Why I Blog About Being Fat

Published January 26, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I wanted to talk a little bit about why I created this blog and why I am so passionate about this subject.  Just lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is I really believe and where I fit in the whole scheme of things fat acceptance/body image wise.  Reading debates/discussions/arguments out there on other blogs has got me asking myself what is important and why I do what I do here.

Brace yourself, this might be a long one!

Just in case you haven’t read my older posts, a little background.  I was a normal sized kid, though taller than my peers, until I was 11.  However, despite my normal range weight for my height, I was always told I was fat by my family.  When puberty hit at about 11 or 12, I totally ballooned in weight.  I have been obese ever since.

I am a “superfat”.  By the old redundant BMI crap, the term is “morbidly obese”.  I’m on the larger end of the spectrum.  So I’m not just chubby or curvy or a bit plump.  I’m a big old fatty fat fat fat.

I have dieted.  Every kind you can imagine.  I have starved myself.  I have binge exercised.  I had an eating disorder for many years (swinging between starvation and purging).  I have tried every single prescription treatment that doctors could throw at me.  I have been to dietitians galore.  I have joined gyms, weight loss programmes and boot camps.  I’ve done all the commercial things like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Lite n’ Easy.  I’ve tried substituting with shakes and soups and powders and drinks and crackers.

And after 25+ years of doing all of that, I’m still fat.  Doctors and dietitians have called me a liar, saying that I was eating more than I was telling them, and exercising less.  The truth is that I did lie to them, but to tell them I was eating ANYTHING and that I was only exercising 4 hours per day (my peak was 8 hours per day).  They wouldn’t believe that I was eating and exercising in a normal range, why would they have believed that I was starving myself and exercise bingeing?

I have been told for over 25 years that I “just need willpower”.  I’ve got willpower that could rival Jean Grey.  If willpower was all was needed, I’d be thin, as well as be able to lift cars, bend metal and make Hugh Jackman in love with me.  I’m a natural obsessive.  When I get something in my mind that I’m going to do, I’m like a fox terrier with a rat – not gonna let it go.  My willpower is so strong that I’ve been able to starve myself, make myself vomit, eat nothing but green vegetables for 4 months, exercise for up to 8 hours per day and follow every single diet I’ve ever been presented.  Don’t be talking to me about no willpower.

So I’m well versed in the whole dieting and exercise and trying to lose weight/be thin shit.  I’ve been doing it for a lifetime.  The only thing I haven’t done is the surgery route, and that’s because I’ve come to my senses BEFORE I went that way.  It was bloody close though.

The smallest I ever got as an adult, with all of that dieting and exercise and everything, was 103kg.  To keep anything more than about 10kg off my current weight (which is about my biggest), I have to go back into the starvation and exercise bingeing, and the minute I get sick (which is pretty quick, cos my poor body is battered into illness) I go back to the same zone.

There came a point in my life, after 25+ years of trying everything, of hating myself because I can’t do what everyone tells me I should do, and that’s “Not be fat.”  It cannot be done.  It’s just not possible for this body ever to be anything but fat.

What it is possible for this body to be is healthy.  That’s what I want and need from my body, and what my body needs from me.  Therefore, I am focusing on my body being healthy, not being “less”.  I am moving my body in ways that I enjoy and listening to what it needs by way of nourishment.  I have let go of the guilt and emotion around food, and am listening to it.  When it tells me it needs green vegetables, I give them to it.  When it tells me it needs meat, I comply.  When it tells me it needs some chocolate, I also comply.  There is no need for me to starve, or purge, or eat weird combinations or quantities of strange things (Ten grapefruit per day diet anyone?  My pee burns!!)  My body tells me what it needs.  If I just stop torturing it and listen.

Which leads me to why I write this blog.  I write this blog to help people like me.  People who’ve lived most of their lives in pain, depression, self loathing, obsession, anger, guilt, shame, heartbreak.  People who put their lives on hold for decades “until I lose weight”.  People who are tired of being sold the same old “It’s your fault, you fat, disgusting pig!” line when they have done everything they possibly, humanly can to comply.

This is not a political blog, though sometimes politics ties into it.  This is not even a feminist blog, though it has feminist foundations, and sometimes it needs to have a good table thump on feminist issues.  This blog is as much for any men who have lived this as it is for my fellow ladies.  Of course I have a female perspective, but I’m sure we have a lot of universal truths, we fatties.

I am vehemently anti-diet/weight loss.  I’ve poisoned, tortured and battered my poor body for long enough.  It’s time I love it, fat and all.  It’s time I loved my enormous belly, my back fat, my giant tits, my roly-poly arms, my chubby hands, the hairy bits and pigmented bits and the dimply bits.  All those things that I’ve loathed for the past 30+ years.  As well as the bits I find beautiful, like my firm arse, my pretty feet, my shapely legs, my full lips, my crazy wild head of hair, my soft hands, my curved upper back, my good skin.

I want to bring other people the peace that I have found with fat acceptance and positive body image.  I want other people to not feel the self loathing and pain anymore, just like I no longer feel them (most of the time!)  I want people like me to know they are not alone, and people who’ve battered themselves physically and emotionally for their whole lives to find the calm and peace I am finding.

Also, I want to demand the respect I deserve as a human being.  Being fat does not make me inhuman, less deserving of respect, kindness, love, consideration.  My body should have no bearing on how people treat me.  It does, because there is so much hatred and fear for obesity, but I want to be a voice demanding that change.  Because I have found the confidence and self esteem and assertiveness to be able to do that.  Even if I have to get a bit feral with my language and table thumping to do so.

I want to tell people who’ve never lived this, who think they have the answers, the right to judge, who tell me and other men and women who have fat bodies that we are liars, lazy, disgusting, gluttonous, dirty, shameful to shut the fuck up.  I want to tell people who have never experienced what it is like to have an obese body that like to tell me what I am doing wrong that they have no fucking idea, that until they live this, they cannot judge or  lecture me and other fat people.  That their “concern” is unwelcome and useless.  And I want to talk to those good people who have never had to live this, but genuinely want to care and help, and show them how they can, without buying into the bullshit that we have been sold for generations about obesity, diet, body myths and body image.  How they can be loving and supportive of the fat people that they care about.

This is also where I have my voice.  This is where I process my thoughts, share my feelings and have a good old rant when I feel I need it.

But most of all, I want to see people that matter to me finding the light that I have found.  Because I love them and hate seeing them unhappy and hard on themselves.  I want them to love themselves as much as I love them.

If it helps ONE other person, one that I don’t know, find that light, it’s even more worth it.

52 comments on “Why I Blog About Being Fat

  • I don’t have to prove diddly squat to you pal, I am beholden to you in no way shape or form.

    I know what I’ve lived, I know what I’ve done, and I know what a crock of shit it is. Literally impossible my giant fat arse.

  • I decided to edit out the troll. I know he’s a troll from other sites. He’s gone forever! (Thus my comment above)

  • You’re AWESOME. I love this post. I’m personally struggling to come to terms with the stupid crap I’ve inflicted on my poor body over the years, despite being ‘just’ an inbetweenie size-wise; all the time I’ve wasted thinking “I’ll buy spankin’ new clothes/those fabulous shoes/that accessory once I’ve got down to size 12”. This post helps, it helps a lot. I still struggle with eating what my body needs – all those years of ignoring cues – but it’s getting better. And who cares what the stupid BMI chart says, anyway?

    • Ahh thanks. I’m just me, waffling on and banging my fist on tables demanding that people listen and give we fatz the same respect as any other human being.

      But if it helps someone, ANYONE, it’s worth it.

      Live your life here and now, because I can promise you, I deeply regret that wasted 25+ years that I held off on everything “until I’m thin”.

