My Biggest, Fattest Year Ever
Beyond the Book: Things I Did While Fat
I can say without a doubt that 2022 has been my fattest year ever!
No, this isn’t slang, I don’t mean phat. Fat. This is the year that I absolutely had to size up on all clothing I ordered. This was the year where people stopped saying, “oh, you aren’t really fat” when I’d identify as such. This was the year where I became really brave to some people for just existing, and dangerously pro-fat to others for just existing.
Now would be where I would normally put in a bunch of reasons why I gained so much weight these past two years. Something to put it into context to you. Something that says, “oh I didn’t plan this” or “it couldn’t possibly have been helped.” But I am resisting that urge that still lingers inside me because it really doesn’t matter. There is no virtue in weight. There is no virtue in what or how I eat. It is not a moral issue, as much as we try to make it into one.
As I have become increasingly, visibly fat, the perception of my fatness has impacted the way that many people see and treat me. And some days it really gets to me. It gets to me in a different way than the way that people treat me because I’m a woman, because I’m Black, because I’m queer. Somewhere deep in my brain that little voice says, “you chose this” and so somehow that means that I deserve to be treated in ways that I would never treat others.
But I try to sit with that. I’m going to sit with that right now. Let’s say that I did choose this. Let’s say that in the lifelong war against our bodies that so many of us are conscripted into against our will from a very young age, that I’ve given up, I’ve defected. Ok, this is a choice I made. So then what?
I chose not to fight my body. I chose to look in the mirror each day and feel whatever feelings I have after a lifetime of anti-fat progamming and then move on. Move on to the dope outfit I was wearing. Move on to my great winged eyeliner.
Some days, I didn’t even look in the mirror at all except to make sure I wasn’t dribbling toothpaste all over my chin or missing spots with my sunscreen.
If choosing to or not to fight with your body and your metabolism and the fact that you are a being who will always need food and will always seek out food and that you live in a world with very fucked up ideas around that, some of which will likely always impact what your body and brain seeks out for food, is just that - a choice that you are making in so many ways big and small throughout the day, then ok. I own that choice and recognize that it’s one that I will try to continue to make over and over in the future.
Why? Because this has been the happiest, most fulfilling year of my life. Even with the world being a complete garbage fire. Even with my adhd and anxiety still firing on all cylinders. My best, happiest, fattest year ever.
Because I’ve made a lot more choices in my life. Choices that, believe it or not, are so much more important. I have been writing a book that has helped me reconnect my work with my community in ways that I have desperately needed. I started seeing a therapist and have learned how to reconnect with my body and actually listen to what it’s trying to tell me - which is something that years of various types of body-shame and fear have pulled me away from. I built the home of my dreams. I traveled to countries that I’ve always wanted to visit. I learned how to have healthy boundaries in my relationships. I married the love of my life.
And I have done it all fat. I could have done it all thin, probably, if I had just woken up thin one day. But I tell you what I couldn’t have done: I couldn’t have done it all while waking up every day and deciding to declare war on my mind and my body. I’ve done it before. It takes up so much energy. It is a full time job. And it doesn’t even pay well.
This isn’t a “you can do anything fat that you can do thin” talk. Everybody’s bodies have particular limits. And society loves to put barriers in front of fat people that make it way harder to do things than actual fatness ever could. This is a “you will always be able to do a hell of a lot more if you decide that, of all the choices you make throughout the day, what you do or do not put in your mouth is not anywhere near the most important one” talk.
So that’s it. That’s my big fat year.
Note: comments are almost always appreciated. But I’ll advise this: if you feel indicted by this. If this is rubbing up against the ways in which you are dealing with your body that make you feel like you need to defend yourself, remember that you can just click away instead. Because just as there is no virtue in weight loss, there’s no virtue in defending it either. There are plenty of other places for that all over the internet. This is one of the few that isn’t.
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