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How to fight – and survive

Ok, so I am an obese woman living in a fat-phobic world. I’m beginning a journey through fat acceptance (otherwise known as ‘FA’) because I have found that diets don’t work and weight loss is both temporary and no cure for the blues. Only learning to accept and even (God forbid!) love myself will do any good.

But I have a problem.

The thing is, I do live in a fat hating world. Yesterday I had a perfect example of this when one very slim Sister in Law began berrating the other very slim and newly pregnant Sister in Law (they are siblings) about her newly developed need to eat every couple of hours. The main problem, according to the first SIL was that preggy SIL was being “a bit of a pig” and would gain weight (apparently a Very Bad Thing). So this conversation is taking place in front of their obese SIL who has decided not to indulge in this sort of crappy body shaming and I had to make a decision: do I say something, or stay silent – which to my mind signals agreement.

What to do?

In the end I steered a middle course – I left the FA out of it but (rather forceably, I fear!) stated my opinion that pregnant women should not worry about their weight at all. Some gain is normal, natural and needed for a healthy pregnancy (this SIL did not have a healthy pregnancy last time) and besides that I think during pregnancy it is especially important to listen to your body’s cues and give it what it needs. If your body is constantly hungry, or craving a particular foodstuff it is trying to tell you something! Why ignore that in favour of an arbitary number picked out of thin air by your (most likely male) Doctor? These women accept breastfeeding and non-drug births as ‘good’ things, ‘natural’ things. But the promptings of their body’s appetites must be regulated and halted? It makes NO SENSE AT ALL.

But my question is this; how should I deal with it, when people display their anti-fat or stereotypical thinking in front of me? Should I calmly call them out on it? Or should I ignore it? Or should I preach FA at them? I especially worry about them displaying this kind of thinking in front of my children.

What do you do? What do you think?


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