The stress from constant stigma heaped upon us by society is correlated to the same diseases that obesity it. So for our best chance at health, in addition to eating well and moving our bodies, we must also find a way to counteract the 386,170 negative messages that we are getting about our bodies each year.
I thought I would make some suggestions for ways to do just that. Remember, it’s not just fun, it’s for our health! (Thanks to reader Rebecca for the suggestion. Fyi, I’m not paid for any of the things I mention below, I just like them bunches.)
Put it in Perspective
They can’t stop telling us that 60% of us are fat It that’s true then we’re the majority. So there are a whole bunch of people working fat, dating fat, playing sports fat, kissing fat, driving fat, doing dishes fat, having sex fat, shopping fat etc. There’s nothing wrong with your body and people of your size are already doing whatever you want to do so just do it!
Seek out pictures of people who look like you.
Again, we get completely bombarded with images that aren’t even representative of the people in the pictures let alone of us. I have a friend who was a bikini model who looked at a magazine and thought that they gave her bikini to someone else. One of her friends had to tell her that the picture was of her – she didn’t even recognize herself because of the photoshopping! With a little bit of effort you can look at amazing, beautiful people who look like you every day.
The Adipositivity Project (NSFW unless your W is super cool)
Corvetta Curves Photo Pages (Again with the NSFW)
When you listen to songs, or read books picture them being about fat people
Since we don’t really see ourselves represented very much in television or movies, it can be easy to picture everyone else in the world being thin. If you’re one of those people who picture song lyrics, picture the people fat. I’m pretty sure that Eric Clapton’s Layla was fat. Delilah from the Plain White T’s song – fatty. Jessie’s Girl shopped at Lane Bryant. You get the idea, same thing with books that you read, picture main characters fat.
Surround Yourself with Art that Makes You Feel Good About Yourself
There’s a fantastic list of fat positive art and artists here (I love it when someone’s already done the research!)
Leonard Nimoy did an AMAZING group of photographs called The Full Body Project.
I have personally bought a bunch of stuff from VoluptuArt I just love having cute dancing fat girls all over my house.
My best friend got me the most amazing fat figurines, one is lounging in a bathing suit and one is lifting weights and they make me happy every day.
Get Involved on the Fatosphere
Check out the Blogs I Love page to get you started.
I read a ton of blogs every day and it’s time well spent earning the Sanity Watchers Points that I so desperately need to deal with the rest of the world!
Go Back To Basics
Read Linda Bacon’s Book – Health at Every Size, The Surprising Truth About Your Weight
Read Marilyn Wann’s Book – Fat!So?
Movement for us by Us
Heavyweight Yoga by Abby Lentz
Curvy Yoga by Anna Guest-Jelley
The Fat Chick Works Out by Jeanette DePatie
Get Involved with Activism
Not only can we create change, but we are already doing it. The more time you spend on the blogosphere, the more likely you are to have chances to get involved with campaigns, petitions, fundraising etc. I believe that we can make change and I think that it’s more possible when more of us are involved. If you’re looking for a way to get involved may I suggest signing the petition to ask the National Eating Disorders Association to end its ties with an organization funded by pharmaceutical companies that seeks to get obesity treated as a disease. We’ve surpassed our original goal of 500, let’s see if we can get 1,000. Some people posted their reasons for signing, some of my favorite are:
Just like body & scale obsession is unhealthy regardless of size, healthy behaviors are important at any size. Focusing on my weight, rather than my actual health & my abilities, puts the priority on the wrong end. This can lead to some very unhealthy behaviors, which I would think an organization like NEDA would already be aware of. Don’t encourage the stigmatization of fat people by the very messages you fight against for the skinny people.
I am an eating disorder survivor, and I survived because I finally found a way to focus on my health and not my weight. The perpetuation of the idea that weight is an indicator of health only feeds eating disorders. Please stop the myth.
I am a fat person. I am also a person who is recovering from eating disorders. My journey to recovery was delayed for many years, my disordered and destructive behaviors were even encouraged encouraged, because I did not meet weight and BMI based diagnostic criteria for Anorexia, which later developed into Bulimia before I was able to obtain treatment.
So far, on my world tour stops, I’ve been doing a Fatty Meet-up and it has been amazing to be around people who are like minded and having amazing conversations about Health at Every Size and everything else. If you can’t find them in person, find them online but find a group of people who support you with your goals.
I think there’s a reason that “happy and healthy” are so often uttered in the same breath but we don’t hear “miserable and healthy” very often at all. If we want happiness then let’s go after it!