Tell Me I'm Fat

Dear wonderful soul,

I was recently listening to a podcast titled "Tell Me I’m Fat", by This American Life.

The characters speak about how it feels to stand out and be invisible, as a person with fat. One woman undergoes extreme weight-loss therapy and finds people treat her differently when she’s thin, another struggles to find clothes in her size, and they all think- constantly- about fat.

It doesn’t matter how large or small they are. Every woman can relate to this on some level.

The messages we receive about our bodies are subtle but persistent. People feign interest in our health, comment on what we’re eating and how we’re dressing. Sometimes even the ‘compliments’ can feel like daggers.

There doesn’t seem to be a “just right” for women (as far as society says).

The world is constantly commenting on our bodies.

(Insert list of all body-related comments you received this week).

Unfortunately, our well-intending loved ones can be some of the worst offenders.

Young girls grow into this society that is constantly telling them what’s ‘healthy’, instead of asking. We hear it so often, we learn to repeat it back to ourselves until our brains are programmed to tell us what ‘should’ make us happy or what ‘healthy’ looks like. What we ‘should’ be eating.

You are allowed to be just the way you are. You can be fat without wanting to lose weight, and you and be unapologetically thin too. You never have to change. You don’t even need permission. You, alone, are enough.

You are also allowed to want change. Wanting change doesn’t mean there is anything wrong. Losing weight doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with storing fat, gaining weight doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with being thin, getting a tattoo doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with bare skin. It is all just change. There is nothing wrong with you, even if you want more.

I don’t know if people will ever stop speaking about their own or each other's bodies. Since it’s happening no matter where we’re at in our health journeys, why don’t we decide to flip the script?

Instead of demanding your body to lose weight (or gain it), choose to listen and love your body. Get REALLY quiet and ask your body what it wants.

After a lifetime of programming yourself to TELL your body what’s right, it can be damn uncomfortable to slow down and listen.

So maybe we can do it for our friends too. When you catch your friend speaking harshly about her body, or shaming herself for the food she’s eating, ASK her what feels good. Don’t let her rob her life of joy.

Listening to your body is the ultimate act of self-love.

I promise you, if you chose to meet your body where it is at, all the changes and goals you desire are already there. Your body knows how to heal, and it can happen as fast as you let it.

But healing doesn’t come from fighting.

It comes from love.

Choose to make time for yourself today.  Take a minute, drop the ‘shoulds’, and be thankful your body is working so hard to care for, love, and speak to you.

And for goodness sake, go do something that gives you joy!!

Take care,

Maddie