is? I WAS NOT built to be thin. I’m 6’ 2” with broad shoulders and big hips, huge hands and feet, and a glorious, expansive rack. I am never going to be petite.
Is it defeatist to not care what other people think of the way I look and how much I weigh? Is it defeatist that I make the most of my size and shape with how I dress and my attitude?
I lost the weight for very specific reasons: 1. I was a UK size 22/24 and having trouble finding the kind of clothes I wanted to wear. I’m flamboyant and I like to put on a show, so losing enough to make me a size 20 and open up a few new doors for me wasn’t a big issue (I lose weight easily when I want to). The only reason I ‘look better’ now is because I’m able to express myself more comfortably in the things I want to wear, not because I’m slightly slimmer. 2. Both of my feet were severely twisted when I was born and as a result, I’ve always had weak ankles. The ONLY way to ensure I keep them mobile and flexible is to not let my weight escalate to the point that they’re painful and seize up (I’ve experienced it before - I’m not doing it again).
As it happens, I’m very active, I eat well, I don’t smoke, I rarely drink - I’m as healthy as a 290lb person gets. And I’ll tell you something else; being fat doesn’t make me a failure, and accepting that I’ll never be thin doesn’t mean I’ve given up. Failure, for me, is getting to the point where the pressure to lose makes you hate yourself.
Guess what? I fucking love myself.