I promise, this is more cursing than I’m used to doing in my posts… so please don’t be put off by it.
I mean, I swear (every blue moon) but there’s a time and a place for everything… and considering the overwhelming response to my post regarding “Becoming ‘The Fit Bitch,'” I think many people get where I’m coming from, here.
However… there’s another element to this that appeared unexpectedly: the women who said “I’m not ‘The Fit Bitch’ yet, I’m still ‘The Fat Bitch.” And I won’t even lie… that never once crossed my mind to mention. Why? Because the opposite of “fit” is not “fat” to me. The anti-thesis of “fit” is merely “unfit.” And both fat and skinny chicks fall into line with that one.
Take a look at these two comments that were left for that post:
Well, I’m still a fat bitch, LOL! I kid, but seriously I’m soooo not there yet. I could totally relate to many of the thoughts you shared before. I’m trying my best to do better and make better decisions. I have nothing against the “fit bitch” and actually admire her now. I strive to be like her. Am I striving hard enough? Not yet, but I’m trying everyday. I’m still being looked at like “the fat bitch”, you know when you try to make healthier decisions but everyone looking at you like “you know your fat a$$ want them cupcakes!” I don’t necessarily care what other people think about my decisions but I can admit fighting the temptation is extremely hard when everyone around you is waiting for you to fail! I don’t think many people actually want me to succeed at weight loss. They say they do but deep down I think they like me as “the fat bitch”. Well I don’t. So what would you say to that? I’m sure you have blogged about it before but I’m fairly new to your site. I read your blog because when I don’t feel like eating right or doing the right things to lose weight, your blog reminds me that I have to if I really want it. That there is no quick fix, just healthier eating and exercise. – Jeannine
well i am in the fat girl category and i understand what Jeannine is talking about. I am trying to take positive step to better my health but as soon as someone see me eating a salad, they ask “why you not having a hamburger, You on a diet or something?” and they say it as if i owe them an answer. and you don’t want to say yes cause as soon as you do, everyone want to tell you what you should and should not be doing, or what you should and should not be eating and take in mind that some of them have never had a weight problem in the whole life or can even imagine what it is like to be 325lbs, then you have the ones that say dumb shit like “Only eat 3 apples a day and a diet Coke at night” and right then i start thinking how did this person get hired? But the worse ones of all is the people that watch every thing eat and every thing you do so the first time you even look at the cupcakes they want to say some sh-t like “So i see you quit your diet” and if you do manage to keep it to your self and the weight do start to come off, now you starting hearing thing like “Oh that bitch smoking CRACK” so from now on, i have decided TO HELL WITH ALL OF THEM and if someone ask me what i am doing i just tell them i doing me!! – Wyzetta
Okay… so, let’s talk about “fit” for a second.
I look at the concept of “fit” the same way that I look at the concept of “goal setting.” I don’t strive for one goal because goals have a finite point. There’s a point where you “reach” the “end” and you level off.
“Fit” doesn’t work that way. There’s no “finite point” you reach where you can finally wear the “fit” label. Actually, let me clarify that – there’s a point where society wants to define what “fit” looks like… but we’ve already talked about the problem with that:
My thoughts were, of course you can be fit and “fat.” And considering how “fat” in America is anything over a size 4 – depending upon who you talk to – MANY of us are “fat” in someone else’s eyes… clearly that doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as the stuff that keeps us alive. That stuff is filed under that “fit” label.
Those who I’ve dialogued with outside of the site know how I feel about this “fat” thing. As I’ve said before, my primary goal was just being a healthy weight. The vanity aspect of it came when I could afford to be vain and think about looks.. which, basically, was when I had my health situated.
There’s a point in that clip that disturbed me, though – the thinner woman said, “Because I am thin, because I’ve never been sick,” she never thought that her system could be in such bad shape because her body wasn’t in bad shape. I think that the American understanding that our “outer” is a direct reflection of our “inner” is what’s making it so hard for us to have these conversations about health.
