What about how other peoples’ status and definitions of health are none of your business? How a person’s health does not at all correlate with their worth as a human being? How a person’s fatness, no matter how that person lives, does not negate their right to basic human kindness? Aren’t these things more important? Why AREN’T they more important?
And once you determine all of this arbitrary shit about these fat people you don’t know, bodies and experiences you will never understand, and ultimately define this invisible line between “good fatties” and “bad fatties” - then what? Should those “bad fatties” in the deathfat (“morbidly obese”) range be shamed for their bodies when we don’t know each person’s individual struggle or journey? If you perceive them to be “mistreating” their own bodies, just what exactly do you plan to do about it?
Because honestly, anything you think you might be able to do to help is going to produce the exact opposite of what you may be intending. That kind of “concern” isn’t needed and in fact is more detrimental to a person’s health and wellness than many fail to realize.
Not to mention, there are a SHIT ton of resources on this blog regarding fat health and debunking obesity myths. Take a look around, click through the tags, do some reading.
There is more to health than weight. Weight is not often the cause of health issues, but a factor or result of chronic illnesses or conditions that are not in a person’s control. Not to mention, 46% of obese people are metabolically healthy. They are FAT and HEALTHY.
I actually can’t count myself as a part of that statistic. My mental and chronic illnesses make it very hard for me to try to live up to society’s expectations of perfect health. So instead, I’ve defined health for myself - and fuck anyone for looking upon my fatness and thinking I’m “mistreating” my own body when, to put it bluntly, THEY DON’T KNOW A GODDAMN THING.
I’ve tried to put all of this in the most honest terms I can, but I’m sure you can feel my tone. There is rage, yes. Frustration, definitely - but it comes from explaining this shit over and over again. From the constant struggle for self-worth that comes with living in a fat body and dealing with health conditions. It is exhausting to constantly be fighting against the world, but it is possible to change, and I hope you will be compelled to.
You need to want to put in some actual time to research and let this information soak in. You need to want to think differently. You need to stop assuming that your definition of health and the definition that is touted in our society is anything but fucked and not at ALL inclusive.
I sincerely wish more people would care and look into these things for themselves rather than taking everyday media and shaming messaging regarding fat bodies at face-value. Please make an effort.
We don’t get to decide what triggers people.
To be frank, the thinspo bombing pisses me off. I don’t find it productive, positive, helpful, or as an act of reclamation in any way. There is a difference in standing up for the idea that your body is inherently valuable, and refusing to accept abuse/fat-shaming from other people, and seeking to engage with people who have a very real and dangerous mental illness in an attempt to flaunt the fact that you are in a part of your journey that seems unimaginable to them.
I’m pissed off that most of the people involved in the thinspo bombing are members of the feedism community, because your right to a fetish does not outweigh someone’s need for mental stability and self-love.
Don’t get me wrong. The people who are responding to the thinspo bombing with fat-hate, racial slurs, and whatever else are fucking up too. Because they’ve surrounded themselves (intentionally or not) with so much hate, so much negative thought, that they’re grasping onto any hurtful material they can use to throw back at the people who are thinspo bombing, and that is unacceptable. Racism is unacceptable. Fat-shaming is unacceptable. Telling people to go kill themselves is unacceptable.
But it’s not just about posting pictures of fat people in the thinspo tag. Because there have been so many captions to those pictures that say something like “I hope this helps you puke!” That’s NOT body positive. It’s fucking ableist. It’s NOT a form of fat acceptance. It’s not fucking acceptable.
I really really hate that the fat tag is largely negative. I try to change that by tagging body positive posts with “fat” in the hopes that it will create a more positive tag. But bombing the thinspo tag with triggering messages is not positive or cute or okay. It’s just not.
Why don’t we bomb the fuck out of the fat tag? Why don’t we post tons and tons of positive fat messages? Because going into a space that is mostly for mentally ill individuals and saying “HEY LOOK AT US WE LOVE OURSELVES WHY CAN’T YOU LOVE YOURSELF YOU’RE SO BAD BECAUSE YOU CAN’T LOVE YOURSELF” is not fucking okay.
There are better ways of standing up for fat bodies. This isn’t it.
rebloggable by request
I am all about bombing the “fat” tag all day every day forever.
TW: Weight loss discussion
I love your blog and everything you stand for. I’m having a bit of a problem and hope you can help me? I’m 20, 5’10” and 200lbs. I used to be 170lbs. I’m really struggling to accept my “new” body. I don’t know if I should just (for lack of better words) quit trying and accept it, or if I should try to lose weight. I want to accept it, but don’t know if I can..
I know this feeling all too well, so I will speak from my experience. I’ve gained about 30 pounds in the past couple of years and still have a hard time owning this new space my body takes up. Stretch marks seemed to pop up over night and I am still getting used to them. So I made this the other night while I was thinking about it and snapping photos of my lightning bolts, and I made this one day (GIF EPILEPSY WARNING) when I was feeling really great about my tummy. Everyone has their own unique way to deal, understand, and cope with their feelings about their body.
