Three letters. So powerful.
Or is it?
I know the power of words. I use them everyday. I make a living from putting them together in pretty patterns. Words can save lives, hurt feelings, educate, make people laugh, make people cry, cause wars, invoke injury, death – you name it. A word is often times not just a word. The word “Fat” is a particularly interesting one because of its loaded meaning. As a little girl, fat was the worst word in the world. It was that thing you never wanted to be – the word that was whispered in hush tones, the ultimate failure, the sad word that caused bad eye contact and blushing cheeks. But now – fat is just fat to me. It’s a jiggly tummy, it’s the draping skin of my arm. It’s soft and plush and a place for my husband to rest his head. It’s yummy meal after yummy meal. It’s a part of me, and maybe one day it won’t be, but for now, fat is fat. I’m not going to let it have the power over me that it used to. There was worse things in life than being fat.
Some people disagree with me. That’s fine. It’s not their battle to fight. It’s mine – and for now, fat and I are kind of like acquaintances, neighbors. We’re not friends, but we live in the same neighborhood and we gotta make it work for the time being, ya know? We’ve known each other for a very long time.
That picture up there was taken a few minutes ago in my backyard. When I look at it I might think “fat”, but it’s not out of hatred. It’s just me. It’s 5 feet, 9 inches of strong, capable body, courageous and maternal heart, creative and powerful brain. I see a confident woman, a happy woman, somebody who believes in the power of her brain and personality, and yes, even her good looks. I see me – happy, successful me, who’s graduated college with honors, married an awesome guy, started a wonderful career, and is working on making peace with her rambling and random mind.
So, I’m fat. So be it. Fat is fat. It is what it is, and I’m working on losing it to be a healther version of the Me that I already know and love. So I can have a family and keep up with ’em, so I can hike up a mountain overlooking the valley without huffing and puffing. So I can react to stressful situations without a scary spike in blood pressure, and so I can go on airplanes and roller coasters without fretting about a tight belt. So I can buy cute dresses and flattering swimsuits.
Fat is mean, scary, unfair, and unhealthy, but it’s also just fat. Three letters. Not so powerful to me, anymore.
What does fat mean to you?