So I have totally slacked off on this blog, and was sat here pondering what to write about. Then it hit me – I can’t believe I haven’t told you the Princess story yet!
Guilty confession here – as much as I want to encourage everybody to be as healthy and happy in their skin as they can, sometimes I find it deeply irritating when somebody who’s barely been dieting for five minutes has lost a dress size/big chunk of weight already. I want to be happy for them, I do, it’s good work and they should keep it up. Problem is it just makes me glare at my own flab which takes forever to shift and has to be shifted in large amounts before I drop a size lol.
(It’s very odd – despite some reasonable large fluctuation in weight over the past few years, I’ve really only fluctuated one dress size. Guess my body just distributes it weirdly lol)
Am I the only who’s noticed how utterly incensed people get if there is so much as a hint of a suggestion that weight gain is/was/can be caused by something other than overeating? I’ve seen it in many places – forums, comment sections of many different sites including some newspapers whose readers I would assume were fairly intelligent – and it does amuse and bemuse me.
Are people really so attached to the idea that being overweight is a failing that they cannot accept that it may have more than one cause? Gluttony is the only acceptable explanation?
Having made my aversion to the F word clear, it kind of begs the question – if not “fat” then what?
A lot of the adjectives people tend to use in place of “fat” get mocked. It’s said that they’re a form of denial and of avoiding the issue. However, when as previously discussed the word “fat” is so heavily loaded is it really any wonder that people look for alternatives? There are plenty of derogatory synonyms like chunky, blubbery, chubby and so on which are far too socially acceptable to use, yet sometimes it can be a struggle to find terms with more positive or even simply neutral connotations.
So what can we call ourselves if we don’t feel like accepting all that negativity? How does language play into things?
I suppose when you start writing a new blog you really have to go through that whole rigamarole of introducing yourself and blah blah. I also suppose that given the nature of this blog, I really ought to bite the bullet and tell you the honest story of how I came to be the F word. Given that this is not a story I tell many people this is quite a big ask for only the second post in, but best get it out of the way. lol
Hello and welcome to Fat is the Real F Word!
You’ve probably already guessed from the title that I am not particularly fond of the word “fat.” It’s a horrible word. It shouldn’t be – it’s just a noun, the name for a type of body tissue. It’s the way our bodies store fuel. Heck, we actually need a certain amount of it in our diets to keep everything running smoothly and tickedy-boo. All in all “fat” should really not be an offensive word.
And yet it is, isn’t it? As JK Rowling once astutely pointed out, what’s often the first and most cutting insult people call to mind? Jibes about somebody’s weight. (I couldn’t find a working link to the original post on her site, but you can see it quoted here.) In our society the word is not simply a name for a type of tissue or a body shape. It’s an accusation and a judgment. It’s an insult. It’s a moral failing and an indicator of deep personality flaws. It’s synonymous with being lazy and lacking willpower. Of course it’s not just other people who wield this word against us, it’s ourselves. We live in fear of becoming it, we punish ourselves with it, and even perfectly healthy people live in fear that they are it.
That’s kinda nuts, right? Of all the terrible things to accuse somebody of, all the nasty things people can do and be… carrying some extra pounds is one of if not the worst?
Don’t get me wrong – I do not think being overweight is a good thing and this blog is certainly not going to advocate overconsumption. There are a lot of health risks associated with being both over or underweight and my philosophy is very much “stay healthy, whatever shape it works out as.” Even so I have a very big problem with the way that society treats the issue of fat and the scorn which it piles on those who are overweight. I have a very big problem with the way society treats pretty much every shape and size and the ridiculous pressure we all face to live up to the ideal, but I can’t speak to those other shapes and sizes because I am not those. What I am is that dread thing – fat.
So this blog is going to be my little attempt to make sense of all of it. I’ve been on a long and difficult journey to try and get my weight under control for many years now, and there are a heck of a lot of things to try and deal with in order to be successful. Sometimes I’ll be talking about my own issues and how it all makes me feel, sometimes I’ll talk more generally about the image of weight in the media etc, confusing nutritional information and diet plans, or sometimes I might post links to interesting studies etc.
Overeating is not the only or even near being the worst maladaptive coping mechanism people have managed to come up with in human history. Yet because unlike so many others it’s obvious to the naked eye people take one look and think they know it all. Well, screw that. I’m tired of the world telling me who I am and what my issues are based on what they assume from looking at me. I’m more than capable of listing my many foibles myself and much more accurately to boot!
Happy reading, and I hope if nothing else this blog makes a few people feel a little less alone in all these feelings.
Much love, Curvy Girl
Coming soon… My Big Fat History, and Alternatives to the F Word: the Language of Being Fat