I am fat and healthy. I could become unhealthy due to being fat as I age, but the point of the work I do is to show you that’s none of your concern.
With new supporters on my Instagram page comes new minds — many of whom don’t understand the work I do. So, if you are genuinely concerned about my health, and do so without bullying or throwing mean words at fat people, keep reading.
I understand that some, even strangers, get concerned. I understand completely. We’re in this interesting age of social media where you wouldn’t see me or know my story if you just passed by me in person. So, I take what I do very seriously on this platform because what I say affects other fat people who may not have the privilege of being healthy.
I’m a person who used to defend “…but you’re fat” comments by saying “…but I’m healthy”. While both are true, because this topic is often approached in such a dehumanizing manner, it conditions both sides to attribute the word “fat” with “unworthy”, and therefore furthering everyone from what we need to be talking about here.
Many people don’t choose to be fat. In fact, weight gain can be caused by stress, a response to a traumatic experience, medications, mental health issues, physical health issues, etc. Weight gain simply isn’t a joke; it can be a sign something serious is going on with the individual.
For myself, I am the weight that I am today due to a combination of binge-eating (diagnosed eating disorder behavior) and medication (for anxiety + depression).
I have not binged or purged in over a year. I have not emotionally eaten (over-eating, but not as severe and out of control as binge-eating) in 6+ months. I’m damn proud of that progress because my recovery has taken time, patience, hard work and healing.
When you ask me why I don’t care about my health, I roll my eyes. When you tell me I will die young, I roll my eyes. First of all, life is not promised or guaranteed — for anyone. We are all human beings. Not one of us is immortal. So, to tell any person they will die young is unnecessary, rude and just plain stupid. You can’t predict my demise just as much as I can’t predict yours. You don’t know, so why even argue that?!
Secondly, health is very complex.
For myself, I had to learn how to get better mentally before I could address everything health wise because my mental health was a more pressing matter. For myself, I am not actively trying to lose weight because that’d be just as unhealthy as using my eating disorder was. However, I exercise regularly and I eat intuitively now. Due to that combination, I will gradually lose weight. While I don’t need to lose weight quickly and right away because that’s plain dangerous, my body tells me that this weight I am now won’t serve me long term. I get lower back pain and foot pain, likely due to the extra weight I carry. Another aspect to my situation is that the medications I take now, that I need, make it very hard to lose weight. I see that as a blessing though because that assures me I won’t drastically lose weight, and end up further damaging my body physically or mentally.
I’m sharing this with you because I’m comfortable sharing it. Me telling you this is because I’m empathetic and understand that sometimes people do care. A lot of people follow me and I feel the need to share this with you. I have felt pressured to disclose more in the past, but this is all I’m up for sharing — you can take it or leave it because no one owes you anything in life.
I’m warning you now though that many people in this community, and fat people in general, will not always be as understanding as me if you question their weight or health (even in a genuine manner), understandably. At its core, questioning one’s health is honestly rude and unnecessary. You never know what someone is facing. This world desperately needs to unlearn that just because someone is fat, it doesn’t mean they are invalid in their opinions, perspectives or truths. We need to unlearn diet culture and fatphobia, not because I say so, or anyone says so, but because fat people are bullied, dehumanized and told that they are not worthy members of society until they lose weight. That is not true though. And our worth is constant.
Just like how those who remain thin even though they binge drink at parties or smoke cigarettes or eat fast food or misuse diet pills or partake in anything dangerous don’t owe you an explanation for their lives, fat people don’t either.
The problem with singling out someone who has a body that makes you uncomfortable, that appears to be an eyesore, is that it’s biased. If you don’t care about all people’s health (which is impossible for any human to digest because there are countless health crisis and problems and it’s simply too much data and information to note and care about for any one person), it’s hypocritical and no one wants to hear about it.
Unless you are a doctor or loved one who is close to the individual, your concerns don’t even have to be acknowledged by the person. The concern, even well-intentioned, is just unnecessary, not to mention that health doesn’t correlate with worth or respect; it’s a flawed argument full of projections and judgements and assumptions.
If I was promoting unhealthiness or obesity, I’d be telling everyone to eat their emotions and never take good care of themselves, but I don’t. My message is to take good care of yourself, but not at the cost of your mental stability or at risk of harming yourself to please others for short term results.
I will not hurt my body or mind long term for short term results. End of story.