Fat Bodies for Dummies (and Douchebags)

Published May 18, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I want to talk about fat bodies tonight.  Cos you know, all the stuff over the past week about body image, all the cries of Disgusting!  Vile!  Lazy!  Unhealthy!  Gross!  Smelly!  and so on that proliferate when we have talk about fat bodies has been burbling about my head and I think that a lot of fat haters and those that fear fat have absolutely no idea about what a fat body really is like, or what it’s like to inhabit a fat body.

Of course, those of us who have fat bodies have usually spent many years loathing those fat bodies as well.  When you’re told all the time that fat is disgusting, and all of those other charming descriptors I’ve used above, it sticks pretty quickly and you start to believe it.  But if you’re like me, and have been able to find some self esteem and think about your body rationally, then you start to realise a few things.  Let’s do a breakdown:

Fat bodies are in pain under the strain of their weight.

We’ve all heard the guff about how you’re fucking up your knees, hips and ankles by being fat.  I’m a Super Fat and my knees, hips and ankles have no pain unless I do something stupid, like kick heavy boxes out of the way.  I have an incredible strength to my body (which I will talk about more later) and while my whole family has arthritis running through it, with my younger (thin) brother having suffered debilitating pain at various points in his life, I’ve not had any trouble since one growth spurt in my teens.

Fat bodies are not athletic at all.

Tell that to a sumo wrestler, weight lifter, someone who does shot-put, discus or long distance swimmer.  Personally while I have no agility or speed, I’m stronger than most women I know and some men.  I can split a golf ball in two with just one hit, and can send a tennis ball, cricket ball or softball out of the park.  I’m also far more flexible than one would believe.  I do yoga and while yes, sometimes I have to bend around my fat, I’m still able to do all the poses in regular yoga that everyone else can do, with no pain at all.  I also love riding my bicycle (it’s so pretty, one day I’ll do a post on how pretty my bicycle is) and walking for ages.

Fat people all huff and puff and can’t keep up.

This one I do have experience with, because I’m one of those lucky souls who suffers allergies.  And when they’re playing up, yeah, I can’t breathe as well as other people.  But guess what?  Even when I was a skinny kid, or when I lost a lot of weight and was exercising long sessions every day, I still struggled with my breathing.  But surprise surprise, when my allergies are treated… the breathing clears up, whether I’m a fatty boombaladah or not.

Fat bodies are sweaty and smelly.

Bullshit.  Every man I have ever dated and quite a few I haven’t have told me that I smell divine.

PEOPLE are sweaty and smelly.  Some are lucky and don’t sweat that much, some of us only really sweat out of our faces so we look like beets on hot days. (That’s me!  A waste of makeup some days!)  Fat bodies are no more smelly than thin bodies.  CLEAN bodies are the key.

Which leads me to…

Fat bodies are dirty.

No, dirty bodies are dirty, no matter what size or shape they are.  Clean bodies are clean.

People who have fat bodies hate themselves.

I don’t hate myself.  I used to, but I didn’t really hate myself because I was fat, I hated myself because I listened to people who told me that I should hate myself.  I don’t listen to those people any more, and my self loathing is cured!  It’s a miracle!

Fat bodies are disgusting/vile/gross…

Only to narrow minded people who have got nothing better to do than worry about what other people think.  Fat bodies are beautiful in their own way, in fact, ALL bodies are beautiful in their own way.

So there you have it.  Fat bodies 101, for dummies… and douchebags.

If you have a fat body, do you love it?  Do you struggle with loving it because of the vitriol poured towards fat bodies?  Sometimes our bodies don’t do what they want them to do, and that makes it hard to love them too.

Maybe we should share what we love about our bodies (no matter what size they are).  I’ll go first, you can all follow in the comments.

I love that my body is strong and healthy, and that it propels me through my full life.  I love that my body is a blank canvas for the tattoo art that I love so much.  I love my magnificent tits.  I love that I can hug and cheer and laugh and dance and stretch and sigh and smile with my whole body.  I love that little kids and pets all snuggle into my fat body.  I love that babies seem to get drunk on my body and get all woozy and happy and comfy.  And most of all, I love that my body knows what’s best for me, so long as I take the time to listen to it.