  • thank you! listening to your story makes me feel like not such a failure. Its all well and good to read the science, to find the articles that say diets dont work…then you try to tell people that and they say well so and so lost 50 lbs and hes doing great. Well you know what, of COURSE it works at first…thats the subtle hell of yoyo dieting….blah blah blah lfestyle change……fuck you…..if my “lifestly” includes 2 hours exersize a day and nothing but lettuce, its no life at all.

    • Oh yeah, how often are we told “But it’s simple! Just eat less and exercise more and you’ll be thin!” Well, decades of eating less and exercising more hasn’t got me thin. Hasn’t even got me thinner than I was. It’s just got me a lot of wasted years and a lot of self hate.

      If it isn’t working for a percentage of the population, that means it isn’t “simple”. It’s about time that more researchers, doctors, scientists started asking WHY it doesn’t work instead of accusing fat people of being liars.

  • Good for you! Great post & especially good for you for getting rid of the trolls! They do nothing but harm & have ever since I have been on the Net. We will never change their minds, they don’t WANT their minds changed, & we need to move on living our lives & speaking our truths without them & their hatred.

    And your experience speaks to mine in many ways & I agree with you on all the major points. I am completely ANTI-diet, WLS, self-hatred, self-abuse in any form, & PRO self-love, body acceptance, celebration of diversity & fighting for fat rights & access.

    • Thanks Patsy. The troll is GONE! He can bang on all he likes, it goes direct to my spam folder. I plan to send any other trolls to the same place should they show up.

  • Let me join the chorus to say thank you as well. This is a great post. Reading your blog always makes me feel empowered to just be myself as I am. I try to do this, but am often afraid that I am just a lone nut who’s trying to avoid “hard work and discipline” to get her body into a more acceptable shape. It feels easier, to me, to accept and love myself than to try to diet and shame and hate myself. I guess I just sometimes wish I wasn’t the only one who loved me so much. Oh well. Have to start somewhere. Thank you for your inspirational words. I hope they reach many, MANY people and allow them to love themselves too.

    • Man, if anyone knows “hard work and discipline” it’s those of us that have battled with our weight all our lives. As I said, if it came down to willpower, I’d be thin, rich and married to Hugh Jackman!

      I have to say though, it’s taken more hard work and discipline for me to stop hating myself and treating myself badly with dieting and ridiculous exercise binges than it ever was to stick to those diets and stuff!

  • Thank you all so much for commenting here, and showing your support. It was a bit of a baring of my soul, and it means a lot to me that it’s striking a nerve with so many people.

    Chin up folks – onwards and upwards!

  • This post puts to words what has been churning around inside my head a lot lately. I blog for me. I blog my experience which almost mirrors yours so that others going through it can fell a little community and support. I am not political except when I have to be. I am not trying to convince anyone of anything as I have come to see that is a lost cause. I can speak my mind. I can join with others who are like minded for support. I can’t get a fat hating, fat fearing person who thinks fat is evil, to change their mind. I know what it true for me. Thanks for putting it into words.

    I guess the short comment on your post would be.. I blog for the same reasons you do. I believe what you believe. Nice to connect with you.

    Cheers,

    Ivan

    There will be a day where the persecutors of fat hatred will feel ashamed of themselves.

  • there is a scene in the movie Powder when powder reanimates a deer who has been killed by a hunter while touching both the deer and the hunter. Afterwards the hunter says he can never hunt again because he felt what the hunted deer felt.

    I’d love to be able to do that to all the fat haters

    • Oooh Ivan, I’d forgotten that scene, but what a great analogy for what we’re doing here. Oooh! I might have to find that scene on YouTube or something and blog around it. Good spot!

  • Bravo!

    I got goosebumps reading this. I know Australia is a big country but I hope, one day, we can meet up cos right now I wannt give you a big fat ass hug!

    • Aww Bri! Thanks Ma’am!

      You know, it is a big country but I’ve met up with people further away. I’ve had them come from the UK, Europe and US, and I’ve been to the US and Canada to meet up with my online friends and turn them into real life friends.

