Tag Archives: fat

In a Famine, My A$$ Could Feed Me for Weeks

Make no mistake. My arse has a plethora of healing powers. Ask anyone who knows me. It’s a magic a$$. It’s an epic shelf of protection, the very source of my earthly powers. Ha!! I joke, but it’s literally a fact that due to my “largess” in the hindquarters region, I would outlive lots of people in a famine. I might even outlive the famine. Fat is a good thing. It nourishes, protects, heals, heats, and feeds. It’s necessary to life. We all have it.lizzys_tush

People often talk about the unhealthiness of being fat, but rarely do you see reports of the good that being a chunky-monkey can do for one in this world of ours. Well, I’m here to set the record straight (or, curvy as the case so clearly is for so many of us). Following are three pluses of being…well, plus.

one

Fat is actually healthy and being overweight leads to longer life for lots and lots of people. Being overweight is even cited as a boon for fertility, better skin, calmer dispositions, stronger bones, and sounder minds. Despite rampant reports that being fat equals automatic heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, it’s simply not true for lots of people. Studies are coming out all of the time that disprove the “Fat is Always Bad” prejudice.

Unfortunately, what we have in this country is a media monster. This monster spreads misinformation so pervasively and so routinely that few people ever take the time to question, let alone challenge the assertions being made by these misinformed souls. One of the falsities that the media perpetuates is that being fat is universally bad or will lead to bad things down the road. Not true.

We all know that life is much more complex than soundbites and selling news would have us believe, isn’t it? There are way more nuances across the wide spectrum called human health than these media monsters portray. I encourage you all to dig a little deeper. Like anything in life, there are extremes at either end of a particular spectrum. And, unfortunately, these extremes are the most cited as, Du-Du-Dum! Evidence by the media monster.

But, most of us are in the middle somewhere and we know that “the middle” does not sell newspapers, television shows, or magazines. Yes, some people who are fat suffer from the results of that bodily state, but fat does not automatically equal unhealthy and sad, nor does thin automatically equal healthy and happy.

It takes all kinds of shapes, sizes, and experiences to be human and we all have a relevance to the human collective. Bodies are merely vehicles for the exploration of spirit. Your body is the way it is for a reason. If your body didn’t need to be fat or thin, it wouldn’t be. So. There. You’re free. Go forth in your new-found freedom, forget the size of your body, move into soul, find ways to be healthier every day, and be the bad-ass human you came here to be. We’re counting on you.

twoI’ve talked about this before in other posts, but being plus size is an invisibility cloak.  You can get away with alot of shi*t as a fat person. I test this all of the time and it always makes me laugh. As big as I am, I can get in and out of places without ever being seen. It’s the coolest phenomena. I literally walk right past people who, because of what I can only guess are their own prejudices and general insecurity about their body size, do not see me. And, this, my friends, comes in really, really handy. For example, when wanting to merely run into a store and grab something quick without a long, protracted discussion or “connection” with someone, being fat is awesome. It’s freedom. People don’t look at me. And, you know what, that’s okay. I actually like stealth mode.

No fighting to be seen. No more getting other people to validate me or even acknowledge my existence. I get to practice being enough for myself, break the dependency between myself and others, and push deeper into my own psyche, my own healing. It’s liberating.

So. If you’re fat, try to have some fun with it. Know that you are broadcasting an energy beam around the issue and if you look for disapproval in the world, you will find it. If you instead look for ways to validate yourself every day, eventually you will have self-esteem and you will manifest approval from the world in lots of ways. If you can, try to laugh as much as possible and know that other people do not matter one little eensy bit. It’s YOUR opinion that counts. Be stealth. And, giggle. Alot.

threeIf we are totally, totally honest with ourselves and we dig past the societal biases that we’ve maybe absorbed about fat, I bet more than a few of us would be very surprised to realize that we actually like a little cushioning versus bones or rock-hard muscle. Fat is very, very comforting. It’s silly; it jiggles and wiggles. It’s fun to grab and poke and handle. Fat is pleasing to us psychologically because it’s about nurturing; it’s about the mama, being held, being warm, and gently soothed. Fat is comfortable, encircling, engulfing, and just a delightful, never-ending softness. Fat definitely broadcasts a message of fertility, abundance, and pleasure.

