Friday, July 18, 2014

I Am Fat

I've read a lot of posts over the past couple of years about body image -- in particular about loving your body no matter what size it is. I respect their opinion, but I don't have that same perspective about myself.

I don't like the way I look. I'm not happy with my body shape. I know that I have improved over the past 3 years, but I still have a long way to go.

When I used to look in the mirror and see my fat reflection staring back at me, the following narrative would go through my mind:

Look at you. You're fat. You're ugly. You look disgusting. 
You should be ashamed of yourself for looking this way. 
Nobody will love you. Nobody wants to be around someone who is this fat. 
You're such a bad person to let yourself get so out of shape. What kind of terrible person does this? 
You are so lazy and lack discipline - you don't deserve to be thin or happy. 

As you can see, my body image was extremely negative and my self-hate levels were high.

I only had negative thoughts in my mind. I took my fat body as a representation of who I was and who I deserved to be. It defined my self worth. It defined my destiny.

It was a terribly dark time.

When I look in the mirror now, I still see an overweight person. I don't like the way my abdominal region looks at all. I feel self-conscious and at times I feel depressed about how I look.

However, this is the reality. This is my reality.

I don't think it's unhealthy or bad or self-loathing to be honest about your body.

I have minimized/practically eliminated all the other really negative, dark self-talk. Instead, I focus on coming up with a plan and figuring out how to get to where I want to be.

There are many people out there who say that they are happy in their oversized body.

I am not one of them.

When I look in the mirror, I see a fat person.

This doesn't mean that I'm not smart, not kind, not a good person. It just means that I'm fat.

I don't always get a positive reaction if I say this to other people. They say I'm being hard on myself and that I should love myself no matter what.

I think if those previous thoughts still consumed me, then perhaps that would be so. However, a big dose of reality and some tough love never hurt anybody. Just because you don't love your body doesn't mean you don't love yourself. It's two separate things. I don't think this realistic perspective makes me a self-hater or someone who is negative. I'm realistic. I know that if I don't change my habits then my body will not change. Therefore, I need to do the work. I think that facing this is much more productive than hiding behind a form of self-acceptance which can often lead to complacency.

Just as I'm sure that others don't want to be judged because they've accepted their overweight size, I don't want to be judged because I've chosen to be honest and say that I don't love my body and therefore I will do something about it. I cannot say anything about those who accept their body regardless of size because I honestly don't know how to do that or what that feels like. If that works for them and they are happy in life, then I am happy for them. That perspective, however, is not one that I share.

I am grateful for my body in that I am healthy enough to be without disease to be able to move without pain or problems and to have the strength to be able to work towards my goals -- but I am fat. This is how I see myself, and nothing anybody else will say can change that. Only I can change that by doing the work and putting in the effort, and I am 100% happy to do that because I'm worth it.

Just to clarify (or maybe confuse): Although I am calling myself fat, I am using it as an adjective to describe the size of my body. I am not using it to insult myself or as something negative - just as a fact. I think that calling others fat is hurtful as it is an unnecessary comment/observation to make.

Never call a guy fat either - insecurities and self consciousness knows no gender gap!


  1. When I was obese I didn't hate myself, but I hated the fat that clung to my body. It was like the fat had it's own identity. I didn't want to work with it, get comfortable with it or accept it. I didn't want to lose it because I wanted to look like a teenager again. I wanted to lose it to feel comfortable in my own skin, physically and mentally.

    I totally get this post. You can do anything you set your mind to doing.

  2. I like this post, as I'm kind of over the whole "love your body at any size" crap. I think it's just an excuse for people to stay overweight and continue the same self-destructive behaviours. I agree with you, I am fat, that doesn't define who I am as a person.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Anonymous2:18 PM

    Wow- just wow- it's like you're in my head. I loved this post and it truly reads like it came from the heart. Thank you for posting!

  4. Good post, very thought provoking. I think that for me I try not to beat myself up and think I'm a terrible person for being overweight. At the same time, I am overweight and I really don't want to be.

  5. I loved this post and I wish I could change my mind set...I still can't though the frequency of my negative thoughts has reduced but I still have them and days when I feel fat all my confidence goes for toss...

  6. Very well written, Ayesha!

    I've said and lived my life by "Be happy who you are and strive to improve!"


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