Fatty McFat Fat

Which one of these seems like the better choice?

Option A: You have a great job, a great relationship, are happy and healthy, get to travel the world, and look adorable in hats. Also, you have really fantastic hair. You cherish all the wonderful things about your lucky, privileged existence. Oh, and you are fat. Like, fat fat.

Option B: You have those same things. But you are still fat, so you fail to see the greatness of your life, living instead in perpetual expectation that things will fall into place when you lose ten pounds. (Or a hundred pounds, because remember: you’re fat fat.)

Asking for a friend!

* * * * * * *

Kidding! I’m talking about me. And I’m not really asking, because the only reasonable option is A.

(Aside! If you are already mentally preparing a comment that defends any of the following ideas or phrases, rethink that choice: “there’s no way to be both healthy and fat,” “calories in/calories out,” or “you’d be even happier if you were less fat.” The likelihood that they will be moderated is high, because this is my blog and not a public forum. And I will not feel at all guilty about abridging your freedom of speech, because the US Constitution does not guarantee your freedom of speech on my personal website.)

The idea that thinness is the Holiest of Holies, especially for women, is a fairly pervasive one, and when I say pervasive, what I mean is “beat into our psyches from an incredibly young age, no matter the damage it does to our minds or bodies.” Close on its nasty little heels is the vicious trifecta of “being fat is a moral failing,” “if you are fat, you are not allowed to be happy,” and “everything will be great once you lose the weight.”

The third is especially insidious, because it prevents us from recognizing wonderful things we have in our lives right this very minute, or from acknowledging the many incredible things our bodies — even our fatty fat fat bodies — can do. Worse, it stops us from pursing new experiences. I’ll look for a new job when I lose 15 pounds. I’ll take that vacation when I can fit into that bikini.

(A bikini body primer, in case you’ve forgotten: just put a damn bikini on. A related tip for anyone who wants to heckle a fat person in a bikini: shut your piehole. If you can’t be a fucking grown-up, look the other way.)

These are deeply ingrained ideas that are incredibly hard to overcome. Option A very clearly describes my current life, but I have to remind myself constantly that being fat does not negate all the good things, and that I’m “allowed” to have and enjoy the fruits or my labors — whether it’s the love of a partner or getting paid well to do work I enjoy or visiting other countries — despite my size. I have to remind myself that there are people who don’t think I deserve to have those things, and I have to remind myself that those people don’t matter.

When I say constantly, I mean constantly. Every day. The more I remind myself, the easier it is to believe it, but it’s still work. I’m getting better at it, for the most part.

Then I spent the afternoon with a small child.

* * * * * * *

I don’t have a child of my own, though I do very much enjoy spending time with other people’s children and then going back to my quiet apartment where I don’t have to keep the kitchen cabinets zip-tied closed and there’s not a special trash can for poop. Children are generally cute, and are often Monty Python-ly hilarious in the unfiltered, non-sequitur things that fall out of their tiny mouths. When they’re younger, they’re easy to make laugh with things like hide-and-seek or throw-the-toddler-in-the-air, which is both adorable and personally satisfying until they vomit on you from on high. Still, it’s mostly worth it.

On a recent afternoon with a young child — old enough to be potty-trained, young enough to get it wrong sometimes — my reminding skills were strained to their breaking point; here is a largely accurate transcript of our conversations:

“You’re fat.”

“It’s true, I am!”

Really fat.”

“Sure.”

“Even your arms and legs are fat.”

“….”

“Look how fat your leg is, next to my leg.”

“…..”

“You’re very fat.”

“Well, you’re very small.”

“Why are you so fat?”

“That’s the way I am.”

“Look how fat you are.”

“…”

“How did you get so fat?”

“…”

And, scene.

Eventually the child left, and I went back to my poop-less apartment and wondered how someone who’s barely in elementary school could ruin my day so profoundly. Possibly also I ate a cupcake. Mostly because it was a delicious cupcake, but partly, I think, as a private way to spite this child: I am a grown-up, and that means I get to have cupcakes on demand and don’t have a bedtime and am allowed to watch as much Powerpuff Girls as I want, take that.

Not my most gracious moment, perhaps; but then, not my best day.

It was not lost on me that eating cupcakes may be correlated with fatness.

