Category Archives: healthy at every size

learning to be my own advocate

I’m really good at speaking up for others. I’m still learning to speak up for myself. It helps to get super pissed. I was sad and upset at first, and while I still am both of those, I’m really starting to get pissed.

I had an appointment last week with a new ob/gyn. I’ve spoken before about my trepidation around going to the doctor, a concern that I’m afraid many fat people share. I really liked my primary care doc. The ob/gyn I saw? Not so much. I have so many words and emotions rolling through my head right now about how it all went down, and I’m not even sure how to adequately express just how awful it was.

In short, I went in because I’ve been feeling tired lately, and just a little off. I can’t explain it much more than that-  I just felt like something wasn’t right. A friend was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and her symptoms sounded similar to mine, so I thought I’d have that conversation with the gyn. I brought it up to her and then it all went to hell.

She didn’t treat me like a person who came to her with questions. She didn’t even treat me like a person. She just went straight into the “it’s because your FAAAAAT omgobesityFAAATZ” spiel and never looked back. I’m not looking to be besties with my doc, she doesn’t need to know my life story and all of my hopes and dreams or anything, but a question here and there, especially during a first visit, isn’t out of the question. In fact, it’s expected.

She didn’t listen to me. When I told her that I knew I’d gained weight the last few months but didn’t want to know the number because I’m trying to focus on a Healthy At Every Size approach to my life, three minutes later she pointed to my weight on the computer screen. Huh, thanks for that.  She also kept extolling the virtues of their nutrition program, pointing out that they have a great team that can help you (nutritionists in a group therapy setting – sweet jesus, no thank you. that may work for other folks, and rock on for them. not for me.).

Her: “It’s expensive but really worth it. I had a patient who lost 100 pounds on it.”
Me: “I’m not interested in losing 100 pounds. As I mentioned before, I’m more interested in keeping my health front and center, not my weight.”
Her: “You need to go on a diet.”
Me: “Diets don’t work; I’ve been dieting almost my entire life.”
Her: “But it depends upon the type of diet. What I’m talking about is healthy foods and exercise.”
Me (in my head after I left and got my bearings again): “Oh my god! You mean I should be eating healthy? Like, fruits and vegetables?? This is brand new information to me! You are CHANGING my LIFE!”
Me (in reality): “…”

It felt like she was tolerating me. Like I was an imposition and she needed to just get me over with and be on her way. Maybe she was having a bad day, but I’m not feeling that magnanimous, quite frankly.

Active listening, lady. Try it sometime. “I hear you and understand that you’re wary of dieting and all that the word implies, but what I’m talking about is …”

So then as we’re finishing up I have to remind her again that I’m interested in learning more about a PCOS diagnosis. I read that one test is a fasting glucose, so I hadn’t eaten just in case she suggested that. She did, so off I went to the lab (after having to find it myself, she didn’t even point me in the right direction), blah blah blood test, moving on.

I got the results the same day and then finally heard from her today. This is when the getting pissed off part starts to really take its shape. She writes (in short), “your blood tests are normal except for low ‘good cholesterol’ and an elevated fasting glucose, which probably means you have diabetes. See your primary care physician.” I freak out and email back, asking if this means PCOS is off the table. Her response, “you probably had PCOS as a pre-diabetic condition. You now have diabetes.” Literally. You. Now. Have. Diabetes. Now I don’t know about you, but getting that news in a one sentence email from a doctor who treated like me like total shit was not the kind of afternoon I had hoped to have.

I email my primary care physician and explain the situation, and bless her heart she responds back in under 10 minutes, saying, essentially, “um, yeah, you’re fine. Make sure to do cardio. We’ll test again in a couple months.”

??????

Ok, so the problems here are hopefully very evident. Namely, perhaps an ob/gyn shouldn’t be diagnosing someone about something that isn’t in their own field house of expertise, so to speak?

