One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

Fat is NOT a Dirty Word but Maybe it’s the Wrong One

23 Comments 3261 views

A few people sent me a link from the NY Times entitled In the Fatosphere, Big Is In, or at Least Accepted and wanted to know what I thought.   

Why my opinion?

I don’t know, but, OK, I’m always up for sharing my 2¢ :~)

The article showcases fat acceptance blogs like Shapely Prose and The-F-Word. There is a huge online community and they have an RSS feed called the fatosphere.

My first response was cool, to each there own. I envy their self-confidence. Big IS beautiful IF you are confident and happy in your own skin.  I hate to use sizes in an example as they are very arbitrary but, I’d much rather see a happy, healthy, confident women wearing a size 18 then a depressed, malnutrition, insecure size 2 any day.

However, fat acceptance is skirting a fine line for me. It’s intertwining body image, health and fatness, and that can get confusing. A thin person can be as, if not more, unhealthy then a fat person and vice versa. So why focus on fat acceptance and create a fatosphere. Shouldn’t we be spreading the word on health acceptance, teaching people proper nutrition, the benefits of whole foods, how great it is to be active? Shouldn’t we be creating a healthosphere?

In my case, I was fat for one reason and one reason only, I ate too much. It’s plain and simple. I was unhealthy, tired, inactive and depressed. I used food as an escape and made unhealthy choices. Some people may not have considered me “fat”. I averaged a size 14 for the majority of my 20’s. But size is just a number. I overate. I didn’t exercise and I was overall unhealthy. Someone else who had my same habits might have been a size 2 or even a 22. The point is, I was unhealthy, my size was irrelevant.

As with any issue, there are going to be to extremist sides. Those that feel all fat people are so by choice and they need to lose weight and those that think all fat people should be, excuse the pun, fat and happy. I, just as with most issues, like to think you need to realize that one size does not fit all.

Overall my feeling is this…  if people are happy and healthy that’s all that matters, size truly is irrelevant.




Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 23 comments so far.

    Jill

    January 22, 2008

    Hear Hear! I hate the obsession with dress sizes; feeling good mentally and physically is what really matters.

    Vickie

    January 23, 2008

    I eat whole foods as close to their natural state as possible – I exercise every day but Sunday – careful, exercise that does not injure my body – this is healthy to ME. I worry about the health of the accept me for whatever size I am minded people and I worry about the health of people that are eating lots of “non-food” stuff, while closely watching the calories. Skinny does not mean healthy.

    Kate

    January 23, 2008

    I agree with you. I think that if people are happy in their own skin that’s great, and if they are overweight and happy, each to their own.

    For me, I know being “fat” is also being unhealthy, and I’m not cool with that.

    Deb

    January 23, 2008

    Well said. I totally agree with ya !!

    Dev

    January 23, 2008

    Well said, Roni. I admire people who are comfortable in their own skin ~ no matter what their size. But that being said, being bigger brings on a whole slew of health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, etc., etc. That’s what I worry about.

    Tiffany

    January 23, 2008

    I have currently lost 36 lbs and when I was FAT…i was not happy. I think the as I lose more and more weight, I am happy. Ask any of those women, if they had 30 lbs off tomorrow…I am sure they would take it.

    JavaChick

    January 23, 2008

    I have mixed feelings on the whole thing. I agree – it is a good thing to be able to accept one’s self at whatever size we may be…But I’d hate to see that become an excuse for not trying, for not bothering to live a healthy lifestyle.

    pamelabee

    January 23, 2008

    Fat acceptance is a huge movement, and I know people involved in it who find it empowering. Like you, Roni, I think that if you can feel beautiful, happy, and healthy at a size whatever – more power to you.

    But if you (or anyone else) has any interest in reading about the other side of the fat acceptance movement, Bitch Magazine has a great article that delves in further, and some of the observations ring true for the weight loss movement as well. The article was in the current issue, so I don’t think you can read it online – but the magazine is fantastic and will always make you think, so it’s worth picking up at the bookstore.

