But I have been fat. I was fat for many, many years. And for years, I was an ardent advocate of the fat acceptance movement. I actively resisted the idea that there was any point whatsoever to losing weight. I believed that medical statistics on the health effects of obesity were exaggerated at best, part of the cultural conspiracy to make women hate their bodies at worst. I was convinced that I could be just as healthy at 200 pounds (and with the eating and exercise habits that kept me at 200 pounds) as I would be with less weight. And I was convinced that losing weight never, ever worked… or at least, that it worked so rarely it wasn’t worth trying–if there was even any reason for trying.
It wasn’t until my bad knee started getting worse that I saw the writing on the wall, and decided that, given a choice between losing mobility and losing weight, the weight would have to go.
You’d probably think that losing weight would make a person stop thinking of him or herself as fat. And you’d almost certainly think that making a concerted effort to not be fat would make someone abandon the whole idea of fat acceptance. I thought all that myself once… and I was wrong.
Thus begins my latest piece for AlterNet, Caught Between Fat and Thin: The Pounds Come Off, But the Label Stays. To find out more about how fat acceptance has been both an ally and an enemy in my struggle to love my body — and how I still see the world through the eyes of a fat person, even though I’m not fat anymore — read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!