Your turn kids!

34 comments on “Fat Bodies for Dummies (and Douchebags)

  • I love that my body is a place of comfort for cats and very small children. They snuggle right up and get delighted.

    I love that my body produces a big, beautiful singing voice that can be heard literally down the block without amplification.

    I love that I have nimble fingers that can bake bread and weave lace with equal aplomb. They are also strong enough to give a hell of a massage when the need arises.

    I love that my arms give tremendously good hugs.

    I love that my legs can walk for miles and boogie all night long if I’m in the mood.

    I love that my skin tone looks great in pretty much every color I like.

    I love that even at 47, my hair hasn’t started greying at all. It’s still the gorgeous dark brown it’s been since I was about ten and it finished turning from its earlier dishwater blonde.

    I love that my tastebuds and sense of smell are sensitive enough to help me cook delicious food and appreciate it when others cook. Good food is a great pleasure. I enjoy being able to create it and share it with my friends and family.

    I love that my body is usually healthy. Yeah, I’ve had a couple bouts of bronchitis, one of whooping cough, and a couple sprains and bad muscle pulls, but when you look at 47 years, that’s not a lot of health issues to have worried about. Oh, and since I was in my late thirties, there are a couple weeks every spring where I sneeze a bit more and get a couple bouts of slightly watery eyes. No broken limbs, no debilitating allergies, no hospitalizations… I call that pretty damn good.

    Yeah, I love my body. It’s been good to me.

  • Thanks for this great post, FatHeffalump, and Twistie, your comment nearly brought tears to my eyes. Reading something so positive is such a gift. Thank you both.

  • This is a little hard, because I was born with cerebral palsy & to abusive parents, & my body has taken a lot of abuse from others & myself. I have ofen pushed it much too hard, expected too much, sworn at it, & considered myself a failure when I could not do everything able-bodied people can do.

    I love that my body has carried me for 60,000 miles or more in over 60 years, & kept working to keep me as independent & active as possible, even when I have pushed it to pain & exhaustion. I love that it has borne two healthy children with normal deliveries, cared for & sustained them to adulthood, & provided my milk for nourishment for nearly 3 years. I love that even now, at my age, with the encroachment of aging & arthritis, my body has given good, loving, often very active care to my young granddaughter for 40-60 hours per week for more than three years.

    I love my redgold hair which still shows no grey & my fair skin which is virtually free of wrinkles. I love the fact that I am past 60 & on no prescription meds & that I have been very healthy. I have spent less time at doctors’ offices & in hospitals than most people my age, less than many half my age. I had surgery on my left foot & leg for the CP at age 4, gave birth twice, smashed my kneecap & required surgery 30 years, & two years ago fell in the bathroom, half cutting off my left ear, so that I needed quite a few stitches. Considering my balance & mobility issues, it could be a lot worse.

    I also have some fairly minor allergies, but I have survived menopause pretty well & I am staying active & busy. I will never win a beauty contest, but this body has been a survivor & has done a remarkable job of overcoming some pretty overwhelming odds. I wasted a lot of time wishing for a different body, but I need to spend the rest of my time appreciating & celebrating the truly remarkable one I have.

  • I do wonder how often these myths are self-fulfilling prophecies. If you’re told that exercise will make you thin and it doesn’t, why shouldn’t you feel discouraged and scammed and quit? If you’re told you are disgusting and smelly, why bother showering? If you’re told you are hateful, why wouldn’t you hate yourself?

    “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. – ee cummings”

    • Oh yeah, I think a LOT of them end up being that way for some people. It’s hard to fight that off, and some people are just worn down to a point where they can’t fight any more.

  • Wow – you guys are awesome!

    Having been programmed at a very early age to believe that I am completely gross and disgusting, I have a very difficult time coming up with positive things about myself…..I have also had some health issues in the past few years (whether they’re due to my weight or not, only God knows). Anyway, here we go:

    …I love that I have the capability to handle things that a lot of people can’t – I guess that’s not body-oriented. Let me try again.