This fat phobia of ours is a very recent cultural phenom. Up until the 1920s when the country was becoming enthralled with industry, being a bit fat was okay. Farm people were fatter. They needed to be to work the fields. Women were expected to be fat because they made babies. But, with the choke-hold of the industrial revolution, came the idolization of the “machine”, the “hard”, the “thin”, and along with it swept in the idolization of a thinner body type.

The thing is, world-wide, until modern times, fat has always been viewed as wealth, abundance, comfort, and something to celebrate. This fat phobia of ours is a modern construct. It’s time to be honest. If you don’t like fat, ask yourself why. Do a little digging around in your psyche. But, ask yourself if your ideas about body structure are truly your own or if you have absorbed the ideas from other people. Touch your fat and see what comes up for you. Journal about it. Ask and ask and ask. I bet you’ll be surprised by the journey. Oh, and READ THIS BOOK that I blogged about early on in the life of BBB. You gotta read this book; it will change your ideas about Fat. Guaranteed.

There are many more very real, life-affirming benefits of being fat, but ultimately, this blog is not advocating that people become fat. I’m advocating for the journey toward self-esteem, regardless of how you look or what your bodily conditions are. I’m advocating for self-acceptance because I want us, as a species, to accept others, expand our consciousness, and become healthy. I want us all to be well-fed, happy, and taking responsibility. I want us to own our power, be a force of good on this earth, and love. I want us to love. Even our fat.

 

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A$$ Fat and Other Splendors

Ahhhh…the joys of ass-fat. In this post, I take a tongue-in-cheek (yeah, I said it) look at a recent craze sweeping our modern culture and offer an antidote to it. Disclaimer: In case you missed it. This is not a serious post. This is a silly, ranting, and slightly crazed post. I am NOT advocating plastic surgery. Please do not sue me for expressing my opinions. Please do not think, for a living second, that I am in any way saying that I agree with anyone at any time. Ever. There, that should cover me.

butt

In days of yore, women did everything they could to avoid having fat a$$es. I mean, they did, like, seriously damaging (and not-so-damaging) stuff to control the size of their trunks: for example, lipo, taking the stairs two-at-a-time, calf-raises, running–{{{shudder!}}} (I very much dislike running)–seated butt crunches, regular crunches, and so on. Remember those days? Gawd, I do. And, am I ever glad those days are over!

Because now, my friends! NOW we apparently want our butts to look like J-Lo‘s or Nicki Minaj‘s, Coco‘s or some Kardashian or other. Yes, we want big butts and we cannot lie. We now strive for round, full, fleshy, and abundant tushies that hang out there like a landing strip and proclaim to the world that we (A.) Actually eat (B.) Our men like it. And, (C.) We are genetically, “buttocks-ically gifted”, every single one of us.

If you’re not buttocks-ically gifted, not to worry! You can buy a butt and have it plopped in there in no time. You’ll emerge with a round keister of such voluminousness that others will stop, stare, and point. They will secretly covet your butt. They will wonder why they never noticed it before. They will ask you if you’ve been working out or dieting or taking the stairs. Ha!

Yes, you can buy an a$$ and look like you spend hours in the gym without actually doing so. Butt augmentation is one of the latest plastic surgery crazes currently sweeping the world. Apparently, from a quick bit of Internet research, the Brazilians are best at it (big surprise there) with something called the Brazilian Butt Lift. Google. I don’t have the stomach (ha!) for providing links here. Tons of people are going under the knife to look like, well, plastic. Hurrah!!

Hmmm…well, I, for one, have been waiting for this day to arrive for a very long time. Not just because I have a big bedonk and I know how to use it. Hahah! No, I’m happy that this day has come because I now possess what women all over the world are paying to get.

