Trigger warning: Fat-shaming language, negative body talk, restricting , dieting, cursing and a healthy dose of SMART ASS.
When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m not, I don’t. When I want chips or fried-something, I eat it. When I want salad, I eat that. Current common beliefs seem to hold that someone that is overweight like I am must eat the fried-somethings way more than the salad. I mean, why else would I be fat? It must be because I eat fried things and ice cream all day, everyday while sitting on my ass watching the idiot box. I’m probably not that bright or educated, and likely don’t know a thing about nutrition or health. I probably don’t do much exercise other than lifting the fork, going to the fridge, or ordering takeout. I definitely don’t use my gym membership. If I keep doing what I am doing, I will surely weigh hundreds of pounds in 5 or 10 years and probably die from cheese-clogged arteries.
So, what is a fattie like me to do when I want to lose weight? ‘Cause that is supposed to be my goal, right? To lose weight so I can look good in a bikini when summer comes in 5 months? So, I should probably go on a diet, right? Maybe I should also sign up for some physical program that feels like I am killing myself. Eat less, move more! That is the mantra of a “good girl,” right?
Let’s see, if I lose 2 pounds per week for the next 20 weeks, I should totally hit my goal of looking good in a bikini by summer! I could go in the kitchen right now and dump all my full-fat dairy products and anything with sugar in it. Any simple carbohydrates should definitely go, right? I mean, carbs and sugar are the devil and make you die, says the internet.
One pound of fat is about 3,500 calories, so if I want to lose 2 pounds per week, I’d have to have a 7,000 calorie per week deficit. That is 1,000 calories a day less that I have to consume or 1,000 calories more that I have to burn. I could split the difference and eat 500 less and burn 500 more. So, if I need about 2,250 to maintain my current weight at my current activity level, then I should consume about 1,750 each day. If I burn another 500, my net calorie consumption would be 1,250. As long as I don’t net below 1,200, I’ll be above a “starvation diet,” right?
So, all I have to do is obsess over every food choice I make, so that food becomes the only thing that I think about. If anything in me screams for food, it’s really just my inner fattie being a brat, right? So I should ignore the hunger, just “keep calm and carry on.” Alright, got it!
Wait just a damned minute here…this sounds a whole lot like what I did for almost 20 years. But, wait: I’m still fat! How the hell did that happen? I followed all the “rules.” I did it all just “right.” I ate the low-fat things and the salads. I skipped the bread and the carbs. I did the boot camp and logged hundreds of miles on the elliptical. I walked the walks and counted the calories and lost the weight.
Then I gained it back, plus 5 pounds.
Then I lost it again and gained it back, plus 10.
Then I lost it again and gained it back, plus 15.
Well, that must mean I lost sight of my goal, right? I must have started stuffing my face with fried chicken ice cream sandwiches. (I just made that up, but imagine two ice cream sandwiches with a piece of fried chicken between them. It seems likely that this has been tried somewhere…but, I digress.) I must have no willpower. I am a failure at life. I mean, the one thing the world requires of me as a woman is to be beautiful and thin and I just can’t seem to do it. There must be something wrong with me.
If I’m going to stay fat, I should probably never leave my house in clothes that reveal the cellulite on my legs or anything that hugs my belly. I certainly shouldn’t wear leggings as pants! Tank tops, shorts, or bikinis? Nope. Those are for skinny girls, not fat ones. Love, happiness, confidence? Nope, not for me. And if I do have any of those things, then I am just fooling myself, right? I mean, come on! How could anyone be happy in anything over a size 10? I must be advocating for a fat, unhealthy lifestyle if I walk around with confidence or if I present myself as sexy. How dare I!
This is how I dare: I dare myself and other women to step into their full power as whole people. I dare myself and other women to focus on sharpening their wit, their tongue, or their pencil. I dare us all to break free of the restraints that starvation places on us having enough energy to come even close to reaching our full potential. I dare us all to challenge the status quo that the only people of value in this society are the ones that spend every waking moment focused on their bodies and appearance. I dare us all to get a new fucking hobby.
I have never been healthier. I have never been happier. I have never had more confidence.
I eat when I am hungry, I stop when I am full. I eat salads way more than fried things. I walk, bike, and do yoga. I use my gym membership. I don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. I’m in a healthy marriage. Best of all, the more I learn to love myself, the easier it is for me to love others. The less I judge myself, the less I judge others.