Disclaimer: I am not stupid. I know how to spell. For some reason I have to keep explaining this, but a “four-letter word” refers to a bad word in general, because most “bad words” are indeed 4 letter.
I meant to post this before Valentine’s Day, but circumstances made me delay it. Now that it’s almost my 2-year anniversary (woot!) and I plan to over-indulge myself, I thought now was as good a time as any.
People are always concerned about their image. Even those that say they aren’t are, trust me. That lists most of my acquaintances. Am I concerned about my weight and image? Absolutely. But not as much as I used to be.
Unlike my mom who tells me to lose weight so I can fit into my graduation dress and look nice on my birthday and in general, I want to lose weight because I’m unhappy this way. I recently had my yearly physical, and I found out I’ve gained 30 pounds since last year. Yikes. This was due to the 4 months I was sick with mono and endless school work preventing me from leaving my desk. Not working out makes me feel tired and sluggish, and I just want to eat more. Exercise energizes and refreshes.
I’ve met anorexic people and bulimics, and it just breaks my heart. People putting themselves in physical harm to conform to a social standard. Not to be healthy, but to look good. Sigh. If I could I would run to all of them and hug them and tell them they’re beautiful just the way they are, but alas.
I’ve made this argument before and people said, “But we shouldn’t be encouraging people to be fat either. It’s not good to indulge too much…..” etc etc etc.
When I was about 9 years old, I was showing signs of bulimia, but not for conventional reasons. It was kind of like a primitive version of cutting myself. When I was sad (which was often) I would make myself throw up to get the butterflies out of my stomach. It also made me lose weight, which was a bonus since I was the chubbiest kid in my family. It’s not easy having sticks for cousins. Then I saw on TV that models did it too (of course), so I was like, hey, maybe when I’m older I can be like them. Woo. I also did it to get out of school, because in this county if you just say that you threw up you get sent home, no question. I had no reason to stop. Then my dad noticed how often it was going on, and he told me I was going to get sick if I kept doing that. The moment I found out I could die or get sick by continuously purging made me stop; I wasn’t trying to hurt myself really.
Think about what that implies: Imagine walking home and hearing your NINE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER throwing up every day so she can be happy and thin. Is that what we’re trying to encourage?
Story time 2.
My brother is 2 years younger than me. He’s always been fat. Not saying big-boned, not using pretty words. He’s just this really big guy. His entire life he’s had family and friends tell him how big he is (no duh) and teasing him. They never realized how much it was hurting him. A year ago he went on an extreme diet. He had one meal a day and exercised maybe 2 – 3 hours a day. Does that sound healthy? Nope. He lost about 60 lbs in 2 months, which is EXTREMELY not recommended and unhealthy. During those months he blacked out twice and stayed in bed when he wasn’t working out because he said he was “too tired to do anything.” This broke my heart. I missed my HAPPY chubby little brother instead of that thin wreck I saw in bed all day.
My philosophy is: Do what makes you happy.
My brother is back on track now. He’s found a balance between working and eating, and he’s a lot healthier — and thinner — now. Fortunately, his story didn’t end the way many others do.
Fat is beautiful. In Africa, larger people are seen as beautiful because they’re seen as more wealthy. Everyone, in every shape and size, is beautiful.
Am I saying to eat everything all the time and become grotesquely obese and unhealthy? No. That won’t make you or anyone around you happy. I’m saying take life to the fullest, just don’t hurt yourself.
That piece of cake? Go for it. That vanilla ice cream bowl covered in fried bananas and caramel? (My dessert last night.) Absolutely. Don’t be afraid to be happy.