I am really happy to see positive body image campaigns getting more popularity and attention lately. As someone who had been struggling with few (and sometimes a lot) extra pounds most of my life, I find comfort in it. These articles and inspirational videos are giving perfect comebacks to the girls who are body-shamed. Because we are.
But I worry about something else: word “fat” being demonized or even worse – being glorified as a positive identity attribute. I refuse to be “fat and beautiful”. I am beautiful and fat. And not phishing for compliments!
I know I’m beautiful. How do I know that? I have enough people in my life loving me just the way I am.
And I know I’m fat! You know how I know that? Well my Body Mass Index (BMI) with the score of 33 says so. And some of my favorite “slimmer” outfits say so. And my ability to maintain continuous physical activities says so. So does my mirror. And my “tagged photos” on Facebook.
But I’m not removing those tags. It’s rather pointless to do it, because all of my Facebook friends will see me in person sooner or later and witness my #nofilters look. I imagine they’d feel the same kind of sadness I feel for people who are faking their virtual lives. Finally, those pictures show ME, and I’m the one who’s beautiful, right? My appearance can and doesn’t have to reflect that at all times.
Being fat is not the first thing I use to identify myself. It’s the way I am at some moments of my life. At others, I am slimmer and I have to admit it does feel much better. Not just for perceived looks, but your body rewards you with more energy and different body language.
I never dieted though. I was always repelled by the idea of strict schedules filled with things I’d usually never eat and hours of physical activity I don’t enjoy. That turned out to be a good thing because more and more evidence show that such kind of weight loss programs are always backfiring.
At times I managed to maintain my fitness I had more balanced lifestyle. And I stand firm by that. I was surprised the same angle and so many useful tips on how to actually do it in the book “Diet! No thanks, I’d rather lose weight”. The only way to lose weight and maintain that state is by adapting the lifestyle you already have.
But in order to do so, you need to accept that you might be fat. Here I’m not talking confidence. That thing is constantly fighting our self-consciousness. Ask your BMI. Ask that piece of clothing that hangs at the back of your closet waiting for you to slim down a bit. And ask yourself if it really matters to you. If it does, come back here for some useful tips and guidance. Because you'll need to become really involved with your diet and lifestyle.
If it doesn’t that’s fine too. But please identify yourself first with something other than your appearance. Because that is the true power of confidence and no word has to be blacklisted in order to keep you safe.