Two notes about all of this: 1., it doesn’t matter if I had the most beautiful numbers on the planet, or if my glucose levels were sky-high, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of our weight OR health. Which are, of course, two different things. And 2., I’m not denying that diet and exercise don’t have implications on our health. And as I’ve said before, I want to feel better, and I know that part of that means moving my body more and paying more attention to what foods I put in it.

Generally, I’m not the kind to share all of my medical-y business in such a public way, but I feel like these kinds of stories need to get told so that when someone else gets treated like an inconvenience, a bother, a non-person, she or he won’t need to feel like the piece of shit I felt like.

Now I’m off to write a strongly-worded email to the doctor and her supervisor.

it’s about to get heavy

Possible triggering re: weight loss.

I’ve been feeling…off lately. Scattered. Uneasy. Skittish. I think it’s because I’m about to really get into some shit. Some heavy mental lifting, if you will. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact I’m looking forward to it. But I can tell I’ve been preparing myself because I’ve been pretty withdrawn the past couple weeks (as evidenced in part by my complete lack of presence on this here blog). Not really wanting to go out for drinks, not particularly interested in meeting new people, in fact not wanting to be around people at all. I went to my parents house last weekend when they were away and it was simply delightful (love the ‘rents, but damn I wanted some alone time!). Which is interesting, this concept of wanting some alone time. I live alone. I haven’t made tons of friends here yet. I’m gettin’ plenty of alone time. But I needed something a bit more. So off I went with my dog and two bags full of dirty laundry (seriously Sabrina? You’re 30. time to stop taking dirty laundry home to your parents house. does anyone else still do this?) for a weekend full of close to nothing. Just me and three dogs, some horses, and chickens:

I sat outside a lot, just kind of staring at the pretty trees, talking to the animals, soaking up the sun. and I started Dr. Linda Bacon’s “Healthy at Every Size” which is blowing. my. mind. I’ve had the book for quite a few months now, but for whatever reason, didn’t pick it up until I was packing to go home. And I am so glad I brought it. I’ve spoken before about HAES, so I won’t go into detail again here. And I’m not going to turn this into a book review, at least, not until I’ve read the whole thing. Suffice to say, when a friend of mine asked me what I loved about it so much, I responded, “it’s like someone telling me it’s not my fault.” So powerful. And honestly? I think maybe I wasn’t ready to read it until just now. Because it’s bringing up all sorts of stuff for me, mostly around my relationship with food.

Historically, I’ve examined my relationship with food as a bit of a passing hobby. Sure, it came up in therapy (note to self: find a therapist here), but I haven’t dedicated a whole hell of a lot of time into really examining how I interact with food.

I think I’ve been withdrawn so that I could shore up energy, if I may get super touchy feely hippie for a moment. This shit ain’t easy, and the idea of spending real focused time examining, pulling apart, and staring at my relationship with food is utterly terrifying. But the best part is it is simultaneously the clearest thing in the world to me.

***so I wrote all of that up there about 3 weeks ago and then disappeared again. And I think I know why. I had quite the solitary and meditative Sunday this past weekend, and it just sort of hit me like a ton of bricks. I want to lose weight. This may not seem like much of a statement to most of you, but let me tell you in that in the fatosphere, and for those of us who call ourselves fat activists? Them’s fighting words. Or at the very least, they’re words will get you some attention.

But let me explain myself.

“I want to lose weight.” Even saying those words out loud to myself shook me. Why? Why all of a sudden am I starting to go there? It felt like going backward. If I’m all “hooray, fat activism, I love my body!” then how can I want to change it simultaneously? This tension has been with me from the beginning of my FA journey, to be sure. It’s just starting to come up a bit more. But then, on Sunday, I REALLY sat with that statement. What do I mean? What about losing weight is appealing to me right now? And it was as clear as day: I don’t necessarily want to lose weight, I want to feel better. Those are two very different things, but historically, they have NOT been two different things to me. The answer to the question “how can I feel better” was always, without fail, 100% of the time, to lose weight. So now, when I don’t feel right in my body, the answer that comes to me right away is: lose weight. The next step in this for me was to unpack it and go from there.

