I’m going to try to write this without offending too many people (too late!).
But ladies, why do we go around saying how “fat” we are? I’m really talking to you ladies who are in no way “fat”. I say this as a card-holding chubby girl, whose BMI tells her daily how she’s “obese”. Someone who has been 200 lbs, which at my height, makes me one orange tan away from Oompa Loompa. Short and 200 lbs do not mix well.
I make a conscious effort to not call myself “fat”. If I accidentally do, my daughter is the first to go “You’re not fat Mom.” with all honesty and sincerity. If for no other reason, I shouldn’t call myself “fat” for her sake.
It’s not easy though, especially when women who are, in my eyes, at a good healthy weight say “OMG! I’m sooo fat! I need to lose ten pounds! Blah!!!” or “OMG, when I weighed 140 lbs, I was soooo obese!”
When their start weight is your goal weight, and they think that’s “fat”, it’s hard not to see yourself as the proverbial great white whale in comparison. And yet these same women will say to me “Oh hon, you look good!”
Somehow, I don’t quite believe them.
Do I think they’re lying to me? Not really. But if they think they’re “fat” at 140, my God, what would they consider themselves at 200 lbs? If they would consider themselves “obese” at my current weight, why should I believe them when they tell me I look “fine”.
Do I look good for a “fat” girl? Is that what they’re saying?
Honestly, I don’t think that’s what they’re saying – at least most of them. I’m sure there’s that rare horrible former mean girl who does think that. She can suck eggs. But for the rest, I think they need to start judging themselves with the same eyes they judge their friends and loved ones. I know I need to.
Woman all across the country swear they’re trying to raise their daughters to be less conscious about their bodies, to accept people as they are, to love themselves – the irony is, we’re our worst enemies. Our daughters hear us talking about how “fat” and “disgusting” we are, when a good percentage of those people who feel they look “disgusting” at their current weight are the ones the rest of us percentages are trying to look like.
It’s great to want to be healthy, be strong, be fit. I have absolutely no issue with that at all. I want to be healthy and fit, I need to be stronger. That’s all good. This isn’t about shaming, fat or skinny. This is about the words that come out of our mouths, the way we put ourselves down, that inadvertently make others feel put down, that gives our daughters a misconstrued idea of what is the accepted appearance.
Lord knows, we get bombarded enough by the media and all their airbrushed perfection. We have those little store clerks eyeing us when we shop and those sadistic bastards who cut jeans in all sorts of ways so that the same size never fits right twice. It’s hard enough being female, why be our own worst enemies? Why do we call ourselves fat, even when we aren’t – or hell, even when we are? The world is ugly enough, why be ugly to ourselves? And what example are we setting to our children? “Yes, you are beautiful the way you are, who cares what anyone thinks – btw, mama’s a fat disgusting cow – but don’t you let anyone tell you you’re less than perfect just the way God made you!”
Mixed signals much?
Talk to yourself like you do your friends or your children. It’s time we start being more positive, use healthier word choices. “I need to lose weight” or “I need to get healthier” – that’s all great. “If I wear grey, Greenpeace is going to try to roll me back into the ocean.” is not. (Okay, I’ll confess, I’ve said that – but I was 9000 months pregnant a the time with an 8 1/2 lb baby.) “I’ve gotten a bit soft, I need to tone up.” Lovely! “Holy crap, I look like the friggen Stay Puftf Marshmallow dude!” Not as lovely.
Does that make sense?
These thoughts are brought to you by the woman who does need to lose some weight and get fitter so she can wrestle her ever-growing special needs daughter out of bed every morning, whose goal weight right now really is 140 lbs, which will bring her safely out of that Oompa Loompa zone.