* * * * * * *

Typically, I don’t mind a “hey, you’re fat” comment from a kid. Because you know what? I am fat. That’s an accurate descriptor of me, like “curly-haired,” or “nearsighted,” or “sparklingly witty,” or “staggering genius.” It doesn’t need to be a hurtful word, although I recognize that it’s most often used as one, and I don’t mind being the person to tell a kid, “It’s true, I’m fat! Some people are fatter than others, just like some people are taller than others. Some fat people would like to be less fat, but that’s up to them. I like who I am.”

I can do that once. I can do that twice. But once I hit the fourth or fifth time, my internal narrative starts to shift.

“I like who I am.”

“Things are pretty good, but I could stand to lose a few.”

“I should just throw a shirt on over my bathing suit top while we’re sitting here.”

“Everything else in my life seems pretty good; the last thing to tackle is losing all this weight.”

“Maybe I should make that dress I was thinking of a reward for getting down a size.”

“I’ll just skip lunch today.”

“Man, I’m fat.”

Gradual, but insidious. By the end, “fat” has gone back to being a loaded, pejorative word. I’m cranky, because I haven’t eaten all day. And I don’t like who I am any more.

Well, shit.

* * * * * * *

I’d like to think that the repeated statements and questions were born of a child’s natural curiosity about people who are different, but the cultural context in which they occurred and the tone with which they were said (“Ew.”) push me to think otherwise. “Look how fat you are,” is rarely meant as a value-neutral statement, and a kindergarden-aged child in the US has already absorbed a range of troubling messages about women, beauty, food, and fat. There are no shortage of fat jokes in book, cartoons, and movies, and no shortage of media that reinforces the importance of thinness for women.

There’s also no shortage of reinforcement in real life. I remember well what it was like to grow up with a parent who was unhappy about and concerned with her weight. I remember how she talked about her body and, by extension, mine. I remember watching her do Jane Fonda-esque calisthenics in an effort to reduce her “trouble spots.”  I remember watching her eat bowls of lettuce while my father and I ate pasta, or pork chops, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I also remember well when I lost my pork chop privileges and got the bowl of lettuce — I was eight years old or so — or when new clothes or fun excursions began being dangled as rewards for weight loss. I think (I hope) that most kids don’t have their bodies policed in so direct a way, but few are the children who don’t grow up with a mom who has issues of her own with body image, fat, and food. Who’s trying to lose ten pounds. Who has “fat pants” and “skinny pants.” Who gnaws on a carrot while everyone else at the party has a piece of cake. Who won’t wear a tank top in the dog days of summer because she doesn’t like showing her upper arms.

(If there is a part of the body and less deserving of our concern and emotional energy than the upper arm, I’ve not yet figured out which one it is.)

To be clear: none of this is specific to moms, and none of this is inherently problematic behavior. If you want to lose ten pounds, more power to you. If you love carrots, or opt to skip the piece of cake because you’re concerned about your health or sugary icing makes your teeth itch, huzzah. If the idea of flaunting your upper arms gives you the jibblies, keep your cardigan on. If you want to go for a jog, or lift some weights, or, god forbid, do some burpees because you like feeling strong or have a secret dream of competing on American Ninja Warrior, which, yes, is an actual thing, let me be the first to give you three cheers. Do what makes you happy, what makes you comfortable, what makes you healthy.

But.

Recognize that your body is an impressive piece of work. It moves you around the world. If you’re reading this, chances are your life isn’t half bad, compared to large swathes of the global population; your body supports you in having that life. Hell: if you’re a mom, your body made a person.

If you’re a parent, your kid’s body is also an impressive piece of work. If that kid is a girl, she’s going to get hit with more and more messages telling her what’s wrong with her body, and not very many telling her what’s right. When you look in the mirror and poke at your double chin or lament how you look in skinny jeans, that’s one more message telling her what’s wrong, except now the call is coming from inside the house.

Pro tip: no one looks good in skinny jeans anyway. Except maybe Kate Middleton, who is a literal princess.

Cut yourself some slack. It’ll cut your kid some slack, and then your kid will cut me some slack, and we’ll all be happier for it. And I’ll share my cupcakes with you

* * * * * * *

If your takeaway at this point is, “Man, Michelle should really go to therapy to work through her body image issues,” don’t worry! Already on it.

If your takeaway is that I need to hear some harsh truths about my weight and it’s just as well they come from a child, you and I were probably not meant to be friends anyway.

If your takeaway is that children can be assholes, I don’t think anyone who’s been to middle school would disagree.