For the last few months, I haven’t been paying attention to my body when it comes to feeding it. It’s sort of been all processed, all the time.  As I have made abundantly clear in this space before, I am not interested in labeling foods as good or bad. Before we came in to fuck everything up, food didn’t have moral value. It was. just. food. Anyway, the food I’ve been eating lately hasn’t been the most, shall we say, whole and natural. (disclaimer: I don’t give two shits what anyone else eats. Eat Taco Bell and Cheetos every single day for every single meal if you want, I will not judge you for it, this I promise) Instead, my diet has consisted of foods on the more processed side of the spectrum. And it doesn’t make me feel good. Sure, it may make me feel good in that moment, but I’ve been feeling off for a while and it’s due, in part, to my dissociation from my body and my diet.

I joke that my diet (as in, the food I eat, not “DIET” in the way most of us use the word) only works in extremes. I’m either throwing back frozen pizza and no veggies or I’m cooking gourmet, locally-sourced, free-range whatever. There isn’t much in between for me. The time has come to head toward the more whole foods side of things (foods that are whole, not the store). I’ve been focusing on this for the last few days and it’s incredible how much better I feel already. I should also note how appreciative I am that I can make this choice. Cheaper food isn’t necessarily the food with the most nutrients, and there are millions of folks every day who don’t have the opportunity to choose the more expensive/more nutrient rich option.

I’m not saying this was the magic bullet and now all of my problems will go out the window. But it’s been such a glorious relief to recognize the difference between “I want to lose weight” and “I want to feel better.” And besides being a relief? It feels powerful. And I like it very much.

the big visit to my new doctor

Yesterday I had my first doctor’s appointment since diving into the big fatty awesome world of FA. I’ve written before about my nervousness/concern/sheer and total panic about going to a doctor because I know what much of the medical community thinks of fat people.

I made an appointment because I’ve been having some serious pain in both knees for the last week or so. As in, it’s difficult for me to get up and down stairs without being a whiny whinerson. As someone who has been an active person her whole life, and played varsity sports, and never broken a bone, I gotta say this is not good for my poor little soul. I want to recognize that I am still very able-bodied and that I in don’t want to seem ungrateful for the mobility that I do have. However, for me this is some hard-ass shit. I held off on making the appointment for a few days because I thought it would go away, and frankly because I didn’t want to pay someone to take one look at me and tell me to hit the treadmill, tubbo. But it got bad enough, so off I went. I should say, without this FA community, this experience most likely would have been eleventy squillion times worse. In comments to my last post about the doctor, someone directed me to this oh so fabulous resource and I ended up choosing a doctor on the list.

When I followed the nurse to get my vitals taken, I turned around when getting weighed so as to not look at the number, explaining that I didn’t want to know my weight because it can be triggering. The nurse just could not have cared less. “Sure! I love your scarf, where did you get it?” Wait, what? I’m not going to get read the riot act for refusing to participate fully in what almost every single person who goes to the doctor does? Huh, ok. I can work with this. It was actually kind of weird to purposefully not find out my weight. As anyone who has dieted (so…99.9991 percent of the population?) will tell you, when on a diet, the scale becomes a part of your routine (daily, weekly, whatever). Weight Watchers? Shit, the damn meetings START with a weigh in! Curves fitness? Weigh in AND body measurements every month (also an anti-choice organization, but that’s not the immediate point). I have lived with a scale in my bathroom for most of my life. I learned when I would weigh less in the day, what days of the week I would weigh less, which specific reading on the compass to turn and face to weigh less (ok, not that last one, but you get the point). That number was burned into my retinas until the next time I weighed in, crossing my fingers, saying little prayers (to whom exactly, I don’t know, as I’m an atheist…but what do they say? There are no atheists in foxholes. Or on scales, apparently.), already making excuses to whomever was weighing me (“these shoes are heavy.” “I just had a big lunch”) or talking shit to myself (“seriously? You couldn’t lay off that burrito? Lardass. You have SO far to go.”), making promises to be “better this week” and to really focus on harnessing my willpower. Christ, I get tired now just thinking about it.