Change can be frightening, when your visible self and the way people perceive you seems so out of your control, but it helps to deconstruct those feelings. Think about what is in your control.
My fat, skin, physical health, mental health, wellness, and body, are ever-changing crazy things that adapt to the elements. I’ve also got some genetic and chronic conditions that contribute to my definition of health. I know I have no firm grasp of control over these things and I strive to accept that fact with a “take it as it comes” kind of mentality.
I could try to guess what weight would be “healthiest” for me or strive to lose weight if that would really make me happy, but it doesn’t. I could try to minimized my stretch marks with creams and go on a rigid diet if that would make me happy, but it doesn’t.
So I focus on what keeps me happy, makes me feel sane, and try very much not to beat myself up about the things I may or may not be able to change. Because in my past, whenever I strove for change in regards to my weight or my dress size, I never got what I “wanted”. It was a cycle of hate and unhealthy habits and ways of thinking. So I broke it, and I’m not turning back. Or I try not to. There are still times when I think, “Should I have tried this?” “Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough” - but the truth is I tried everything, and I tried super hard. I have always been overweight. I’m accepting it and moving on with my life.
Some people enjoy working out just to work out, or enjoy eating a certain way because it makes them happy - it’s unique to everyone. You could decide to make goals with losing weight in mind if that is what you really want, if that is what you think will help you find happiness, contentment, and acceptance with your body. But based on my experience, in doing so you’re already setting yourself up to fail by having an ideal to live up to, even if you think it’s reasonable. Ideals are never as attainable as you want them to be, so why waste time chasing after a number on the scale when you could enjoy being the person you are now, right this moment, regardless? Again, this is just my perspective.
We all have our own journeys and ways of finding out and defining what health and wellness and happiness and beauty means to us, and they never, ever end. Through it all, you only have yourself. Even when bumps come along and you’re struggling with yourself, there is always time to set it right again.
There was a period in the last year where something triggered in me a desire to suddenly join Weight Watchers. And a gym. I knew fully well I was setting myself up to fail. I knew through trial and error that I didn’t need WW and public exercise, I needed mindful, intuitive eating and movement that is appropriate for me. But my mind was suddenly back in destructive mode, “weight loss” mode, and I snapped myself out of it once I reminded myself why this method never worked before. Because it simply isn’t for me.
It all comes down to you. I can’t say it enough, or remind myself of it enough, and it’s easy to forget although it seems so simple. You don’t owe anything to anyone else but you.
newbody4me asked redefiningbodyimage:
just wondering, why don’t you like the artwork from arthlete?
(This turned into a bit of a rant, so I decided to make it an actual post.)
I do not identify with fitspo messaging at all, nor do I think it’s universally helpful in finding peace, love, and acceptance in oneself both internally and externally. I have written and discussed this and arthlete’s work in the past, but I will elaborate.
Much of the artwork featured on that blog holds a body image ideal up on a pedestal, suggesting that certain body types are more healthy and fit, that we should aspire to reach this predetermined level of health and fitness, when not everyone has the privilege to center their thoughts, time, and energy around sculpting their bodies in this way. Not everyone will get those results. Not everyone finds that shit helpful.
For instance, exhibit #1:
This, from my perspective, is simply an unhealthy way of thinking about fitness. I say this based on my own personal experience, which many people have related to. It may be helpful to some people, but I actually find it very harmful - in fact, I find it contradicts this piece entirely.
When I look at that first image and read the associated words, I don’t perceive it as positive or helpful or motivational - it does nothing for those of us with mental or chronic health issues, who struggle some days to get out of bed let alone go to the gym. In fact, it makes us feel like the girl in the second comic - inadequate, like we’re doing everything wrong, because we can’t just “talk ourselves into it” - we have other shit to deal with.
I just can not look at it in those terms, I can not afford to maintain any sort of weight loss mentality, it’s like beating my head against a brick wall. I used to do that, and the guilt would be overpowering to a point where I couldn’t get out of this cycle of hating myself, before I realized that it’s not about that.
It’s about knowing and realizing what health and fitness means to me, personally, and separating that definition from this pristine level of health that is so often pushed in our faces.Just because my level of health and fitness doesn’t involve lifting weights or working out on a consistent basis doesn’t make me inadequate. It doesn’t mean I’m talking myself out of anything. I’m just doing the best with what I’ve got.
These are the stories that need to be told. This is the kind of messaging that needs to be spread - that all bodies are good bodies, health does not have one definition, and fitness looks different for everyone.
…along with a lot of other similar body and health-shaming content that floats around the internet, passed along by blogs like arthlete, is what I aim to combat.
When I see shit like that, it triggers all of this intense hatred I had for my body in the past, when I would work and work and work to try to lose the weight and it never happened. It triggers the intense anxiety I feel as a person who has a really complex relationship with my weight, my fitness, my mental health, my everything. It pits one body type against another. It is so, so harmful and body-shaming and horrible to me.
If this sort of thing is helpful to you, that is fine - I can not speak for you. But it needs to be acknowledged there are different sides to this shit. That’s all.