Friday, January 20

Fat Girl Rambling

As you all probably know by now, I'm a Fat Acceptance Activist. In my own little way, of course. I'm a fat womyn. I was a fat girl. Well, most of the time.

Do you want to know what really pisses me off? 'You need to lose weight, you're so unhealthy being obese.' Okay, I realize my weight probably doesn't help my organs.. and yeah, maybe sometimes my knees hurt, but fuck that. In my Fat Acceptance blog about a month ago, I talked about my story. I word-vomited it all over the place and I didn't really think about what that meant. Do I regret it? Absolutely, positively not. Never could. But, writing that piece took me to a weird place. And I felt like many people didn't understand what I meant when I said, "Is it wrong of me to not want to feel like a crazy person?" Did you understand what I meant?

After writing it, and realizing how much I loved myself.. I found myself thinking, 'I can be fat and still love myself, it's okay. I'm fat but I'm pretty.' Those are the EXACT OPPOSITE of things that I should be thinking! Where the hell were these things coming from? Why was I looking into mirrors or windows when I was walking by them? Why was I suddenly becoming obsessed with my stomach? Above all else, I kept sucking and pushing my stomach in when I saw my reflection. I didn't pay attention to my floppy arms or my thick thighs; I was focusing on my stomach.. and well my ass. What the hell? Where did that come from?

I think putting myself out there made me more body-conscious. Is that okay? I don't know.
Am I a hypocrite if I'm talking about fat acceptance and then staring at myself in the mirror sucking in my stomach? It's not that I don't want to be thick.. and I definitely am not wanting to lose a shit ton of weight, but it made me realize that my stomach had gotten bigger since I'd moved in with my mom. Did it really get bigger.. or was I just noticing it more because I'd been talking about it more? I suddenly wasn't ignoring it anymore?

So, remember the website I talked about in my first Fat Friday post? Sparkpeople? Well, I went back on there. And after only TWO DAYS of tracking my food, I could feel the anxiety rising back. I could feel these things pulling me from the inside, (cue Donnie Darko time swishy body thing) and I could feel this.. well, thing.. pulling me to my computer or to my Blackberry so I could track every single thing that I ate. Or drank. If I wasn't sure how much granola I had with my morning yogurt, I'd just round UP and say I had a cup when I probably only had like, 1/4 of a cup. At the end of my first day I had 900 calories, which is TOO LOW to begin with, but even then, I probably only had about 750 or 800.. because I was rounding everything up. I stared at my chart on the website thinking .. I can lose 2 pounds a week and lose 8 pounds a month and that adds up to blahblahblah. I was reading articles upon articles upon articles. I could feel my teeth cutting into my bottom lip and I could feel the sweat dripping down my face. The obsession was back. I slammed my computer shut.

What had I done to myself? How could I ever lose weight in a healthy way if I'm constantly becoming this crazy fucking person? If I'm spurting on about fat acceptance then WHY DO I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT? Am I worrying about what people are thinking about me because I'm spewing my beliefs all over the internet? Or am I judging myself too harshly? What am I doing to myself?

This is what I meant by the crazy statement. I don't want to think these things about myself. I want to love myself. I want to love my belly and I want to love my ass. Is that why I'm so into Fat Acceptance? Because I'm trying to convince myself to love my body? Do I need to type about it and blab on about it so that it gets more etched into my head so that Crazy Cortnie goes away and Confident Cortnie makes an appearance? To convince myself that I'm okay? Am I thinking about it too much?

Brandy recently gave me Eve Ensler's The Good Body. Oh, what a great book. It's a quick read and it's absolutely perfect. Raw and perfect. Eve talks about her disgust for her belly and interviews people, as she did for The Vagina Monologues, and it's really perfect. If you're interested in any genre of Fat Studies, definitely look into it. Rent it from the library and fucking read it. So good.

Sorry for blabbing, ya'll. I love every single one of you and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.



  1. I know what you mean. I love myself, but I want to be healthy and, honestly, I want to be able to wear what I want to without worrying about my fat rolls or my big butt. I wonder what our great-grandmothers would think - women who cooked with lard and ate apple pies and white bread, but who also worked physically and did not drink soda or McDonalds. I just know I need to watch what I eat, not the scale. I need to work out, not whine. But I refuse to put myself under a microscope. Good decisions, healthy bodies. Weight, like my age, is just a number. Love you!

  2. Wow, lots of stuff here. I think the key to this is health. Not image. Not weight. Just health. People get too wrapped up in obsessing about image and things instead of just worrying about being healthy. For example, I read somewhere that the ranges given for women's body weight by life insurance companies are actually lower than what may be the most healthy for women (as found in some clinical trial somewhere). So life insurance companies want women who are SKINNY, not necessarily HEALTHY. Being "overweight" is not always a bad thing, and a diet should not be about "losing weight." To me, a diet should be that every single day, you try to eat things that are healthy, nourishing, and wholesome. That doesn't mean salad all the time, but it doesn't mean Big Macs, either, because those are both opposite extremes and are NOT healthy when consumed solely. And it shouldn't be about fat or skinny. Sure, if you eat really good things that your body needs, you might lose weight, but that isn't the goal. It's the fact that your body has exactly what it needs, no more and no less.