My takeaways are that my life is awesome and I like myself, my body is not as strong as I’d like it to be but I’m working on it, those two things can both be the case simultaneously, and my fatness is peripheral to them. It’s not always easy to believe that, so I’ll let this post be a reminder.

If those pants make your butt look big, it might actually be because your butt is kinda big. And that might be fine, and you — and your kid — should know it.

58 Comments

  1. How I hear you. I grew up with a Mom who lectured for Weight Watchers and was on the Monday morning diet, for years, and still is. Don’t get me started on body image, no-fat mayonnaise and Pam spray cooking oil. Keep up the great work, Michelle!

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      1. Agita! Ah ha ha, a word from my childhood. Thanks for the reminder about modeling behavior, whether it’s with kids or siblings or friends or lovers. Speaking of love, I love your stuff. You gonna have cupcakes at your monthly meals?

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  2. Thanks so much for this. I am in the middle of trying to shift to Position A. I am also fat fat. But what I’m really working on is believing that right now, at my present weight, I am lovable and worthwhile and will continue to be if my weight never changes. Which means if I want to work on changing my body, its an act of loving care and not one of shame. AND it’s my damn decision. No one else gets to decide what’s to be done with my body (spent enough years of my life experiencing that one, thank you. Come to think of it, the present armor of fat I wear is closely related. But again, I’ll decide if and when it comes off).

    Oh and that belief that “if I just lost ____ lbs, things would be so much better?” I learned that one through a friend who has an eating disorder. She’s a petite, elfin, attractive women (men are extemely disappointed to find out she is gay) but has just as many problems with her body and struggles with so many of the same issues I do. We just come at it from different angles. Talking with her was the key to my understanding that I wasn’t ashamed of the body I had, I was ashamed I HAD a body. It’s very difficult to love and care for something you see as a source of shame. So thank you for writing this and affirming the beliefs I am struggling to instill.

    And yes, kids are capable of being assholes, usually because they’ve spent too many time around other adult assholes.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. But what I’m really working on is believing that right now, at my present weight, I am lovable and worthwhile and will continue to be if my weight never changes.

      It’s rough! But so important. I try to avoid wasting time with regret, but damn: all the years I’ve spend *not* believing that I was worthwhile… it really sticks in my craw.

      If I managed to create the life I have feeling like a worthless fat person, what more could I have done without that baggage? Like, Emperor of the Galaxy or something.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Dear Michelle, I’m not a huge internet commenter but I’ve been a longtime fan of yours (since the TNS days) and this post definitely spoke to me and moved me to comment (from the other side I guess). So here goes:
        It’s the wasted energy/life that really gets to me. I struggled w/various eating disorders for over 10 years and the amount of sheer space it took up in my life is staggering. I’m 32 and it’s astonishing/mildly depressing to think of how much of my 20s were wasted on knowing the exact caloric value of everything I put in my mouth. And of course being skinny DID NOT MAKE ME HAPPY.
        There’s this sort of pervasive myth about eating disorders that “you never really recover” and I can proudly say now that that is bullsh*t. I am fully recovered, eat whatever the heck I want, whenever I want (and after a solid 2 years of that being mostly refined carbohydrates covered in butter my natural appetite has finally started to swing the other way and I now enjoy an occasional vegetable) and the amount of headspace that has opened up for me is amazing. Emperor of the Galaxy indeed! Let’s all stop wasting valuable brain power on the mundane and inconsequential and live our fabulous lives happily at every size.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think a lot of people who’ve struggled with weight, body image, and acceptance — me included — are really scared to give up the reins on food control because what if letting myself eat whatever I want and make me happy means I eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? You know what: you might! And you might gain *more* weight trying to move past your shitty relationship with food. But at some point, your body will start telling you to eat some green beans with your Chunky Monkey, or maybe a turkey sandwich, and eventually you’ll listen to it. And it seems to me that whatever weight change happens as a result of trying to let go is well worth all the mental bandwidth you recover in return.

          Of course, I say this as someone who’s still only able to let go about 75% of the time. But my god, still such a vast improvement over all the time and energy wasted in my teens and twenties; jeezus h. christ.

          Also, it’s nice to see you 🙂

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  3. I thought your response to the kid was perfect: “Yup! That’s how I am.” No-nonsense, straight-to-the-point.

