|Hint: I’m the fat one, though less then than I realized.
I’ve been fat since I was ten years old — shortly after my dad died, and to this day I’d link changes in my personality to the sudden weight gain. You know what else I blame? Genetics, those filthy bastards. I come from a lineage of hearty, voluptuous, heavy women. In fact, I look just like most of the women on my father’s side of the family. So there.
I was reading Hello, I Am Fat by Lindy West
, which is great. (Don’t read the comments, though.) It made me want to talk about the elephant in my life: I’ve been fat for more than ten years, and I don’t think it’s likely to change. And since the birth of my son, I’ve been okay with that. It’s liberating, because what Lindy West says there is true; I’ve always had this underlying feeling of, “And then my life with start.” I will be funny and interesting and successful when I’m down to 180. (Which is still fat as far as people are concerned, but it’s been my dream weight since 2006, so stuff it.)
I am not in transition. My fat life is the not the next best thing to the “better” one I should be striving for.
I’ve told people again and again that I got okay with my body because I respected it more after I carried a child — but that’s a lie. It’s a nice lie, and one I will continue to tell women who get down on their bodies, but the truth is this: it was a routine, complication-free pregnancy and birth that made me realize that I was healthy, and that my body was just as capable as any other woman’s.
I was told — indirectly, through advertising and actions and magazine articles — that as a fat woman my pregnancy was going to be more difficult. I was tested for gestational diabetes at my very first appointment because I was over a certain weight (I think their line was at 250? I came to the appointment at 269). Negative. But I was sure I’d get it — I was fat. Except that I never did. My blood sugar was fine, my blood pressure continued to be at very healthy levels. Everything was normal.
I was told that my labor would be difficult because I was not physically fit, that I was more likely to end up with a c-section. But then I didn’t. I had about 13 hours of labor, 15 minutes of pushing, and a totally normal postpartum recovery.
Nothing went wrong. My body was not broken by default.
Not prioritizing weight has been great for me, because I feel like I can enjoy a journey to living better without any pressure attached. I may lose weight as I learn to eat better — I may never lose a pound. But I can continue to enjoy discovering food in healthier ways without giving shit, and means so much more to me. And when I fail to eat healthy or “right,” I don’t have to feel bad about it.
Not feeling bad means the world.