You’ve heard it all before. You know, shit like, “You wouldn’t be so fat if you could just stop eating your feelings!”
“You’d be so pretty if you just lost XYZ magical amount of weight”, and of course,
“I’m just saying this because I care about your health!”
But the truth is that none of that shit matters.
People are shoveling this shit your direction because they think — consciously or not — that because you’re fat, you’re just going to lay down and take it. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough: their shitty opinions have nothing to do with you, and you don’t at all deserve any of it. It’s all about the crappy person who’s shoving it your way. (And yes, that includes your sweet old granny who has the best of intentions… because unacceptably shitty behavior is unacceptably shitty behavior, no matter what.)
So what are you going to do about it? Something really fucking radical, if I have anything to do with it.
You’re going to find a way to oil up your fat duck feathers so that rain of crazy runs straight down your back and away from you. You’re going to become that rubber that Pee Wee was always talking about. And you’re going to do it by doing something that is deeply radical: taking care of yourself.
Wait, what? So I run myself an extra bath, how is that radical?
As I’ve talked about before, self care isn’t about bubble baths and yoga classes, not really. While there’s nothing wrong with those things, they’re not the only way (or maybe even the best way) for you to take care of yourself. Because ultimately, self care is just doing anything that makes you feel rejuvenated. And in a society that tells you that you should crawl into a corner and die just because you don’t fit a preconceived notion of beauty, making the commitment to care for yourself and your body is hugely radical.
OK, so let’s get down to brass tacks. How do you practice self care as a fat woman?
Any way you want to… it’s your body, your choices. But here are a few areas to look at:
— Releasing negativity, and letting your true self out
As a fat person, you may have learned to swallow your feelings (with or without food), and keep your real self locked safely up inside. The problem with this is that all you’re doing is hiding behind some mask that people find pleasing, never allowing yourself to be yourself which feels hollow, fake, and exhausting.
Instead, how about you try to remember that each negative comment made at you is a simple reflection of some ugliness the speaker is dealing with inside of themselves. It’s really not you, it’s them. So feel free to focus on pleasing yourself since yours is the only opinion that matters.
— Saying what you mean, especially when you mean “no”
Being fat often causes you to be the last pick for everything from dodge ball teams to sex partner, which usually causes the desire to be sure that when you do get picked that they won’t regret it!
But saying yes to everything can be hurtful, especially when you’re accepting things that feel wrong or bad or even simply tiring. In these situations, you’re allowing yourself to be abused, which is no good. You have inherent value as a person and deserve better. Refusing to take part in activities you don’t enjoy is your right because you have the right to be respected and feel good about the things you choose to do.
— Avoid comparing yourself with other people
It’s so incredibly tempting to look at other people’s bodies as cautionary tales or sources of inspiration — but as long as you’re comparing yourself to other people, you’re automatically putting yourself in the “wrong” category.
The truth is, both breaking other people down by their shape and size and comparing yourself negatively to others are hateful acts. When you stop doing this, you can start to appreciate the things you admire in people’s bodies, including your own. Feel free to observe other people around you, but don’t buy into the “I wish I had that”/ “I’m so glad I don’t have that” dialogue.
Yeah radical self care isn’t quite as dramatic as burning your bra or chaining yourself to a tree. But self care of a radically rejected body and self is a beautiful, powerful thing, and I know from my own experience and those of my clients that it will absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt change your life.
So my challenge to you is… choose just one thing to do today to care for yourself. And if you’re feeling particularly juicy about it, share your self care win in the comments!
P.S. Want some help transforming your relationship with your body? I’m your girl! Click here to book a free consult and learn how to truly love your body.