      It will happen!

  • Very eloquently said.

    Whilst I can understand and accept your point of view, for me, personally, being fat is a Bad Thing. I love my body. I think it’s awesome. I think I look beautiful. Judging by how often I get hit on, other people think so too. But I really, really really hate being fat, because it quite literally hurts all the time. It’s not self hate or loathing; it’s the reality of living in constant pain.

    That said, diet and exercise have been resounding failures. I’ve put on 25kg over the last two years, and now I’m up at 87kg. May not sound like much to you, but my spine, hips and knees all make their opinions about the load very loud and clear. For me, fat is a profoundly unhealthy state. And yeah, what I call ‘fat’ may not register for some people, especially not to look at me, but my body is screaming at me. Loudly.

    Some people are happy and healthy being fat; I’m not one of them. I’m glad for those who can be healthy and overweight – and envious.

    • Have you ever considered that perhaps the issue is not your fatness, but some other underlying issue that is being overlooked simply because fat always gets the blame? If you’re in pain, I feel you need to be looking much deeper than just fat. The body gives you pain for a reason, and fat is not really a reason. It’s hard to get decent medical help when you have fat, because your fat is instantly blamed, when in the most case, it’s not actually the issue. Quite often when one does find the actual issue, fat ceases to be a problem.

      It certainly did for me.

      And being fat is never a “Bad Thing”. It’s just a thing. A thing some people have, and others don’t. It holds no value of good or bad. This blog is a safe space from any judgement on fat, so please refrain from referring to it as bad in this space.

      • Well, the underlying issue is that my bones and joints are too fragile to take the load without pain. I’m from the sort of family where … well, dad breaks a toe every so often by stretching. And, aside from having an absolutely ridiculous level of calcium in my diet, there is precisely nothing that can be done about that, for me. Crush fractures in my spine by 50? I’ll be lucky to make it to 40 without them. So whilst ‘fat’ isn’t precisely the problem, no, it’s the only thing I can remotely do anything about – maybe. For me, being over a certain weight is actively shortening the usable lifespan of my spine, knees and hips – which is certainly not a healthy thing, in my opinion, and I feel rather negatively about it. It doesn’t matter what the weight’s made up of – but of muscles, organs, and fat, there’s only one which I can try to reduce and still be at least as healthy as I am now. I don’t think this is a health issue other people have. Most people don’t have to start considering various forms of osteo in their early twenties.

        I firmly believe that for most people, health has no connection to size. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of me with any degree of truth outside a relatively small range.

        I apologise if my phrasing was unclear. I make no judgement about fat for people other than myself, or, indeed, consider it as an attribute of different relevance than, for example, eye colour. In my own case, however, I reserve the right to feel about it – and determine its place in my life – as I deem appropriate. As I respect the right of others to do the same.

      • Due to trauma I started putting on weight when I was 5. Every ache I ever felt or sickness I ever had was obviously because I was fat. I did the diets and everything also. My lack of will-powered self did a medically supervised liquid diet for 6 months and my cheat every other week I would have a salad with grilled chicken on it. Otherwise it was about 6-800 calories a day of shakes and 84 oz of crystal lite every day. I lost a lot of weight but according to the log I kept that had all my exercise and food diary in it, I wasn’t losing like I should have so a gastric bypass was in my future. I started adding little bits of food back in and gained 20 lbs in one week! I added 2 low carb lean cuisine type entrees and 2 salads with balsamic vinegrette. I went into surgery knowing the risks and I came out facing the risks. My body had been traumatized enough and it screamed. I lost weight and got to a size smaller than I was in 3rd grade. I had never been in more pain in my life as I was at that time. I told them I couldn’t exercise it hurt so bad. I couldn’t even drink water without pain. My pains that I had weren’t because I was fat, I had an autoimmune disease. I was in less pain when I was fat because I was use to it. When I lost the weight, I freaked out and became very bitter but I also felt very smugg because it wasn’t because I was fat! Here I am 3 years out, down on myself about gaining weight back at weight before surgery… Reading all of this makes me remember…. that was the weight after 6 months of liquid… the same weight I was 14 years ago and I am maintaining. The difference between then and now is I have a hell of a lot more confidence. Thank you for this post, I need every reminder I can that I can be beautiful and morbidly obese at the same time.

