Fat acceptance saved my life
By Chelsea Lincoln
When I made the conscious decision to accept my body, no matter its size, I had just written down my frustrations after a day feeling judged by others. As a child, I had used writing to escape my reality, but this time, I was writing down reality to try and understand my life. I’d hated my body for as long as I could remember and it was tearing me apart. I was doing everything “right” with biking, being super active and eating a healthy vegan diet. Weight loss has always been portrayed as simply calories in and calories out, so I didn’t understand why my body was not changing. I was really fit, but I was still fat.
How many times can you slam your head against the wall before you truly hurt yourself? I felt I was at a breaking point: If I continued hating my body, then I could never truly live. I was miserable. I spent too much time thinking I was an outcast and remembering all my memories of being bullied as a child. I started to see that my struggle with weight was ruining me, so I needed to take my life back. This was not an easy decision, nor was it easy to implement. The media is filled with images of thin models and fat stereotypes and no one ever showed me that accepting yourself was an option.
When I noticed that I was not alone in my struggle and, sadly, women of all shapes and sizes were insecure, it made me even more resolved to love my body. I began proudly proclaiming myself “fat”. I started vocalizing opposition to ads, campaigns, cartoons, and people who perpetrated fat stereotypes and spread body hate. I gave talks about health at every size and respect for every body. I wrote a zine, networked with others, joined FATASS cheerleading troop, and so much more.
I still struggle with body acceptance at times. All the media and social conditioning can be overwhelming. But then I recognize how ridiculous all this body hatred is. I feel there is so much potential that is wasted on something as stupid as a few pounds. Beautiful people are all around me and I appreciate how diverse their bodies are. How boring our world would be if we all looked the same! Luckily, we have the power to not take part in all the judgment. Instead, lets fill the world with body positivity, and invest our energy to live a joyful and rewarding life.