I'm sorry, but this pisses me off. I'm not mad at the person who linked it -- I want to say that right from the start, for anyone who might've seen the link and know that I have that person friended. I'm mad at this other woman who wrote it and the tacit assumption she's making, that she's describing every fat woman in the world who doesn't like being fat. And just as a side note, I'd love to see a full picture of this woman, because if the face in her icon is her, she doesn't look fat to me, and another thing that annoys me is women who want to lose twenty or thirty pounds thinking they speak for all the women out there who are really fat. [eyeroll]
My problem with this piece is that it's not really about being fat. It's about being seriously deluded between your ears, with fat used as a crutch to support that delusion. And I'm sure there are fat people who have this particular collection of problems and who could get a lot out of that post. But there are at least a few of us around whose problem is that we're fat, not that we have all these fantasies about how we'll be a completely different person once we get "thin."
For the record, I don't want to be "thin." Thin is just as bad as fat, just on the other end of the spectrum. I want to be normal, thanks very much. I want to have a body with curves and meat in the right places. I want to look like a normal human being and not like a broomstick with a couple of tennis balls wired on 2/3 of the way up, with a silk rag hanging off the whole thing. The old saying about how you can't ever be too rich or too thin is a piece of moronic idiocy and [shock!] not all of us who are fat buy into it.
I'd love to be a size fourteen, but a sixteen is more realistic. I can deal with that.
My problem is that I'm fat. I'm 5'11" and weigh about three hundred pounds. I have back problems and joint problems and foot problems. I can't ride roller coasters anymore because the safety bar won't lock around my too-fat body. I can't go for a walk, much less a hike -- and yes, Kate, I used to hike, I am the sort of person who would if I could -- because my feet and shins and knees can't take walking for more than a few minutes. (On a good day I can limp along for thirty or forty minutes, but I never know when that's going to happen so I don't dare do it outside where I might end up literally stranded away from home, unable to walk back; I walk back and forth in my home for exercise, where I'm never more than a few steps from a chair or a couch.)
I get out of breath every time I put on my shoes or socks because bending enough to reach my feet, even while sitting, compresses the fat around my middle and puts enough pressure on my diaphragm that I can't breathe while I'm doing it.
I weigh too much, by a lot, and it's causing structural problems with my body. My skeleton wasn't designed to carry this much weight, and it's breaking down. But hey, if I just learned to "accept" being slow and crippled and in pain and grossly limited in even my everyday activities, I'd be a much happier person! Wow! Thanks, Kate, for telling me that!
I already travel to foreign countries with my husband. And yeah, I already have a husband and my wedding dress was a size twenty-two. I already speak Spanish well enough to haggle for souvenirs in Mexico, and I speak a little bit each French and Latin and Italian. I'm already a published writer and I'm not waiting to "get thin" before I start that novel.
Because seriously, what kind of person thinks they have to lose weight before they start writing a novel?? I can see how someone who has that much crud packed into their skull could use a wake-up call, or therapy, or whatever, because yeah, that's messed up. And losing weight isn't going to un-mess-up that kind of mess. (And no, I don't expect that losing 130 pounds (my goal) will have any effect on my depression; that's another issue entirely, having nothing to do with my weight.)
Oh, and the "Wear a gorgeous dress" bit is cruel. Sure, if you're wealthy you can commission one, or maybe even find one on the rack at the kind of store where if you're not willing to spend four figures on a single garment you're wasting your time. Or if you're a good sewer and capable of pattern alteration or drafting, you can probably make yourself one. Finding "gorgeous" clothes that fit me, though, is a fantasy. I'm lucky if I can find cheap clothes that cover what needs covering without having my ankles sticking out of my "long" pants or my belly sticking out from under my top, since the American garment industry assumes that all fat women are short or average in height, and that all tall women are average or thin in build. I have long legs and a long waist and there just aren't that many clothes for people who are fat and long. (Although if society wide "fat acceptance" would mean that there'd be clothes out there that'd actually fit me, I'd be all for it just for that. Having them be reasonably attractive clothes would be a really cool bonus. :/ )
But I'm not happy at three hundred pounds. I'm not happy unable to walk much, or to bend much. I loathe shopping for clothes because I usually can't find anything that fits me in all dimensions. I miss roller coasters. I hate having to pass up cruise tours involving horseback riding or those suspension-harness trips through the rainforest canopy because I'm over the weight limit, by a lot. I hate being fat and I'm not going to surrender to it, and convince myself that I can somehow enjoy all the pain and frustration and limitations. If I surrendered to it, I could easily see myself weighing four or even five hundred pounds in ten or twenty years, and that's fucking scary. So no, I'm not going to be "happy" as fat person and I'm not going to accept that eventually weighing four or five hundred pounds is inevitable. I'm just not.
And if Kate thinks I should then she can go jump off a cliff.