Last night I took down a few notes while watching Huge for my Huge Reflection post for this week. I had a whole page of quotes, thoughts, WTF’s and memories it brought to mind, but I think the thing that had the most affect on me and brought up the most to reflect on for me was when the character Ian said to Alistair
“It’s so freaking hard and you still have so much left to go”
Now this may not seem like the most thought provoking line especially in regard to self love and body acceptance but it brought up alot of questions for me. This whole episode of Huge was about weight loss and weigh ins ofcourse but it was also about pressure, acceptance, expectations and the way each character feels about themselves in regard to their weight. I’m fairly certain that every fat person, even those who now practice fat acceptance, have dieted or intentionally tried to lose weight atleast once in their life. We have all probably stepped on a scale with worry and anxiousness, and stepped off a time or two with pride, dissapointment, anger, confusion, happiness, and feelings of failure. As I watched the Huge campers appproach their weigh ins and saw the different expressions of feelings cross their faces I could think of a time where I had felt the same as every single one of them at one point or another throughout my weigh in history. I could remember times of victory and happiness where I stepped on a scale after the first week of a new diet to find 5lbs had fallen off my body. I could also remember the times which typically happened on week 3 or 4 of a “lifestyle change” where the pounds had either become stagnent and I felt dissapointed, or when the pounds had creeped back up after having a cheeseburger that week, and feeling angry with myself. I also remembered that even on the weigh ins of loss, the feelings of victory not sticking for very long and 5lbs not feeling like such a great feat in the bigger 280lbs scheme of things, thats right because ““It’s so freaking hard and you still have so much left to go”.
Why do we, or did we, put so much pressure on people and on ourselves to the point where doing well in regard to losing pounds can still not feel like enough? Why is doing our best and trying our hardest still not enough unless we reach an acceptable size? How can our society be so fixated on a number and that we all need to reach that number in order to be attractive, healthy, sucessful, and worthy? And if we don’t give a shit about that number and how society feels about, if we practice acceptance of our size and living our lives at whatever that size may be were considered wrong, detrimental to the society that outcasts us already, and ignorant? Why is it only ok for someone who is thin already or actively persuing a smaller pant size justified in saying something along the lines of “I don’t want to let a number define my whole view of myself” but when I say that at 270lbs and a non-dieting but still healthy and active lifestyle I am slammed and considered the real problem?
Why is it ok for Seventeen Magazine to promote a Body Peace Treaty like they advertized during last nights Huge but people who promote fat acceptance considered bad role models for doing essentially the same thing? Is it because Seventeen is also showcasing size 0 models 3 pages before and after while self loving fatties are showcasing such “radical” ideas as Health At Every Size and the belief that weight is not an indicator of health?
So those were the questions it brought up for me and the answers to them I don’t really have, all i know is “I don’t want to let a number define my whole view of myself” and even if that makes me the villan to some I’m not going to. I spent far too much of my life trying to live up to other peoples expectations in regard to my size. I let the pressure to be under a certain number on the scale break my spirit, take away a part of my heart, ruin my fun and missed out on way too many exciting experiences because I was too busy counting calories, weighing obsessivley, and figuring out how many calories I would have to burn in order to have a slice of pizza. The pressure, the expectations, the emotional rollercoaster is not worth it. For me its far more important to live a scale free, diet lacking, fat and fearless life, and thats exactly what I’m going to do. Whether my body stays the same, shrinks, or gets larger I know that I will be viewing myself by the size of my heart which, since leaving behind caring about the size of my ass, has grown two sizes.