In fact, my arse is so perfect that I wrote a verse about it. Sing it with me:

I have a shelf. It sits up high. It has its own zip code. It does not lie. My butt is round, it’s full, and happy. My butt is so PERFECT for slapping.

Buwhahahahaa! Yes, I have a$$-fat for days. And, it’s now being celebrated. Thank you, Jesus. It’s about damn time. Whoop!

Lady_by_Lizzy

The following passages will show you, my friends, that I can be and often am judgmental. Ready?

<Now, imagine Liz pulling out her soapbox and standing upon it.>

As long as I shall live, I’ll never understand why people go under the knife. I just do not understand the psychology of how it comes to that or why it does.

I get that people are unhappy and often blame their bodies for making them unhappy. They spend countless hours suffering over some perceived flaw. They obsess and quantify and lament all the ways that they are wrong or ugly or less-than. They relentlessly exercise. They hurl a wide variety of soul-sucking expletives at their hard-working, under-appreciated physiques. I get it. Hell, I used to do it; but, eventually, doesn’t that get exhausting? Don’t you just get tired of carrying all that stuff? I mean, aren’t you sick-to-death of your own opinions and needless suffering and bitching, like, LONG before you go under the knife? Sigh.

I ask you this: isn’t it far easier to find a way to just accept what you’ve got, be as healthy as you can, and sit on the couch with your rosy cheeks (ha, ha!) and cellulite? We all have it! All of our asses sag. All of us have wrinkles and moles and dry skin, and “waist-boobs”. Not one of us is immune. We age, people. We get fat. We sag and crease and droop and poop. Everybody poops!

The kicker? We are in our 20s for exactly 10 years and then guess what? It all starts going to hell. But, it’s normal. It’s healthy. It’s RIGHT! (And, most 20-year-olds have their heads up they tiny a$$es anyway. Look to Miley Cyrus for a perfect example of said ass-hattery. Oh, okay she just turned 21, but yeah, she has her head way up “you know where”.)

Sagging skin is beautiful because you took the time, the years, and the life lessons to get it that way. Hello!

GD-it! it’s time for us to put plastic surgeons out of business, don’t you think? It’s time for us to love our lot in life, accept ourselves and move into higher consciousness. It’s time for us to feel, really feel all of our emotions and sit with them. It’s time for us to question our egos and ideas about the body. It’s time for us to demand self-acceptance from ourselves. It’s time to ignore what other people are doing or saying about us and do what we feel is right. Let’s do what our bodies want for a change.

Does this mean that we should sit like greasy lumps and shovel food into our head-holes all the live-long day? No. But, for poop’s sake, cutting into the body is the easy way out.  Yes, it’s easier and faster to simply get some surgery done rather than address your own psyche and emotional issues. But, addressing what is, at bottom (ha ha!), an emotional issue by cutting into and altering the body is so, if you’ll excuse the pun, a$$-backwards!

Please, please please stop hating your body and adding stuff that wasn’t there to begin with or taking away stuff that was there and you’ve decided has got to go because some airbrushed celebrity got ginormous a$$ implants. PLEASE! Run on the beach because you love oxygen not because you want to be a size zero. (Zero plus zero still equals zero.) Play basketball because you enjoy how your body moves. Eat a friggen’ chocolate cake because it’s tremendously mouth-gasmic and so satisfying and so necessary sometimes! Stop trying to look like a Kardashian. The friggen’ Kardashians don’t even look like Kardashians. Trust me.

Keep the butt that’s sitting on you now. Keep the boobs that hang off of you now. Keep yourself emotionally clear now. Work to resolve your inner resistance and tensions. Find out how to relax. Celebrate every single thing that is currently in your experience because you put it there. You asked for these bodies and you asked for these life lessons. Now, learn them, bless them, and move past them.

