March 20, 2013 by mybattlebuddyfitness
written by Melissa Eisner
If you are easily offended, this post might not be for you. If you are not easily offended, then read on! We’re getting real and honest and taking “fat” back. Are you ready to join us?
I am a compulsive magazine reader. Even worse, I pull out pages from the magazines that I think I want to read again later because hey, you never know what might strike you differently when you read it again. I was sorting through those ‘read me later’ articles over the weekend and came across one that was super interesting. It is about a non-profit to help people get over the stigma of talking about cancer. It is called ‘Fuck Cancer’. She noted in the article that one of the things she found so frustrating is that people don’t talk about cancer until they have it. She then goes on to talk about tools that they have developed within the non-profit to encourage conversations – between friends, between family members, between children and parents, and so forth.
And this got me thinking. The same thing is true of being FAT. FAT – that word that has a stigma all its own. Sure, we talk about the obesity epidemic in this country, you can see it in the news and on our television shows. Heck, the Biggest Loser has been inspirational in taking obese individuals and getting them on track with healthy lifestyles. Amongst ourselves we are usually willing to admit that someone might be ‘slightly overweight’, a friend, a family member, but we rarely call it like it is. Privately, I might look in the mirror when I am all alone and think, silently, “Boy, your thighs sure are FAT! And you could lose some weight off of that gut of yours.” But that is just in silence. I would never say that I have FAT thighs out loud. There is a power in the word FAT that none of us likes. It is almost like a swear word, or taking the Lord’s name in vain. You just don’t say the word FAT.
I don’t even think my best friends, who have loved me no matter what size I was, ever pulled me aside when I was pushing 180lbs – which was a lot for me – ever stopped to say, “Geeze Melissa, you’re putting on weight, is everything ok?’” Those same people didn’t stop me when we are out to dinner and I ordered dessert that I shouldn’t be eating. And these are my closest, best friends! But as a migraine sufferer, they will ask me about my caffeine intake, or whether or not I should have that red wine. That is fair game, because it is an illness. And I can guarantee that if I were a diabetic, someone would stop me or at least caution me if I were eating a lot of sugar. Or if I were an alcoholic, my closest friends would make the attempt. But when I was FAT, people simply looked the other way or ignored it, because it seems distasteful to say anything.
FAT is the 3 letter F word that has so much power because we have allowed it to have so much power.
But it is time to talk about it. It is time to say . . . FUCK FAT! Enough is enough, we have to take the power and the stigma away from that word so we can start having real conversations with ourselves and our loved ones about what is physically (and mentally and emotionally) going on without feeling badly about it. Unlike a lot of other illnesses that we have no control over, this is one that you can directly impact. It might not be easy, and there are certainly some individuals that have other reasons for being FAT, but for the vast majority, there are steps you can take in order to rid yourself of the illness of being FAT.
Being FAT is no fun. I think you have read all about it in the post by Elisabeth about when she was fat (if you haven’t, please go back and read it). In addition to the physical issues associated with being FAT, it impacts your self-esteem, your self-worth, you feel like other people are silently looking at you and judging you. It might be impacting your relationships with your significant other, or your kids. In some cases, it might impact your ability to find a job or a relationship partner.
Some folks out there might find this post incredibly insensitive. You might think that the use of the word FAT is totally inappropriate, politically incorrect. We need to talk about people in terms of being overweight or obese. If you are offended, I apologize, as I’m not trying to make anyone upset as they read this. Some people might think I am trying to make light of this topic. Melissa, FAT is a silly word that has to do with a very serious issue facing this nation. Being funny isn’t my goal either. If any of you have read or seen The Vagina Monologues, you’ll remember a scene where the narrator talks about another word that has a very strong, negative connotation (the ‘C’ word as in, see you next Tuesday, if you get my drift). She talks about taking that word back, taking away the negative connotation. I’m talking about the exact same thing, well sort of. We need to take the stigma away from the word FAT so we can begin the dialogue about being FAT and how to get from FAT to healthy again.
I say FUCK FAT. What do you say?