        • Thanks for sharing your story Aynjul. So often I hear stories of women (and men) discovering that their bodies being fat weren’t the reason for their pain and illness at all. I only wish more doctors would look beyond the body size and shape.

          When you let go of the self loathing and find what makes you feel good and strong, it’s amazing how much better you feel, even better than when you lose weight.

  • Ysabet I don’t care a jot what you think about fat in your own life, but in this space, there will be no referring to fat, either yours or anyone else’s, as “bad”.

  • I was once in ysabet’s place. Suffering, in pain, joints hurt, couldn’t breathe, had trouble walking and with the resounding support of my doctors (and well meaning family and friends) I was convinced that my body fat was the problem. My joints could not longer bear the “load”, I was told. After giving in then smartly resisting that idea I discovered that the diet-y foods I had been eating for years were to blame. Yep, the low fat diets I’d been on almost all my life had robbed my body of nutrients to the point of breakdown. Not only was it fear of body fat that had me misdiagnosed (docs always using obesity as the go-to diagnosis) it was the fear of dietary fat. See, we cannot properly assimilate nutrients without natural (animal and some vegetable) fats in our daily foods. The fat phobia that kept me trapped into hating my body also locked me out of the foods I needed to have healthy bones and a healthy body in general. Fat phobia is physically dangerous. It keeps people from discovering the truth about what it means to be healthy inside and out.

  • I have to say I am trying very hard to come to terms with my body after years of negatives being thrown at me based on the way I look. Women like you are inspiring to me, I hope that one day I can look at my body and see just skin and beauty and not the failure I see now.

    I have yo-yo dieted my whole life and have always been a bigger girl. I used to say I come from “thick German stock” but I realize that made me sound like a draft horse. I grew up with a mother with a poor body image and even worse dieting habits and never really developed a healthy relationship with food. To this day I still prefer to eat cookies alone and in the dark.

    The medical professionals need to stop looking at numbers and remember that we are all people beautiful and unique in our own way. If you are unhealthy then that doctors job is to root out the cause not just look for the easiest and often unrelated scapegoat. It’s like going to the shop for a flat tire and having them sell you a new coat of paint but never changing the tire. I did some interesting math using the BMI official calculators and I would like to pass this on to my fellow fatties:
    I am told I am overweight
    My BMI is 34.9
    I am 5′ 5″ tall
    I weigh 210 pounds
    Based on the measurements I took I have a body fat % of 32.42% ( I got these from the same site mind you)

    So lets do some math shall we? To be a “healthy” BMI at my height according to the charts I need to weigh at the MOST 150 lbs to be at the top end of the “healthy” range.

    Now lets take my weight and multiply it by my body fat %
    210 * .3242 = 68.08 pounds of fat
    210 – 68.08 = 141.92 lbs of LEAN MUSCLE MASS

    How in the hell could I survive if I only weighed 150lbs when my muscles, bones, organs and fluids alone weight 142 lbs?

    We all find our way to being accepting of who we are, I am a numbers girl and this is helping along with people like you who love themselves for all their bumps and not in spite of them.

    Thank you!

    • Hang in there Playtime Shelly. You will get there. It takes time and patience, but read lots of body positive blogs, buy or borrow body positive books from the library, throw away the women’s magazines (do what I do, buy Discovery or Popular Science instead!), be as kind to yourself as you would someone you love, and hold your head high.

      And crunch those numbers! We non-numbers folk need you!

  • Today is the first exposure to your blog.

    May I simply say that I LOVE YOU!!!

    And a huge thank you to Lisa S. for introducing me to your blog!