<Liz stepping off of her soapbox and sliding it into the closet>

I love you all. Gobs and gobs. 🙂 And, to prove it, here’s some “imperfect” boobs that I drew just for you! Note: In the original post, I had just one booby down there, but my adorbs friend and brother writer, Dan Hoger wanted to see both of ’em. And, can you really blame him? Here ya go, Dan:

breasts

Ooooo Fat Acceptance with Adipositivity

Ooooo….big-body lovers! Have you SEEN THIS AWESOME SITE and project (that my good friend Suzan sent me a link to; THANK YOU, Suzan!) called “Adipositivity“?

Wait, what?! You haven’t?! Oh, for shame! You just gotta go. Seriously. A link is right up there. But, be warned: The high-quality and artistic images on this site, while all very tasteful, are of lovely, large (and largely nude) women. So, use some common sense when visiting. Like, don’t click through while at work, because these images are NSFW. I would hate for you to get fired or sued.

What is Adipositivity? For starters, it’s a word made up by the photographer and author of the project, Substantia Jones (obviously, a pseudonym) and is an amalgam of “Adipos”, which means: “Of or relating to fat” and “positivity”. The Mission Statement from the site says it all (and frankly, I couldn’t state it any better):

“The Adipositivity Project aims to promote size acceptance, not by listing the merits of big people, or detailing examples of excellence (these things are easily seen all around us), but rather, through a visual display of fat physicality. The sort that’s normally unseen. The hope is to widen definitions of physical beauty. Literally.

The photographs here are sometimes close details of the fat female form, often without the inclusion of faces. One reason for this is to coax observers into imagining they’re looking at the fat women in their own lives, ideally then accepting them as having aesthetic appeal which, for better or worse, often translates into more complete forms of acceptance.

The women you see in these images are educators, executives, mothers, musicians, professionals, performers, artists, activists, clerks, and writers. They are perhaps even the women you’ve clucked at on the subway, rolled your eyes at in the market, or joked about with your friends. This is what they look like with their clothes off.”

Um. Yeah. C’est tout, my friends. In a word, delicious. Now, before you accuse me of getting all “pervy”, I say “delicious” not because these are naked chicks. No, it’s because of the depth and feeling in these photos. I was so moved by these images and the abundant character, strength, heart, and presence of these women. OMG. Delicious.

The thing that I found most compelling is the way that I felt when viewing the photos. I felt pride for these gorgeous women. I could feel the women’s love for their bodies. I could feel their process of exploration and how they pushed themselves to go deeper with the work. How they challenged themselves. I could feel them wanting to reach another plateau in understanding and expression. It’s simply astonishing to me, the level of feeling evident here. I LOVED looking at the way each of them carries herself and how their weight is distributed and where it takes different pathways and forms. And, thanks to the life-changing book, Eat Fat (that I blogged about last month), I could fully and without reservation enjoy these photos of succulent, pleasing fat, even love them wholly. God, I love fat. I love looking at it. I loved seeing these women’s various shapes and the amazing journeys they have all taken by way of their hearty and beautiful bodies.

Many of these women stare unflinchingly at the camera. They are not ashamed or nervous or uncomfortable. They are totally present. They lay it all out and do so without shame of any kind. That is remarkable. Not just because they are fat. Let’s face it, most women are body dysmorphic and posing nude is the last friggen’ thing they would ever consider doing. But, for fat women to fully step forward into this exposure, is nothing short of miraculous. This is high art indeed. And, the Adipositivity project is such a gift to us all, because it helps us see that confidence is sexy. Truth is appealing. Real is right. Thought, emotion, and being here, really being here in all stages of our human evolution, are of the highest importance.

I got deeper into my body by way of these gorgeous photos. I got deeper into my acceptance by way of these thought-provoking photos. And, I got deeper in love (with fat) by way of these astonishing, breath-taking, and courageous photos. I hope you do, too.