    I am finally FINALLY at 33 years old at the point where I don’t have a goal size or a goal weight. Sure, I work out and eat (mostly*) healthy, but that’s because I feel good when I do. I have learned to accept that whatever size I am is what “fit me” looks like. And that’s a much better place to be – no more starving myself, no more going hungry, no more passing on a glass of wine after a rough day (ZOMG CALORIES!!!) – none of that. And I’m 40 lbs heavier than when I thought I was “fat” at 19, so I’m not talking about 5 vanity pounds here.

    I have a couple of friends who describe themselves as “fat” and they don’t like it, so my advice to them was just what I told myself – eat right and exercise and learn to love wherever you “settle.” For me, it’s easier to love myself and my body when I make a reasonable** effort to take care of it.

    YMMV.

    *Mostly = when I feel like it. I generally don’t go for fast food or processed things, but put wine or beer or a pizza with lots of fresh veggies in front of me and … wait, you wanted some, too? Sorry I didn’t save you any.

    **Reasonable = putting in effort whenever I feel like it.

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    1. I feel like I’m 90% there… I eat well and work out because I enjoy it and I like feeling good and having energy, and because there are some really active trips and things I’d like to do over the next few years, and I want to be in better shape for them. I wish I could say that the other 10% of me doesn’t still want to lose X pounds or be X size, but I can’t quite yet.

      Still, better the 90/10 split this way that reversed — it’s still progress.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes it is – baby steps. It really took some time for me, but I remember one day I looked at myself in the mirror after doing a weight set and I thought, “I look like a badass!” And that was really a turning point for me.

        One thing – it’s so easy for me to see how beautiful everyone else is – every size, every shape, every color. But just when I looked at MYSELF I was so hypercritical for so long. I don’t know what’s up with that but it was not a good feeling.

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  4. My takeaway from this is that besides you being an awesome person, great descriptive writer is that at the toddler’s age the “ideal” weight or body image has already hit that child and that’s really sad since they absorb what’s around them,and it sounds like a lot of negative self talk is going on . That would lead me to think that’s it’s not a very accepting place for difference. I could be wrong, of course. And children’s words in my experience hurt the most because there’s no filter.

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  5. I can so relate to this! I have been fat every since I had my son and had been feeling unhppy with myself about it! I kept thinking that everything would be good if I could just lose like 10 no mybe 20 pounds!! That was until my son told me that for him I am the most beautiful person and that he loved my tummy to rest his little head on! Now I dont care about my weight…instead I focus on the little things like this that makes me happy! 🙂

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  6. Fat is necessary for the body. Why does beauty in today’s media only have one definition? Isn’t beauty found in the eyes of the beholder? Isn’t it subjective?
    Anyway, amazing post! It was much needed.

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  7. Thank you for this – as someone who can be crippled by a lack of self esteem in regards to being short and overweight (haven’t worn shorts in public in 20 years) it is so nice to see the things I think to myself being said out loud in a place like this. Again, thank you!

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  8. Hello Michelle,

    I feel your article is self-edited to a great degree leaving readers clueless about other viewpoints. All bases covered! I enjoyed reading it. Kids can be blunt and there is beauty as well as a beast about them!

    Have a great day,

    Anand 🙂

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  9. Skinny jeans are for 12-year-old girls, kids ARE assholes (i have two of them, trust me) and body image issues are such a huge battle for so many of us! Why do people feel like they’re allowed to comment on other people’s bodies!? Here’s the thing about fat people: we know we’re fat. So shut up. Anyway, I enjoyed reading this. I have a daughter so I am trying to resolve my issues or at least keep them to myself so that she hopefully won’t.

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  10. I love reading your thoughts on body image. I remember when I first met you at the Grand Meetup in San Diego, you blew me away with your intelligence and style. You stood out as a role model.

    As a Really Freakin’ Fat mom to two girls (*whimper, wheeze, panic*) who have routinely busted out the “Wow, Mom, you’re fat!” comment…empathy. I respond the same way you did — souls come in different meat packages.

    It’s taken a lot of mental work on my part, but I’m starting to believe that, too.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. “You blew me away with your style,” is, literally, a think that no one has said to me before ever. I’ll take it! Let’s hang out in Utah and have some wine and not think at all about our pants sizes.

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  11. Very prolific post. I am glad you can clearly see Option A is the way to go. I wonder though, do you want to lose weight? It’s not quite clear to me because I sense a mature acceptance with yourself, but then again I am a little uncertain. I had body image issues and unhealthy eating patterns in high school, but I’m cool now. Some days I eat cupcakes, some days I run (mostly for mental health purposes), and some days I do both. At the end of the day, I celebrate my body and I hope I can instill that in my daughter, no matter what her size is.

