Fat people hate (and why we NEED the body acceptance movement)

I’m fat.

That’s right. I frequently make my weight scale sad, and my BMI is screaming at me. I’m working to change that, but for the time being, I’m a fatty.

But I shouldn’t be hated for being fat.

A couple of months ago I was browsing Reddit and on the front page I noticed a post from a sub-reddit called “fat-people hate.” Confused, I opened the link (which was titled something references curves) and here was a picture of a girl about my size who had called herself “curvy” next to a photo of a “curvy” model. Fine, yes, there’s a difference. However, when I opened the comment section, every part of my fat self wanted to die in a corner. The comments were so full of hate towards this overweight girl that it was unbelievable. And when I say hate, I don’t mean “wow, she’s not curvy, that’s fat. lol.” They were throwing words like “disgusting,” “lazy,” and “horrible,” around. And on top of that, they starting insulting this person’s behaviours without even knowing the person, with comments about her eating habits, her hygiene, her personal life. Nothing was free from scrutiny from these people. All based on one photo.

Now, I’m well aware of the fact that the internet is a beast, and on sites like Reddit where anonymity is key, these attitudes crop up. But I was still flabbergasted, that this much hate could exist for people who were overweight. I tried desperately to find proof that this was a (terrible) satire sub-reddit, with no luck. It is an honest-to-god forum for people to hate on fat people.

Furthermore, this sub continues to berate and shit on the body acceptance movement (note, not the fat-acceptance movement). What they don’t understand is that they are the cause of that movement. They are the bullies in elementary school who poked you and made the dough boy sound. They are the CEOs that say that their clothing line isn’t meant for fat people. They are the family members whose snide remarks never go unnoticed, and the people at the gym who insult and blatantly laugh at the newbie trying to start their weight loss journey. They have caused more mental anguish over flesh than they even realize because they forget about it and move on. But it probably took that guy at the gym 5 months to get the courage to even go, and they’ve just proved his fears right, setting him back another 5 months. And because of that, people have decided that enough is enough.

Do you know why we need the body acceptance movement? Because we shouldn’t hate ourselves, especially not over how much we weight, or don’t weigh for that matter.  Body acceptance is about loving ourselves no matter what the mirror shows us or what the scales say. It reduces the value we place on image and brings it back to our self-appreciation and love. It makes people start looking at themselves beyond what they see and realize that their worth isn’t determined in comparison to others. We shouldn’t be working out and changing diets to be happy. We should be doing that to be healthy. The two are not synonymous. Happiness should come from self-acceptance no matter what you see in the mirror.

For me, it’s taken a very long time to accept myself. I’m not small. I don’t remember ever being small. But eventually you learn that you can be a good person with amazing friends and adventures regardless of your size, skin colour, sexual preference, distaste for pickles, love for the colour green, etc.

Love yourself, and the rest will follow.

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Energy, where art thou?

So it’s officially the second month of this year and so far, I’m chugging along well with my goals for 2015.

  • I’ve been tracking my food and have definitely gotten my eating on track. Yes, there have been treats along the way, and some days that could have been better, but overall, there is an improvement.
  • I’ve paid a significant amount of money down on debts in the past month. I’m still far from where I need to be, but I’m hoping that this is a sign of good things to come.
  • I made myself a hat! And I’ve already worn it multiple times so now I can’t sell it or gift it even if I wanted to!

So the next step of my journey is to start looking at my activity and the things that I do. My gym membership has been on hold since September, but should be active again by the end of this month. My only thought is, do I want to keep paying 50$ a month for this service or do I want to be more innovative in finding ways to be active? When I get into the gym “groove,” I do actually enjoy it. I’ve always referred to it as “me” time. I rarely go with anyone else so I tend to just have my headphones in and go at my own pace. However, it always starting that’s the issue. And it boils down to one particular theme:

I’m ALWAYS tired.

At any point throughout the day, I could go for a nap. I feel like my default setting is “mopey”. And it’s really irritating because I feel like I could be enjoying life so much more if I weren’t so tired all the time. I sleep well, my eating is getting better, and yet my first thoughts in the morning when waking up is “I can’t wait to get back in bed tonight.” Is this normal? Does everybody go through this at some point?

So I’m upping the ante for the next couple of months. Be it at a gym, or taking the dog for a walk everyday, or dancing around my apartment, I want to be active at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes. Hopefully this will kick start whatever energy reserve is hiding out and get me moving more.

Where in the world would you like to be right now?

Most times wphoto (3)hen we hear that question, we often hear responses like “I’d love to go to Paris,” or “I want to see the Colosseum,” or even the less cultured “In bed.” For me, the answer to that question today is not quite so extravagant. I’d like to be somewhere I’ve spent so much time already, but loved every minute.

I’m from St. John’s. I grew up here and never left. However, my dad is from the west coast of NL. And on the west coast there is a pond – Bonne Bay Pond. And on that pond there is a little white cabin, with a small blue motor boat and a green canoe. There’s a makeshift clothesline with swimming towels blowing in the wind between two trees. Twenty feet from the doorstep, there is the water. There is a wharf that seemed so much bigger as a kid. Along the shore, there is a bonfire pit with remnants from the night before.

We didn’t go on extravagant vacations to Disney or Europe when I was a kid. Our vacations conphoto 3sisted of us packing up a compact car near to bursting and driving 7 hours across the island to visit my Dad’s family. Most times, we didn’t even make it into Corner Brook, but instead drove up to Bonne Bay Pond and stayed at this cabin for the entire week. It was actually built when my dad was about 5 years old (so around 50 years ago – sorry dad). It didn’t matter how many bug bites or scratches we ended up with, or how bad the sunburns got we always had the time of our lives. Sometimes it was just us and my grandparents. Sometimes aunts and uncles and cousins and old family friends would show up.

One of my all time favourite stories was when I was about 8 or 9 years old. We had risen with the sun to start the journey. Dad says it was so we weren’t in the car during the hottest time of day, but I really think it was because he was too excited to wait any longer himself. We arrive at the cabin around 1:00pm. Wonderful. Except, my grandparents weren’t expecting us until much later so now we have just finished a 7 hour journey and are locked out of the only bathroom available. So while my mphoto 2om gets my brother and I ready to go swimming, my dad proceeds to break into the cabin (likely not his first time). The look on my grandparent’s face when they show up was utter confusion. It has since been a much told story.

Something I’m very grateful for in 2014 was the opportunity to go there again. It was different this time, but still wonderful. We went swimming, dad did some fishing, I slept in a tent all week, and even though it rained, it was still a nice time. It kind of made me feel like a kid again.

I really do hope I get to continue this tradition. That little white cabin isn’t just a cabin for any of us.