Tuesday, September 17, 2013

fat and sassy

Let me start this post off with letting you know how long it's taken me to write it.  I can't seem to find the write words to explain my thoughts sometimes, especially when it's something as personal as this.

I've mentioned it in a few posts, but I've not always been as confident as I am today.  I know I say it over and over again, but I used to not care about how I dressed or looked, but that's taken a turn in the past year or so.

I want everyone to know that they are beautiful.






I have never in my life been thin.
It's taken me years to realize this- but it's okay not to be thin.  

As a chubby kid, I grew up with that feeling that being fat was bad.  I thought that I would have more friends if I weren't chubby or if I didn't have my "fluffer belly". 

I was part of the scary statistic about the high percentages of young girls who are dissatisfied with their bodies.  "In a survey of girls 9 and 10 years old, 40% have tried to lose weight, according to an ongoing study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute."  Yeah, that was me. How fucked up is it that nine year olds are trying to lose weight? 

Swag.
I was a pre-teen during the peak of "Atkins" and "South Beach" diets and I even tried the Atkins diet.  I hated it.  I loved carbs too much.  I still do.  The idea of a salad for 2/3 of my meals made me want to vomit.  However, I was still on diet after diet after diet for as long as I can remember.  I can't think of any time as a child, preteen, or teenager where eating 'normal' food didn't make me feel guilty in some way.  If I got picked on- I deserved it, because I was chubby.  I stayed chubby all throughout elementary and middle school.

Even at my thinnest, I was still a size 11-13; which was fine by me.  I felt great, but I lost the weight in an awful way, and it didn't stay off for long.

Close to my thinnest, right before I turned 15.
I lost the weight because I was testing for my black belt in early 2008 when I was 14 years old.  I started a diet called the HMR diet- it consisted of a shake for breakfast (which I quickly learned to mix with coffee to make it taste less disgusting) and two pre-packaged meals for lunch and dinner.  They were like Lean Cuisine, but had no need to be refrigerated, and tasted absolutely disgusting.  I lost close to 40 lbs, tested for my black belt, passed, and as soon as it was over, I stopped the diet. I had no reason to continue after I could pass the vigorous physical test to earn my black belt (which is, to this day, my greatest accomplishment and I have no regrets).   The HMR worked when testing for my black belt- but temporarily.  This diet taught me how to eat as little as possible and nothing else.  As soon as I was "finished" with the testing process I went back to eating the same old, same old and I gained it all back because I didn't know anything about nutrition or eating balanced meals.  But here's the thing: Even at my thinnest, I still thought I was too fat.

Shortly after I received my black belt and turned 15, my dad was diagnosed with throat cancer for the first time.  Being 15 is hard in the first place- my first year in high school, trying to figure out 'who I was' and what I wanted to do with my life- but then you hear that your dad is probably going to die within the next five years and my whole world fell apart.  I quickly turned to food for comfort and gained back every single pound that I had lost, and then some.

He went in and out of remission as I continued in and out of diets.  There was always something new- only organic food! no carbs! no sugar! no eating after 8PM! - but nothing worked. I would always come home after school and eat literally anything I could find.  I found solace in eating, and not much else.  During my junior and senior year of high school, he was in remission, and I continued to "diet".  I found a way to lose weight that was successful- by just watching what I ate.  I counted every calorie, worked out a shit ton, sometimes doing two-a-days, and the weight fell off.  I lost about 20 lbs and I've still kept them off to this day.  But that's not the point of this post.

Then I was accepted to my university of choice, and moved to said school later that fall.  A few days before I moved out, my dad was diagnosed again, but this time the cancer was in his lymph nodes and his lungs.  It was serious.  And I was about to move out.

I had two things to focus on: school, and my dad.  I wanted so badly to forget school and move back home and be with my dad as he got worse and worse, but ultimately stayed in school as that's what he wanted and that's what we agreed would be best.

I cared very little for myself freshman year of college.  I worked out a fair amount- I did a lot of Zumba with my dorm friends- and ate whatever the dining hall had to offer (mostly chicken burgers).  Doing something about my weight was the last thing on my mind between my sick dad and my schoolwork.

I didn't care what I looked like.  Ever.  But I knew I hated it.  I would wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt to class most days and just throw on the usual makeup.  I wanted to look better, but didn't want to admit that regular junior's sizing wouldn't fit me in most cases.  Shopping in the plus section seemed like a death sentence.  If I shop in the plus size section, then that will confirm everything I've ever wanted to deny about my body.

Well, one day, I happened to stumble upon an adorable coat online in the plus size section of Forever 21.  I bought it. And you know what? The world didn't end.  My friends didn't suddenly abandon me because I was - god forbid- plus size.

Depriving myself of happiness is probably my biggest regret in my short 19 years of life.
Society engrains in our minds that fat people are not as worthy of happiness as thin people.
It wasn't until very recently that I stumbled upon the "fat acceptance" crowd online.  It seemed ludicrous at first- why is there a fat acceptance community? Why are people glorifying obesity?  Isn't that bad?

Online, I found hundreds of people who were my size- as well as people who were bigger, and smaller- who were comfortable in their own skin.

These people, even though they were 'plus-size' like me, were happy.  They would dress themselves in adorable clothing, put on kickass makeup, and be unapolagetically themselves 100% of the time.

 I aspired to be like them- to be okay with my size.

Well, why can't I do that? Why can't I think of myself as that way?

I would look at pictures of women of all sizes and think "wow, they are beautiful".  Why should I tell myself that I'm not?

As soon as I got remotely interested in plus size clothing and the "fat acceptance" culture, I was hired at a clothing store.  This totally explains why I got so obsessed with style- it's easy to when you're surrounded by hundreds of clothing items daily.  I started building up my own closet with clothes from stores like Torrid and Forever 21+.  I looked cute in the clothes I was in, and they fit me right because I wouldn't deny my plus-sized-ness (yeah, I just made up a word).  The world still didn't end.  I didn't get fatter because I bought plus size clothes.

Moral of the story:

You are allowed to think you are pretty.  You are deserving of all of the love and acceptance that surrounds you.  You are not worth less because you are fat (or thin or anything in between).  A real woman does not have curves, neither is she a rail.  A real woman is any woman.  What she looks like does not dictate her status of being a "real" woman.  Eat that donut, or cheeseburger, or kale, or whatever you want.  It's your body.  You are in control of it.  No one else.  Body acceptance is not about glorifying obesity.   It is not about wanting to lose weight.  Or gain it.  Body acceptance, and body positivity, means that we should not discriminate against others based on their shape and size.  People are unique.  No two bodies are the same.  And that's fine.

Just because someone doesn't look like you doesn't mean that they're bad.   It just means they look different.  How hard is that to understand?  Body policing is never, in any, way, shape or form, okay.

Never tell someone anything along the lines of "you'd be so pretty if you lost weight".  "I'm worried about your health".  "You've really let yourself go lately".  This is what leads to the feelings I explained earlier and the statistics about nine year olds wanting to lose weight- it send off messages that fat isn't okay.  And you know what?  It is okay.  I am fat. And I am happy. God forbid.  My health is fine.  My bloodwork is always outstanding.  No, I can't run a mile faster than you, but I can wurq my butt off during zumba.


Accepting my size didn't happen overnight.  It happened with the help of amazing people in my real-world life and my online life who live to inspire others.


Some blogs that inspired me:

http://fuckyeahchubbygirls.tumblr.com/
http://gtfothinspo.com/
http://redefiningbodyimage.tumblr.com/
http://fuckyeahchubbyfashion.tumblr.com/







I can't find the sources for the first two images- If I'm using your image and want me to take it down or credit it, let me know and I will do so!




If I can help just one person start to see themselves in a different way, I'll have made my mark in the world.

You are more than a number.  You are valuable no matter what your size is.  You are deserving of happiness and love and kisses and hugs and rainbows and butterflies if you are 100 pounds or 300 pounds.

Body acceptance isn't overnight, either.  It's a long road, and it's okay to not like yourself every now and then.  I still have days where I think "ugh, I'm so fat".  Baby steps.  Honor your curves, every single one of them.


Thanks for reading,










8 comments:

  1. You have always been beautiful Allie. I have always figured, dress for your fashion sense first. Make sure it fits properly, too big/too small clothes are never flattering. Self confident people are always attractive.

    Love you bunches.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth :) The number on the tag doesn't matter as long as it fits well! Love you!

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  2. Love you darling Allie! This is perfect <3 And your blog is so pretty! How did you make it so pretty?! Mine is a right out of the box template and I hate it.

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    1. Thank you Katie! :) I made the banner in Photoshop (pretty easy) and then found some tutorials online for how to add buttons to the side. For the rest I went to the design tab and just customized it!

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  3. Love this !!! Thank you for sharing your journey in a positive light :]

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