What I’ve Learned About Fat Acceptance

It has been hard to try and love myself and my fat body. I am very much at the start of this self love experience. Fat acceptance is quite a hard thing to get your head and heart around I think. One of the exercises I tried to do was to picture myself as the size I am right now in a wedding dress. It was to try and shake away from the desire to be thin for a special occassion.

I also imagined being the size I am again for any future pregnancy and birth I might have. This was hard because I know being the size I am right now made my recovery harder and lead to complications during my second c-section. Everything was fine but my uterus was pretty weak and there is some direct research on BMI and weak uterus tissue.

It took a lot of time for me to think about how I could make my body function better if I were to go on and have one last baby. I can’t shake the fact that I would, at this moment, like to be a smaller size but that desire to be thin has shrunk rapidly. I no longer want to be thin. I have no desire to be thin. But I do want to have a strong body and I think my body would really like to feel that too.

I am trying to avoid feeling shame for being fat and that has been hard. I feel wearing bikini’s to the pool when swimming with my kids has really helped that. I feel that it’s sending a message out there to say yes I am fat but I can still wear this Bikini and I can still swim and I can allow my body to do things that thin people can too.

I have noticed that I don’t really know where this desire to be thin has really come from. It has obviously been ingrained in me that thin is the ideal beauty standard because of the countless magazines and airbrushed, photoshopped, altered images we are exposed to constantly. I feel that fat people are typecast in films and TV and everything is laced with fat phobia reinforcing the message that having or being fat is unacceptable. This has made me angry at times.

Fat acceptance is accepting your body is right now and learning to love how it looks, feels and works. Fat acceptance is celebrating that every body is a good body, a worthy body and deserving of kindness and respect. Fat acceptance is acknowling that through age, pregnancy and motherhood are bodies are going to change. We all need to work on ditching fat phobic culture because fat in itself is a neutral word. Fat is not good or bad. When we stop labelling fat as a negative then we can move away from that life of guilt and restriction.

But Fat acceptance does not mean you don’t want to change your body. It just means you want to take care of it much better. So if taking care of your body is ditching the negative self talk, getting a good night sleep, wearing clothes that fit you or wanting your body to get stronger then that’s all positive things. What isn’t good for us is feeling ashamed or guilty for being fat. I’ve noticed that it’s only ever okay for a person to be fat in society if they feel bad about themselves and they’re on a diet. Much of what I’ve learned is that diets don’t work for most of us. Restriction is not healthy. What does work is rebalancing our relationship with food, ditching the guilt and the shame and being kind to our bodies.

Fat acceptance is a way of thanking your body. All bodies are deserving of self love.

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