Fat Positive thoughts in the oddest places.

What do YOU see?

What do YOU see?

I just got on the desktop computer* and opened up a webpage, which is set to iGoogle under my username.  I have it set to “random themes” and I get a different one every day.  This is one part of what came up today.

At first, I just looked at the colors and thought “oooh!  I like that one!”  But then I looked at it a little closer.

I do believe that this is just supposed to be some abstract pattern, but when I looked at this one part that I’ve sectioned off for you to see, what do you think my brain saw?

A beautiful fat body, that’s what.

Now what’s so strange about that, you might ask?  Of course I’m going to tell you, that’s the whole point of this post!  🙂

You have to remember that I’m still fairly new to FA.  It hasn’t even been a year yet since I read my first FA post.  The change in me has been fairly slow, in terms of that <year.  However, when you consider the entirety of my life, it’s been fairly quick.  Especially when the changes in me go unnoticed until one day, it jumps up and slaps me in the face.  Like today.

I, like probably most fat people, internalized the fatphobia just as good as the next person.  Oh yeah, I didn’t just hate myself, I hated fat in general.  Of course there were always fat people that I saw and looked at and thought “wow… s/he’s fat AND beautiful” but I have to admit that it was very few and far between.  For the most part, the internalized fatphobia dominated my thinking.

Now I’ll admit that I’ve gone out of my way to try and change that thinking.  Not for anyone else, but for me.  I didn’t want to think that way about anyone, including myself.  But it was only today, when I saw that design on my iGoogle page, that I realized just how far I’ve come.

Never before finding FA would I have been able to actually think the words “beautiful fat body.”  I might not have reacted to a fat body with disdain or contempt, but those three words would have eluded me no matter what I did.  But today, I see that, and I am immediately overcome with an image of a beautiful fat woman, all roundness and curves and sensuality.

The whole thing.

The whole thing.

I realize that you might look at it and see nothing.  Or you might look at it and see a beautiful fat man instead of a woman.

But you know what?  I like the fact that I saw a beautiful fat woman.  I’m glad.  When I realized the change in my thinking, I smiled and got the warm fuzzies inside.

🙂

* – we have 3 computers here at home.  The desktop is commonly referred to as “Daddy’s” computer, the laptop is mine and mine alone, and the other computer is The Little Helper’s.  Lately, though, Daddy’s been spending a lot of time in the bedroom on my laptop, so I’ve been using “his” computer almost exclusively.

Mother, you’re breaking your Daughter’s heart.

nuff said.

'nuff said.

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to write this.  I knew I wanted to write about it, from the moment I had this conversation with her, but I just didn’t know how to approach it.  I’ve decided to make it an open letter to my mother.

Mother,

My heart is breaking for you.  This year has been terrible – first the thing with Baby Sister and Nephew, and then Stepfather died in the Spring.   I’ve been amazed at how strong you sound every time we talk on the phone.  I wouldn’t blame you if you just broke down, but you just keep going, no matter how hard things get for you.  You truly are an inspiration.

But then you talk about having lap-band surgery.  And my heart breaks even more.

You say that you “need” it.  That your health is just “so terrible,” and it’s the only thing that’s going to save you.

But Mommy, you’re going to do yourself more harm than good.

You say that it’s going to cure your diabetes, high blood pressure, and back problems.  All of which you know are inherited.  Grandmother had every single one of those problems, and Grandfather has at least two of them that I remember.  You say Grandmother was once as big as you are now – and honestly, I haven’t seen you in 5 years, so I don’t know how much you’ve gained – and you use that as an excuse to prove to me that you have to have this surgery.

But Grandmother wasn’t always very heavy.  I remember her being roughly the size I am now.  And I know that when she died, she was pretty small.  Just because she was heavy at one time in her life does not mean that one time caused all those health problems.