    ….I love that I can give great hugs and provide comfort to my friends and family.

    ….I love that I have the awesome ability to cook and bake, am very “crafty” and can even draw a bit.

    ….I love that my body sustains me in everything that I need to do.

    …..I love that my teenage son and all his friends don’t find anything wrong with me at all and treat me with great love and respect.

    Okay, I am not doing very well with this. But, you guys sure have given me something to think about. You are all an inspiration and great encouragement to me. I’m glad that I found my way to this blog.

  • I love that my bones are strong enough to take all sorts of pounding and have only ever broken once. And that was because a car ran over my foot.

    I love my skin, which is clear and free of blemishes, fairly flexible, and shows no wrinkles, not even framing the mouth.

    I love my legs, which are seriously shapely, despite the rest of me being more flat or angular.

    I love that my body is built to kick the ass of anyone who threatens me, solid, well-balanced, and strong.

    I love my hair, which is red-blonde-brown in a combination everyone assumes comes out of a bottle.

    • I never thought of the bones thing Ellen. The only bones I’ve broken are ones that have been smacked into things (little toe – a big radiator heater/nose – the hind hoof of a Shetland pony!!)

  • I love that my body is jiggly and soft. I love, that when I do find that top that looks good on me, it looks AWESOME on me. I like that I don’t care if the size 22 pants don’t fit me and I have to go up or down. I like that when I lie on my bed, I can rub my tummy and squish my jelly rolls*. I love that I totally kept up with my all of my friends last time we went to Disneyland (even though they’re all smaller than I am), even though we were running around, getting on 13 different rides and seeing 2 shows in the span of 11 hours on a Saturday**. I love that being fat means I don’t have to share a seat on anything. I love that being okay with being fat means I’ll speak up and not let people order me into places too small for me. I love that my body loves me just as much (and even more, at times,) as I love my body.

    *I call my rolls “jelly rolls” as I was often called a jelly roll in elementary school, not even really in a bad or mean way back then. I later thought about it and realized that it wasn’t a bad thing- who doesn’t like jelly rolls?

    **Anyone who’s been to Disneyland knows that that’s pretty much an impossible feat.

    Big Smiles!

    • LexieDi:

      As someone who was just a chaperone on a Disney trip a couple of weeks ago – it truly is an impossible feat! It was so hot…..

      The only problem I had is knowing that I wouldn’t fit on some of the rides – so, I just didn’t go on them.

      The kids all went off on their own, but I was able to keep up with my chaperone buddies!

      You’re right about not letting people order you into too small places. I’ve always just tried to fit. It doesn’t always work!

      You go girl….you’ve got a great attitude.

    • I’m not even sure what a jelly roll is. Maybe they’re called something different in Australia.

      I also like the concept of not letting people order us into places that are too small for us.

  • What an amazing post! I couldn’t stop nodding in agreement after reading each sentence. To answer your question, I love my body, but I also hate it. This love/hate struggle stems from no one but myself. I never got teased about my weight growing up. Not once did I hear any vile things from classmates, friends, or family, which is probably why I can embrace my body. Yet, just because I can accept that I am fat, that doesn’t mean I like it. I’ve had this battle within myself for so many years. I wish I could be thinner. Not model-thin, but a size 14 or even a size 16. I’ve never seen my body without love handles, rolls, a double chin, and back fat. I want to see my REAL body. I know its under here somewhere. I’ve wanted to lose weight and be healthy for so long. But, just as much as I would love to be thinner, I am ok (for now) with my fat. I know this is the hand that I was dealt and I will make the best out of it one fabulous outfit at a time.

  • Oooh, great post! I’ll have a go 🙂

    I love that my body is constantly surprising me with what it’s capable of: like climbing 272 stairs at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur a couple of weeks ago.

    I love that my boobs are so great that whenever my husband sees me topless he goes “ooh, boobies!”

    I love my curvy arse because it’s sexy and also because it means I have a cushion with me wherever I go 🙂

    I love my beautiful long fingers, great eyebrows and big brown eyes.