ANYWAY, I digress. Not knowing my weight – it’s weird. How else am I going to know how much love I deserve, how happy I get to be? Seriously though, we put an incredible amount of emphasis on that number. We memorize it. We lie about it. Hell, I won’t state right here what I think I weigh, and I think I’ve come a damn long way. But maybe I haven’t? Makes me feel like a FA failure (a FAilure?) That’s another post.

So the doctor comes in and I’m pretty nervous. Do I go straight into the whole “I know I’m fat, you don’t have to point it out. I believe we can be healthy at every size. I want to make sure that we’re doing this together and that you’re not making rampant assumptions…” or do I just sit back and see where it goes? I opted for the second. Perhaps out of sheer wussy-ness. Perhaps because I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. Either way, it doesn’t matter. She listened to me respectfully. I told her I started running a few months ago and did a 5K, and then got sick about a month ago and pretty much stopped running, hell, stopped moving because I was tired as fuck all the time and felt like hammered dog shit (not in those exact words, but I think she got my point). She then proceeded to basically say “look, you were moving around a lot. Then you stopped. Your body essentially experienced a light trauma and your knees are now all ‘what the fuck?’ and so they’ve gone a little haywire.” (again, not in those exact words, but I got her point) Along with everything else she said, she mentioned “and you have weight pressing down on these joints, and on your hips…” and you know? it absolutely did not feel like she was telling me my weight was the problem. She didn’t say “you have your HUGE ASS weight” or “your overweight body” or anything. She said “your weight.” As in, I have weight! Imagine that. Basically, I’m supposed to take it easy, do a little walking, the recumbent bike when i can, and take ibuprofen. It’s still very frustrating, because I feel like some of my agency has been taken away. I’m now at the mercy of these damn knees and I am all stoked to do the Bay to Breakers in SF in a few weeks and now that’s up in the air. I’m just super pissed and frustrated. Le sigh. But! The doctor’s appointment went well, and for that I am very, very happy.

I’d love to hear your happy doctor stories! The last post I focused on things that make me tired, and while it was extremely important to go there (and to read everyone’s thought provoking and awesome comments!), I’m feeling the need for some positivity. Adipositivity, perhaps? (NSFW! for those not familiar with her work!)

old habits die very very hard

**possible triggering re: disordered eating

The other day I bought pita chips and hummus to bring to a potluck. The cashier was friendly enough, making comments about my purchases in that sort of non-confrontational, pleasant way. Things like, “mmm, pita chips, yum. hummus with pine nuts, looks healthy.” Without batting an eye, I said “yeah, it’s a potluck so there is always a crap shoot with the kinds of food there.” I kind of trailed off but it was very clear to me what I had just done. i justified my food purchase to a total stranger, hoping that she would “get” how healthy I was being. “look! even though i’m fat I eat ‘good’ foods!” I haven’t done this in a while and it completely caught me off guard. It’s not a mystery where this behavior comes from, most likely for any of us who have a history of disordered eating. Talking about food with other people, or eating around other people…it becomes this bizarre ritual wherein you try and tamp down any craving you have and ignore your body and what its trying to tell you. Instead, you eat “appropriate” foods in “appropriate” amounts. And it’s a constant game, this eating thing. You have to make sure at all times that you’re making it very clear that you’re a “good fatty.” Sure, you’re fat, but you’re not taking up more than your fair share of the world’s food, you’re exercising every day, you’re appreciative when someone tells you “but you have such a pretty face,” you’re apologizing for taking up too much space, and on and on.

Working to better my relationship with food (read: refusing to apologize for being hungry, eating what I want when I feel like eating it, paying attention to what my body is telling me it wants, enjoying food and not giving it moral value like “good” and “bad,” etc) has been one of the most difficult things for me in this FA journey, and I know I’m not alone. I’m trying to combat 20 years of a shitty relationship so it’s no wonder i go into apologizing mode. I just haven’t done that in a while and it kicked me in the gut a bit.