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  12. I’m a bloke. I don’t get the whole skinny chick thing. For God’s sake I was reared in a world where there wasn’t a woman below a size 18, and the average was probably nearer 22 than 20. Somewhere deep inside my psyche, women are MEANT to be more than rags hanging on bone.
    If it’s for health, sure, lose a few pounds… my great aunt was a 22 and lived to be 80, so whilst accepting that there are obvious risks, I don’t really buy into the “you’ll die young” propaganda either (whilst secretly concerned that my ample sister might not see my nephew graduate).
    You’re fat? I just heard warm, cuddly, squishy, WOMAN… Be you, fuck the glancers, the starers, the commentators… be YOU, for YOU…
    There is way too much supercilious judgemental BS in the world; aimed squarely at the easy targets. Way too much pressure on kids (and adults) to conform to a ridiculous standard, an unattainable ideal (if we were all meant to look like some random Katie famous for her lack of ass as much as her lack of talent, none of us would make it! (On the lack of talent alone… 😉 ) We just need to find the strength to be happy in our own skins…
    Anyway. I’m rambling, with no idea of what I have already said – since the introduction of this ridiculous letterbox comment thingy makes that impossible – so I’ll leave you with one plea: never change… 🙂
    PS “If there is a part of the body and less deserving of our concern and emotional energy than the upper arm, I’ve not yet figured out which one it is.” For informational purposes… it is the labia… but maybe that’s a whole other body issue post… 😉

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    1. If I may, neither fat nor thin is preferable; different people have different bodies, and that’s that. There are women who are naturally very thin, and they’re no less “women.”

      Speaking for myself, I must also say that the use of words like “warm” and “squishy” ick me out. I don’t want to be fetishized as a fat woman any more than I want to be mocked.

      I appreciate the sentiment in your comment, but those two points were too important to me to let lie.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I rather be fat (fat) than what I am having right now (RA, Autoimmune disease, ulcer, etc. etc.) And to top it all, the clothes that I used to fit in suddenly gone too small for my body. I might not be fat fat or obese but to me I am and getting bigger each day. Is this comment valid or I’m out of topic?

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    1. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having health issues, and hope that you can come to a place where you’re able to look at yourself and like what you see, no matter what your size is or how you got there — and I hope good health is in your future.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. you blew me away with your intelligence and style. You stood out as a role model.

    Yes. This. I’ll just +1 what Caroline said, because I can’t think of a better way to say it. I don’t know you as much as I’d like to, but this is exactly how I felt.

    “sparklingly witty,” or “staggering genius.”

    And that, you are. :hug:

    Thanks for that post, and for all the others.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I needed to read this today having just gone off (like a train wreck) yet another diet. I’m at one of those cross roads where I really want to lose weight (and I’ve even settled for just losing the pregnancy weight and going back to my previous fat but not THIS fat state), but my inside voice constantly keeps asking, “why?” I have a great life, a loving husband, a sweet daughter — I should be so grateful. I use the reason of “so I can fit in nice clothes again” but that’s so dumb. Thanks for giving me something more to think about.

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    1. I have a great life, a loving husband, a sweet daughter — I should be so grateful.

      I find that it can help to get really fucking angry that your pants size should be a distraction from any of these actually meaningful things.

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  16. I went to a food fair in Wales last month – loads of delicious food around – I didn’t buy all that much, cos I hadn’t taken a lot of cash with me, but I did splash out on the freshest greek baclava’s I have seen since I lived in New York. Immediately on leaving the stall with my bag, and my walking stick, a skinny old lady (not being insulting here, but she looked like she’d been on a diet for ever) comes up to me with a free pack of literature from Weight Watchers and tries to force it on me – am I fat – did she target me because I am?

    I cheerily told her I wasn’t interested – I’m really not. She clung to me like a limpet for another minute or so, until I told her what I’d just bought and how I was going to enjoy eating them. Did I see a look of grudging envy in her eyes??

    As for your toddler – how sad – is “you’re fat” going to be the next playground taunt – oh sorry, it has been for ever!

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  17. I cringed with the child’s remarks. Especially at how many there were. It’s one thing as an adult to hear comments from other adult members, but when it’s a child it breaks my heart. Their focus shouldn’t be so poignant on body image.

