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Color Me Fat

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I am fat.

FAT.

Three random letters that when combined scare the shit out of so many people. When I tell someone I’m fat, they immediately try to deny it.

“Oh no, you’re not fat! You’re curvy/thick/fluffy/squishy/Ruben-esque/another-awkward-ass-word-that-feels-like-a-bandaid!”
Or even worse, people try to justify it.
“It’s not that bad… Some people are so much worse!”
“But you have health problems and you’ve been stressed, so it’s not your problem!”
“You go to the gym, so don’t worry; it’ll change!”

It’s become a game I play now… How uncomfortable can I make people by saying I’m fat?

“Ma’am, did you want that medium or large?”
“Large, cause I’m FAT HA.”
“Uh oh uh ha.. ha… ha..”

But I’m not just trying to be a dick, I swear. I’m trying to take the power away from the word fat. It’s just another adjective, really. Why can’t I be smart, funny, pretty, ginger, tall, AND fat? It’s just a descriptor.

But trust me, I’ve had my issues with it. I spent eleven years holding that word in my hand, squeezing it until I bled hatred and shame towards myself. You could practically smell the self-loathing on me. I’ve done my time with eating disorders, obsessive compulsive exercising, standing in front of the mirror squeezing my squish and crying while I told myself how ugly, hideous, and disgusting I was. And it caused some serious fucking damage. Seriously, you can ask my therapist.

But I’m done. I’m done with spending hours thinking about how many calories are in one lick of a spatula dipped in brownie batter. I’m done having an entire walk-in closet of clothing that doesn’t fit because I kept buying “goal clothes.” I’m done feeling ashamed to walk into a room just because I’m fat.

Because, really, who fucking cares? I think it’s just been me.

Six months ago, I decided to take my mental health seriously. It’s been difficult as hell, don’t get me wrong. But I’m starting to realize, slowly but surely, that I’m fucking awesome. And the only person who needs to realize it is me. So piece by piece, I’m learning.

I’m a coloring book page. There’s been an outline there for so long. The lines were thick and curved, but they were empty. So I’m starting to color it in. I didn’t even realize there were so many colors. The picture was beautiful before, but it becomes even more beautiful with each richly hued inch.

My mom has taught me to fake it until you make it my whole life, and this whole confidence thing is a brand new bag for me. I’m dressing up, dating around, exploring my city, and experiencing so many things I never would have guessed, for better or worse. I’m collecting stories like a hoarder on a Lifetime tv show. And I need to tell somebody, because my best friends are getting tired of my text message novellas.

So here you go. May you laugh, cry, laugh until you cry, and be inspired to try something new, even if you don’t think you can. I’ll be right there with you.

5 Comments

  1. sadinplaid

    December 3, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Hello, new instagram friend! Thanks for sharing your blog. This reminded me a lot of Lindy West’s act on This American Life’s Tell Me I’m Fat episode. It was an amazing episode all around and as someone who has dealt with obesity, anxiety and binge eating disorder, it was so refreshing to hear Lindy West’s perspective of living now, without apology, without feeling like she has to be striving for a smaller weight to be worthy of love, of dressing up and feeling good, of anything. Found the link in case you haven’t heard it: https://m.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/589/tell-me-im-fat

    Thanks for being brave and sharing yourself!

    • AS

      December 5, 2016 at 3:33 am

      Hello! I absolutely LOVE both This American Life and Lindy West! I cannot tell you how high of a compliment that is to be compared to her. Thank you 🙂
      That is one of my favorite episodes, but since you posted the link, I’m definitely gonna take another listen. Thanks for reading!

  2. curious guy

    December 5, 2016 at 1:32 am

    Alex,

    I mean this when I say it – I’m not judging you or your lifestyle. I’m curious because I decided to give this page a look, and I found your point of view on being fat to be interesting. Do you see it as an inherently negative trait? You describe it as an adjective (which it obviously is), but I’m curious how you view it connotatively.

    I can’t lie, I’m a person that has significant fears regarding the obesity epidemic, and I’m curious if you’d agree that obesity is a significant issue. Obviously, you’ve had a negative outlook in the past, but in claiming you’ll “no longer wonder about the calories” on a brownie spatula, does this mean you accept that you are fat (in using that word, I am trying to achieve what you wish to do in your first paragraph, stripping it of its power).

    • AS

      December 5, 2016 at 3:49 am

      For me, the word fat has always been used towards me or around me in a negative connotation. It was solely used as an insult or told to me it was a barrier that would prevent me from ever achieving goals, finding love, or being deemed beautiful.

      I most definitely think that obesity is a serious problem, and the health implications and ramifications of certain lifestyles need to be considered. I am definitely not ignoring my health. I spend three days a week at the gym, balance my love for pizza with healthy food, and regularly visit the doctor to ensure everything is working well internally.

      For me, accepting that I’m fat means learning to love and value myself, no matter where the scale may fall at certain times. Not worrying about the calories on the spatula doesn’t mean I’m eating cupcakes and pizza for every meal, but it means no longer letting the obsession over 5 versus 10 calories turn into hours of agonizing and the budding seeds of an eating disorder yet again.

      So yeah, I’m fat. And I’m happy. For the first time in my life, I’m learning those aren’t mutually exclusive.

      Hopefully that clears it up a bit 🙂 Thanks for opening the dialogue.. I love it!

  3. ijudas

    December 18, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Relateable & funny… Thank you for blogging your truth it encouraged me to speak my truth.

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