Self Acceptance and Society/Fat Acceptance
Self acceptance is loving and appreciating yourself even if there are things you'd eventually like to change. Fat acceptance or society acceptance is getting society as a whole to accept that we have the same rights as everyone else and to reduce prejudice within the community.
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My First Mother's Day
Well well, turns out I have lots of relevant things to write about this month - for I'm now three months pregnant!! Was a total surprise. And it's putting a whole new spin on weight issues and size acceptance. For starters, I fell pregnant by accident - at the biggest weight I've been. So stuff the "fat folk have trouble falling pregnant" argument. Not in my case. I'm lucky I've found a doctor who is supportive. When I raised the weight issue she just looked me up and down and said, "You'll be fine. I've seen worse". Such a non-issue for her - as it should be. I'm healthy in every way that matters so why make a big song and dance about the fact I'm obese.
Others of course have not been quite so supportive. Telling me about the risks I'm at, and why I should lose weight and the like. But I guess that's no different to what goes on normally in our society. I'm starting to feel better about my body too. I'm now looking at my rolls as being there for the reason of sustaining a healthy fetus. And my large breasts are doing their job and swelling getting ready to breast feed. I hear stories about skinny women putting on 40 pounds and grin - that's because their bodies aren't already equipped with nutrients for the kid!
The biggest change has been in my approach to food. At first I was still eating all of the frozen meals, and diet drinks and diet versions of food I've always eaten (although they never seem to help!). But I quickly found I was starving as soon as I'd had them. There really aren't too many nutrients in these "lite" foods - just fillers and processed stuff. My blood pressure was even high at one point - and when I looked at how much sodium was in the diet foods I realised why. So I've gone onto what is possibly the healthiest or at least most natural food I've ever had. Meat, and vegetables and bread and potatoes and drinks that aren't sugar free and cheese and butter than taste like cheese and butter. And I feel great. Satisfied with small amounts of food. And the taste - I'd forgotten what real cheese and milk tasted like! What a revelation.
I think there are some lessons for women who aren't pregnant in there. About appreciating your body for the job it does, and finding that it does deserve to be fed real food. And I also hope my story is a little reassuring - that if you're thinking pregnancy is going to be a hard battle because you're overweight then remember it might not be! As they say, there are statistics and then there are damn lies.
Written by: Jody
My Story of Self Acceptance
I must admit that this is my first interaction with this online magazine. It is so refreshing that I found a magazine that focuses on our "plight". My name is Michelle and I will attempt to tell how I began to "accept" who and what I was.
All my life I have been overweight. I was always the "fat girl" in school and my childhood was rough to say the least. I tried to commit suicide multiple times. It is hard to say but all parts of my story are needed to explain how I became who I am. My family and friends never understood what I was going through. They were empathetic but if this is not a problem you are facing then you will never know. All through junior high and high school I was ridiculed and teased. Sad but true. Columbine was not that big of a surprise to me. High school was the pinnacle of pain for me. As I am sure it was for many others.
Introvert described me perfectly. I walked with my head down, spoke only when spoken too, and sat at the back of the room so no one would notice me. I developed a habit of talking to myself which I still have to this day. I had 1 friend and she was my champion. We met in sophomore year and we are still BFF's. It took real effort to fight back. But my bravery was caused by one very important thing. Terrance. My first boyfriend. When he expressed an interest in me at first I didn't believe him. I mean, NO WAY can this man be attracted to little ugly, dumpy, fat Michelle. We went out and I found out that he was really interested. In sleeping with me. When I told him no that is when he informed me that he went out with me on a dare. He had made a bet with his friends that he could have sex with me. I have never felt a pain like that in my life. It hurt me so deeply that I didn't date again until I was close to graduation two years later. In the meantime I got tired. I was tired of trying to please my classmates to make them like me. I was tired of my family blaming me for being overweight. I got tired of being mistreated and judged. I got tired of teachers calling me paranoid or telling me to just "ignore" the other kids. I JUST GOT TIRED. So I started my journey of self acceptance.
This first thing I did was look at me in a mirror. Until then I avoided them like a vampire. I took all of them down in my bedroom and I never looked up when I brushed my teeth in the morning, and when I passed one in a public place I stared at my feet. On this particular day I took a full length mirror out my closet, leaned it against the wall, and sat in front of it. Staring at my face I asked myself what made me ugly? Or should I say why did I THINK I was ugly? Then I stood up and examined my whole body. Naked and exposed I picked myself apart with a fine toothed comb. And you know what I discovered. I was a good looking chick. Right then and there I made a conscious decision to make my inner beauty show on the outside. My skin was smooth, my legs were shapely and my body was big but proportionate. I even had nice arms. I have nice eyes, a full face, kind features, and even a nice smile. My personality was something I could do something about immediately.
It is a lot harder than it seems trust me. But everyone has to develop their swagger at some point and I finally found mine. Honesty has always been the best policy. Others peoples opinions of me had incorporated themselves into my psyche. They became MY opinions of me. The path to acceptance is bumpy. But I developed a strong sense of self that day. No longer would I let the words and actions of people determine my happiness. And I haven't from that day to this one.
Love is a different matter. It took me all the way until the age of 25 to even accept a genuine compliment from a man. To say I have trust issues is an understatement. It was hard but I had to learn how to just say thank you. Even for the little things. Lots of SSBBW seem to settle for less than they truly deserve in this department. We put up with a lot for many reasons, first is that we know that men won't come along for us as easily as they will for the skinny girls. We know that FA's are out there but they may still be "in the closet" so to speak. My mother, a BBW in her own right, gave me two of the most meaningful pieces of advice. Her questions stick out in my mind every time I enter a new relationship. How can you expect anyone to love you if you don't? And what do you bring to the table?
What I learned is men are attracted to confidence. I have met women bigger than me that ooze sexuality and confidence from every pore. We would go out and she would be asked to dance before anyone. Why? A woman who truly loves herself and is comfortable in her own skin emits it like a pheromone. It attracts people like no perfume will ever do. This was a lesson I still had yet to learn. Oh sure, when I was alone in my room getting dressed for a night on the town there wasn't a person alive who could say that I wasn't sexy. The MINUTE a man approached me in a club I started to doubt myself. All those high school insecurities came bubbling to the surface like lava. Admittedly I am still a little intimidated in large crowds but I don't let it show. Instead I let my true personality show and take whatever comes.
This is what I like to call Diamond Divattiude. A diamond starts as a lump of ugly, coarse black coal. Eventually with enough time, and pressure we discover the diamond hidden within. That diamond is the most precious part of an SSBBW. We all have it in us. We just have to let it shine. My weight is mine. It is not the fault of fast food restaurants, genes, or even society. We as overweight women learn how not to be fat. We just choose not to listen. Lets face it healthy is expensive. If you don't like the way you look change it. Start exercising. Go on a diet. Lose the weight but do it safely and for the right reasons. I am 350 beautiful pounds. I love every curve and roll. I don't exercise because I don't want to. I am fat, healthy, and happy. Still single. But I am single by choice and not by chance.
Remember some people may love us and some people may hate us. But as an SSBBW we can't let what they say or do make us or break us.
Submitted by: Michelle Anderson
|"Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own."
|"Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible."
~Marion C. Garretty, quoted in A Little Spoonful of Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul