6.02.2008

#92 - Fat Acceptance Organizations: I Don't Want to be a Goddess!

I know I'm always talking about having confidence. I think that is one of the most important things in weight loss, well life in general really. I think you need to really learn to love and accept yourself before you can make the kind of commitment needed to get yourself healthy. I mean, if you don't give a crap about yourself, why would you work so hard to improve your body? You wouldn't. And that's why there are so many sad, depressed, overweight people in the world. If you don't care, you don't try. It's easier to cope with life by filling whatever void you have with an endless supply of Tontino's Party Pizzas (yes I was once there). So feeling good mentally really is just as important as getting your body healthy. You can't have one without the other. I've talked about this time and time again, but I think it's a really important message that I can't stress enough.

On the other hand... I think some take their confidence a bit too far. I'm SURE I'm gonna get flack for what I'm about to say, but hey, if I think it, I gotta write it. I think a fat woman that can love herself is a very beautiful thing, but I think some women take it way to far. Have you heard of these Goddess organizations? Basically women that absolutely LOVE being fat. They have come to terms with the weight and have completely accepted it. They love their bodies and see no reason they should change. They have parties and special clubs for BBWs (Big Beautiful Women) and their admirers. While I applaud them for their self confidence, I just can't condone accepting your fat so much that you don't feel it's necessary to lose weight. I'm sorry but never will being 100+ pounds overweight be healthy. I don't care how much you exercise, you are still putting a huge strain on your heart, your endocrine system (your metabolic system basically) and your joints. The facts are the facts... fat people die a premature death due to complications from obesity related illnesses.

I read an interesting article on years of life lost due to obesity (Fontaine et al. 2003. JAMA 289:187-193). They give you some facts about the impact of obesity on our lives. If you are a 20-39 years old with a BMI 45 or over (imagine 5'6" and more than 280 pounds), you could lose as many as 12 years off your life just because you are fat. That's sad. Say you're 35, if your life expectancy is 80 (just guessing... like we ever really know) that would mean you have another 45 years of life left. If you lose 12 years, that's like losing almost 27% of your remaining life! I don't know about you, but I'd like to live those years. Is that Tontino's pizza really worth 27% of the rest of your life? Ok I digress...

Back to the topic... There is something else that really bugs me about these Goddess clubs and parties... it's the BBW admirers. I don't know why this bothers me so much. I suppose it's because I've always wanted men to love me for me and not my body. Seriously, what kind of relationship are you going to have with a man that only likes your body? Well, I'm sure it will be a physical one, but don't you want more? And men that go out of their way to exclusively date obese women? Hmmm... always sounded like some kind of fetish to me. I think it's fine to say, "I don't care if you're fat or thin or whatever, I'll just love you for you". But to only want fat chicks? Why? I've wondered if they were the kind of men with low self-esteems themselves, so they seek out women with even lower self-esteems so that they will never face rejection. Or are they controlling men that think they can tell a fat chick what to do since they have less self confidence are are more willing to please? Or is it something purely physical? I guess I should think back to early primative art and all the fertility statues with their full voluptuous bodies and bellies, the ultimate symbol for womanhood. Maybe it has something to do with that. I'm not sure. But all of it kinda weirds me out. I suppose I shouldn't judge, right? To each his own. So I suppose if there are fat admirers, I should say more power to you.

So I don't know. I guess I need to preface this by saying FOR ME, I just don't get these Goddess clubs and parties. Yes I'm fat, yes I'm confident, but no... I don't want to be fat for the rest of my life, I don't want to be a Goddess. For me, the current state of my body is a temporary phase. While I embrace who I am now, and love me for me; I love myself enough to know I need to change and to want to change to make myself the healthiest happiest person I can be.


Life update:

Thank you all for all of your kind words of support through these past difficult months. I've always been a firm believer in the idea that when one door closes another one opens up in your life. Burying my fiance was one of the saddest days of my life, a day I thought would take years to recover from. But things change, life moves forward, and we keep living everyday despite all the bumps in the road. I've always been a very positive person, always finding the positive message even in life's hiccups. With my fiance, I knew I had a purpose, perhaps even a predestined purpose, to help him through his last weeks in the hospital, to help him feel love and joy and happiness even through the most difficult time of his life.

After I returned from Greece, I spent a good month in shock. What would I do next? Would I ever find love again? Did I want to find love again? To distract myself, I went back to the computer and got back into Second Life (the online vitual world/game I've talked about in the past). I have a lot of friends in Second Life that were there to support me and help bring me back to reality. Isn't that ironic? I need virtual reality to get back to reality... Hehe. Anyway, I guess I'm a lover of life, because I just couldn't see myself wallowing a pool of despression the rest of my life; I knew I had to move on. So I started dating again. I know, some of you may think, "Already? she's dating already? It's too soon!!" It just didn't feel too soon for me. I think people deal with grief in many ways. And with Vagelis, I felt I had 6 weeks in the hospital with him to say goodbye and deal with the loss. I had to move forward, and for me that meant dating again. In the hospital Vagelis told me he always wanted me to be happy, and if he couldn't bring me happiness he knew someone would because I deserved to be happy. I felt like I had his blessing to move on, maybe he even nudged me in that direction from above.