Having the doctor close off part of your stomach is not going to do you any good.  You’re going to become malnourished.  Sure, your diabetes might get better.  Because you’ll be starving yourself. Your body needs more than just a few ounces of food a day.  And it would even if you were thin.

I know it’s hard to fight the fatphobia that you see every day.  Even people who are well meaning are a lot of the times, unknowing fatphobes.  It’s institutionalized and it’s almost impossible to get away from.  I understand that, I really do.

But I hate to see you taking all of that fat hatred in and turning it on yourself.  Don’t you get enough hatred pointed your way from others?  Do you really have to hate yourself, too?

Part of my reaction is our relationship.  Since finding each other again six years ago, we have developed the kind of relatioship I only thought we could have in my dreams.  I have been able to turn to you when things got bad, and you supported and encouraged me.  I never thought I’d have that.

Part of it is my own rising self-esteem.  I can hear the self-loathing in your voice even when you don’t outwardly express it – because I’ve been there.  And I know how good it feels now to be able to say I like myself just the way I am.  I want you to know that feeling, too.

And part of it is that I’ve learned so much in the last few months, and hearing that you’re seriously contemplating surgery – to fix one thing that’s not broken, and to fix others that it simply won’t work for – seriously terrifies me.  You just don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.  And while I know that there are serious statistics – X amount of people have serious health problems, X amount of people actually die as a result of the surgery, X amount of people will actually end up gaining all their weight back – I never thought to save the URLs of the blog posts/studies/news articles I read, so I can’t “prove” it to you.  I know what I know, but without that “proof” I know you’ll just dismiss me as being a worried daughter.

And I am a worried daughter, no question.  But I also know that what you’re contemplating doing is going to be so much worse for your health than doing nothing at all.

And it makes me want to cry.

Want to preach FA? Get drunk!

I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing….

Done?

Okay then.

Here’s the thing: as I said in the comments on my last post, I’m not very good at articulating my FA stance to people I know and love, let alone total strangers.  Hubby is the only one that really knows how involved I am in FA, and as a naturally thin person, there are a lot of things that he just doesn’t get.  What he does know is that since finding FA, my confidence has soared, I have begun accepting myself, and my self-loathing (the one thing about me that he really didn’t like) has all but disappeared.  (It still rears its ugly head every once in a while, but not very often, thank FSM.)

Well, I went out drinking last night.  The second time in 2 weeks, but only my 3rd time this year (I don’t go out much, obviously).  I had run into my best friend May’s sister Carol, her daughter Gemma, and her son’s girlfriend Debbie when I was on my way back from Number One Daughter’s school on Tuesday.  They invited me out, and when I mentioned it to Hubby, he was all “go ahead!”  So… I did.  🙂

One thing you need to understand, though: May’s family – even her extended family – are like my second family.  Shit, Little Miss Naughty calls Carol “Auntie Carol”.  When they were younger, The Little Chatterbox and LMN kept getting confused, thinking that May was their aunt and her children were their cousins, so what did that make Carol and Gemma and the rest of them?  They’re only now getting to the point where they understand that no, they’re not REALLY family, they’re just REALLY good friends to us.

So the relationship between us and them is… complicated, sometimes confusing, but altogether a good one.

Well, as we were making our way between one nightclub and another, talk between Gemma, myself, and Gemma’s cousin (can’t for the life of me remember her name right now; she doesn’t go out with us all that often) turned to body image.  Carol’s diabetic and so is Gemma, and Gemma related to me the horror of a doctor’s appointment.  It was the usual fatty horror: you’re going to die if you don’t lose weight; you’re going to have a heart attack by the age of 23 because you’re too fat; etc, etc, etc.  I looked at her and told her “BULLSHIT!”  I was just drunk enough that I could say what I was thinking without worrying about the consequences.

At a UK size 12 (US 10-ish), Gemma is not only NOT fat, but she’s smaller than the “average British woman” (which, IIRC, is a UK 14).  Her cousin?  Even smaller, at a UK 8-10.  And yet they were both talking about how they need to lose weight.  I looked at both of them and let them have it, from both barrels.