    I don't think the term should be "fat acceptance." "Fat" as a term has such negative connotations in our society, and "acceptance" seems to hint at something being bad and we just "accept" it and deal with it but don't really love it. That doesn't seem right. You even mentioned in a blog post that you were severely dieting when you were younger, and were still bigger than other girls. It shouldn't be about that. It should be about going to a physical and hearing that you are healthy, no matter if that means you have rolls or a tummy or a big ass. Some people just naturally have bigger whatevers. I think it is easier for us to love our bodies knowing that they have everything they need to do the things they need to do so that we can live, love, learn, laugh (why do all these things start with l??), rather than worrying about if our bodies have a roll here or don't look great in this shirt or don't have flat six pack abs.

    But after writing all this, I can be just as hypocritical, because no matter how healthy I know I am (or am not), I still wish my stomach were flatter or arms weren't jiggly or whatever. I don't think it will ever be anything we can fully embrace because of how our culture is built right now. Have you seen the True Life episode on MTV, called something like "I'm Happy Being Fat" ? It was very interesting, and I think you would enjoy watching it and could really analyze it in your blog. MTV sometimes has their episodes for free online. Sorry for rambling on, but I feel strongly about this issue but never really know how to articulate it. Thanks for posting all these things, I really love reading them!

    1. Fat Acceptance is a good term in my opinion because the word Fat is being retaken. Like 'bitch' or 'cunt' or 'slut' have been in the past. I think you are onto something with the word 'acceptance' though, I wonder what other word could be used? Hmm..

      I know it's all about health, though, definitely. My story about my past, not eating and still being bigger, that's because I was trying to prove to people that not everyone is naturally 'normal' sized. With fat-shaming, I think that that personal experience is crucial. Our society is told that fat people eat constantly and have food in their hands always, according to tv shows like Friends (past Monica) or Bridesmaids (the fat friend).

      I'm really just hoping that I can break peoples' (namely naturally thin peoples') preconceived notions about fat people. I don't want people to see me and immediately think that I am constantly eating or that I'm sad with my body. And you know what I hate the most? When people say, 'No offense, but you look like that big girl from that TV Show' or 'You have such a pretty face'. FUCK THAT! I HAVE A GORGEOUS BODY! :D

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Carly! I'm off to the next one now!

    2. I agree, fat acceptance should be the correct term. However, if it were called fat tolerance then I could see there being a problem.

    3. I'm really sorry my coworker said that to you. He honestly didn't mean it in a negative way. I completely understand how a comment like that would make you feel though, and will say that he probably shouldn't have said anything..

  3. Oh girl, this is all so true. I'm all about Fat Acceptance. I love that I have big hips and big boobs, but sometimes I worry that I'm Fat Positive because that's the only way other people will accept me. If I somehow prove to them that I'm choosing this, I'm not ashamed. But I just started running and I'm thinking maybe I didn't just do it to be healthy. I think a part of me wants to lose weight, to fit in. But don't I love my body?! It's a mess up here.

    1. We should sit and talk sometime, Amanda. For sure. You have amazing insight. And how is running? I've always wanted to be able to run but I don't know if I'd be able to! It, for real, is a hot mess up in here, girl. :*

  4. Fat acceptance can be quite paradoxical, because it does seem contradictory for a person to support fat acceptance, yet want to lose weight. I mean, how many homosexual people out there support gay rights, but want to be heterosexual? I understand how conflicting it can potentially be to support fat acceptance. I often question my own reasons for supporting it. I sometimes feel as though the biggest reason I support fat acceptance is because I am almost exclusively attracted to large women. This does not seem as though it’s a wrong reason to support fat acceptance, but compared to supporting fat acceptance because of the fact that all life is equal it almost seems wrong.
    I will admit that absolutely nothing in this world turns me on more than the idea of a woman growing fatter. However, I can’t help but feel disgusted every time I make an Italian BMT with bacon and extra cheese (or any other extremely unhealthy sandwich) for a customer while at work. I’m surely not disgusted because I am thinking about how eating food such as this can make a person fat, but rather because I know eating food like this is extremely unhealthy even if it does not cause weight gain. I myself don’t really watch calories, but I most definitely pay close attention to the amount of cholesterol, sodium, trans fat, etc that is in the food I eat. Thus, because I strive to live a healthy lifestyle, it would then appear to most people that I’m a hypocrite for entertaining the thought of a girl growing fatter intentionally. As much as I’d like to think that I am not a hypocrite, I can’t help but feel conflicted by these seemingly contradictory thoughts.
    I’m not sure if what I have said can/will help you in dealing with your own conflict concerning your supporting fat acceptance. However, I do hope that by putting a twist on how supporting fat acceptance can be conflicting will help to put your mind more at ease when mulling over your own conflicting thoughts. In my opinion you’re gorgeous, and I hope you see yourself in a similar light. I also don’t think you should be ashamed of your tummy, because round squishy tummies are much, much cuter than boring old flat ones : ]

    1. It's a complicated issue. BUT I happen to think I'm pretty gorgeous as well, and I love my body. I think writing about this stuff and actually talking about it more just stirred some things up inside my mind. If that makes any sense. I guess that's what happens when you have an unhealthy relationship with food, right? Thank you Jared, I like my squishy tummy most of the time.