I wasn't always fat. I don't mean that I once "successfully" dieted, either. I was genuinely, effortlessly thin growing up. I never thought about maintaining my size. I did what I wanted and I was thin. That was that.
Things changed, obviously. As I grew into adulthood, my metabolism changed. I still ate what I wanted. I still walked everywhere. Just now I was getting fat. This kept up for a few years and then it basically stopped. My weight will fluctuate, sure, but for the most part I've been the same size now for a good 7 years or so.
And it hasn't ruined my life. Really.
I know I have a unique perspective on this experience because I already believed in Fat Acceptance before I got fat. That wasn't enough to make me immediately accept my now fat body. Heck, no. I didn't like it one bit at first. I wanted to lose weight very badly, but I knew enough to know that dieting wouldn't do me any good. While that didn't stop me from wishing really hard to lose weight, it did keep me from screwing up my metabolism. Wishing I wasn't fat wasn't necessarily good, but it was a lot less harmful than trying to diet would have been.
Wasn't easy, but slowly I came around. I still struggle. Everyone does. But I feel like I have a very healthy relationship with my body. I never allowed myself to develop a confrontational relationship with my body. Oh, I came close, don't get me wrong. But I never completely let go and blamed anything wrong on my body. Yeah, its different, but it hasn't ruined my life. Different isn't bad.
So, I look differently. Some aches and pains I didn't have 10 years ago are here. Others are gone, though. I actually had major problems with my back growing up. We're talking, was laid up and unable to move without horrible pain for a week with nothing really having set it off. That stopped after I got fat. Do I think it stopped because I got fat? No. Which is why I don't think any new ache or pain is because I got fat, either.
My body is different, but it hasn't ruined my life. My relationship with my body is actually a lot better than when I was thin. Back then, I was hyper-critical of my body and any perceived flaw. I actually thought I was too fat THEN. Getting fat made me confront those attitudes and working off my exposure to Fat Acceptance try to reshape my attitudes towards my body. No, its not perfect, but its okay.
Being fat hasn't ruined my life. It's a challenge, yes. Its a challenge to keep from all of that fat hatred in this world from getting to me. It's a challenge when co-workers casually make fat jokes at their expense and I have to wonder about what that says about their feelings towards me. It's a challenge when everyone wants me to accept as fact that being fat is a bad thing. When I'm expected to be so compliant as to congratulate people for the "achievement" of becoming less like me?
It isn't a bad thing. Being fat is different. Just like a lot of things are different or pose challenges. But being fat hasn't ruined my life. It just means I'm fat. I know what it was like to be thin. It didn't feel really different. The biggest change is in the perceptions and demands of others. People assume my weight is a state of failure. They demand that I be apologetic for my body. Some thing all the more since I used to be thin. I can't do it, though. Because I know that being fat has not ruined my life.
I know that there are some people who will think that being fat ruins a person's life. I know that there is a limit to what I can do to change their minds. And I know that ultimately, there may only be one thing I am left with. Not believing that being fat has ruined my life. They can believe whatever they want to, but I'll still know that being fat doesn't ruin your life. Whether they like it or not, people who disagree with me are just going to have to accept that not everyone endorses or cheerleads the "fat is bad" mentality. And maybe knowing that one person doesn't see things they way they do can influence them to reconsider their own acceptance of fat negativity. If that's all I can do, I sure am not about to give it up. Fat fatalism is not inevitable. Not for me, and I don't accept its inevitable for anyone. Getting fat has not ruined my life and I won't pretend that it did for the benefit of anyone.