Oh, I wasn’t nasty.  I wasn’t all “shut up you skinny bitch”.  I simply told them that this “obesity epidemic” bullshit is just that – bullshit.  I told them that not only do they not need to lose weight, but they need to stop thinking in terms of “dieting” and “good food/bad food”.  I asked Gemma, “if you had never been told that fat was bad or disgusting, or any of the thousands of horrible things people like to say about fat people, would you have still wanted to lose weight?” (At one time, she was a lot bigger than she is now, at a size 18/20 – basically, the same size I am right now.  She has lost weight and managed to keep it off for now.  Either she hasn’t hit the 5 year mark yet, or maybe she was meant to be this size.  You know, set-point.)  Her answer?  “No!  I was fat and happy!  I didn’t care what size I was, until that doctor scared me into losing weight.”  How many fat people are there in the world that know exactly how Gemma felt?  A hell of a lot, I’m sure.

Now granted, we didn’t go into a whole lot of detail, but I was glad that I had the chance to say something to both of them, and also glad that I was drunk enough that I didn’t worry about what they were going to think.  These people are my friends, they love me for the person I am – even if they don’t agree with me, they’re going to at least listen to what I have to say and not make me feel bad for having the convictions I do.  It’s silly of me to even worry about it, but worry about it I do.  When I’m sober.

I definitely was NOT sober.

And in this case?  I think that was a GOOD thing!  😀

Internalized Fat Hatred Right In Your Face

Number One Daughter had a doctor’s appointment today, with her specialist.  Dr. Specialist comes to the school and takes over the nurse’s office for the day and sees the patients there – all the parents have to do is come to school.  I tell you, this is a lot easier than having to keep a kid off of school and drag them all over hell’s creation for a 10-minute appointment!

So I get to the school (10 minutes early!  considering the school is waaaaaaaay across town, this is a record for me), and I wait in the parents’ room.  Dr. Specialist is running a little bit late, so as I’m waiting, two other mothers come in.  Both of them were fat.  Other Mother One is older than me – mid to late 40’s would be my guess.  Other Mother Two is exactly one year older than I am, 33.  Other Mother One and I were talking about the area I’m living in now (we just moved here a year ago), as she’s originally from here – she grew up not 10 houses down the street from me.  As Other Mother One and I are talking, Random Female School Employee comes in and says hello.  These two women obviously know each other.  After a series of “hi, how are you?” ‘s, Other Mother One immediately says “I’m on my new diet now!  I’ve lost 8 pounds!”

Me (in my head): and how are you going to feel when you gain it all back?

Ugh.

Random Female School Employee says something to the effect of “I can’t lose weight no matter what I do.  Even when I was going to Slimming World, I didn’t lose a pound.  It’s my thyroid.”

Me (in my head): or maybe you’re at your set-point!  (Note: I’m not discounting the fact that it could be the woman’s thyroid, but I know that some people just assume that because they can’t lose weight, there must be something wrong with them.  When in fact, there’s nothing wrong with THEM, there’s something wrong with society for making them feel like they HAVE to lose weight to become an acceptable human being.)

Part of me really wanted to go all FA on their asses.  But these are women I don’t know and probably will never see again, and I just wouldn’t feel right launching into a speech like that with somebody I don’t even know.  It’s times like this when I think having some business cards printed up with some web addresses – like Shapely Prose, for example – would be a GREAT idea.  I wouldn’t even have to say anything.  I could just give it to people and let them check it out for themselves.  Let them find the clue-by-four on their own.

The thing is, since I don’t interact with other people all that much, I honestly don’t see the Internalized Fat Hatred Diatribe all that often.  I know it happens, of course, but I just don’t see it.  So when something like this happens, it seriously makes me sad.  Sad for these women, that they can’t just try to love themselves the way they are.  Sad that they feel like they’ve got to put their entire life on hold until they live up to some arbitrary, unrealistic ideal.  Sad that they internalize all this shit to such an extent as this.

