47% in and the thoughts keep a flowing… Jes Baker for the feels, pals!
My most favourite photo of me is one my ex* took of me. I am standing totally naked on a beach, all the fat on display and happy. Fuck, so happy!
In that photo there is no fear, no shame, no worry about stretch marks or body hair - just the sun on my naked skin.
*The irony is that that ex often made me very aware of my fatness as it related to him. He was a
“I prefer “bigger” girls” dude, always after a goddamn pat on the back! What he didn’t understand was that by constantly telling me how grateful I should be, he marginalized my dating experiences and fetishized my body in a way that removed me and turned me into something for him. His new partner is also a fat woman and I hope he doesn’t make her feel the same way.
“Why did you stay with him, Michelle?” - that’s what you want to ask, right? So ask. Why stay with him? Because there were situations in my life that existed beyond my control and sometimes we allow people into our lives because they help us push that stuff aside. Good sex, easy personality, someone you can sort of work on when your own shit feels too hard, someone who does not challenge intellectually, someone you don’t really mourn when they prove themselves a coward**.
But I still have that rad photo.
The point is: NO FUCKING TROPHIES.
What we’re taught as fat people, as fat women particularly… There must be something sinister going on because it can’t be that the person you’re with is actually attracted to you. Are you easy? Unchallenging? Eager to put yourself and your values aside to be with anyone? Can they use you and discard you and you’ll be ok with that because how lucky you are JUST to have found a person willing to touch you in a sexual way… Especially if they are hot. How fucked up is that?
And cool, if you’re a fat person and love your fat fetishized, DO IT! Also give Big Big Love a read.
Further to last night, almost as soon as I pushed publish and went back to the book Baker begins to talk around fitness and feeling shame at the gym! Holy hell. IN MY BRAIN.
And look, I hope I didn’t make anyone feel bad about having fitness goals. I love you for you, all of you… I just want everyone to know that you’re amazing and losing 10lbs won’t suddenly make you happy. Allow yourself happiness today because you’re missing out on a million little moments of joy***
Half way through that is becoming my biggest take away. Maybe you’ll lose 100 lbs one day (or 10 or 14 or whatever) and maybe you’ll wear that aspirational piece of clothing in your closet from high school and maybe you’ll do 1000 other things. Maybe. But what about the 1000 things you aren't doing while you wait. I just wanna do stuff, with my whole fat body in tow.
I want to:
- share millions more kisses
- be naked in the sunshine
- go swimming
- visit Paris again
- love fearlessly
- wear blundstones with party dresses
When I weigh 10 less pounds? Or tomorrow? I have blundstones, a party dress, and two lips. I need money go to Paris and not to live in a sub-arctic temperatures to be naked in the sunshine… but those things too will come. And in the meantime, MORE JOY. Whatever that means for you.
** Sorry if you see this and it hurts your feelings. Truly, I am grateful for the times we spent together.
*** And please don't feel like I minimizing the very real barriers to joy. I feel them too and I am here for you if you need anything.