I am trying to figure out how much of the judgement and fat hating is coming at me from the world at large and how much of it is coming from inside me.
For most of my life being fat was unacceptable. I was always in a state of wrongness. I was constantly assaulted with messages of why I was not enough and why I was not doing enough to correct my wrongness. I went to therapists, commercial weight loss programs, fat camp, 12 step programs all in pursuit of finding a way to be an acceptable person, which, by all accounts around me, I was not because I was fat.
Now I find myself as an adult navigating my way through the fat acceptance community. Taking on my own internalized beliefs about myself not being enough is revolutionary to me and everyone in my life.
Could I really be fat and acceptable?
The complexity of that question has been overwhelming. I have been examining my ass off looking at all sides of the argument for and against accepting myself fat.
I have been told by my nearest and dearest people in my life that I don't have the right to accept myself. I MUST do something about my weight. They plead with me to stop killing myself. The fact that there is a possibility that I am not going to die from my fatness is one that they refuse to acknowledge. In fact, because I am fat, some of the medical data, as best as I can decipher, indicates that I may actually live longer in the face of some of the possible health issues I may face as I age.
Medical data aside for a moment. When I consider my own personal history it is clear to me that maintaining any loss of weight is something that I am unable to do. Even with this fact, I still struggle with the thought that I should at least try. Some of the smart folks in the Fat Acceptance community say things to the effect of losing and gaining back the weight in and of itself has a negative impact on my health.
I have been making myself crazy trying to understand all the different positions, arguments, and issues related to fat acceptance.
The most challenging and emotionally charged interactions are with family and my best friend. My family is angry at me for choosing to accept my fatness. With my parents, I have set a boundary of no discussion about my health, weight, food, or exercise. This course of action with them allows for us to have a relationship as I have made it clear I will not be around them when they attempt to discuss these things with me. My sister recently told me to not come to her house if I am going to pig out like I did the last time she invited me over. That one is simple, I will just not be accepting any invitations to her house anymore. In no uncertain terms she has made it clear to me that she thinks my association with the FA community is toxic for me. I got a "concerned" email from my best friend last week explaining to me why being fat is okay but being super fat like me is not. WTF?
Ya know, I am not sure where I am going with all of this. I think what I am trying to get to is a place where I just stop letting what other's think of me affect me so much. For a guy like me, that seems like asking me to give up an arm. I can get by with one arm, but it will be very uncomfortable. I work very hard at creating situations and exposing myself to folks who think highly of me. Maybe because in my heart of hearts, I believe that living a fat life is in fact a tragedy. What could be more tragic than believing I am living a tragic life when in fact I can live a wonderful life?… a wonderful fat life. I guess the question to myself is, do I belive I can have a wonderful life, fat.
Today I met friends for lunch. The waiter asked if i wanted chips or carrots with my meal, I said out loud to my eating companions, I'll be good and have the carrots…. WTF Ivan?
Maybe being gentle with myself is called for here. I just want to be happy. Constantly trying to figure out how I can explain to others why the FA path is right for me doesn't feel good.
Do you think you are somehow living less of a life because your life is a fat life?
What does it say about my beliefs about myself if this is a question that is on my mind?
Not sure where the next step is for me, however, I do know that it is a step within the FA community.