Because I know what that feels like.  I talk the talk, and I’m learning to walk the walk, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget what that feels like.  And I want to tell them how amazing it feels to wake up and not feel that hatred weighing me down every day.  I want to tell them what it feels like to be able to look in the mirror and not have those messages that are shoved down our throats by society-at-large running through my head every single time.  I want to tell them that internalizing that fat hatred is worse for them than any weight they might reach.  I want to tell them what it feels like to be free!

I just hate it when I see women looking so happy about hating themselves and their bodies.  Because there’s a 98% chance they’re going to be right back where they are now, if not heavier, and their self-hating is just going to get worse.

And that?  Is just sad.

In which I might get a bit rambly…

I’ve been kind of… “out of it”… mentally the last couple of days.  I’ve been reading, but I’m having a hard time really gathering my thoughts in a coherent manner.  I’m going to give it a shot, though.  But be warned: I might go off on a tangent.  It happens.

I keep going back and re-reading Kate’s latest thinky piece.  For a lot of reasons, really.

The biggest reason, probably, being that I have four children of my own.  And they do stuff like that.  I remember when The Little Helper was about 3 or 4, and I’d taken her to the supermarket with me.  We were in one aisle, and a large woman walked across the end of the aisle.  If I had to guess, I’d say she was probably about the age I am now (early 30’s) and roughly a size 26/28.  I’m not even going to try and guess how much she weighs, because as we well know, nobody knows what a certain weight looks like.  Suffice it to say that she was definitely larger than I was.  Anyway, The Little Helper sees her and yells – and I mean YELLS – “Mommy, that lady is FAT!!”  She said it so loudly that people in the other aisles came into ours to see who she was talking about.

Needless to say, I was mortified.  I told her “shh!  You shouldn’t talk about people like that!”

Now what I really wanted to say was that she shouldn’t be pointing out any specifics about anybody’s body – that’s just plain rude.  But like I said… she was only 3 or 4 at that point.  She wouldn’t have understood what I was talking about.

I sometimes wonder if I might have had something to do with her outburst, though.  I’d just had The Little Chatterbox not too long before hand, and I was desperate to lose weight.  (Never mind the fact that I actually weighed less at that point than I had when Hubby and I first married, I was just SOOO Fat.  [Excuse me while I go barf at myself.])  But I know that, at that point, I was very vocal about wanting to lose weight and how disgusting I was.  So sometimes I wonder if it wasn’t just a little kid making a (very loud) observation, but her clumsy way of saying “but Mommy, you’re so much smaller than she is”.  (That’s the kind of kid she is and always has been – she always wants to help people, whether that’s physical help or emotional.  Hence why she gets the nickname The Little Helper.)

But children are curious creatures – and they will point out any differences they see, usually without malicious intent.  I remember when my youngest cousin Eric was little – about 4 or 5, I’d say – and I had gone over to his house (I was there a LOT back then… a couple of times a week, easy).  I was about 12 or so at the time, and when I walked in, he looked up at me and said “You’ve got some BIG boobies!”  I was already a D cup at that point, so what he was saying was simply true.  D cup boobies on a 12 year old ARE big boobies!  My aunt and then-uncle (they divorced about 2 or 3 years later) gave him hell for saying it, and I’ll admit I was feeling really uncomfortable at the time.  But now?  I can look back on it and realize that he wasn’t trying to be naughty or anything… he just couldn’t help but notice how I was built (few people could) and remarked on it.