Old habit number two: I’ve been sick for the past week and a half or so. It started out as a cold or something, and turned quickly into a nasty cough and laryngitis. I sounded like death warmed over at first, but I think now I’ve cultivated the sexy phone operator voice. Anyway, I’ve been really really tired and this past week, while on vacation up in Seattle, I’ve been sleeping like it’s my job. As in, one day I didn’t get out of bed until noon. I have never slept until noon before and I gotta say, it’s not awful! And even when i sleep in that late, I need a nap after a few hours. I’ve been having real trouble not beating myself up about sleeping so much. Thoughts like “god, lazy slob” and “if you weren’t fat you’d likely be able to beat this cold by now” are constantly creeping in around the edges of my brain, and I have to beat them back with a very stiff “get the fuck out! you have no business here! also, you’re wrong!” every couple of hours. It’s actually exhausting and making me more tired – see how much unhealthier we are when we’re mean to ourselves? Hey, maybe that whole “shaming fat people into losing weight” thing doesn’t actually work! (end sarcasm)

So anyway, I want to make sure I’m not only documenting the a-ha and “I’m awesome” moments on this here space of mine. It’s important to get into the uncomfortable and ugly stuff. Old habits die hard, this is true. And they come swirling back into your world when you’re not expecting them.

Other habits that are hard to break? Lemme hear ’em! Maybe if we put them out into the universe, they’ll stay away forever?

the fat body and running

I’ve had a bit of a relationship with running. We’ve been on and off (ok, mostly off) for a long time. I think, “running seems so fabulous. so…effortless, so…just me and the road, so tranquil” and then i do it and think, “what the ever loving fresh hell?! this hurts! i quit.” And then I go, “but it’s free! and so many of your friends do it! maybe if you just kept at it a little longer you would find the runner inside yourself!” So i do it some more. But then I get frustrated because if you’re fat and want to run, your choices for running clothes are, um, zero. It’s cotton for all fatties! We want you to lose weight and stop being a burden on society, what with all your health and your obesity and your OMGDEATHZ, but we’ll be damned if we’re going to make it easier on you by offering, I don’t know, cute yet functional and breathable running clothes in your size? please. (athleta, I’m looking at YOU)

So, yes, that is the relationship in a nutshell. Of course it’s more complicated than that, but those are the cliffs notes. I started running (and I should say by “running” i mean jogging and sometimes walking/jogging, not, like, sprinting with the speed of the wind or anything) after I graduated from college a little over 12 years ago. The purpose was losing weight. And I actually enjoyed it for the most part. I had no idea what I was doing (other than putting one foot in front of the other in a speedy manner and propelling myself forward, I mean), but it was a nice way to see and learn the neighborhood a few times a week. But then I stopped, for whatever reason I don’t remember, and I gained all the weight I had lost back (apparently that’s how diets work? /sarcasm). So the next time I picked up running, it was really really hard. It hurt because I didn’t have the proper gear and because, newsflash, when you have jiggly bouncy parts they tend to both jiggle and bounce more when you’re running. But I pushed myself because I was raised with the old “no pain, no gain” adage. This, of course, made me hate running because it came to represent yet another way I was failing – failing to lose weight, failing to have the better body, failing to enjoy a sport that so many do, etc etc. So I didn’t start running again for a long time.

Fast forward to grad school and I’m surrounded by, like, tons of wonderful friends who love to run! They do marathons, even! So I think “ok, this can’t be that bad.” In the Northwestern United States it’s like a damn rule that you run and love it and exclaim it to the world. I didn’t stop much to think about what I felt about running, and that was because I hadn’t yet started the mental heavy lifting and FA work that I did toward the end of grad school. So I started running again, doing the Couch to 5K training program that I had heard such wonderful things about. I quit that after about a month, not necessarily because I didn’t like the program, but because it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re running by yourself and I always felt awful running with other people because I, inevitably, would be much slower than anyone else and dragging people down to my level felt like shit. I had one friend I would run with that was awesome – she repeatedly told me that it didn’t matter the pace I ran, she just liked hanging out and she could always run ahead and then come back. And I believed her, but it didn’t matter. I still felt like a slow fatty mc slowpoke and I hated being that.

