TW: Diet, weight loss…
sigh but not all vegans are thin though.
Seriously, this is one of my biggest pet peeves.
ADAPTING A VEGAN LIFESTYLE WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY MAKE YOU THIN AND IS NOT ALWAYS PRACTICAL FOR EVERYONE
I know a rad fat dude who’s super active and vegan. And super fat.
EXPLAIN THAT ONE TO ME, BITCHES
One of the things we really have to work on is the narrative that you must love your body, no matter what. Because some people really can’t, and telling them that it’s their fault is another way of perpetuating self-hate. Not okay.
I really don’t find it helpful to shame someone for struggling with how they feel about their body but as someone who has made it a point to not have weight loss talk on her blog and continually gets told she is shaming people for not opening up the space to those discussions comments like the original one are frustrating. I wouldn’t say that the response was given would be something that I would give myself but the need for people to break apart the idea that thinness = better / healthier is really important to the political issues surrounding fat bodies. What I write is not about personal acceptance because that not only removes the space for people to feel how they want about their own body but also ignores the politics around being fat in our society.
Most body acceptance spaces are open to people discussing weight loss, the idea that feeling better about your body means you need to be thinner etc. When I close my space to not allow comments about weight loss or people conforming to the normative thinking around bodies (ie. Thinner = Healthier) I am creating a space for people who do not want to be surrounded by those messages.
Also people miss the point of fat activism or politics if they are telling another person to not do what they want with their own body. I have no more right to tell a person to not lose weight than they do to tell me I need to lose weight. The issue is that by not opening up our spaces to weight loss talk it is read as us telling other people what to do, which is completely false. I could give two shits about what another person does with their body but if they want me to congratulate them on their weight loss it’s reinforcing fat stigma. If they want me to congratulate them on feeling better in their body? That is a totally different story.
Yesss to all of the above.
TW: Weight-loss discussion
submitted by writeonbrickwalls:
I’ve been overweight my whole life until now. I worked out and got to a healthy* weight, expecting a whole big change, and there wasn’t. More about it here (check out the pic at the end): http://jaimejcheng.com/slim-thuggin
My parents had nagged me about my whole life about my weight, but it was when they brought my future career in the picture that I decided to do something about it. I’ve always had high hopes, goals and aspirations, so when my parents slipped in a “people hire good looking people” comment, I did something about it. This summer, I started my working life early by flying 1,700 miles to New York City for a summer internship, and learned that it wasn’t true (for the company that I’m working for, anyway). Even if it is, who wants to work for a company based on image? I don’t know why I didn’t realize this before.
I’m 40 lbs lighter and I feel even MORE insecure than I did when I was bigger, PLUS I don’t get to enjoy my food as much as I did before.
Love your body no matter the size. I’ve been big and small, and nothing’s changed.
If anyone wants to talk about this, I’d love to interact.
P.S. I’m an advertising student!! :)
Your point about how nothing has changed is a point that isn’t made often enough. So many people start a weight loss journey, only to find that even if they do lose the weight they wanted to lose - the happiness and confidence and everything they’ve been told they’d find if they only had a “thinner” body doesn’t just magically happen.
*Also wanted to add: the notion of determining weight that is or isn’t “healthy” for an individual is very much a gray area. Using BMI standards to determine this is bogus and I just really find the whole “healthy weight” thing a really hard thing to define that isn’t even really helpful to a lot of people. I understand your point obviously, I just wanted to make a note of that :)
Thanks for submitting, and good luck with school!
- Haley Cue
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.
[Image description: A manatee is swimming in water tinged dark blue. It is facing the left of the frame. TOP TEXT: “YOU ARE NOT A PERSON IN THE MAKING.” BOTTOM TEXT: “YOU ARE A PERSON NOW.”]
This is for all of the lovely young people who follow me. I think you are a lovely person.
TW: Weight loss discussion
This is also for all the lovely people who have ever asked me, “What do I do with these feelings about needing to lose weight right now?”
Those feelings are hard to process I think. I still get them a lot. But I always remind myself of what this gorgeous manatee is reminding me of - I am who I am, right this second, right now.
So I’m gonna focus on that fact, and my happiness in the moment, and the little things that add up to my healthy frame of mind - and if that results in making decisions or doing things that somehow result in weight loss or weight gain, that is immaterial. Because I’m gonna take care of the me right here and now, not the me I may or may not be in the future.
TW: Weight loss discussion
if anyone mentions weight loss, or a desire to lose weight, they are reminded that it’s ‘ok to be bigger too’…
Yes it is. It’s also ok to be skinny and want to be skinnier too.
If a skinny person said ‘I’ve gained a stone, just half a stone to gain until my goal weight!’ would you hear people say ‘it’s ok to be skinny too’?
I doubt it.
Stop skinny prejudice.
Sorry, but what world do you live in that everyone responds to personal weight-loss rhetoric with “it’s okay to be bigger too”?
My fat body has never received that kind of validation when I used to vocalize my desire to lose weight in the past. In fact, quite the opposite - “I need to lose weight” was often followed by a comment like “well yeah, wouldn’t hurt” or “I know this or that diet that will help” or “yeah, you could definitely stand to lose a few pounds”…
NEVER ever ever ever was I ever told “You know, your body is okay - just as it is. It is okay to be bigger. You are fine.”
That may happen now in the fat acceptance community, on this blog and other places like it - but it exists in these safe spaces because we are counteracting a culture that tells and yells at us from every single angle “your body is not right” “you need to lose weight” “fat is unhealthy”, so on and so forth.
Fat oppression exists. The repercussions and hate towards fat people and the attitudes toward obesity in society far exceed cultural attitudes towards thin people. All bodies are good bodies and I stand behind the fact that every body is meant to be as it is, thin bodies deserve to be shown love and support for their existence just as fat bodies do.
But don’t sit there and tell me thin privileged folks need and deserve MORE validation and support than fat folks, that fat folks are getting more support than the thin privileged, that we’re facing less oppression and hate.
If that were the case, I wouldn’t be here fighting against it every single day.
Damn weight loss bullshit interrupting my enjoyment of Sam and Dean’s beer-guzzling reflection scene, GTFO.