A Word About Being Fat

So… I’m currently heavier than I’m happy with. Like, a lot. I’m a size 18 (UK). I know that there are people bigger than me, but being this size means:

  • My feet ache
  • My back aches
  • I don’t sleep well
  • Digestive problems
  • Not being able to wear clothes I like
  • Being rubbish at sports with my son
  • Long-term health impacts

… etc.

So I want to lose weight. But here’s the thing.

I am not ashamed of being fat.

This is important. Because there are a lot of messages out there that say that I should be ashamed. There are a lot of messages that fat people are weak, useless, worthless, bad people. I just saw this video, and I’m sure everyone who is, or fears that they are overweight knows what this is like.

This is bullshit. Allow me to demonstrate.

  • Do you believe that fat people are to blame for being fat, and that being fat is a choice?
  • Do you believe that fat people are weak people who are unable to control themselves?

Well, which is it? I mean seriously, it can’t be both. You’re either someone makes bad choices or someone who has no choices – you can’t be both! Of course, neither is true.

Firstly, being overweight isn’t a moral issue. It’s a health issue. And yes I’m sorry, it is a health issue. It’s all very well saying that everyone should just be comfortable with their own bodies, but if I’m obese then I am more likely to suffer from quite a few illnesses. Those are avoidable. Why wouldn’t I avoid them?

Secondly, I can choose to change my weight. I’m not a better person if I’m a bit thinner. But I’m a healthier person, and therefore a happier person (so long as I go about it the right way). Because this is the second horrible message that gets sent to fat people: “You’re powerless to stop yourself. You have to stay like you are. You’re helpless”. It’s just not true. Is it hard for me to lose weight, and get healthier eating habits? Yes. Will it take several attempts, gradually improving over time? Yes. Will I have slips? Yes. Will it involve breaking old habits, learning new skills? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Is it too hard? No.

So, I’m not ashamed of being overweight, but I want to change it. I know that it’s hard to change eating habits, especially because I eat emotionally. And I also know that being overweight makes me less healthy. But it doesn’t make me a less worthwhile person. And I will improve my eating habits, and keep working at it until I get to a healthy weight.

For anyone else who feels the same, I like Melissa Hartwig’s book “Food Freedom Forever”, which has a positive message about this. (I don’t get paid for that recommendation, I just like it). “The Start Here Diet” by Tosca Reno is also good.