Fat is a Feminist Issue
Losing weight can be a feminist act.
I know! It goes against the grain of fat acceptance, doesn’t it? And fat acceptance is linked, at least for me, so closely to the feminist movement. I suspect it is linked to the feminist movement for most FA folks.
Let me start by saying: I am a hard core feminist. And I am a hard core FA person. It makes me genuinely sad when I see perfectly healthy women—not just skinny women, but healthy women—buying books with titles that, when boiled down, are basically all the same: LOSE THAT FAT AND YOU WON’T BE SO UGLY. I hate our cultural obsession with diet coke and scales and numbers and The Biggest Loser. I really, really, really hate that so many young girls are on diets. I hate that we have just one idea, as a culture, of what constitutes a good body. I hate that anorexia is considered desirable. I hate that size larges, in many stores, look as if they are sized for very small eight year olds.
None of this is why I am trying to lose weight.
I’ve been fat for a long time. It is not, however, my body settling naturally into a weight that works for it. True, I am probably fat at least partially because I will never be willow thin, and that’s fine. But I am also fat because for years I ate and ate and ate. Ate when I wasn’t hungry. Ate because I was mad or sad or bored or anxious. That takes a toll on one’s body.
I am learning to make a deal with my body, to say that I will eat when I’m hungry. To say that I will eat sensibly. Not too much, and not too little, either. What I want to eat when I want it. Everything they (and by they I mean Kate Harding) say about this is true: sometimes I crave chocolate and sometimes I crave broccoli. And OK, I crave Indian food a lot. And mac and cheese. NOM.
I have non alcoholic fatty liver disease. One of the treatments for this is to lose weight. I know that losing weight is considered one of the classic treatments for just about everything. The thing is, belly fat can come along and deposit more fat on the liver, which can lead eventually to liver disease.
So I am taking on one of the most feminist acts that there is: I am taking care of myself. I am losing weight because I need to.
I am also losing weight because I like the way my body looks with less fat. I like the way it feels, more importantly. I like that it is easier to flip, easier to cartwheel, easier to walk long distances.
I am using the bodybugg to assist in my weight loss efforts. It’s an interesting tool, an armband that counts calories burned while I go about my daily life. I also enter what I’ve eaten in a computer program so that I can see the difference.
It helps. It’s the kind of thing that I would have ridiculed a few months ago, but right now it works, for me. It allows me to be less obsessive.
It’s good. It’s all good.