Fit, Fat, Angry and Resentful?

I want to thank K Robinson for his/her comment on my post “Side Effects May Include Weight Loss”

Part of the comment stated:

You appear by your writing to have a very angry and resentful attitude. Is that a fact?

I responded – in part:
If I seem angry and resentful, (and I may well be at times) it is perhaps because I am an extensively well-read, fat professional dancer who enjoys perfect metabolic health, can do ten 2-min on, 1 minute off 95% heart rate intervals, press 1,000 pounds with her legs, and do the splits, who is forever being lectured on weight and health by people far less fit than she, who have done far less research about the subject.  It can certainly grow tiresome.

I prefer to choose happiness and for the most part I succeed.  But sometimes I just spend some time being pissed.  Being a super fit  fat person is a weird place to be in our culture:

The best of it is that I walk through the world knowing that I am extremely fit.  Whether judged on the basis of metabolic health, strength, stamina, or flexibility I am in the tippy-top percentiles.  Plus I can do 24 double time chainee turns in a row and end in a perfect standing backbend without breaking a sweat.  So when someone gives me a hard time, I can generally assume that they cannot do what I can do, which definitely helps get me through idiotic exchanges about weight and health.

The worst of it is that many, many people make assumptions about me.  Often if I tell them what is true, they DO NOT BELIEVE ME, or I spend so much time saying how healthy that I am (as I have been doing in this post) that I sound like a braggart and/or a nuisance.  My friends who are thin but sedentary and unhealthy seem to never be assumed to be unhealthy and would probably not be challenged if they said that they can do what I can do. It can get a little frustrating.

In the end, I don’t think that I’m angry and resentful that often, sometimes I think people misunderstand:

I’m not afraid of conflict – I’m an honest and direct communicator and some people mistake that to be anger or resentment.

I speak out strongly against common myths and misconceptions about weight and health, and when you do that people sometimes think that you’re just some angry fat girl with a chip on her shoulder.

Of course sometimes I just tire of it or I get too much bs at one time and that leads to a brief period of anger and/or resentment – which sometimes occurs on this blog.  I don’t deny that and I don’t apologize for it – I think that anyone who walks the path that Body Positive fat people walk may be prone to those episodes but even if it’s just me, I’m still ok with that.  As I tell my dance team when we’re doing our 6 minute wall sit:  it’s not about falling down – it’s only about getting back up.

There’s a quote I really like and I can’t find who said it but I often think of it when I’m slogging through something like this:

“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.  But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.”

So thanks K Robinson for helping me get clarity and giving me a chance to  stand back up.  I find myself neither angry nor resentful.  It turns out that I am grateful.  I’m grateful to K Robinson.  I am also grateful for my ongoing great health, and I am especially grateful for my life which is just about perfect.

Published in: on October 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm  Comments (10)  

10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Another great post, Ragen. I hear you on seeming angry and resentful. I’ve drifted apart from old friends because we just couldn’t see eye-to-eye on some of these (and other) issues.

    Love the quote – posted that to my Facebook page. And though I’m not a “dog person,” the puppy…oh, the puppy. Sooo cute. Some mornings you just need to see a photo of a really cute puppy. Then all is right with the world. :)

    Best wishes,
    Mary-Ellin

    • Thanks Mary-Ellin,

      Sorry to hear that you lost friends, that’s always frustrating. And I’m glad you liked the puppy – I just couldn’t resist :)

      ~Ragen

  2. Is it wrong to point out that you have the complete opposite of an invisible illness? You have (to some) invisible health. People do look at fat people and instantly equate that appearance with many false assumptions: lazy, overeats, eats poorly, never exercizes, high blood pressure, diabetes…

    Many of these assumptions are fueled by television, magazines, internet…with articles and books and diets…that this is the state of being fat. Fat=unhealthy.

    I’m learning a lot from you. I’m learning that just because I am overweight and unhealthy, doesn’t mean I can have a goal of being healthy without getting there by losing a ton of weight. I can work out and eat healthy with the goal of lowering my blood pressure. If I lose weight, it’s an added bonus, but not the goal.

    But the most important thing I am learning from you is not to assume anything. I don’t look at thin people and assume health. I don’t look at the very thin and assume anorexia. I don’t project resentment when there is none.

    I think you’re reaching a lot of people in the same way. So keep up the good work!

    xo Susie

    • Thanks Susie,

      That is a really interesting point about invisible health. I think in some ways it is like that, but only because the myth that weight = health is so pervasive.

      You are just amazing to me – you are so willing to look at information and find the truth for yourself. I have no doubt that you’ll reach all of your health goals. You’re just awesome and thank you for the support, it is really appreciated :)

  3. There are a lot of “xyz” police out there that I resent, and the body police and the attitude police constantly vie for the top most-resented position.

    So what if you have an angry and resentful attitude? Since when did having a peaceful, hand-stroking attitude ever effect any change in the world? Begging people to please see your way, but only if they don’t mind and it’s not an inconvenience, and oops! was that me talking out loud again?!… has never done anyone much good – especially women—who are taught in so many ways to act happy and sweet and above all, never, ever angry!

    And so what if you have an angry and resentful attitude, because your attitude doesn’t impact the content of your message god damn it.

    And finally, so what if you have an angry and resentful attitude because (as in the words of Public Enemy) “I got a right to be hostile. Man, my people been persecuted!”

    • Thanks for this. I definitely think that there has to be a balance between the two – Gay Liberation Front and Mattachine Society, NAACP and the Black Panthers, HRC and Act Up, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

      I’m definitely not about the “I’m going to assert myself if it’s alright with you”, but I also don’t want this blog to become a place that has nothing but pissed off rants – I also like to look at ways that we can make things better using the things that are in our control right now.

      In the end I think both are necessary and you are awesome for sending this along :)

      ~Ragen

  4. “Plus I can do 24 double time chainee turns in a row and end in a perfect standing backbend without breaking a sweat.”

    That makes me swoon with envy! And desperately want to see it!

    Also, I think you make an excellent insight here: “I’m not afraid of conflict – I’m an honest and direct communicator and some people mistake that to be anger or resentment.” I have a similar style that gets the same response and I am willing to venture that this is also tied in with being female. A man with a similar style would probably not be reproached as such.

    • Just practice and spotting :) I’ll see if I can get it on video sometime soon!

      Interesting point about the male/female difference. I typically have more ease communicating with men than with women for sure. I hadn’t thought about it that way but it’s certainly a valid hypothesis.

  5. I think it’s as simple as people assuming that if you’re overweight, you’re supposed to be jovial all the time to make up for what they assume is a flaw.

    • I had not thought of that – and I do live into the stereotype of the fat funny girl (although I definitely don’t think that correlation implies causation in this case!) I certainly think that there are people who feel that I have no right to be angry and resentful when I could “do something about it”. Thanks!

      ~Ragen


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