Updated: Feb 12, 2019
When did "fat" become a swear word??? Some of you reading this have already seen blogs, videos, etc. on destigmatizing the word "fat," and maybe this can be another reminder. But for those of you who haven't, I'd personally rewrite hundreds of blogs just so these insightful, sometimes life changing topics could be seen and heard by anyone and everyone who needs them.
You might even guess what this blog is going to be about, but this message is so important that we must hear it over and over again until it sticks.
"Fat" is a word. It's a word, it's a word, it's a word. So why are we so afraid of it?! Why do we let A WORD control us so much that we don't enjoy one last cookie, a bowl of ice cream, or a rest day from work or working out? Why does this word have SO MUCH POWER that it can make us want to cave into ourselves and wrap up in a blanket to hide from the world? Why does it force us into habits of comparing ourselves to other people? We're all different! End of story. Why do we let this word keep us in chains and hold us back from enjoying some truly fulfilling experiences like the beach, eating in public, or even trying on clothing that looks amazing on us? Why why why do we give three letters the power they don’t deserve?
Well, I have an answer for you...
It's you. You are the reason this word is so powerful. And me. And the woman you see at work. And the man you passed in the grocery store. We all made it this way. We are the victims and the perpetrators. We are the ones that think "fat" and associate it with cookies and ice cream. We are the ones that make other people's lifestyles OUR BUSINESS. We think "fat" means overweight. And without saying a word we think bikinis and crop tops belong to only one body type. Did anyone tell you who can show their stomachs without being given a side glare and who can't? No...
Then how did it get this way?
I read this poem a while back and thought it gave some beautiful insight:
large, and in charge as I'd like to put it.
chunky, pudgy, fat, plump
however you'd like to say it, however
it is none of your damn business.
I am not a number on a scale
or a mile that I haven't run
I am not the size of my waist
or the "excuses" that have lead me to "let myself go"
But I, am human.
Say what you will
but I love myself.
blonde hair, blue eyes
a sense of humor that can't be measured with something so feeble as measuring tape.
A love of life that will not be put to rest just because I may need to take a rest every so often.
How do you measure happiness?
not on a scale
or with inches
pounds or calories that seem to sneak up on you in the middle of the night and make your pants a bit too snug
we judge people for judging people because judging people is wrong
we blame society for our corrupt nature, but
we are society.
This blog was meant to point fingers. We MUST change the way we speak, the nasty glances we give, the talks we have behind people’s backs. We must make "fat" just a word, as it was meant to be. No shame attached. Just a word to describe a substance within our bodies.
Now allow me to REALLY point fingers before wrapping up. Let me call out some specific groups. This is to the people who outrightly shame others TO THEIR FACES for having fat on their bodies (sidenote: every single person has fat somewhere on their bodies). To the people who comment on YouTube videos, Facebook posts, and Instagram photos with "she needs to roll back to where she came from" or "we were designed to walk. Do 15-20 mins a day. You'll be amazing" or "you're brave to put this out there" (real comments I've seen on my friends' accounts). To the people who laugh at others in public or make snide remarks with the intent of being heard...
Think about why you need to shame others. What is that negativity fulfilling in your life? And how can you fill that space with something more positive? What damage might it be doing to the other person? (You deserve to feel happiness and in control without putting someone else down).
Society, there's work to be done (which you know since you’ve been called out before). No matter what role you play, whether you've made these comments in the past or say things that perpetuate the stigma of "fat" or are the person being shamed, I call you to look at your heart. List 3 things you are worthy of. It's a yogic and psychological idea that what you think about yourself and the way you talk to yourself, will be the way you regard others. The more you love yourself and know that you are truly worthy of being loved, the more you'll show love to others (and be able to block out the hateful lies from people who haven’t reached this point of self-love yet). And if you're not at this place yet, take these three mantras and believe them as though they’re true (because I promise, they are):
1. I am worthy of the space I take up on this earth. (This is where I stretch my arms up as high as I can to show myself just how much space I can, and deserve, to take up)
2. I am worthy of the kindness and compliments I receive from others.
3. I am worthy of respect, even when I mess up.
YOU are worthy.
(The topic of destigmatizing the word "fat" is an ongoing discussion in this community. If you have any insights, comments, or questions, I welcome you to share them in the comments on social media. Be respectful and civilized).
1. Here's a side note: literally ignore sizes on clothing and your life will be better. Each store is different, first of all, but if you continuously get things that are too small for you, then obviously you're going to feel larger than you actually are. Been there, done that. Trust me.
The purpose of this blog entry is to share body image related ideas and does not represent professional, medical, or psychological advice from Shelby Kuchenbrod or Ahimsa Wellness Studio LLC. For professional advice, please connect with a qualified medical or mental health professional.