My business card reads “Journalist, Writer, Poet, Body Positive Activist”. Why settle for one title when you can give yourself four? When I hand this card to people who know me as a journalist, they often stumble over the Body Positive part, and take another look at me. Mostly, it brings smiles, but occasionally they say, “Body Positive. Activist?”
For fat people, being happy in your body is an act of rebellion. Society tells me that since I am fat, I must be ashamed of who I am, dress in mumus and long sleeves, never dare to show myself in shorts or, god forbid, a bikini. I routinely tell society to go fuck itself.
The way I explain it to my quizzical card holders is like this. What I have, what I actually have is just this moment. I do not have tomorrow or five pounds from now or ten pounds from now and certainly do not have 100 pounds from now. And in this moment, I have this body.
This body that is fat and with slightly high cholesterol and blood sugar and blood pressure that’s under watchful control. This body that likes going for walks and definitely loves swimming (one of the advantages of being fat is that I can float forever). This body that is learning to love to eat veggies, and already knows how to love chocolate and lasagna. This body that loves being held and kissed. This body that carries me through the day, and shares her wisdom with me, signaling whether something is good or bad for me through the felt sense of intuition. This amazing, wise and wonderful body.
And if I do not love my body in this moment, which is all I have, exactly when am I going to love her? Before I thought of her as an adversary, something to work against. I would like her when I lost he weight, when I could walk a mile, when, when, when.
And I’ve found as I’ve brought my love for her into the present, I respect her more – her need for nutrition, for movement, for a full night’s sleep, for orgasms.
What I have is this body, in this moment. And in this moment, I love my body as she is. And that is radical. Come join me. It’s much happier over here.
If you’re interested, I wrote about my journey to body positivity through modeling lingerie for the Fatittude blog.