“Fat Talk:” Most Women Do It

Body lovers! I just read a very interesting article on something called “fat talk”. What is fat talk? According to psychologists, fat talk is a social phenomenon in which most women and girls routinely engage; it consists of the negative body comments that we females make during conversations.

fat-talk

While men also engage in this activity, it’s far more prevalent among women. Quel supris! Fat talk is the stuff that we say to each other about our bodies when trying on clothes, for example, or the things that we utter when talking about the latest fashions (that we know we will never fit into) or what we say when we compare our physiques to other people’s. We say things like: “I wish my butt wasn’t so poochy” or “One of my boobs is bigger than the other and I hate it” or “Why do I have to have such thunder thighs? or “You look so good in those pants; I wish I looked as good as you.” This kind of talk is very, very common among women and it’s super damaging to our psyches and I argue, our actual bodies.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that women (many, many women), heavily dislike their bodies or aspects of their bodies and they talk about that fact. Often. This makes me so sad. In the past, I also did this a great deal with my girlfriends. I remember uttering phrases that were incredibly cruel about my body. I complained about how muscular I was and how “German-looking” I was. I complained about being fat (when I weighed a mere 155 pounds). I complained about being  too big of leg and too small of boob. **sigh**

I absolutely cringe now to think of all of the negative thoughts and statements that I hurtled at my beloved body and her various parts. It seriously creeps me out and sends a dark **chill down my spine** to know that for years I thought nothing of openly and vocally criticizing my body for various real and perceived “problems”. If you are a woman and reading this, I bet you have similar recollections of similar discussions about your body.

In my opinion, here’s the worst part of fat talk: Our bodies listen to us. Intently. It’s true. They hear every word, every thought directed toward them. If the statements that we make are negative, our bodies suffer. They do. In my belief system, our bodies have their own consciousness. Yes, it’s a consciousness that is closely linked and entwined with our psyche, soul, and ego-based personalities, but the body has its own gig and agenda. The body has its own ecosystem, it’s own management system, it’s own reality that’s largely disregarded and consciously unavailable to most of us.

Because the body has its own life, wishes, desires, reactions, and solutions, they are often frustrated with the person inhabiting them and the choices that that person is making. For example, I used to know a psychic holistic health practitioner who could readily connect with a person’s body and tell them what their various body parts were saying when imbalance had set in. It was fascinating to hear her say to me: “Well, your knee is really displeased with you for the the things you’ve been saying about her. She can’t help the damage that you did to her in your early 20s. She is pretty ticked off at you.”

I sat there stunned and thought: “Wait! I didn’t come in for a problem with my knee. But, yeah, I was just telling Susan about how my ‘bad knee’ affects my ability to do yoga. Son of a gun!”. This experience displaced my entire understanding of the body. Going to see this health practitioner deepened my dialog with the body. And, it helped me to see that yeah, our bodies actually listen to us and have their own reaction to the things we think and say out loud.  When I followed the practitioner’s advice and assured my body that I was listening and addressing the problems, things really calmed down. I could feel a shift inside from some deep place and my inflammation would go away, sometimes pretty miraculously.

Here’s the thing: We are inhabiting these immensely complex, elegant, and miraculous physical bodies that respond to every thought that we think. We are here in the physical to do something in the spiritual. We know this whether we have an organized theology or not. The body is the part of the path through our process of expansion as souls. There is absolutely tons of evidence out there, in an exhaustively wide variety of scholarly and spiritual media, which confirms a very real and visceral mind-body connection.

We know that that the mind is capable of eliciting tremendous feats of strength, endurance, and even healing from within the body. We know that we are electromagnetic beings who emanate energy into the ether by way of our physicality. If you don’t believe me, walk into a room in a bad mood and watch your dog or cat’s reaction to you. Ya! it’s real. We know that the thoughts we think affect our health because we can measure it, quantify it, and document it. We know this. We have proven that negative thoughts negatively affect water molecules and positive thoughts positively affect the structure of water molecules. We understand that our emotions create reactions inside our bodies for good or bad.

