I feel a burden to weigh in on this topic (pun intended), because it’s taking up real estate in my head lately, so I’ve got to get it out of there. We’ve seen it all over the internet–The Militant Baker, Tess Holiday (300lb plus size model, spearheads the #effyourbeautystandards campaign), Whitney Way Thore (Star of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”), and many more that I simply don’t pay attention to. These people and many others are part of what is essentially being dubbed the “fat glorification” movement–big or small, whatever what you are, be loud and be proud.
Then there’s the thousands upon thousands of fat shamers out there that take every opportunity to knock people because of their size at every opportunity they see fit. They come in all forms from those that make comments in the grocery store (just had that happen last week, and I must say, I handled it swimmingly) to those that passive aggressively talk down to overweight people and make “suggestions” on how their life could be better if only they lost weight.
I can’t say that I fit into one camp or another, for many reasons. First and foremost, I know better than to EVER speak negatively to ANYONE of ANY size regarding their size. I know what it feels like. I also know that for the majority of overweight people, laziness and a neutral attitude is not the primary cause of their size–despite common misconception. Yes, it is true for a minority of the overweight population, but not the majority. I know how complicated this journey is, especially since you don’t lose weight overnight–it’s hard during the process when you are healthy, eating healthfully, and in shape, yet the exterior doesn’t match the stereotype of what “healthy” looks like yet. Fat doesn’t equate to unhealthy.
That last statement said…
On the flipside, I could never fall into the category of a fat glorifier. I credit that solely to my unhealthy mind–and yes, that’s a project in and of itself. You see, I separate the idea of loving and accepting yourself into the physical and emotional realms. Yes, absolutely, without a doubt, positive self image and acceptance of your body are key in emotional health. I will be the first to admit, I’m not at that place–I never have been, I was programmed from an early age that because I was overweight that I couldn’t be happy and love myself for who I was, because there was something in me–my size–that needed to be fixed. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just the messages I grew up around in the 80s, the era of Jane Fonda and spandex aerobic VHS and beta tapes! Will I get to a place where I can accept myself, possibly even love the person I am? You bet, it’s all a part of God’s work in me.
Now the physical side of fat glorification. It is completely beyond any conception of my reality and world view to accept and love my overweight physical body. I simply cannot grasp accepting and being content at a size that not could, but eventually will without a doubt, have a negative impact on my health. I don’t find peace and serenity in the squishy bits or find empowerment in treating my body like trash by putting crap into it and not caring what others around me think. That mindset quite possibly could be my saving grace.
Here’s what I’m getting at…right or wrong, popular or not, this is my stance:
I am heavily convicted by the Holy Spirit that we need to be honoring God with our bodies–we need to have respect for His creation. We are made in the image of God, and what reflection of faith in Him and His awesome creation are we portraying as physically and emotionally unhealthy people? This doesn’t have a size label on it–I’m talking to everyone here. Regardless if you are 700 or 70 pounds, you need to be living in a healthy manner. Weight will figure itself out, after all, it’s simply a measurement of your gravitational pull (or something silly like that). This is going to look different for every single person. That is okay. It should, it shows our unique nature as humans. Health comes from a balanced approach to our physical, emotional, and spiritual selves all working together to be the best person we can be. There is no right or wrong way to achieve health, but as long as you are making responsible choices and decisions, go with grace!
I’m no professional, I’ve just found what’s right for me, and it’s working. Will it look different in the future? Probably. Change comes from knowledge. But right now, right where I’m at, I find peace and contentment with God that I am on the right path for me to be the best me I can be. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.