You Can’t Be Fat And Happy

Laura Lewis
Laura Lewis

I am a former fat girl, and I’m not thin now (size 8) but I am fit and toned. I have a tender spot in my heart for fat girls in the process of doing something to change it. I’m talking to the size 14 and aboves who have made the term “fat shaming” popular and argue that they are no less happy than a person who is not fat. I argue that you cannot be fat and happy. If you get to say you love your body (or your “curves,” as you call them) I get to argue why I and others scoff at that sentiment. I never claimed to be happy being fat, and that’s part of the reason I’m no longer fat. Change comes from a rejection of the status quo.

First, it’s uncomfortable to be fat– the physical toll of carrying more weight than your skeleton was intended to support, discomfort every day. Naked and skin is folding over skin, sweat accumulating. Clothed and the day is fraught with tugging and untwisting. The chub rub is a real thing and it kills the inner thigh area of your best pants. Shorts shorter than knee length (aka “coochie cutters”) are off limits. Your bra and panties dig angrily into you. They are not making clothes for you. Even the ones made with enough fabric to cover you are not constructed properly or with the right materials. They are making clothes for people sized 10 and under. I wanted to be a part of the populace for whom clothes were designed. Too many years of buying jeans that gape open at the waistline that I still purchased because they fit my butt. Being clothed and fat is unhappiness. Dressing rooms are not happy places for a fat girl. Of course you shouldn’t have to change, but clothes makers aren’t changing. I wanted a greater selection of clothing and I wanted to feel and look good in my clothes, so I changed. Happy people don’t continue to subject themselves to unhappy circumstances they can help.

I hear plenty of men like larger women. I know from what society shows me and from my own experiences being invisible to a large segment of men that more men prefer a woman who is in shape. As an online dater, I come across familiar buzzwords in men’s profiles. Looking for a woman who is “active” and “takes care of herself” means a woman who is not fat, even though some fat women are active and take care of themselves (whatever that means). You’re not going to convince them that you’re the fittest fat girl, who can outpace them on your Cannondale. They don’t care. They want a woman who is not fat. You may say “That’s fine; I don’t want them either because they’re assholes,” but are they all, really? And why– for having a popular preference that’s rooted in science? Again, my change stemmed from wanting more selection. If I’m single and I don’t want to be, and if it’s truly a numbers game, I’m going to do my best out there by selecting from a greater number of men, and a greater number of men are attracted to visibly fit women. Shed the excess and they’ll notice that you’re active and fast on your bike, and funny to boot. Honestly, without your personality changing one iota, you will instantly become more interesting to men when you become less fat. Not being seen for who you know yourself to be inside because of something external (that you can change) does not cultivate happiness.

The pivotal moment for me was taking stock of my life: a string of bad relationships that showed my self-esteem wasn’t where I claimed it was; overindulging behavior that isn’t exactly the mark of a happy person and mostly seeing other people who were living the life I professed to want. Why them and not me? Why is she fit and I’m not—what’s different about our constitutions? I decided no one was more deserving than I to have the life I wanted, so I got busy doing the things it would take to get that life. I worked on thought patterns and getting out more, but for the first several months, I exclusively worked the fuck out, continued to work out, and worked out some more. I did it until I formed the habit of doing so. I’m doing things that make people truly happy and introduce better circumstances into their lives. People can pay more attention to my personality because I am not immediately placed in the “fat box.” I deserve that; you deserve that. A lot of things suck about being fat and they’re not fixed by saying, “Being fat is awesome.” They’re fixed by you not making fat-girl problems your problems anymore. Fat-girl problems will endure with or without you. No “Fat Girls Rule” picture floating around on Facebook is going to change the way the world works.

You are happy when you are living at your fullest potential. Diets are a thing because people are unhappy with their bodies. If you would trade places with someone just like you, except the only difference is they’re not fat, then you’re not happy being fat. Stop calling your losses wins and really get in the game. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Camille Claybaugh

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