Why I’m okay with being ‘fat’: the anti-struggle
We’re not here to talk about weight comparisons, give advise about diet, or shame anybody, for anything, ever. This is purely a notebook of my thoughts pulled together to create a half n half kind of approach to this whole blogging thing. That being said, I give you,
FAT – A YEAR TO SAVE YOUR LIFE.
hilariously, un-punnily titled, I know.
As you may have already guessed, this is not about how to save your life with regards to how much fat your body stores, or how many pounds you can potentially lose this week. NOR is this, may I add, about gaining weight for fun (if you’re looking for this you may be in the wrong place). Here we will not be mentioning bullying (a very real issue), or that time we never got picked in p.e, or the day our trousers just magically never fit again.
This is about perspective. Putting everything else aside. Everything apart from you, yourself, right here and right now.
The problem, I can assure you, is not because ‘you will look 20 times better 2 stone lighter’, the problem, is the fact that you don’t see yourself as ‘good enough’ right now. If you tell yourself you will look better with an inch or two off the waist, you won’t feel better until you’ve got there, and that mindset is very, very unsettling.
I’m not here to tell anyone not to have goals. What I’m trying to say is to do what is right for you, you need only one thing, yourself. Your own opinion. And your own mindset. Anything else to this is secondary. And contrary to popular belief, in this case, yep even your mothers. And your best friends, for that sake.
I have been very unhappy with myself for many years. I taught myself that I just wasn’t good enough for anyone or anything. People driving past on the street whilst I was walking alone would literally make me boil with tears. In school, I always felt uncontrollably larger than everyone else. Wider. Like I was sticking out like a sore thumb. I was always so afraid to get my hair cut short, incase it didn’t hide the side of my face anymore and my neck, my chin and my cheeks were exposed.
I felt like no one could take me seriously. And that in reality, I didn’t really deserve to be taken seriously.
Not once, and I honestly believe this, have I ever looked at someone and instantly categorised them into ‘fat’ ‘slim’ ‘skinny’ etc etc. Why would I? Why would anyone? The majority of people are consumed with their own personal lives, they have jobs, they have a car that needs washing, a house that needs cleaning, shopping that needs to be shopped. Believe it or not, the human race is a very self-indulgent mob, and most people’s primary priority is numero uno. Very rarely, is it a ‘thing’ to be oh so very concerned with the number on the tag of your dress (18, in case you were wondering).
I’m very much now accustomed to shopping on the ‘plus size’ tab of asos. I’m very much accustomed to going straight to the back of a rail of hanging clothes in a shop, in search of my size. It is just a given now, and not once have I ever second guessed my daily doings. I’ve never been embarrassed to ask if they stock that top in a size or two up. Or worry about my double chin. Tell a lie. I did, for a long period of time, very much worry about my double chin. I did chin exercises for christs sake. CHIN EXERCISES!! Would you believe! But do you think anyone ever commented on it? Not at all. Not even when I asked. A comment from a friend at the time was ‘no I hadn’t noticed, it’s not really something you look at. Is it? A chin? I wouldn’t really look at someone’s chin. I don’t know. Do I have a double chin?’ And then everyone around the table suddenly decided they all had a double chin, people my size, people bigger, people smaller. That’s probably when I realised.
WHEN HAVE I EVER IN MY LIFE INSPECTED SOMEBODY’S CHIN?
”Ooh, look there, you have a bit of excess skin on your chin there”
”What a charming chin you have there”
No. Nuh. Doesn’t happen. And when I looked around that table of people, I saw not wobbling, hilarious double chins, but faces and individual human beings doing individual human being stuff. Not really giving a stuff about a piece of flesh on the underneath of my face, but all very much inspecting their own, and not one of them inspected another’s.
It’s human nature to be paranoid about appearance. We all want to look good. But I really believe that it gets to a point where you need to make a decision between material and immaterial things. Which gets me on to MIND/MATTER.
I promise it’s more than just a typographic tattoo that floats about the Internet.
Your mental state, mental wellbeing and mental health determines absolutely everything. From the way you exert your personality to the way you slump over on the settee. If you’re not healthy up there, then how can you expect to look healthy anywhere else? (And no, I don’t mean by your size or your weight, but by your smile and the way you naturally glow).
Negative, self loathing thoughts will eat into your face and you will honestly look negative… And self loathing.
A photo of me, about two years ago, taken by my mother on her camera on a walk with my family. God, did I look miserable. Even with my makeup, hair done, decent clothes etc I sit in this photograph, slumped and hiding behind my own camera as I hope to dear god these photos go no further than the lens.
Then, a photo, from last year, posing in the mirror in my swimsuit (that pout though, why). giving not a single care in the world. And it is bliss.
My mind state.
We have all heard the classic, trolling comment ‘but what about your health, you are killing yourself’ (not true, you can actually be overweight AND healthy). But in reality, life is much more complex than this. I spent a lot of my life worrying about my weight and how people see me. And guess what? I still ended up doing the same jobs I envisioned and doing what makes me happy
So therefore, I bring you to the conclusion.
If you are happy, and want to make changes. Cool, do it. But don’t make it your main focus. Make it a side project. And if you don’t? Also cool, don’t feel obliged to do anything.
I have learnt to accept my body as it is, as cheesy and disbelieving as it sounds. of course, I still have my down days, but more often than not I now tell myself everyday that other people, they have other fish to fry and bigger things to worry about.
I now realise I no longer need to explain myself to anyone.
And trust me, you can lay on that beach looking any way you like.