What do I mean? I mean that we keep connecting a person’s size to their ability to be healthy. It shortchanges the people on both ends of the spectrum. If being obese is the epitome of poor health, then if I’m superskinny I should be good, right? I should be able to avoid all of that, right?
I look at the comments left on the “Fit Bitch” post and I wonder to myself.. at what point do we allow ourselves to claim our status as being “That Fit Bitch?” When do we stop claiming “fat?” Surely, it can’t be when we “look it,” right? Because we can “look fit” (read: be skinny) without actually living or being it… but that’s not what we want. (I mean, if it is… then do you.. I won’t be co-signing that mentality here, though.)
There’s another element to this that I think should be addressed, as well:
Trust me when I say this: people who don’t know you from Annie… they don’t really care if you’re ok. These people just prefer to listen to themselves talk. They like how authoritative they sound. It’s like lording over someone to let them know that you’ve got the goods they want. “I got what you want, and you have to listen to me to get it.” People like feeling wanted and needed, and will go out of their way to create the kind of situation that allows them to feel that way.
Look, all advice is not good advice… regardless of where it comes from. A doctor with a preconceived notion about a patient they may never see again (no really, read that), or a broad you’ve never seen before telling you a colonic is why you’re 60lbs overweight, or someone incorrectly telling you that limiting meat intake is “going vegan” and how silly it is…. sometimes, you just have to take it with a grain of salt when it comes. Feel comfortable enough to squash the convo when it does come… just expect this moment to come, though.
Obesity is an interesting problem because it’s a visible flaw. If you’re a sociopath, a liar, or an axe murderer… we can’t always identify that problem visually. But ohhh lordy, I can see that something must be wrong with you because you’re fat. Let me make this clear: being overweight is not an open invitation for people to force their ignorant and idiotic “advice” on you, and it certainly is not a reason for you to feel compelled to explain why you are overweight to anyone you don’t care about and doesn’t care about you. Your weight is not a call-to-arms for people who are not overweight to use you to make themselves feel better by pummeling you with horrid advice, further snitching on themselves and the unhealthy measures they take to remain skinny.
I refer to it as “big girl guilt” – that feeling inside that says maybe I should listen to this seemingly healthy person to see if they have the answers that I don’t. I mean, of course I don’t have any answers. I’m still fat. Um, naw. This doesn’t work like that.
That kind of “big girl guilt” implies that we don’t have a reason to stand up for ourselves because we “obviously don’t have ‘the answers.’” It also lends into that notion that says “only people who are cute by society’s standards have the right to have any pride or self-esteem orr self respect.” Well, considering how almost 70% of society is overweight and apparently clinging to standards of beauty that don’t represent them in the slightest… why would I cling to any notion that society brings me? I’m cool on that.
The underlying point of both yesterday’s post and today’s is to understand why it’s important to give up on caring what other people think of us. Give up believing that these people’s thoughts matter. Give up on this idea that the way that “society” has defined fit is so important… because I can assure you they have it wrong. While they’re always looking at the thin model on the photoshop diet as someone who’s body should be praised, they’re ignoring the women who are well-built with great physiques who live healthy and happy lives. They’re ignoring the women who live fit lives, and their bodies have yet to catch up with them.
So… all that is to say… the minute you start making changes is the minute you begin to become “the fit bitch,” and you leave everything else behind. Stop claiming anything else. Start speaking and working things into existence… and that includes no longer accepting the former label for yourself. I don’t think I’ve ever said “I’m still a fat bitch” even when I was one.
There’s no simple way to do it, either. You literally look at your shoulder, lift your hand, and use that hand to dust that label right off.
The labels that people want to give you to make themselves comfortable… they have nothing to do with you. (Sounds a lot like how we used to label “The Fit Bitch” until we accepted that the label had more to do with making US comfortable than anything else, right?) Let all of that go. There’s a point where you’re above it all.. and that point is when you start to experience the benefits of your lifestyle change.
Really, it’s that simple.