So on the subject of children remarking on the differences in people… be that fat or something else… I have to say that the way we REACT to those remarks has a lot more to do with teaching them whether they’re right or wrong.  If a little child comes up to me and says “you’re fat,” the way I react to it is going to tell her whether it’s an okay thing to say or not.  That’s part of where my re-educating my children comes in.  When they were younger and would say something like that, my response would usually be a resigned “yes, I know.”  But now that I’m trying to view fat in a different light, my responses are so much different.  We tend to talk a lot about physical differences in our family – partly because we have a blended family and we don’t all look alike.  (My oldest 2 both have brown hair and brown eyes while the rest of us have blond hair and blue eyes.)  So the subject comes up a little more often than it does in most families, I think.

But that’s where we first learn this whole fat=bad dichotomy.  From other people.  It’s not something we’re born with – it’s something we learn from listening to and watching other people.  Now in older children… yeah, I think the “we shouldn’t remark on other people’s bodies, PERIOD, because that’s just rude” talk needs to be had.  But when you’re talking about young children who are just expressing their curiosity about the world around them… then really, it’s your own reaction that’s the most telling.

But this quote:

actually acknowledging your body and inhabiting it, instead of keeping your mind — the good part of you — comfortably separate from its housing.)

really got to me.  Because that’s essentially what I did.  It was part of my Fantasy of Being Thin – this wasn’t the “real” me, because the “real” me was thin, sexy, and beautiful.  The “real me” was obscured by all of my fat.  Um… no.  The REAL me is and always has been RIGHT HERE.  She isn’t THIN, sexy, and beautiful… she’s FAT, sexy, and beautiful.  She already is almost everything I’ve ever wanted her to be.  And those things she hasn’t achieved yet… well, she’s only 32.  Chances are, she has a lot of time to grow and change.  But the more I really LIVE in my body (as opposed to EXISTING in it, like before), the more my perception of myself has changed.  Do you know… in the last 8 months (since I found the Fatosphere), my eyes have lost a good 30 or 40 pounds?  What do I mean by that?  Well, it’s like this: my BODY hasn’t changed much at all in those 8 months.  My hair is shorter and has been a couple of different colors since then, and I’ve developed some ROCKING thigh muscles, but my weight?  Hasn’t budged.  Nor did I expect it to.  But when I see myself, I see someone that looks a good 30 or 40 lbs. less than what I saw before October of last year.  I say this fairly often, but I really think it’s true: I think I have/had undiagnosed body dysmorphia.  Because when I saw someone who was easily 100+ heavier than me, or 10+ dress sizes larger than myself, I thought I looked like that.  My EYES were fatter than my body.  I have always seen myself as larger than I am.  Until recently, that is.

It’s like finding the Fatosphere and actively taking steps to try and accept (and eventually love) myself has pulled the wool from my eyes and I’m really and truly seeing myself for the first time.  What’s really there, not just what *I* think is there.

And honestly?  Trying to become more comfortable with the word “fat” and developing different ways of responding to that word has had a lot to do with that.  And since the topic seems to come up so often in my house, it’s actually helped to speed it along a little.  Each time the topic comes up, I take a few more steps down the road to full self-love.

A couple of the comments on Kate’s post really got to me though.  For example:

Not that anyone here has done it, but I do have to say that some folks who are on the smaller side of plus piss me off, because they talk about their experiences of “being fat” as if catcalls and a lack of dates is all that we have to go through. They talk about all the cute clothes that finally come in large sizes and don’t realize that even plus-size shops don’t carry things in my size (hint: if your clothing line stops at size 28, you’re still cutting off millions of potential customers.) When you’ve lived several years of your life not even being able to fit in restaurant booths or airplane seats, you start to realize that the “problems” of being a size 20 or so really aren’t problems at all, and you really start to wish that people that size would stfu about how bad they have it.

That one shocked the hell out of me.  Not that I’m trying to play “one-uppance” or anything… but it just really surprised me that someone larger than I would actually think those things.  And honestly?  She has a right to her feelings.  But for most of my life I have thought of myself as insanely huge (for the record, I’m a UK 20/US 16-18), so to read something like that is just like…. whoah.  It just never occurred to me that someone would think that I, at that size, wouldn’t know what it’s like to “really” be fat.  It’s a learning tool, though.  Now that I know that there are people out there that think that way, I can be a little more aware of my language and the effects of said language on people.

