I’m not fat. I know this in the logical part of my brain. And yet, when I gained ten pounds, I freaked out and tried really hard to lose it. First I tried eating healthier foods and exercising a moderate amount, but that didn’t “work.” (It probably worked to make me healthier, but who cares about that?) Then I tried counting calories, limiting myself to 1200-1300 calories per day (more if I exercised), which is something I didn’t write about here because honestly, I felt conflicted about it. I try to model healthy behavior. Maybe if I feel good about my 5’4″, 140 lb body, I keep on thinking, other people will feel good about their perfectly normal bodies, too? Even if it’s a lie, sometimes? (This was a large part of my impetus to do nude modeling.)
I did this for a couple months, and it did not result in any weight loss at all. (Okay, I lost a pound, which is well within the margin for error.) It did, however, make me hungry and cranky all the time, and pretty much all my roommate (who was doing it with me) and I talked about was how much it sucked to be on a diet. I got drunk and stomach achey off one drink (vodka soda, ‘natch) because I didn’t have enough food in my stomach to absorb the alcohol. As someone who covers nightlife for a living and has never had a problem with alcohol (no, really! I can’t have all the vices), I was annoyed by this. I didn’t have as much energy to exercise. Again, I lost essentially no weight.
When I went away to Europe, I decided to stop doing this to myself because there was a lot of new food there I wished to try, and I wasn’t going to be there forever. The guilt I felt over this (as if all non-skinny women have some moral obligation to diet) followed me like a goddamn albatross. I’m not dumb, but I was, and am, unable to shake that pernicious and pervasive societal message that I must be the same weight I was in college in order to be allowed to walk around in a bikini. And I deconstruct that shit on here every day.
“If it’s like this for me, and pretty much every woman I know,” I wondered, “what’s it like for a person who is actually fat? How much must they hate themselves all the time? It’s almost like we need some sort of counter-movement to, well, counter all the bullshit fed (lol) to us by society.”
It was at this point that I got more into reading about fat acceptance, and thinking that parts of it made a whole lot of sense. I’m not sure I’m on board with all the science, but that matters less to me than how we treat ourselves and each other. And I’m sorry if I’m co-opting a movement designed with fat people in mind, but considering how ridiculous things have gotten, I think it could benefit us all. And I’m not alone in this belief, either.
Photo: Stocky Bodies