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Growing up, my parents taught me not to say bad words, and most of the words that were in that list were the usual suspects. In my teenage years, I strayed and cussed like a sailor – but as I’ve gotten older, I have realigned my language to the standards that they set.
But this post isn’t about cussing or language or bad words. It’s about a very specific word that for years has plagued me. It’s about a word that has been a bad word to me for a very long time. I am talking about the other F-word – FAT.
As a child, I was heavier than many of the other kids. The difference between my weight and the weight of my classmates fluctuated throughout my school years along with my activity level and eating habits. Strangely enough, it was usually depression that got me to move in either direction. My first breakup led to weight loss (though unhealthily and 100% based upon decreased self esteem) and my parents’ divorce led to weight gain (also unhealthily).
Even when I was skinny (those brief few years in the middle of adolescence), I thought I was fat. This led me to an absolute aversion towards any mention of weight, size, fitness, or nutrition. When we went over nutrition in health class, I felt ugly. When I went swimsuit shopping or pants shopping, I felt fat. When I was in P.E., I felt weak. Once I got to college, I couldn’t bear the thought of going to the gym because I felt like the fattest person there – so I just didn’t go.
Not only did I have very negative feelings about myself and my own ability to be healthy, but these also carried over into my relationships. I NEVER talked about my weight with a boyfriend or even my parents. I HATED when other people would invite me to do something active. And, I changed subjects or avoided conversations whenever they would turn to weight.
I had taught myself that I wasn’t good enough because of my size, and that education has been a hard one to unlearn. To be honest, I’m still unlearning it.
I’m not 100% confident when I go to the gym, and I’m not 100% happy with how I look every day, but I am not afraid of telling the entire world that I am FAT, beautiful, and working to be healthier. I don’t care if I stay this size forever! If I can still be healthy and move around as much as I want to, I don’t care what I look like. Whether that goal is 0, 10, or 100 pounds away is not important. What is important is that I am not going to let my weight hold me back anymore.
Weight ain’t nothin’ but a number, and if someone thinks less of me because of my size or my weight, then shame on them for being so shallow. I wouldn’t want to be their friend anyway.
My name is Bobbie Gross, and I am FAT.
I wear my FAT beautiFULLY. #fatfully <— Click to Tweet
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