My body is none of your business

I’m fat. I have a lot of fat on my body. I’ve had all this fat since I six years old. I have always had bigger arms, bigger legs, a rounder stomach that most people growing up in elementary school, middle school and high school didn’t have. I’ve heard every negative word to my face, online and behind my back at least five times a day in school growing up. I’ve heard I need to go on this diet, that diet, lose this much weight, I will be better off when I am thinner or a man will desire me if I am thinner. I could fill an entire novel based on every single negative comment someone – a stranger, bully or family member – has said about my body and weight.

I’m going to be 24 in December and it’s taken me the last five to six years to start learning to unlearn all the negative bullshit I’ve been told about my body and self-image in order to accept my space, literal and figurative, in this world.

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There is this stigma in society that if you’re fat, have a lot fat or are not in the ideal body weight of your age and height, then you’re unhealthy. I’m going to debunk that right here, right now.

Body weight is not a sole factor in determining whether you are healthy or not. Body weight does not determine your happiness or worth.

There are plenty of people on this Earth who exercise regularly (or not) and eat healthy who are not a size two or four,  There are also people who have never exercised in their life, eat like garbage, who have a thinner set and are absolutely unhealthy.

So here I am, I am going to tell you what it’s like being a woman with a lot of fat on her body. We’re going to talk about that exercise life first.

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I love working out. I love the atmosphere of a good gym and getting a killer workout in during my day. I love doing some mean cardio and spending most of my times in front of the mirror working on free-weights or on the various machines. I have recently increased my weights in the 50-80 on various arm machines, 100-140 on leg machines and free weights I am around 15-20 lbs. I get stupidly happy when I realize a lower weight is too easy for me. I love sweating because it makes me know that my body is working hard.

Some people don’t like working out and that’s okay. Not everyone has to like it but I am someone who does. Second point I’m going to move onto is eating.

I eat absolutely horrible. I do, I eat like garbage. But I don’t drink soda and to be quite honest, I don’t eat sweets¬†all the time. I do enjoy a mean spinach-based salad, fruit and not processed food, truly, but greens are definitely not my choice.

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When I first moved to Ithaca I went to this one dentist in town and asked me point blank, “How much soda do you drink per day?” with a nice sexist gesture towards my body. *Cue Jim Halpert camera stare* Because if you’re fat, you automatically like soda, right? Wrong.

I politely told him that I didn’t drink soda. My main form of beverage is that ice cold H20; ask any of my close friends. He couldn’t believe me and for over three years when I went to that specific practice, the hygienists and dentist asked me repeatedly about my soda consumption.

And my answer every single time was, “I don’t drink soda. Please stop asking me that.”

I have a lot of fat because I eat like garbage, not because I drink soda. I have a lot of fat on my body because my body craves sugar and starch like a smoker craves nicotine. My body is so used to those substances that it will literally go into some sort of withdrawal if I don’t give it the sugar and starch it wants. It’s hard to resist temptation, it’s more than just saying, “I’m not going to eat that.”

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I can lose weight, I’ve done it before. My freshman year of college I lost 42 pounds; since then I gained that and then some back. When I gained all that weight back I was going through a really hard time emotionally where I ate most of my feelings away. Now, I’m not in that emotional state and I am finally out of college so it’s just a matter of time to fully commit to a better lifestyle in my head.

I’m still going to work out, I’m going to watch what I eat the best I can and I’m going to make small changes in order to be better. 30% is working out, 20% is what you eat and 50% is all about mentality. If you get through that 50% worth of mentality the other 50% falls into place. I need to figure out how to successfully have that 50% positive mental state in losing weight.

I am beautiful at the weight I am now. I am happy. I am healthy. I am fine just the way I am now. My worth is not in what other people think of me but of what I think of myself. My body size is not to please or be desirable to a man but to please me. The only person who has to accept the choices made over my body is me; not you who is reading, not the boys and girls who picked on me when I was younger, not my family, not my friends, not my doctor, not my dentist. I’m not going to apologize for the space I take up because someone else is uncomfortable in it.

As I wrap this up, I will leave you with this advice: don’t comment on someone else’s appearance. Don’t assume that a person is unhealthy by the way they look. Don’t comment on what someone eats. Don’t comment on their weight. Keep your negative comments to yourself; they are not welcomed. If you do decide to comment on someone’s weight or eating choices, I promise they will call you out on it. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

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