A Woman Explains Why She Chooses To Be Fat


People “choose” to be skinny all the time. At least we’re supposed to think they can. You can’t really watch television without an advertisement enthusiastically telling you that you can make better choices and choose to be thin! And many people, especially women, buy into that. That’s probably because they receive a tremendous amount of societal pressure to be skinny. So what happens if you just decide that you’re going to choose to be obese?

Laura Bogart at Salon claims she made such a decision in her piece, “I Choose To Be Fat,” and that:

If I’d stayed with my “treatment team,” I’d be as exuberant and fit as one of those “after” models in a Jenny Craig ad, crowing about all the energy I have now and all the cute clothes I can wear. I defiantly remain a “before.” I am 250 pounds. I wear a size 24. Whenever the women around me talk about how great so-and-so looks now that she’s joined that pricey gym or gone under the knife (even if so-and-so is still sort of a bitch), I remember purging and popping pills and eating three well-balanced meals a day; binging and starving and reading “Anna Karenina” on a StairMaster. But none of it left me happier or healthier. Just hungry.

Not being hungry sounds pretty liberating. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t difficulties. She notes that.

If you don’t conform to the norm, you’re expected to sweat yourself into a headline: “How One Woman Went from Obesity to a Bikini Body.” As if the two are mutually exclusive. But if you choose, as I have chosen, to stop the presses, to throw out all the “inspirational” sizes in your closet, that your weekly meals don’t have to be more meticulously planned than the raid that killed Bin Laden, you aren’t just flipping off cultural expectations; you’re upending other people’s hopes for you.

She goes on to explain how, when she’s not starving herself, people decide she is “out of control.” People alternately shout their encouragement when she goes for a walk. They express concern over her body and its size as almost never happens if you are a thin person (even if you are making wildly unhealthy choices). It’s often astonishing to me that people feel comfortable going up to anyone overweight and questioning their eating choices. Choosing to be fat shouldn’t be seen as an affront against them, so much as it should be seen as taking control of your own body – just not in the same way everyone else is.

Picture via Getty

Share This Post:
    • Lor

      I hate how society has crept its way into every individual’s life.

    • Luck14

      Suddenly I feel compelled to write what is my first ever comment on any sort of online forum. Coming from someone who in the past has lived a ridiculously unhealthy life, as both an underweight sickly human, and an overweight binge eating individual, I find her comments, and your support, to be drastically off base. Perhaps my response stems too deeply from my personal experiences, but I believe that those asserting what you claim to be “control” over their bodies, be it in the form of overeating to the point of obesity, or under eating to the point of starvation, are doing no such thing. Living an unhealthy life by way of buying in to the pressures to be thin, or by way of rejecting them to the point that you cannot run next to your child through a park, both manifest an utter loss of control. The fault in her, and your thinking, lies in that it remains a reaction to social status quos, and completely fails to move beyond the context of beauty disseminated by magazines and other online bull****.

      Excusing thinness (teetering on the edge of starvation, heart palpitations, and hair loss), and obesity (high blood pressure and heart disease) with control is not simply wrong, but also offensive to those of us who have fought, and are still fighting for some semblance of balance and genuine health in our lives. Control is choosing to be healthy, whatever that may look like for you. Medical evidence alone should be enough for us to know that neither being obese, nor being underweight fall into that elusive realm we call health.

      • Kristi Baur

        Well stated.

    • Jo Ayche

      People also choose to smoke, but it doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

      • Cee

        People choose to be miserable about other people’s life choices, but that doesn’t mean its good for you

    • her royal fatness

      I am a “heavier” woman. All the time, people tell me, I can’t believe you weigh -fill in the blank- because I guess to them I don’t look like I do. It was 180 when I was a teen, it was 200 when I was in my early 20s, it’s 250 now.

      I work out, I eat good food, I eat healthy food and I avoid crap – Still can’t lose weight. Tomorrow night and I am going to drag these 250 pounds around a bmx track on a bike against other women who have been “fat” shamed. If it is about health, which is what people say when they make comments to me – then I challenge any one of you who dare to criticize me to my face or behind my back to do the same. Then, we will see if it is health… or being judgmental.