Doesn’t it then stand to reason that the words we use to describe our physical bodies would affect not only our physiology but potentially trigger other people’s reactions to their own bodies? Think about that. The words that we so carelessly push into the world are registered; they are recorded. They are chronicled. They are living. Where? In the body. In the ducts, cells, and ligaments. These statements live in the mind of the body. They are stored in the gut. They travel the circulatory system. They are tiny emotional pockets of destruction (or creation) depending on intent. And our bodies are wise to our sh*t.

Why are we women so flippin’ adversarial with our bodes? Without the body, we can’t be here. Without a healthy body, we cannot easily achieve a happy life. Without the body in all of its various states of health, we cannot expand as a consciousness. It’s time for us all to think about what we are saying to the body and think about what we are pushing into the world with our words.

Let’s teach our young women this. Let’s individually and collectively send a message to other females that it takes all kinds of bodies to be here and we are all beautiful and miraculous. Let’s stop talking and start asking the body to tell us what it wants. My body at the moment wants cake, but that’s just me. ; ) Please help me help the women of this world feel good about themselves. Start with you. And, I’ll keep working it from this angle.

Too Fat for France

Image courtesy of artur84 from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

France, she is my heart. She is the jewel shimmering in the distance that quickens my blood; she is my mecca, the utopia that I have long aspired to visit and experience, fully. France is my true country. As an American, I know that this ruffles a few feathers, but you see, in my belief system, I was French before I was anything else. I remember some of my past lives in France. I remember living there, happily. As a result, I continually crave her. I pine for her, deeply. But, there’s one problem. I’m too fat for France.

I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, Liz, you say that you are at peace with your size and yet you are now saying that you’re too fat to visit France?” Yes. As contradictory as this is, it is how I feel and, truthfully, it breaks my heart. Stay with me.

Since childhood, I have had an obsession with France that I could never quite explain, but that made perfect sense to me. I just loved France. I begged my dad to rent the movie A Little Romance because it was all filmed in France. I began taking French as soon as I could in Junior High School and ended up taking five years of it. My room was smothered with posters of French castles nestled into the countryside, French sayings, wine labels, and even a full-size French flag. I spoke French every day. I was in love with that country (for no obvious reason), but it just felt right to me. I couldn’t wait to get old enough to go there. I comforted myself with the thought that as soon as I had enough money, I would book a flight to France and would likely never come back. These thoughts buoyed me through very tough times, of which there were many in my childhood.

The problem is that life crept in. I never had the money. I never took vacations. Hell, to this day, I have only taken one official vacation in my life (where I actually left the country) and this didn’t happen until 2010. I went to Oaxaca Mexico. Anyway, I have worked and worked and worked and worked. I have exhausted myself at various jobs and have never been able to make the break and get to my beloved France. But, I now understand why. I’m too fat for France.

While I sincerely love the way that I look and I love how healthy I am, I’m simultaneously and painfully aware of other people’s judgments. People judge me and I am not going to lie to you, it affects me. It bothers me. Because of my size, other people often see an unhealthy person. They assume that I’m pounding lard at every meal. They don’t know that my blood pressure is rarely ever higher than 110 over 60. They don’t know that I live on about 1200 calories per day. They don’t know that I work my ass off to stay this thin. They don’t know that I am in tremendous shape compared to the rest of my uber-fat family. They don’t know that this “size” of mine is not due to a sedentary lifestyle but to very wonky metabolism and a prevailing shortage of hormones. And, the fact is that I don’t eat enough calories for someone of my stature. My body thinks it’s starving, and well, it is. But, people don’t know that. And, I never get the chance to tell them that and couldn’t certainly tell them that in French, because, I’ve forgotten the language.

But, you see, the French are exceedingly health-conscious, thin, and, frankly, “sizeist”. They openly judge Americans for, among other things: our obesity, our black socks with Bermuda shorts, our rudeness, our crass, untrained palates, our unwillingness to speak their beautiful language. And, in many cases, these judgments are for very good reason. Americans are sometimes these things, but so are people from all over the world (even France).