And I have to give props… A Sarah wrote a couple of very well-written responses from a parent’s perspective.  I couldn’t have said it much better than she did.

The whole “queer” and “Aspie” sidetrack made me cringe just a little bit.  One of the last responses on that said something to the effect of “THEY’RE allowed to use that word, but *I’M* not.”  Yup, pretty much my take on it, too.  If People With Unconventional Sexualities feel comfortable calling themselves “queer,” then good on them!  Seriously.  But I could never bring myself to use the word.  I guess it’s because I was growing up in the 80’s – and People With Unconventional Sexualities were just beginning to have the opportunities to reclaim the rights they deserved all along.  And “queer” was still seen as an insult then.  I couldn’t bring myself to say that word to someone without having flashbacks of when people would use it as a slur.  And I don’t want to be slurring anybody.  Ya know?  Like the n****r word.  NO WAY IN HELL am I ever going to use that word.  But if they want to use it?  Who the hell am I to tell them they can’t reclaim that word for themselves?

Okay, I think I’m done rambling for now.

… but you never know! 😛

No-Diet Talk

Reading the comments on this post really got me thinking. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that having a “no-diet talk” policy is a good thing.

For a lot of us, the road to dieting is a road to crazy-ville. I know that’s true for me. Like Rachel has said, not all diets turn into eating disorders, but most eating disorders began with a simple ‘diet.’ And while I never had a full-blown eating disorder, I’ll be the first to admit that I was well on my way to developing one. My only saving grace was that I had someone who loved me to stop me from killing myself.

My last diet – just last year – ended the day my husband lost it, screamed at me, and smashed my scale to smithereens with his bare hands. What set him off? Well, for one thing, I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t even eating enough to keep a baby alive. 2 pots of yogurt (low-fat, of course) and 1/4 of a meal was pretty much all I would eat – and that was on a good day. If I was having a bad day, I would eat even less. I would drink water to try and fill up my belly, so I wouldn’t feel the hunger. And after a while, I would become immune to the hunger pains anyway.

He watched me starving myself and weighing myself 3.. 4… sometimes even 5 or 6 times a day. It became an obsession. I was obsessed with becoming thin. It was all I could think about. I ate, drank, even breathed ‘weight loss.’ It was the sole purpose of my existence at the time. Nothing else mattered. Not him, not the children, not the house (I’m a housewife, so the house is my ‘job.’) All I could think about was becoming thin. Or at least thinner.

I was weak, I would get dizzy spells, I was cranky as hell (okay, I’ll admit it: I was a bitch)… and yet the only thing that mattered to me at the time was becoming thin. Losing weight. Taking up less space.

Until one day he found me in tears in the bathroom. After all my hard work, the scale actually said that I’d gained five pounds. GAINED!!! I was hysterical. No amount of dieting was ever going to work. I was going to be a fat, ugly, worthless pig for the rest of my life. That’s the really sad part. I really believed – at the time – that fat = ugly/worthless/pig. At least for me. (That’s the strange part. I could look at another fat woman and not think those things, but to look in the mirror always brought those thoughts. It was like those particular slurs were meant for me and me alone.) When he saw just how distraught I was, and knew that no amount of trying to support me was helping, he lost it. He couldn’t stand to see me literally trying to kill myself just in the quest to become thin. He started screaming – not so much at me, but at his own frustrations regarding the situation – took my scale, and broke it. It was in pieces. Several pieces.

At first, the thought of not dieting, not knowing how much I weighed? It scared me. It fucking terrified me. I, like a lot of fat people, had the irrational fear that I was going to keep gaining and gaining and eventually take up the whole world. And I feared that he (Hubby) would one day become disgusted with me and would leave me for someone thinner and infinitely more beautiful.

