I Love My (Fat) Body

20 Oct

My core story should have warped my attitude toward my body.  My mother has been trying to lose weight my entire life, and that is part of her core story — the oldest of six, she was also the biggest, but not what I could consider fat.  Still, she was constantly subjected to words like pudgy, or told she’d be so pretty, if she’d just lose a little weight.  Nothing intentionally cruel, but the same bullshit a lot of women hear every single day.

I’m not sure my mother has ever seen herself as pretty.  (She is beautiful.)  She did gain weight after having three children and she’s been trying to lose it my entire life.  I’m 27.  I’ve spent 27 years watching my mother diet, exercise, and berate herself for the way she looks.

I love my body.  As much as my mother struggles with her own body, she never projected that onto me; she never once implied that I should lose some weight, or skip dessert, or start a punishing exercise regimen.  My grandparents, who did so much damage to her, have provided me with unconditional love and support and not one comment about my weight, ever.

I am not skinny.  I don’t own a scale, but I probably weight between 170 and 180 pounds at 5’3″.  That makes me technically obese, which makes me question the validity of the “obesity epidemic” I keep hearing about.  I feel fat, but when I say that, I mean my body has a wealth of adipose tissue; I do not mean that I am unattractive, or unhealthy, or “letting myself go,” or undesirable, or inadequate, or any of the other terrible things that word is supposed to mean.

I love my body and I want to spend more time living in my body.  I think my body is beautiful, so I’ll end this post by quoting something I wrote a few years ago that I still believe:

“My fat body is also beautiful. Beauty comes in many forms, and one of them is the way my ample hips curve into muscular legs. Another is the circular form of my stomach; I do not have a concave absence, I have a slightly protruding substance.

My fat body inspires people to ask me if I’d like some pie.”

I’m not sure I understand how, but my core beliefs about my body are drastically different than my mother’s.  I am grateful that she did not refer to her own core story when she was helping me write mine.

* * *

This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival.  What’s your body’s core story?


5 Responses to “I Love My (Fat) Body”

  1. Camilla October 21, 2011 at 12:47 AM #

    Great article link, and it looks like a cool blog in general. I will continue to read it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  2. Camilla October 20, 2011 at 1:16 AM #

    I love this post. I needed this perspective. Presently, I am about the same size as you. When I was young, I was significantly underweight, and deliberately chose to be so. I equated being thin with being perfect and in control. My core story did warp my belief in my body. Now that I am on prescription meds that have weight gain as a side effect, I struggle with my weight, and my body image. I want to love my body. That is something I have been trying to do this past year. It helps me so much to hear someone is happy in their body, a body which probably looks a lot like mine.

    Thank you.


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