    I love that my body happily adjusts to whatever situation I throw it into, mostly without complaint.

    I love that my broad hips and big boobs are like crack for babies (it’s interesting that a lot of other people here have said similar things – why is it that babies love fatties but they quickly have that drilled out of them?)

    I love that my body silently gives me lessons every day on being happy with what I’ve got.

  • I love my body…at least I think I do. I look at the above proclamations and I’m not sure if I can do it. Hm. Apparently I have some ways to go.

    Great post. This is awesome.

  • This really may not be relevant to this post, but in some ways it is.

    This is a website called – I was a Fat Kid and this is My Story.


    I am about in tears reading these posts, especially by the young kids, that are suffering just the way I did and will have a major battle on their hands to ever accept themselves!

    How very, very sad it is that this goes on the world. It just breaks my heart.

    I’m sorry if I got off subject, but reading the posts on that website reminded me of where I came from and what I need to strive for.

    Loving ourselves is SO VERY important! Even if nobody else is on our side. Glad to have found all of you.

  • “I love that my body is a place of comfort for cats and very small children. They snuggle right up and get delighted.”

    Amen, Twistie. When my dog was a babe, she would ride in the car by sitting on the top of my boobs. Seriously, they are a comfortable shelf for a 5-pound puppy. It also made me feel happy and secure, knowing my puppy was so close AND could find a comfortable place to rest! She still likes to snuggle against my fat!

    But what do I like about my body? Well, I’m working out it. I’ve been in the land of shame for several years now, and it’s hard to escape. What’s worse is when a total douchebag on the internet takes your woes and posts them for everybody to see on their blog for others to make fun of – true story.

    • My current Facebook pic is my friend Di’s kitten Charlie using me as a sofa. Yep, sitting up on my boobs, purring his contented little kitteh heart out.

      A friend of mine has a little chihuahua who, every time she sees me, jumps up on the sofa or begs me to pick her up, until she can sit on my boobs and look into my face. She just sits there gazing into my eyes and begging for pats.

  • Thank you for posting this great post about accepting your own body.

    I love that my body is healthy and strong. I love my soft skin and yes, my soft buoyant curves.

    I can doing a super side kick, I do yoga several times a week and I feel absolutely super.

    It bugs me to no end that I have to fight the feeling that I am losing a battle if I embrace this body that houses my spirit.

  • Great post, thank you! Though I also want to say that it’s ok if you are fat and *do* huff and puff, or if you are fat and *do* have pain.

    My pain and disabled body are unrelated to my fatness. But even if they were related, I’d still be an ok person 🙂

      • Thank you. Thinking about it more, it’s kind of inverse for me. At least part of my fatness is a result of my pain and impairments.

        I get furious when people criticise fat people for using mobility scooters, for example, presuming they use them because they are too fat to walk.

        Firstly, if this is the case, that’s fine! Mobility scooters are there to increase mobility.

        Secondly, fat people can be disabled in other ways (as I am), and use a mobility scooter for that reason.

        Thirdly, being disabled can make getting fat a lot easier! Being unable to move around / cook good food / afford good food / isolated, can make getting fat more likely, so the disability comes first.

        Hope this is making sense, I’m having an interesting stream of thought!!

  • I hear you incurable and you’ve hit the nail on the head. Bodies are what propel us through the world, not what define us. Of course, they influence our lives, but we are more than just our bodies.

  • I love…

    …holding babies.

    Does that make sense? Probably not.

    Babies are so beautiful and plump and they have little rolls of fat on their legs and arms. Their skin feels so soft and smooth and I never think, “that’s so disgusting” when I see a chubby baby.I love the feeling it gives me to hold a baby and feel OK about my body.

    Makes me think of the day my (then) 6 year old nephew hugged my squishy thighs and belly and said he loved me — that I wouldn’t be me without the squishy body.

    Now I’ll have to disagree with him on that one, I’d still be ME without the rolls and fat and squishiness, but I think his point is that it’s okay for me to be me, it’s okay to be squishy.

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