Monday, October 4, 2010

My Body and I

I don't know when it happened, this strange thing of me separating myself from my body. When I started looking in the mirror, and, in stead of simply seeing me, I saw myself and my body. I suppose it happened while I was gaining weight, while my body was expanding without me giving my consent. It makes sense in a way; if you don't feel like you can control what your body does, is it really a part of you?
I know I am far from the only person, let alone the anly fatty, who feels this way. And who can blame us really? When you are fat, people are constantly expecting you to fight your body. "Fight the bulge!" "Manage your weight!" "Battle those pounds!" This becomes slightly more abstract, but no less real, in the language of the "obesity epidemic". Fat is something to be afraid of, something to avoid, something that is to blame for current and future problems in our society.

Now, knowing this, it shouldn't come as a big surprise when fat people end up distancing themselves from their bodies. After all, their bodies are fat, and fat = bad. Who would want to identify so closely with something bad? Well, I didn't. But lately I'm starting to remember something I once knew. My body and I are not two separate units of the same entity, we are one. I am my ass; my thighs; my fingers, in the same way that I am my mind; my voice; the way I move. Change may come, sure, but that change won't just affect a part of me, it will affect me.

While I have been reclaiming my body, I have realized that there is something else I must also claim. You see, if my body is me, then the critizism directed at it is mine to own as well. My brain has taken to translating this critizism as of late, so:
"Wouldn't you be happier if you lost some weight?" is transformed on it's journey from my ears to my brain into "Wouldn't you be happier if there was less of you?"
"I read an article about this awesome new diet the other day" becomes "There's too much of you, you really should try to make yourself smaller."
"You didn't use to have to worry about fitting into the seats on planes..." becomes "You take up so much room, I think it would be better if you tried to minimize yourself."
             Please understand that when you tell me to lose weight, you are not just saying it to my ass, or my thighs, or my fingers, you are telling me to become less. And I don't want to be less, I want to be more! I have spent so much time hiding, trying to be invisible, to be less than I am, and now I want to be more! I want so much to be more me!

All I'm asking of you, is that you don't make it any harder than it already is.

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