FA – Fat Acceptance? or Food Acceptance?

Mulling over feelings about fat acceptance, body acceptance and general health.

After spending some time on the tumblrs of young plus size women who seem more confident than i did at age 18.  i mean, they’re dressing in clothes that actually fit them and not hiding behind baggy sweaters and skulking in shadows.  (man i was such a tortured youth!) i’m starting to see there can be a problem with getting caught up with the fat acceptance thing.

my first reaction is positive: yes! love yourself! love your body! know that you are beautiful no matter what size you are!

my second reaction is: be healthy!  loving yourself includes taking care of your body regardless of size!  this means exercise and curb your sugar and processed foods intake!

i worry.

yes, you are lovely as a well rounded size 16 young adult.

but please please please, while no one should punish themselves with ridiculous diet trends you should be smart enough to know that eating burger king 3x a week isn’t necessarily loving yourself.


food is so deeply personal.  my relationship with food has morphed throughout the years and it’s still changing as i gain more insight into the body, physiology and different healing modalities.  not growing up on whole grains i find some of them really annoying and sometimes not satisfying.  (barley, my arch-nemesis) i admit that a bowl of white rice is significantly more pleasurable than a bowl of quinoa and that there are times when i eat a banana that i would rather be eating a brownie.  moving from emotionally comforting food to truly nourishing foods is a challenge at times.

when i don’t feel well i want to revert to the foods that made me feel better as a child.  when i was sick my mother would doctor up some packaged ramen noodles and i loved it.  what else was comforting?  chicken nuggets and when i got older it was buffalo wings and beer.

i fall back on processed foods when i’m tired.  i realized that the nights i spent in my apartment during the work/class week i would crawl home and eat a cliff bar for dinner.  it could be worse yes but when i wake up the next day noticeably irritable from skipping dinner i know i’m not doing the things i need to do to take care of myself. i’m grateful that moving in with jeff will help with remembering to eat since he’s really good at reminding me that food needs to happen even if he, himself, is not exactly hungry.  the internal alarm clock goes off around 8:30PM when we both know bi-rite will be closing and we need to start thinking about dinner options.  and when i’ve got class i roll on home and he’s already got dinner going and i am so entirely grateful.

examining my own food habits has really brought to light why my sugar is borderline high (something i need to watch with diabetes on both sides of the family). while i eat a vegan diet (which has considerably lowered my cholesterol and kept my weight stable) there are still lots of random sugars hidden in things so that means one more thing to watch for on the labels.  it’s work and it’s something i need to be good about if i want to avoid the health issues that run rampant throughout my family.

i’ve learned to really be ok with the way i look in clothes.  the superficial part of being ok with who you are has so much to do with how you imagine people look at you and of course, what YOU think others think you look like isn’t reality.  we are our own worst enemies sometimes.  bottom line is, fuck what everyone else thinks of you and fuck what YOU think everyone else things of you.

boil it all down and ultimately that’s what it is.

being ok with your physical appearance.  check one.  check two, being healthy.

there’s so much i’ve seen reading some of these blogs  that reeks of: “fuck this, i like being fat, i’m awesome and you can’t tell me what i should do or look like and i’m going to eat whatever i want and you’re just miserable because you eat salad all day.  bitches, i eat cake and ice cream and it’s AWESOME because i’m happier than any skinny bitzzatch on a diet.”

cake is awesome.  i can’t argue with that.

but you know what isn’t awesome?  Type 2 Diabetes.


2 Responses to “FA – Fat Acceptance? or Food Acceptance?”

  1. 1 Alicia April 15, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Food has been a loving companion and a bitter enemy for me all my life. You know this. When I finally decided to get down to it and lose the weight I needed to, it wasn’t because of clothes or perceptions. It was HEALTH. I wanted to be able to run around and play with my kid. I want to be around to see her graduate. I don’t want to have to take 13 different kinds of medication a day like my dad. So while looking so much better is definitely a perk, being healthier was the goal.

    So I get what you’re saying. When I hear both men and women tout how they love their fat, their rolls, their curves, I want to be behind that wonderful self-esteem 100%. But when I see that same person scarf down 2 twinkies, 1/2 a package of oreos, and some Doritos, I cringe. I want to scream, “Be kind to yourself!”

    Of course, I still like the occasional slice of cake or oreo myself. Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s damn hard eating healthy 100% of the time. It’s all about balance.

    And now I’ll get off my soapbox. For a while.

  2. 2 jen` April 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    i think the people who start eating better for health reasons are ultimately more successful than people who do it for appearances for sure.

    so with you on all points.

    and fyi, if you haven’t seen, season 2 of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has started up. watching the first episode coupled with reading some fat acceptance teenager blogs i’m just…

    exhausted and angry and sad.

    🙂 i say stay up on your soapbox! we need you up on it!

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April 2011
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