    And honestly? I’d eat that cupcake, too.

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  18. So many thoughts here. First of all I’ll just acknowledge your wonderful personal essay. It’s great. Another example from your great brain, which I’m quite fond of.

    Second, my takeaway from this is that you’re not really asking for advice, so I’ll try not to give any (a problem of mine) 🙂

    But.

    As someone who lost a decent amount of weight, I think someone’s question above about whether you (or anyone who considers themselves fat) actually want to lose the weight is really astute, and it’s a dangerous assumption for those observing to think the answer is ‘yes’ for everyone. Sometimes figuring out the answer to that question is a whole LOT of work, and the answer can be no, too :).

    The answer is not really our business, even though we may feel strongly about or love the person who has to answer the question.

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    1. For sure. There’s definitely a part of me that wants to lose weight, and another, bigger part that wants not to want that. (So thank goodness for health insurance with good mental health coverage.) I mean, if I were firm in my “I’m happy the way I am” schtick, there would have been way less emotional fallout from a little kid pointing out the obvious; I’m sadly aware that it is still partly schtick, and that I’m operating on a “fake it ’til you make it” MO.

      Lose weight, don’t lose weight — do what floats your boat, and try not to hate yourself one way or the other. Which you’d think would not be such a tall order, but: jeez.

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  19. Have people really said all those horrible things to you at one time or another? “Being fat is a moral failing” is just about the stupidest thing I’ve heard this week. You, me or anybody should be whatever size we feel happy being.

    Incidentally, I was interested to read the words “I do very much enjoy spending time with other people’s children.” I wish you’d been around a couple of years ago when my kids were younger. 🙂

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      1. Well, it shouldn’t be. People can be pretty cruel. I had a terrible time with quite spectacularly bad acne when I was younger. It absolutely crushed my confidence. (See my gravatar.)

        It was bad enough having to cope with the medical side of things, but some of the comments and the nasty stares I got were just devastating. I was scared to leave my house to go to school and basically just wanted to cry every day.

        It’s not something I talk about all that much these days, but I’m sure it played a big part in driving me towards humor. People cope with things in different ways, and I coped by joking about my situation with those few people I felt comfortable being around.

        Look, here I am still smiling. 😀

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  20. Loved your post. I’m fat and I certainly don’t want to see me or any other fat people in bikini’s but that’s MY preference and I know how to look the other way and be happy for YOU in your bikini. You made me feel better and laugh about me. I still startle myself if I happen to get a glance of myself in the mirror after a shower, but I also have fun joking about it with those who relate. I’m fat, I’m HAPPY in my whole life, and this post was FANTASTIC!

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  21. This is weird. I’ve never been fat. Except when pregnant and then “they” tell me it’s not fat but when you’ve always been skinny it IS fat. (Stay with me here.) I’m 5/8 and for 36 years have always been 121 pounds. (Yes, I weighed that at the age of 12) Then I quit smoking and went through menopause all at the same time. Hello 165 pounds (which I have never weighed – even when pregnant.) I was the person everyone hated, going home from the hospital after giving birth in the clothes I wore BEFORE getting pregnant. Now I’m fat – not to the world, just to me.

    And that’s it.

    Fine, you’re fat. OR Fat, Fat (how you say it). So what. You have a great husband (isn’t he a freaking rocket scientist? I followed you on your food blog). You have lovey dogs. You have a job you adore. You have friends who love you and trust you and, well, they freaking love you! You have a great life. You have ONE aspect you seem to want to change and are working on. Give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack. Do what you can do and repeat whatever mantra works for you. (I, personally, have to repeat to myself “let it go Karen” several thousand times a day.) You’re you, Michelle. A one in a million person.

    Someday people are just to accept everyone as a person. You know, like we actually are? Keep on being the wonderful you that you are.

    And yes, kids are literal and sometimes assholes.

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    1. I certainly do have a pretty great life, and I have no plans to stop being me; me is pretty great — I thought that was part of the point of the post. But I’m also not going to pretend that 37 years and counting of being treated shabbily-to-offensively by both family and strangers because of my weight has not left deep wounds, some of which were rubbed raw in this particular situation, and talking about them is part of what helps diminish them. Add judging by the response to this post, that’s true for a lot of us. I would love for us all to cut ourselves some slack; depending on our experiences, that may be easier said than done.

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