Fat Is Not a Four-letter Word

When I was trying to decide what to call my blog I threw some ideas at a wonderful friend of mine, who kept trying to give me ideas that did not include the word fat.

What’s wrong with fat? I asked. I never got a satisfactory answer only more suggestions that did not include fat.

I know she does not think of herself as fat phobic, nor has she ever, in any way, intentionally hurt me or made me feel bad for being fat. But like many people, she has an aversion or discomfort when I use that word, especially to describe myself.

I too used to hate that word. The irony is I hated it at a time when my body was merely classified as overweight versus that awful other “O” word. That last “O” word is particularly hateful and hurtful. It is actually a medical term, one that is used by the medical establishment as an excuse to ignore you when you have a medical issue.

For those that are saying in their head or even out loud, ‘but we just want you to be healthy’, I call bullshit. Every number in my medical record that is usually an indicator of ill health, cholesterol, triglycerides, A1C, blood pressure, they are all in the normal range as of my most recent birthday. Every single measurable number in my file, well except the one measured by the scale. All my other ailments have initial causes other than my weight. So again, I call bullshit. Don’t bring that non-sense here.

Fat is just a noun that is sometimes also used as an adjective. It’s like short or old. I am short and old and fat. These are merely words that describe my physical body. Who I am as a being cannot be confined to such a narrow definition.

Now, I could wax poetic about societal standards of beauty being absurd, or the impact capitalism and the patriarchy have on keeping women ‘in their place’ by way of the diet and fashion industries, but not today. (Don’t worry, there’s not much of a chance I won’t have many words to say on those topics in the future.)

Today, however, is about setting expectations. I will use fat as a noun or an adjective, never as a slur or an insult. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else. I’ve spent most of my life being ashamed of my body. No more. There will be no fat shaming here.

This directive is for me as well as you, my lovely reader. If I forget myself, you can call me out. I will always welcome gentle reminders or kind corrections.

In fact I hope to hear from you all often with questions, comments, kudos, corrections or even the occasional cuss word. I love alliteration. Don’t you?

Be well my friends

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