Sunday, July 20, 2014

HOW I STOPPED HATING MY BODY (AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO)

I remember being in a car with my best friend and her mom when I was about 13 or 14 years old, and her mom asked us both, "what is a part of your body that you love?" I immediately wanted to say "my eyes" or something like that, and she continued "not your face. your body."

I thought about it for a minute. What did I love? I'd always had hate this, hate that thoughts. I didn't love my too-big belly. I didn't love my thunder thighs. I didn't love my too-small boobs or too-flat butt. My skin was pale and covered in acne. Was there a part of me I actually liked?

All my life, I've been chubby. As I got older, I crossed the line from chubby to fat. This was hard for me to accept and I always resented myself for it.

Since I was little, I've wanted to change how I looked in some way or another. I've always wanted to be skinnier. I can't remember a time when I wasn't chubby and didn't want to lose weight. I've always been this way, and until recently, I haven't even bothered to accept that this is the body I will always live in and that I'd better come to terms with that.

Finally, one day I decided it was bullshit.

This isn't a post about losing weight or getting healthy. It's about the disordered thinking I've always had, and chances are, you've always had it too.

Why is it okay for us to think of ourselves — and others — so negatively? Can you remember a time when you thought wow, that person has really let themselves go in terms of their weight? I know I can. You probably can too.

Hating fat people hasn't moved society in any direction but backward. Hatred of fat people doesn't get rid of fat people or make them lose weight. It just imposes a standard that it's okay to hate someone and shame them simply because of their body size.

Oh, and if you think it's okay to be fat as long as you "eat healthy" and "exercise," that's not exactly helping, either. The idea that it's only okay to be who you are "as long as" or "if" you are a certain way is equally as toxic. That person's body size does not affect your life at all. So stop caring about it.

My body is my business. Your body is your business. 

If I gain 50 pounds, that is nothing for you to comment on. Conversely, if I lose 50 pounds, that is nothing for you comment on. As I said before, my body is my business. Commenting on someone's shape or size is likely something that will resonate with them and make them overthink. 

Stop shaming others for how they look. Whether they are 100 or 500 pounds, who they are is their goddamn business and has nothing to do with you.

Let's cut to the chase.

One day, I decided I was going to stop hating myself. I was going to love every inch of my damn body and not give a shit what anyone else thought.

It has taken a while — and while I am certainly not 100 percent comfortable with who I am — I am exponentially happier than I was five years ago, one year ago and even a month ago.

I stopped hesitating to shop at "plus size" stores because I realized that the people working at them were so understanding and kind and truly there to help you. Chances are, they're thinking a lot of the same things as you.

I stopped looking at junk food as "the bad guy" because it's fucking delicious and 99 percent of the population eats it. I stopped feeling guilty for enjoying it.

I started thinking about the things I loved about myself.

I kept my awkward chest bumps and double chin and not-white teeth because
they are a part of who I am and if you can't accept that then gtfo.
I love my too big belly because it keeps all my insides together and I don't really want those pouring all over the place. 

I love my thunder thighs because they are strong and help me go from place to place. 

I love my curves, every single one of them. 

I love my pale skin, even if it doesn't love the sun quite as much as I'd like it to. 

I've never been thin. And I probably never will be. And that's okay.

It's okay for everyone to exist, regardless of their size, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or anything else that may make them different from you.

And when you stop hating yourself, and start to love yourself, it will show. I cannot stress this enough. You will start to love others even more than you already do. It will not happen overnight. It's a process. (You know that Roald Dahl quote... "if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely"? It's like that.)

Loving myself is by far the most rewarding thing I've ever learned to do. I am so much more than what I look like. I am made up of my passions, my hobbies, my experiences, the things I love to do and the way I carry myself and so much more. 

When people talk about me, I don't want them to say "Allie, the fat girl." I want them to say "Allie, the one who loves makeup" or "Allie, the pseudo-Canadian" or "Allie, the one who is obsessed with peacocks, coffee and the Beatles." If fat is all that you see me as, then you need to change the way you look at the world. 

I will change the world one day, one radical thought at a time. I want everyone to know how beautiful and deserving of love and happiness they are. 

So far, I'm pretty damn proud of where I've come.


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Some websites that helped me change my thinking:

The Militant Baker — Jes is a blogger who isn't afraid to say exactly what's on her mind. She's one of the first bloggers I encountered and introduced me to fat acceptance. I don't know if I would have come as far as I am today without her.

F Yeah Body Positive — random art and quotes and photos of others who are also learning to luv themselves.

Redefining Body Image — from their description: "RBI focuses on using expressive writing, design-oriented work, photography, media, research, and community input to fuel fat positive, body acceptance, discussion, and outreach. Our goal is to redefine the way we view and think about body image, size, fat, discrimination, health, fitness, wellness, mental/chronic illness, stigma, and other related topics."

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xoxo,






4 comments:

  1. I agree that everyone should accept and love their body- no matter what they look like or where they are at with their weight! But, from a health standpoint, if you are plus size, and unhealthy, I personally don't think that's okay and wouldn't want that for anyone (because of the health issues it can bring on). From having overweight family members and seeing how difficult so many things are for them and all of the bills that pile up, I think there's a line where being extremely overweight should not be accepted. Accept and love your body for all it's "imperfections" no matter what, but I think you should prioritize your health no matter what size you are at. This was a very well written piece, and I am curious for your take on my comment:)

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    1. If your idea of body positivity relies on whether or not someone is "healthy," that's problematic and ableist and that's really not the point of this post.

      If someone has health problems from their weight, then that is THEIR concern and their concern ONLY. Some people can't prioritize their health for various reasons. For example, eating "healthy" food is VERY expensive and not everyone has the resources. As someone who has tried DOZENS of times from as young as 9-years-old to lose weight and "get healthy" it's not easy to do and it's likely not permanent. Every pound I've ever lost, I've gained back. I'm not the only one who has experienced this. Plus, overweight doesn't always mean unhealthy — just as "normal" weights don't always mean healthy. I've been privileged enough to never have any health issues because of my weight, but if I did, would you then tell me I should stop loving myself and not accept who I am?

      As I said in this post, my body is my business. I won't poke and prod into whether or not you are "healthy" and then determine whether or not you loving yourself is "acceptable," and neither should you or anyone else. Again, as I mentioned earlier, that is ableist and fatphobic and quite frankly I want nothing to do with it.

      This is not about health. This is about people loving themselves unconditionally, whether or not you think it's acceptable.

      Also, my weight is not an imperfection, thankyouverymuch.

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  2. What a bad ass babe. Inspiring.

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  3. You are amazing. Love you Allie girl.

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