But that didn’t happen. I didn’t gain weight. I haven’t taken over the world. My husband hasn’t left me. If anything, he was the catalyst that led me to FA. Not directly, of course, but I don’t think I would have been ready to accept the concept of FA if I was still in full-blown dieting mode. I don’t think my brain could have grasped the concept.

And, if anything, finding FA and realizing that I don’t have to lose weight just to become an acceptable human being, has made me a better person. Trying to accept and come to love myself just the way I am, without trying to change myself, has improved almost every area of my life. It’s certainly improved my marriage, and I can finally see that my fears over losing my husband just because of my weight were not just unfounded, they were downright ridiculous. Because he’s always loved me just the way I am. He’s attracted to me because I’m fat. (I have to tell you, that knowledge is still mind-blowing. After spending 9 years terrified that he’d ‘settled’ for me, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around that one.)

So… no-diet talk? For me, it’s a must. It would be SOO easy to fall back into that mindset, that thinking that I will only become an acceptable human being once I take up less space. And that thinking? Is crazy thinking. In-fucking-sane. I realize now that I deserve so much better than to think that I have to be something I’m inherently NOT just to become “worthy.” Worthy of what? Of whom? And who says? Who the hell crowned himself king of the world and decided that I have to be X to become a worthy human being? And why in the hell did I ever believe it?

So… yeah. NO DIET TALK. It’s much better for my mental health. And, reading the comments on Paul’s post just proves to me that I’m sure as hell not alone.

Yeah, what he said!

Browsing the Fatosphere, I found this by Red No. 3.  I understand why he has comments turned off *coughtrollscough* , but it’s times like this when I wish I could post a comment over there, even if it’s just to give him a written high-five!

I swear, it’s like he read my mind.

I’m going to wake up on New Year’s Day and not be thinking about my weight. I won’t be making any resolutions about losing weight. Fat hatred isn’t inevitable. Self-loathing doesn’t have to be a way of life. Everyone has the capacity to liberate themselves from fat hatred. Everyone. I don’t buy into the notion that self-love should be withheld from people if they really don’t want to. No matter how certain you are that you can’t accept your body. No matter how much self-justifications you make for self-hatred.

That’s pretty much what went through my mind when I first found Fat Acceptance.  You mean I don’t have to hate myself?  I might actually be correct in thinking that I’m meant to be this size (after years and years and years and years of useless dieting)?  That it might be okay for me to accept myself the way I am?  That maybe – just maybe – I might be okay, regardless of what size I am?  I don’t have to keep fighting my body to make it smaller just because I think I should be smaller?  I don’t have to constantly obsess over what I’ve eaten, what I am eating, and what I’m going to eat, because it might *gasp* make me even fatter?  (Which actually has never happened, so I don’t know why I’ve thought that, but I have.)

The only thing I would add to what he wrote is directly related to one of the quotes he used.

“I need to get healthy”

I would add that thinner doesn’t always equal healthy.  That just because you’re not thin doesn’t mean you couldn’t – or shouldn’t – exercise.  That exercise in and of itself is healthy for you regardless of whether or not it results in weight loss.  To be honest, that was one of the biggest epiphanies I had when I first found FA.  Once I got over the “you mean I don’t have to hate myself just because I’m fat” bit.  You mean I should exercise even if I don’t lose weight?  That I might find it fun if I do it just to do it and not obsess over what the scale does or doesn’t say?  Wow!  (It really was a wow, at least to me.)  Realizing that there is such a concept as Health At Every Size and that I can – and should! – adopt that concept for myself was such a revelation to me.  I had been so indoctrined in the exercise = lost weight routine that I really and truly thought that I shouldn’t even bother if it didn’t result in my losing weight.

But Brian, dude, you rock.  Yeah.  What you said.  😉