If you happen to see the 90+ comments on my post last week at WeAretheRealDeal about my not “getting” the whole fat acceptance movement, you will notice that several readers asked me if my sensitivity to the word “fat” had anything to do with my background (Weight Watchers/disordered eating history/recovery) … and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.
Of course our backgrounds influence how we feel about certain words, situations, etc.
Having felt “fat” a lot of my life — even if it wasn’t technically true — the word stings. The irony is I’ve never been called fat (as a kid or an adult) — ok, well, at least not to my face.
So the word isn’t some painful reminder of my past; it’s just a word that I find offensive on many levels, in addition to reminding me of how I “felt” about myself for so long.
But as I learned through that post, for those in the Fat Acceptance movement, they argue that “fat” is only a bad word if we make it such.
They contend it’s a “descriptor” — like “tall” or “short” or “curly-haired” or “blue-eyed” so they aren’t offended by it …
But none of those descriptors make me cringe. The word “fat” does. Even “obese” (a technical term) doesn’t bother me as much as the word “fat.”
In fact, I’ve tried to eliminate it from my personal vocabulary. When I’m feeling a little chubby, now I tend to say, “I feel fluffy” or “I feel bloated” — those are tangible adjectives in my head.
What I don’t say: “I look so fat” or “I feel so fat,” like I used to.
I think especially since I am not at my thinnest (and might never get back there), this is real, genuine progress to not be engaging in self-destructive “fat talk.” Throughout this experience here at Tales, I am really trying to just see myself as I am, in an all-inclusive way: and this includes the 10-15 pounds that I can’t seem to lose.
Dara challenged all her readers to do something physical every day this week, recognizing that exercise makes us feel good about ourselves; you must know I couldn’t agree more.
But as someone who has abused (and sometimes still does abuse) exercise, I don’t want to issue the same challenge.
So since our readership might overlap, I am going to challenge my readers to do something I think Dara would support: to give another woman a compliment each day this week … and to give YOURSELF a compliment each day.
It can be a physical compliment … but it doesn’t have to be. There are no rules.
So in honor of “Fat Talk Free Week” and Operation Beautiful , will you join me on a week-long mission of spreading some positive woman-to-woman props?