Now we’re here at this evening, where I just finished my second run under the Couch to 5K program with my sister. And I feel awesome. And this is the heaviest I’ve been in my whole life (i think, i don’t own a scale). This is certainly the “worst” shape I’ve been in in my life, but I feel pretty good! Part of that is because I finally get to look the part and however silly that sounds, it’s huge (pun intended). Nike carries extended sizes (granted, only up to a 3X, so I know that leaves out a big ‘ol portion of folks) and I purchased my first ever pair of dri-fit pants (hah, i wrote that as “dry-fat” pants at first). Anyway, dri-fit! That shit is magic! Does the rest of the world know about this? Anyway, yes, I get to wear cute clothes that are performance driven, which means that it makes it more comfortable to run. Which is awesome. The other awesome piece in all of this? I’ve decided to be nicer to myself and just go with the flow in terms of pacing. My sister runs ahead of me and I just plod along, not really giving a shit. And? There’s less pain associated with the jiggly bouncy parts because I’m not running super fast! genius! Last night when we went for our first run, I was really struggling with those old thoughts, “man, if you hadn’t let yourself get this bad, this wouldn’t be as hard right now” and “look how slow you’re going, does this even count as running?” and on and on. And I imagine I’ll still struggle with those thoughts now and then. But in the in-between moments, I’ve decided to be kind to my body. And look around and enjoy the actual ACT of running. It’s been kind of rainy the last couple nights, and running with a little mist blowing around, and twinkly lights around the lake, and the smell of bbq and weed and fresh cut grass? Not too shabby. And this time around, I’m not running to lose weight. I’m running to move my body more and enjoy the fresh air and spend more time with my sister. I also realize that i have a body that allows me to do this, so this is an ableist post. There are others that can’t do what I’m doing and I want to recognize that, while also celebrating this new piece of FA for me.

the doctor

So, I am afraid to go to the doctor in my new city. This is not a new phenomenon for fat people. Studies show that fat folks visit the doctor less and it’s no surprise why – there is some deep-seeded prejudice toward fat patients coming from the medical community. Shit, it starts in med school. That New York Times article I linked to up there? It cites a study done by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale that found that more than half of the 620 primary care doctors questioned described obese patients as “awkward, unattractive, ugly, and unlikely to comply with treatment.” Yeah, who wants to go to a place where half of the population thinks THAT about you?

When I lived in Seattle, I researched the hell out of docs before I made an appointment for a physical. For, like, months. I had my heart set on this woman who is a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy; they do the same amount of schooling as MDs but their curriculum centers more around treating the whole patient. hippie shit, i like it.). She was young and focused on women’s health. I thought she’d be the easiest to go to. I told her i was having trouble sleeping. She told me to lose weight. It was the FIRST thing out of her mouth. not, are you depressed? have you changed beds? is there more stress in your life right now? My blood work has been normal every time, my blood pressure is a-ok, cholesterol spot on. And frankly, it doesn’t even matter that I have good health indicators. It doesn’t matter if any of us do. We all deserve to be treated with dignity regardless. I left the doctor’s office feeling that it was my fault I couldn’t sleep. If I wasn’t so fat, this wouldn’t be a problem! Frankly, not much motivation to lose weight. A few months after that my knees started to hurt, a LOT. But I didn’t go to the doctor because i didn’t want to be told in a cold, calculating way that i’m basically doing this to myself.

When I don’t go to the doctor because I’m afraid, I’m essentially telling myself that I am not worth competent, compassionate medical attention. And this is something I struggle with quite a bit. I’ve been down here for almost a year and I still haven’t gone to the doctor. It certainly helps to read others’ stories. I’d like to really focus this year on honoring my health better.

