My relationship with my weight has evolved quite a bit lately.
Recently I checked my weight again for the first time in a few months, and found that it had stabilised. (Actually I had lost a few kilos, for no apparent reason). I think this helped me feel a lot better about my weight, seeing as my biggest issue so far with being fat was that I didn’t know when the weight gain would stop.
I’m almost entirely comfortable with being fat now. My self image has updated, reducing that discomfort that comes from not expecting what you see in the mirror, and in general I find myself beautiful no matter what my “flaws” are. I think my work on self love has done a lot to ensure that.
Instead, I’m starting to notice just how weird the media’s obsession with thin people is. I have one or two friends who would be thin enough to be models, and I’ve noticed that when I look at them, their size seems atypical. It’s not bad, but not good either; it just is as it is. Yet in magazines and in movies, this is pushed as being typical and normal and desirable. Somehow I’ve learnt to just accept this in magazines and movies, but when I think to compare them to the real world, there’s a big discrepancy there, a big sense of cognitive dissonance. Movies show a weird airbrushed version of reality, and their logic for doing so seems very questionable to me.
Just as I no longer see very thin people as typical or unusually desirable, I no longer fear I’m less attractive for being fat. I just feel normal. It’s normal for people to have all sorts of body shapes, and this is a normal one. If someone is going to find that horribly unattractive I worry that maybe that person just doesn’t like humans.
I’m starting now to think that dieting is just a horrible form of masochism. I read a statistic suggesting dieting fails 99% of the time (the exact figure is up for debate, but I think this is in the ballpark at least). I know that statistics are not everything, but unless I can find some reason to believe I know better than 99 other people doing the same thing as me, those are just not good odds.
One thing that stuck in my head was a study that showed that some people, even when eating 10,000 calories a day, simply never gain weight. They literally can’t.
And really, I’m not fat because I’m a glutton. I enjoy food but most of the time I have better things to do than eat for the sake of it, and I’m mostly when I eat I’m just trying to get my hunger out of the way. I am slightly unusual in that I feel very, very bad if I don’t eat enough – it can lead to panic attacks – but that doesn’t make me eat more, it just makes sure I’m regular about it. At most I’ll eat a large meal before I go out to ensure I can stay feeling okay for longer, but I don’t think that means I eat more overall.
So if some people can never get fat no matter what they eat, and I get fat when I only eat in order to look after myself… you see where this is going? I don’t believe being fat comes from some failing of willpower. I just think it’s a normal thing that happens to some people.
Sooo… more and more, I’m thinking that I will put the idea of losing weight intentionally out of my head, possibly forever. Certainly I’m comfortable as I am, and I’m certain that if anyone has a problem with it, that’s entirely their problem and not mine.
When I was starting to come to terms with being fat, there was a period where it was hard for me to go to football training. I felt like I stood out, and it was uncomfortable for me. Recently I noticed that I don’t feel that anymore. Last time I was at football, I sat out for a while because I was out of breath. Someone later asked me why I was sitting out, and I simply said, “I’m fat, so I get more tired out than most people.”
I no longer see being fat as something to change, so I now simply see it as one of many ways I’m atypical and might have atypical needs. I find that so long as I’m okay with it, what other people think doesn’t matter too much, really.
A post I saw about fat runner Mirna Valerio inspired me in this regard. She could be dedicated to sports without becoming thin or expecting to become thin. She could shrug off the expectations of others while still doing what she wanted. If she could do it, so could I.