    Fat hate is so prevalent in our society it’s often completely accepted as the norm. That is simply a crime considering that it often comes from within after we are filled with propaganda!

    I have done so many of the destructive behaviors that you talk about in the “diet game” and ended up being 412lbs. Now I know you are not a fan of WLS. I wasn’t either, but I had it and have made it work for me. My goal was NOT to be a skinny minnie – I LIKE my curves! I just needed to be able to regain my mobility, control over my diabetes, sleep apnea and relieve the daily pain from carrying my sweet round belly that was contributing to degenerative disc disease.

    I have now lost more than 110lbs and yet gained SO much! My health issues (diabetes is under control, my pain meds that I was taking daily just to function are lost somewhere in my apt – can’t even find them – but that’s okay because I don’t NEED them! While I still (and probably will always have) sleep apnea, the pressures on my bi-pap have been reduced by at least half.) are better controlled and I can walk for MILES without frantically looking for anywhere to sit to relieve the pain in my back. Mind you – I’m not encouraging WLS for anyone, but it was the right decision for ME.

    But there is a HUGE difference between me and others I have known who did it: I don’t HATE myself or my fat – before or after! My size has changed, but I haven’t. I love me and all my lusciousness and I’m thrilled to have found YOU and others who do too!!

    • Thank you Gina.

      I have lots of friends who have WLS and for a couple of them, they feel it has worked. And I am happy for them for that, because I have far more other friends who it didn’t work for at all, and hate seeing them hurting because they either feel like they’ve failed because they’re not thin, or they’re permanently sick because of the WLS, or they have to live off eating baby food or liquid diets which makes them miserable, or a myriad of other things that make them far worse off post WLS than pre.

      I am all for personal choice, but ONLY if that choice is one made with ALL of the information. WLS is sold as the miracle cure for everything from diabetes to depression, and from all the evidence I can see, those who actually get any benefit from it are far, far in the minority to those who end up worse off afterwards. As I said above, if only some time was spent on a) looking for underlying issues first and b) building up the self esteem and self care, BEFORE resorting to WLS, I think there would be a lot more happy and healthy people amongst us.

  • I think what you wrote if very beautiful and thank you for that.

    I have and do feel many of the ways you describe. I have been ashamed. I have wasted my life waiting to lose weight and be good enough to have a life.

    I’ve felt not good enough for a long time and I am sick of it.

    But I also know and am also trying and suceeding at losing weight because I know I am not healthy at this size (331 pounds down from 380).

    I know that I have to do this for me this time. No to be good enough. No to be loved. But because being my size is not healthy. I don’t like it and I don’t feel good.

    • Get Happy, that’s ok. So long as you are doing it for you, and nobody else, and you are armed with a realistic view of what to expect, and make informed choices, then that’s fine.

      However, you cannot state that your size is unhealthy. Because that implies that other people of the same size, or larger, are unhealthy as well. Fat does not equal unhealthy.

      If you feel unhealthy, then you can say “I feel my body is unhealthy”. But saying “Being my size is not healthy” is not only a false assumption, but it’s projecting on to other people of size.

  • You are trolling, fuck off. You’re about as all about fat acceptance as Jenny Craig is.

    As Marianne Kirby said to another troll the other day, and I think she said it to you:

    “Fuck your [healthy], fuck it in the damn ear.”

  • Thank you so much for this post. It is body-positive blogs like yours that I read to boost my confidence and self-acceptance.

    Yesterday I explained to my younger brother that I am fat AND healthy. I am 250lbs and healthier now than I have ever been in all the years of dieting and trying to be thin. I am also happier. I don’t love my body 100% but I’m doing much better. I’ve even worn dresses! When I told him about HAES and how the body reacts to dieting, he GOT it. The tree in his backyard sends out a dozen new branches to make up for the one it lost, just like our bodies put on extra weight to recover from dieting. He gets it and I feel so relieved to have the one member of my family who has never had to deal with weight understand just a little bit of why my body is the way it is.

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