[2/2] want to be fat. Because there is nothing wrong with my body really, I just want to be able to do more with it. And… I don’t know if any of this makes sense, I’m really bad at explaining myself. Regardless, I love your blog and it always makes me extra happy if I have have a teeny down moment. Thanks <3
Hey there! And thank you for the blog compliments!
I’m guessing that the “torn” feeling you’re having is feeling/wondering if making strides to change things about your body is somehow incongruent with loving yourself? Or maybe somehow goes against body-positivity or related movements? This is a rabbit warren of an answer when the body changes involve dieting and weight loss, to which I’m going to refer you to this Fatadelic post, circa 2008, and even strongly encourage you to read the comments, too. (Rare that I’ll ever suggest reading the comments!) Hopefully that might help you clarify your thoughts, if not give you some terms to work with that better describe your POV.
But it kind of sounds like you’re not so much interested in changing body size as you are an increased level of fitness? I will say this: You can love yourself and pursue better personal health and fitness* simultaneously. The two are not mutually exclusive. Loving our bodies doesn’t inherently mean just throwing caution to the wind or giving up on life, as many trolls seem to think! I suspect that wasn’t what you were thinking, but I had to state it plainly for readers not in-the-know. (*Note that I am not using “better personal health and fitness” as synonymous with “weight loss.”)
That is to say, I think you might be referencing the complexity of navigating motivation and desire as it pertains to one’s body. A lot of people seek motivation towards their goals through being really hard on themselves, drill sergeant-ing, and self-rejection. (That may work for some people, and that’s fine, I’m happy for them if they’re happy!) But a lot of [larger] folks have so deeply internalized the damaging societal messages about their lack of worth and how bad/wrong their body is, that they start from a state of self-rejection. So then when they use a harsh, self-rejecting motivational tactic, it often becomes a steaming pile of SHAME.
Two of my favorite quotes that I read often as I shifted into recovery:
“Shame is not a catalyst for change; it is a paralytic. Anyone who has ever carried extreme personal shame knows this. Shame doesn’t make you stronger, nor does it help you to grow, or to be healthy, or to be sane. It keeps you in one place, very, very still.” —Lesley Kinzel
“For some reason, we are truly convinced that if we criticize ourselves, the criticism will lead to change. If we are harsh, we believe we will end up being kind. If we shame ourselves, we believe we end up loving ourselves. It has never been true, not for a moment, that shame leads to love. Only love leads to love.” —Geneen Roth
The way you think about your body matters. And I will spend the rest of my awesome fat life trying to show other [fat] people that they are allowed to love themselves! And that, at the very least, ceasing hating/rejecting oneself is beneficial to one’s health— both mentally and physically.
But you’re not going to have control over other people’s thoughts. Never have, never will. I tooootally get the prickly feeling you’re getting about the idea of people thinking you are rejecting your fat bod because you’re pursuing better personal strength and fitness. And you’re probably going to have people say some really dumb stuff to you, like, “Good job,” “Keep it up,” “Have you lost weight? You look great!” Which reinforces the whole good fatty/bad fatty dichotomy. But listen, other people’s thoughts about your body aren’t any of your business unless they make it your business. (There’s nothing that can be done about the thoughts, but you can certainly take the comments as an invitation for activism and tell them that their remarks are unwelcome and offensive.)
I… have been verbose! So I’ll wrap up with this— if both things are important to you, loving yourself while simultaneously pursuing your health and fitness, I would heartily suggest seeking out fat positive fitness resources. If you’re not familiar with HAES, I’d dig into that. As for community, I’d recommend checking into the Fit Fatties Forum (also on FB), which is a collection of folks who pursue fitness completely independent of any pro- diet, weight loss, or WLS talk.
Best of luck to you! <3