    Krista

    January 23, 2008

    Roni: I agree.
    But I think sometimes we as a society place way too much emphasis on being “thin” making people who are not thin feel like they don’t fit in. I know there have been times in my life where I have felt so much like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
    I have a very close friend who says she would rather be, again, excuse the pun, fat and happy, than eating saltines and lettuce for the rest of her life. I admire her for that because I am one of those people that if I don’t have control of everything in my life, including my weight, I feel like I am a failure. I know, I have control issues.
    I also think that our society is partly to blame for the obesity problem we are facing. How many times do you see “supersize it”, “biggy size it”, “giant size”, “upgrade” etc. and you know these are not referring to supersizing your vegetables or upgrading your exercise plan. Is it too easy and convenient for us to have access to things that aren’t good for us?
    Bottom line, I believe you need to be happy with who you are at whatever size your are. If you’re hot happy, then change may need to happen. But change will only happen when you are ready, believe me, I learned that the hard way.

    Heather

    January 23, 2008

    I’ve never met anyone that was OK with being overweight. I’ve been fat and I’ve been thin and I feel about a thousand times better, mentally and physically, when I’m thinner. I think some people who are heavy and say they’re happy being that way are just making excuses for not doing anything about it, in most cases anyway.

    Lily T

    January 23, 2008

    Fat acceptance IS very important and cannot be addressed by “health acceptance”. In this society, however difficult to attain, being healthy IS accepted. There are no rude group of individuals sneering at someone who decides to jog around the block. Girls in high school are not calling another girl “healthy” to hurt her feelings. Being fat is a stigma and needs to be addressed. Just like all the other stigmas.

    michelly

    January 23, 2008

    I think fat acceptance could lead to a healthier lifestyle. If you start to value yourself, you will start to take better care of yourself. I hope that is the case for those one the fatosphere.

    Anonymous

    January 23, 2008

    I admire people who can see themselves as beautiful, when most of society says that they’re not. But, at the same time, I feel that sometimes people say that they are happy with being fat because the alternative is too, well, difficult. It’s HARD to make the choice to eat better and to exercise. I think anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight knows that. But, things like diabetes and heart problems that can be direct results of obesity are not “made up” by society. They’re real. And if you’re BMI level is over 25, being happy and confident unfortunately isn’t going to save you from an early death.

    arimcg

    January 23, 2008

    I saw that article too…very interesting. I totally agree with you, and think people should focus on health, rather than weight.

    Crystal

    January 23, 2008

    Amen!

    Lisa

    January 23, 2008

    I agree with you Roni. I think all the “acceptable speach” is just putting a band-aid on the FAT problem America has. I was with my overly obese cousin one day when her son called someone else Fat. She told him that wasn’t acceptable. I’m sorry but covering up the word Fat to spare someone’s feelings isn’t helping that someone. Don’t you think someone would feel just as bad if a child said, “you’re unhealthy”? Children don’t really know any better…but someone who is a size 22 already knows their Fat but maybe they don’t realize they are unhealthy. Thank you for your site Roni. I have bookmarked your page. My husband was told he needs to lose 30 lbs today…because he is unhealthy. We will be using your insite to help him get healthy!

    Donna

    January 24, 2008

    I agree. I like your focus on health versus size.

    Also just wanted to say thanks for your site and for sharing. I check it daily and have found great support throughout the community. I think the daily support has been key to maintaining my weight loss. I guess all those Weight Watchers studies were right!!

    totegirl

    January 24, 2008

    I totally agree with you. It is all about health. I work with a morbidly obese woman who is in constant pain and has diabetes. She doesn’t usually complain about her pain, but she wears a morphine patch. She’s also very meticulous about her dress, hair, and makeup. So she has confidence, doesn’t complain, but has medical issues. This is where I have to say that it’s not okay to be accepting of fat. If it causes health issues, then it’s not okay. If she didn’t have chronic pain or diabetes, then good on her. She has taught me to dress for the body I have right now, and I appreciate that lesson, but I want to be able to run a 5k and do push-ups and chin-ups, etc. If I could do these things, then that would go a lot further to raise my self esteem than a smaller dress size.

