Fat is a word that I’m more than comfortable with. In fact, I am so comfortable with it that I really don’t understand why so many people take offense at it; It’s just a word! I can see that if the word is used in a derogatory manner then it can be a horrible thing to say, but there are so many of those words that if we avoided them all for the same reason then our vocabulary would be about half the size. Over the years I have heard people very diplomatically use the words curvy, voluptuous, plump, big, heavy, chubby, large, plus size and about a million others. Why not embrace the word fat? Own it! Hello, I’m Katariah and I’m a fat girl. We are programmed that we should be ashamed, that we are inferior and that it is socially acceptable for the people who aren’t afflicted with the genes that we are to mock us openly. The looks of disgust, the pointing sniggers, the snooty comments and all of the other degrading acknowledgements received.
As usual, with all of these types of opinion, the justification has to be made with circumstances surrounding my ‘weight issues’. It’s the one thing that always has to happen so that the size nazis aren’t given the non-existent permission to try and stamp whoever’s speaking’s soul into the ground. Everyone is fat for their very own reasons and to try and lump everyone into the same category is just impossible, yet everyone does. There are people who are fat from sitting on their backside, eating all day and never doing any form of exercise whatsoever. There are people who have medical conditions with medication that cause weight gain or food cravings. There are people with really unfortunate genes that no matter what their lifestyle is will never be able to get down to a “normal” weight. There are also people who have high bone density, muscle mass and are proportioned all over, but still fat. I fall into the last 2 categories. I am the tallest member of my family, with my father’s bone structure and my mother’s metabolism. A lazy metabolism! I have been strict and stuck to every diet the doctor put me on while doing 4 hours of cardio and 6 hours of swimming a week and never lost anything. Eventually my doctor said the greatest thing ever as I could prove that I was sticking to what I was told to do and not getting the results anyone else would.
“This is who you are, you can either spend the next 70 years miserable at who you are or you can love it. You’re proportioned, one of the healthiest people I know and with the most unfortunate genetic make up. You could choose to yo-yo diet your whole life, be miserable and end up twice your normal size or you can live a healthy lifestyle, like you do, eat the things that your body is asking you to and stay the same size for the rest of your life. It’s your choice, I just see no reason for you to feel the need to be miserable when there really is very little you can do about it”
People will always believe what they choose to believe but, like any circumstance you’ve never been in yourself, jumping to conclusions about things that you have never had to live through in the same way is like trying to convince people that blind people really can see. You may have had some kind of similar situation where you were fat once, but if you got fat from having a poor lifestyle then it really is easy to lose it again and seemingly all the easier for you to try and feel superior about people that didn’t.
Recently, I discovered that I’m intolerant to both dairy and wheat. I only discovered this through trial and error when the IBS that i had suffered from since my mum accidentally gave me food poisoning when i was 21 crippled my insides and just progressively worsened. Nobody ever investigated any kind of food intolerance with me, only that my metabolism was slow but only just a point away from being able to be medicated for it. I cut out all wheat and all dairy then lost more weight than i ever have in my life. I had put weight on due to being bedridden for nearly 6 months and lost all of that, plus a little more in only a few months. It’s stayed off but I have been able to introduce a certain amount of both foods into my diet again. Everything I’ve ever enjoyed has been eaten in moderation and I’ve never been a snacker. I only drink water and rarely drink alcohol. My exercise capabilities are still hugely limited due to my immobility but i can walk again and that’s something I never thought I’d ever be able to do without having to seriously concentrate.
So, I have found the thing that my body reacts to. I found it myself. I am losing weight, I don’t mind either way. I am completely comfortable with my body and nakedness is my favourite state at home. I dress appropriately at all times and walk with confidence. It has never stood in my way when attracting the opposite sex, or the same sex for that matter. People don’t tease me for my size, they never really have because I have always been very comfortable with it. I don’t get the strange looks that other fat people get but from the time of my life where I struggled to walk I found the difference in the looks unbelievable. I didn’t carry myself like I normally would and was looked at as a freak. I felt fat, truly fat and I can understand why people do get down on themselves but it’s never a reason to let it happen. The second you stand up straight, hold you head up high and walk with confidence is the second that people stop the looks. Don’t blame the word fat, it’s just a word, blame the ignorance and only the ignorance. These people can’t help their opinions, they’ve been fed it for years, they just don’t know that the opinion isn’t actually theirs but one of society’s pressures.
I thank my doctor from all of those years ago taking a step back, looking at who I was and realising that nothing is cut and dry. He handed me the gift of self acceptance and it’s the thing I’ve never taken for granted. My sister has the same metabolism and has yo yo dieted herself to quite a bit bigger than me. She’s shorter, has the smaller frame and was always thinner than me but didn’t have my doctor. All it takes is one person to help you see who you are and then a word like ‘fat’ just doesn’t matter.