Like almost 90 percent of Canadian women, I am not always super-thrilled with my body. You know how it is’you can’t squeeze into a little pair of skinny jeans at the mall one day and well, you feel fat.
There it is: F-A-T’the tiny word with a colossal impact. To many people it’s a word so foul that it really should have a fourth letter. Hearing it or even thinking it has the power to reduce a grown woman to tears. If in a moment of weakness, I use it to describe myself to a friend, the response goes something like: ‘No! Don’t say such a horrible thing about yourself.’ And I really do feel a sense of horror when I stare at my body in the full-length mirror and think, Oh no. I am getting so fat.
I know it’s ridiculous, yet I admit that using fat as a self-deprecating term is hard-wired into my brain. That’s why I have come to admire the movement of women who are reclaiming the ‘F word’ by facing it head on. Take The Fat Nutritionist, a Canadian dietitian student who states that she weighs 260 pounds and is committed to nutrition. Her tagline is ‘eating normally is the new black.’
I’ve also started following a blog called The Fat Girl’s Guide to Living, a clever lifestyle site with recipes, real-life stories and tips on everything from how to face a doctor’s visit as a fat girl (there, I said it) to where to find plus-size clothes on Etsy.
Then I discovered the recently published The Fat Studies Reader, (New York University Press, 2009) a collection of essays written by academics and activists on the topic of weight diversity.
It’s a fascinating subject and one I think is long overdue for discussion. But as an editor at a health magazine (who is well versed in the risks associated with being overweight), I have to ask: Can you celebrate being fat and still be healthy? What do you think?