    karen

    January 24, 2008

    An interesting range of comments, but I’m a fat woman who’s recently lost about 30 pounds by counting calories & eating incredibly healthy, currently at 235. I read several posts in the fatosphere and I was impressed by many of the views there. One of them is the obesity epidemic is the result of the pressure to be skinny. When I was in high school, I was a size 16 and the “fat girl” who never had dates. Maybe if I had been more society-attractive, I might not have gotten into the dieting/fat cycle. Now, I am trying to lose weight for my health (I’m 50 yrs old), and I will consider my goal met when I can wear a size 18 or possibly 16. That will still be “fat” but will be much more healthier even though I won’t meet society norms. And someone who loses 100 pounds to get down to a size 22 (like one of my friends) is also much healthier. While obese people are at higher risk for many diseases, guess what? Some of them DON’T have high blood pressure or diabetes. Some of them can do fine in a spinning or cardio class. I definitely agree that all shapes and sizes can be beautiful and healthy and we need to accept that. Please be supportive of others, and definitely yourself!

    Candace

    January 25, 2008

    Amen, I know some amazing women that are size 16 and 18 who can kick my butt in the gym, IRL and on-line. Overweight doesn’t mean unhealthy or unfit. I also don’t know why pencil thin is so admired, either. Many of the celebs are that way due to poor diet and drug abuse from what I can gather.

    Liza

    January 25, 2008

    I just read another article that is called the 7 Secrets of Naturally Thin People. This is the link
    http://www.ediets.com/news/article.cfm/cmi_2171221
    Readers were seriously annoyed by this article. One comment was from a thin person who says that the author seemed to think she lives in a magical Care Bear land where all was perfect and life was easy. The article was brutal on those who have to watch their weight, saying we obsess and that causes unhappiness. I don’t think she realizes that without a form of obsession we will not succeed. Many people gave experiences where they had tried to not obsess and “live like a naturally thin person” and they gained weight. One mother of two adopted daughters shared that one daughter came from two thin parents and one came from two obese parents and that even though those two girls are raised exactly the same in the same household, the one with thin parents is thin and the one with obese parents is obese. Her point was how very much this is dictated by genes. Looking at the Fatmosphere article alongside this article we realize that we may not have chosen to have a body that is not naturally thin, still that is the case and we have to accept and love ourselves anyway. However part of that acceptance and love is doing what is best for our bodies nomatter how hard it is. Our society seems to think (in reguard to many issues) that if it is a genetic and natural problem we can’t and should not have to control it and that we need not practice any self dicipline. The weight is an issue that genetically heavy people have to struggle with and naturally thin people I am sure have their own set of problems. I am thinking of thin people I know and I still can’t figure out what they are, but, they have got to have SOMETHING! Bottom line- sorry Fatmosphere people, genes or not, we all need a healthy dose of self dicipline, we will if we love oursleves.

    Roni

    January 25, 2008

    What great comments guys. I had some side conversations with people on this issue and I left this comment for Lily…

    By the way I wanted to say I appreciated your comment on the fat acceptance. You are right, there is a stigma. I remember kids saying “boom shack-a-lacka, boom shack-a-lacka” everytime I walked down the street.

    The funny thing is it’s both ways. Now that I’m “thin” I feel outcasted by the same group I was once apart of. I can hear them whisper at the WW meetings “why is she here” When I contribute at the meeting I get funny looks. I think we as people (especially women) just need to be more accepting of EVERYONE!

    I thought it warranted a post here.

    And Liza GREAT POINT. I mean some people are smarter then others, does that mean those of us on the short end of the brain genetics should just give up on school? Everyone has to work on something, we are have blessings and challenges.

    Monika aggarwal

    September 8, 2012

    i agree we should consider health more than weight.but some times over weight create problems.
    i m looking for some supplement to loose my weight please suggest me .