So, fatties who have gone before me? What are some good resources for me to check out so that I can feel prepared for my first appointment? There’s a website out there that has a list of HAES-friendly docs but I can’t remember it.

the talk.

tonight I had The Fat Talk with my folks. we’ve discussed my weight and health my entire life, generally with some combination of tears, anger, frustration, and sadness. i should preface this with the statement that my parents love me so very much and they are my favorite people in the world. they are two of the most compassionate, loving, selfless, and all around fan-fucking-tastic people I’ve ever known. however, they, like the rest of us, live in a sizist society, so until I began to explore FA, our conversations about my weight and health (the two always came together) were really hard for me. They are both in the medical field and I was raised to put a lot of trust in medicine. so when they told me I was at a higher risk for diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, you name it, because of my weight, i trusted them. And I was a kid with some shitty self-esteem at times (who wasn’t?). i didn’t feel pretty enough or thin enough and they wanted nothing more in the world than to make it better for me. i won’t get into the specifics about what used to be said when i was younger, but suffice to say that we didn’t and still don’t often talk about my weight because it is a big ol fatty fat mcFat elephant in the room. Best to just move along and not force awful conversations if we don’t have to.

but with this blog and my work with FA, i’ve become much more comfortable having these difficult conversations. so we talked tonight. They told me about how they are concerned I am lonely and unhappy. They talked about how they wanted me to lose weight as a young person (and now) because they thought I would have a better chance at finding love. And they told me about their concerns for my health – my increased risk for diabetes and so on. And then I got to share my feelings with them; I got to educate them on FA. I promised them I’m not faking my happiness just to get them to shut up. Sure, i’m lonely sometimes. but so are skinny people! And if I wanted a damn boyfriend, i could have one. all sorts of fat people have partners. I just haven’t found one that is as awesome as me yet. I was able to stay grounded and tell them that while I want to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into my diet and to move more each week, it’s possible that i may never lose another pound in my lifetime. I think this was a huge shock to them, because they still hold out hope that one day I will decide to lose 40 pounds and then my life will be better. But it’s important for them to hear that my life is great now and that I can be healthy AND fat (and have been for most of my life). As for the health stuff, this is where it gets a bit tricky. We discussed HAES a bit and they agreed with my statement that health indicators change for the better with a good diet and moderate exercise, regardless of a person’s weight (Dr. Dean Edell is my mom’s hero and he has said as much). But when we get really down into the specifics about an increased risk for diabetes and such, I can feel myself slipping back into my kid-self, unsure of the medical language, not well-versed in the ins and outs of discussing peer-reviewed articles, etc. They know medicine, they’ve been in the field for 30+ years. I don’t feel comfortable (or educated) enough just yet to jump further into the “being fat doesn’t necessarily put you at a higher risk for [fill in the blank].” so i’m able to set boundaries – we won’t talk about this aspect of FA until I feel more prepared. And we may just need to agree to disagree.

bottom line is, my parents have been married for 31 wonderful years. they love each other with a kind of love that is pretty rare these days. they want the same things for me and they fear that because i’m fat, i’ll never get them. ALL of their concern stems from love for me, I get that. and i don’t begrudge my dad’s seeming inability to get past the fact that it’s possible i may never lose a single pound again. he was raised in a large family where women were regularly called out on their “weight issues.” he is in medicine. to him, it’s fairly straight forward. lose weight and have a better chance at happiness, because the world is rougher for fat folks. so i won’t fault him for his thoughts. what i will fault him for, however, is a refusal to start to try and see the world in a different manner now that he’s talked. and i trust and love him – he will work on it.

fat people are happy. fat people live normal lives. in fact, we DARE to be happy and live normal lives when many of us are told on a daily basis through subtle (and hit-you-over-the-head) ways that we don’t deserve to be or do either. and right now what i’m most happy about is having parents who want only the best for me and who can truly listen to me and try to see the world through my eyes just a little bit.