The Fatosphere and various fat communities like to point out how active they are, how balanced their diet is, how they were fat children that grew into fat adults and their corpulent physique is not something they can control or change even if they wanted to. I understand why this is, and I’ve no doubt that for many people this is the case.
But I am not one of those people. I am fat because I eat too much.
I’ve never been small person; I think I was at my thinnest when I was around 17 and 65kg/140 pounds. But I know that if I were to exercise a bit more and eat a bit less, it’s probable that I could lose around 10kg and a dress size.
But I don’t want to do that. I love to eat.
For me, eating is an almost hedonistic experience. When I eat something truly amazing, like a beautiful cut of steak or a simple margherita pizza, my face beams. I dance unconsciously in my chair (my boyfriend calls it my ‘happy food dance’). And I like to eat a lot, because the feeling and look of fullness is so pleasant.
I am not fat because I eat ‘junk'; I don’t eat much processed food, not because it’s unhealthy, but because it tastes like crap and makes me feel gross. In fact, my body craves all manner of things: pesto pasta, opor ayam, wholemeal tuna sandwiches, pho, wood-fired pizza, rare steak and homemade chips, soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers, cake, porridge and stewed fruit, roast chicken, laksa, unadon, absolutely anything covered in garlic… I end up eating a reasonably balanced diet, just a lot of it.
While my growing belly is a consequence of my over-eating, it’s a happy one. I love being fat, and not in a ‘This is what I’m stuck with so I may as well love it’ sort of way. I genuinely think I look better now than when I was 30kg lighter. I’m certainly a helluva lot happier.
I wanted to make this all very clear because so far I have not found anyone in the Fatosphere that I relate to on this matter. Of course I’ve found people who enjoy food, but none who publicly love it as much as I do and none who identify it as a cause of their fatness. I am sure I am not the only one. I wanted to make this clear because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.
When the media is full of reports that FAT IS UNHEALTHY AND YOU WILL DIIIIIEEE, it’s natural for fatties respond with statistics proving that being obese does not automatically equate to unhealthiness and that the active fatty will outlive the inactive skinny. And that’s all very good; we should not allow misinformation to parade around as fact. But what I want to stress is that I am not ashamed for being one of the inactive fatties.
I do some exercise; I go to dance class and I swim at the beach in the summer. On the other hand, I also wish the whole world sloped downhill so I’d never have to walk up another incline again.
My point, in a roundabout way, is that we should not have to prove ourselves to be one of the ‘good’ fatties in order to be seen as people. We should not have to divulge our eating and exercise habits to family/friends/strangers/journalists in order to justify our fatness. Whether we happily overeat or happily run marathons, we all deserve respect.