On Fatness

February 17, 2011


I am fat.

You knew that, right?

Writing about Fatness is difficult for me because I live my life every day in the body of a fat woman, stuffing myself into the seats of a graduate program that dedicates much of its academic energy and rhetoric towards eradicating THE AMERICAN OBESITY EPIDEMIC.

My closest friends know that I had some hesitancy in entering a Food Studies program, even though it is 100% where my heart lies, just for this reason. Luckily, I can talk my way out of anything, so in my more academic-leaning classes, I feel like I combat any fat-hate side-eye with wit and even occasionally intellect. But in my new nutrition class, I feel genuinely uncomfortable in an-elephant-in-the-room (I went there) kind of way.

I don’t wish to be seen as a hypocrite, and most of the time, I don’t feel like one.

I guess I want to boldly say a few things, maybe mostly for my own affirmation. (Isn’t that why anyone blogs?)

1. It is possible to be fat and healthy. I know because I am. I just got a great call from my brand new doctor to tell me that my blood sugar is perfect, my blood pressure looks great, and my cholesterol is actually low.

2. It is possible to be fat and enjoy exercise. I have hiked in Haleakala National Park in Maui and up Sunrise Mountain near the Appalachian Trail. I like camping. I like ocean kayaking. I love yoga. I even am growing to like jogging.

3. My weight doesn’t really effect my life in a negative way. I date (read: I get laid). I do well in school. I am mostly happy.My weight has only ever impeded me in living up to my full fashion potential, and made for a few uncomfortable flights. Really. Most days, I do not think about my weight.

4. I understand that the food crisis in America is real. There is a complete dearth of real nutritional education across the country. There is lack of access to and understanding of real healthy food. I understand that I am in the minority as a white privileged reasonably healthy fat person who knows the consequences of what I eat, both on my body, and the planet, with the financial standing to be as picky as I am about what and how I eat.  (Full disclosure: Sometimes I eat hot wings.) I understand that for many people, extra weight and create or exacerbate existing health problems.

5. I agree with everyone who encourages Americans to eat less. To eat mostly plants. To eat together as families and communities. To exercise. To care about what they eat. To cook at home. Not because I want to make Americans thinner – but because I want them to be healthier, better adjusted, happier, and with a cleaner environment.

Even with all this said, it should be fully disclosed that I am currently working on dropping a few pounds because my knees have been bothering me. I have no dreams or aspirations of being Thin. After working on a farm for a year where I basically did squats for a living, it took a toll on my knees, and if shedding some weight is what I need to do to make exercise and general motion more comfortable, than fine. I can eat less and move more, without feeling like I’m betraying the HAES movement. Like anyone else, my body has a weight it’s more comfortable at, and if my weight creeps up around the Holidays, or for any other reason, I notice.

I am not attached to my weight. My weight is not shield or a badge of emotional eating or any other kind of symbol.

It’s just my fat body and I live in it.

You can read lots about Health at Every Size and Fat Acceptance elsewhere.

You can ask me anything you want.


14 Responses to “On Fatness”

  1. Snack Attack said

    Love this post. Personal and heartfelt.
    Insider perspective much needed. Hope this gets around.

  2. stacie said

    You are an inspiration!! Loved it

  3. your wife said



  4. Nora Wolf said

    I just really like you.

  5. Lo said

    this is fantastic. thank you for writing it.

  6. Tommy C said

    Thin or thick, you still fall down on the dance floor… alot! Hope that made your. Sincerely, manicotti.

  7. With Care said

    You are just being modest about your fashion achievements. You always look super fly, girl!

  8. babs said

    Found your blog through the Bittman comments page. Love this post and can’t wait to read more. I don’t know about full fashion potential (I now have a new acronym FFP), but you look fab in that red bathing suit. Brave too.

  9. Rosie said

    Brave, Megan, brave. Not that I would expect anything less from you. Eat on, and enjoy life!

  10. Mich said

    I concur with your wife. Great post, Meg. And you look so darn saucy in that photo — looooove!

  11. Cara said

    This rules. Like you a million.

  12. […] Vanity.  I’m fat. That’s not going to change. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to ditch my favorite […]

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