So, I have not visited my true country, because I honestly cannot bear the thought of being judged by my countrymen. I want to love my visit. I want to walk the streets that are still there from 200 years ago, streets that I walked in my previous incarnations. I want to enjoy myself and love my true country even more than before I arrived, but I’m afraid that if the French judge me (and they will) it will crush me. I cannot bear to see the disapproval in their eyes. So, I don’t go. I keep hoping that I can lose 100 pounds first.

Sigh. Even as I type this, I hear how totally nuts it is; I know, this is crazy. But, there it is. The truth. It makes me squirm a little to let it all out, but this blog is nothing if not a place to air this kind of stuff in the hopes that I can heal it and help other people in the process. **Sigh**

I so hope that I can evolve to a place where I don’t care what other people think. If I am healthy, who cares if other people think that I am not? Who gives a rip if the French think that I’m beaucoup gras? Or, some bumbling Neanderthal American who is there to crush the tiny, but equally underfed, bodies around me. Who cares?

“Eat Fat” A Book That’ll Change Your Life

There I was at a friend’s house (back in 1998), pawing through her overly burdened bookshelf when I spot the spine of a book that scandalously reads “EAT FAT” and which makes me instantly suck in my breath. Of course, I yank the book off of the shelf immediately and hold it in my hands, completely intrigued. It’s a compact, unassuming, and relatively small book for such a bold, inflammatory statement. The cover, a very bright yellow with large black lettering and the author’s name, Richard Klein, contained in a small box at the bottom is pretty simple, but for that crazy-bold title, the title that compels you to crack the book open then and there, which is what I did. “What is this?” I whispered to myself right as my friend Nell was entering the room with our plate of olives, bread, hummus, and a bottle of strong red wine tucked under her arm. “Oh, that” she says in a breathy, low tone. “That is an amazing book, Elizabeth. You have to read it.” And, thus, my journey into loving, really loving fat began.

EAT FAT book

This book changed my life, literally, in just one reading. I read it in its entirety that night. Of course, I was zonked the next day at my technical writing job, but I didn’t care. I was a changed woman. The words that Klein wrote in those finely crafted, funny, and down-to-earth pages, helped me finally, finally come home to myself, fully and utterly. With delicious, relief, I finally felt what my psyche had been craving all those many years (spent loathing my fatdom); I felt the calmness of acceptance but beyond that, a true, deeply resonant respect for myself and my amazing, succulent body. I was instantly FREE!! And, in one night, I intensely LOVED MY FAT AND EVERYONE ELSE’S. No joke.

Word of warning: If you do not want to love fat, do not read this book. If you do not mind loathing your body or others’ bodies or if you see no reason to change, do not read this book. If you use self-deprecation and do not mind feeling mostly bad about yourself and your body, do not read this book. If you do not want to challenge your long-held fat phobia, then by all means, avoid this book. But, if you want to truly understand how to love yourself, feel the pleasing shock of an abrupt, but liberating new awareness, the surge of sure-fire realization, and a deep sense of your place in this world (regardless of your size), read this book. I dare you.

This is “not a book about fat acceptance” as Klein states. It’s a book that aims to make us love fat, but only by way of understanding it and tracing its history, the etymological roots of words that mean “fat”, its cultural passage from art to politics to sex, and its place in human life from ancient times to modern. In smartly written, funny, and wildly entertaining prose, this wonderful French teacher from Cornell not only challenges fat phobia but invites us to once-again consider fat as an equal standard of beauty. And, like I stated, he does a damn good job because I went from fat phobic to fat lover in one night.

Klein eagerly awaits the day when fat is once again considered the norm. I do, too. Not just because I am fat (Richard is not, by the way), but because it will mean that human beings have finally pushed through to a new consciousness, a new way of being, a better way of being. Mankind will finally be able to drop his hands and say with a full heart “It takes all kinds to make this earth spin. I understand now.”

True Love is a whole lot better than mere acceptance and I look forward to the day when people do not just accept themselves or others but truly love themselves and others fully, “fatly”, and ravishingly. This book is my Bible. I want to be cremated with it.

Thin is Sickly. Or, Is it?

I have a confession to make. Once I learned to accept my burgeoning self, my rotundness, and once I learned to really, really like my curves, I realized something shocking as I sat thinking about a friend of mine (who, by the way, is impossibly thin and beautiful). What did I realize? That I’m just as judgmental about thinness as everyone else is about fatness. I’ll explain.

I have often had the thoughts that thin people are sickly, weak, and more prone to illness. I look at them and immediately, at that split-second-brain-warp-speed, think that about them. It’s true. I’ve thought that about nearly every thin person I’ve ever seen. Even the ones who are fit and use any excuse they can to show off their ridiculously toned abdomens in half-t-shirts or stretchy, brightly colored yoga-wear. Yep, in my book, thin has almost always meant sickly.

Well, this used to be my opinion until I caught myself thinking it one day and yelled “Ah-HAA!” loudly in the quiet room. Stunned, I sat there examining the thought that had just shot up from some dark fathom inside of me to hang there in my mind like a jagged little soot-colored shard of glass. Hoh-my-God! I think that thin people are sickly just like other people think that fat people are sickly. Hoh-my-God! I am doing the exact same thing: judging other people solely by their appearance!

But, it goes deeper than just judging appearance. (Doesn’t it always?)

We hold certain beliefs about the world that are from a primal, deep, and almost reptilian place, a place that is core to us, an area that is very difficult to access, but when accessed and analyzed, can yield great personal transformation. So, my idea that thin = sick is from that place, that reptilian, dna, core-belief center inside. How do I know that it’s a core belief? Because I have thought it at least a gazillion times. Stay with me.

Most of the people in my family are fat. I grew up around fairly fat people all of my life. And, when my family members weren’t fat, they were dieting or starving themselves into a temporary thinness (myself included) that was quickly supplanted by even more fat than when they started. So, I knew fat. I understood it. I looked at it, drew some comfort from it (as a young child) and then as a teenager, secretly loathed it and vowed that I would never ever end up like them. Which, of course, I did.

Fat was the norm, even though I knew that my family members were different and laughed at and despised and judged. Continually. But, fat, for me, was familiar. Safe. So, over time, I gravitated to the idea that thin was bad and fat was good. I mean, look at it: Fat is succulent and hearty. It’s rosy-cheeked and sturdy. It can carry two pails of milk from the barn and re-roof the house before lunch. Fat is fun. It jiggles, wiggles, and makes you laugh. It’s happy. Thin just looked painful to me. Thin looked like it was going to snap in half (at any second). Thin always conjured up images of bones angrily poking from beneath papery, ashy skin.

I walked around for years thinking this about other people and in most cases, it probably wasn’t true. Sure, some of the thin people I saw were sickly, but not all. Some of the fat people were sick because of their obesity, but not all.

As we know, the thought is always about the thinker. The thought is always the mechanism that creates the thinker’s reality. Core beliefs are formed by people observing circumstance, experiencing the results of their choices, and thinking certain thoughts over and over and over. These beliefs then form the place from which we make our inner (and outer) world.

But, these beliefs should always be questioned. They should be examined and teased apart and regarded from all angles. They should be asked: “Are you true?” “Are you real?” “How do you serve me?” “From where do you come?” “Why are you here?” “What have you given me?” And, in some cases, “When are you leaving?”

Thin is sometimes sickly but not always. Fat is sometimes burdensome, but not always. Thin is normal to some and easy for some, but not all. Fat is healthy for many, many people, but not everyone. Fitness is enjoyed by the fat and thin alike. Despite media reports, not every fat person is sick and not every thin person is automatically better off than a fat person.

So, what I learned from this experience is that trying to eradicate judgement is impossible, but it’s a good idea to catch up with oneself, think about the day, ponder the kinds of thoughts you have been having about yourself and others, dig around, look at your beliefs, weigh the prejudices and judgments that you hold, seek to understand the source of these things, and see if what you are holding onto still serves you.