As soon as I got back online, almost instantly, I met someone. From the minute Chris and I started talking we hit it off. I was shocked I was so comfortable with him. We had tons in common and loved chatting away. Honestly, I had never felt a connection like this before in my life. Life opened another door... our online friendship quickly turned into an online romance and then a real life romance. Chris and I both seem to have the same goals in life, the same way of life, and the same love of life. This may come as a shock to you, but Chris and I moved in together, and it's been the happiest time since. Just when I thought life had beaten me down and left me for dead, something amazing happened. In all the loss and tragedy, I found love again. But I don't want to down play what Vagelis and I had. I truly loved Vagelis, but it was just not meant to be. Our time was short, but he will be with me always. I've felt bad for Chris actually. I don't ever want him to feel like I've just replaced Vagelis with him. I didn't. Chris came out of nowhere and swept me off my feet with the kind love and friendship I'd never known before.

With love there is no right time, no right place... it just happens. I just feel like one of the luckiest women in the world. I've found not one but two wonderful loves in my lifetime. For this I am blessed.

You have all stayed with me and listened to me through the great times and the bad times. So you know I always have a piece of advice. Look at my life, just when you think things can't get any worse, know that there are opportunities around the corner. Things can get better. The reason I say "can" and not "will" is because it is a choice. I could have stayed depressed and given up on life, but I didn't. I moved forward, I accepted the loss, I smiled again. Things can get better, but you need to make it happen. If life slams a door shut in your face, wipe away your tears, smile and turn around and look for another door to open.

10 comments:

Kat E said...

It's wonderful to see you so happy--you DO deserve it!! :)

Susan said...

Wow - what a great post! Firstly, I totally agree with you about the fat acceptance movement and you expressed my own feelings so well.

And as for your advice about moving on, I'm going through a tough period myself at the moment and your words came at exactly the right time.

Many people in your situation would have (re)turned to food for comfort - but you haven't! I admire you so much for that.

You are one strong and beautiful lady who is inspiring so many. As Kat E said, you deserve to be happy!

Best wishes

karaokekitty said...

Thanks guys! You give me warm fuzzies!!!

Amber said...

I think the point of the FA movement isn't to simply embrace the fact that you're fat, but to lessen the social stigma that only makes the obesity problem worse. In our society, it's ALWAYS okay to poke fun at fat people, it's ALWAYS okay to dehumanize fat people, especially fat women. If you're fat and you're constantly bombarded with messages and images that tell you you're ugly and unhealthy...well, that can just makes you want food for comfort even more! Rarely are people shamed into a lifestyle change.

I don't think that most people in the FA movement think that being obese is healthy, but that doesn't mean that they want to feel ugly and unwanted by society in the process of becoming the healthy. That doesn't mean that fat people should be ashamed every time they go out in public...

I've been to BBW nightclubs in London and California and I can see what you're saying about the men...I wonder sometimes about them myself, but I think the real point of those clubs is to give people, men and women, a place where they can be comfortable with themselves, wear their sexy XXL clothes, and dance and socialize and not have to worry about a size 6, 21 year old looking down on them. Hell, I know when I'm rocking a few sizes smaller I might still go to a BBW club...there's usually an amazing diversity of people there.

Anyways, everyone is entitled to their opinion, I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. Lurker no more...

K. said...

All I can say is WOW! Glad you are happy!
I am totally with you on the FA movement, never related to it-Although I love myself, I know I do not want to stay overweight. Glad to see you back online,
K
My blog: til-i-reach.com

boobsihazthem said...

Most FA bloggers/Activists would actually distance themselves from BBW/fetishist stuff. You might want to look at HAES and a few things like that - FA is more about attitude to fat, rather than BBW/Goddess clubs. Two separate movements. Amber makes some good points about this.

Deb said...

As a science writer I would expect that you would know more about the non-sense studies that make outrageous claims with little to no factual science to back them up.

This study that you mention is further analyzed in the "Handbook of Obesity" and it's eye-opening to see that the conclusion that is stated here does not correspond to actuality.

Most people that are bound by the BMI don't know much about it except what they have been told, not what they have learned for themselves. Those that have bothered to look into what the BMI actually is have found it to be an outdated and irrelevant measurement that in no way can logically or scientifically measure a person's "health".

Fat Fugger said...

Ya know, out of all of that wonderful stuff you just wrote I just can't get past one thing. You are dating? I am fat (225 thank ya very much), and I just got divorced, and I have never even considered dating as a fat woman. Not thats it bad, don't get me wrong, I guess I'm just impressed that you would put yourself out there. For the first 25 years of my life I was skinny and pretty, and now I am 35, and fat and still kind of pretty for a fat girl, but I hate myself this way...I keep thinking maybe MAYBE when I get to the 160's I can try to date...but no way now, no way. You are awesome!

Online Pharmacies said...

I suppose that the "Goddesses" organize clubs and parties only for themselves because that avoid going to usual parties as feel uncomfortably among other different people. There is no any confidence here I think.

marilyn said...

first of all, when i was young i was never fat..at 23 i had a pamela anderson body, i was a lovely young fit spectacular beauty///at 53, im fat, menopause hasnt been kind to me.. cant take hormones because of the older lady brerast cancer in my family..so, had the mood swings , food obcessions, and in 6 years put on 50 lbs....being fat is not fun, coming from a non fat perspective.. being over weight is unheathly, and prone to be dieabetic.. i dont want a modeles body, but i need to achieve a healthy weight.. those that think obesity is great are wrong, , its unhealthy, and causes alot of problems...im on nutrisylstem now, and hopefully i will loose those extra 50 lbs and be more healthey and energitic// i need to regain whom i was, before the fat, shut everything down..sown...