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There’s Value in Fat

 

Fat. How many of us have it on our minds today? How many of us are feeling ashamed by it? Well I’m here to tell you (and myself) that there’s value in fat. And we, every single inch of us, are valuable.

I’m sitting here in the light of my SAD light, trying to feel better. It’s been a year and a half of an ongoing roller coaster of depression and anxiety. Two years ago I was the strongest physically that I’ve ever been and feeling pretty darn happy with myself. I felt great, I felt pretty, I felt valuable.

Here’s me being all happy and proud for not filling out these shorts anymore. (my old name on IG was @leahsladylumps but now it’s my blog name @theinformalmatriarch and you can go follow me there)

Fast forward to now. After two years of doing some extremely deep therapy, digging out demons and facing them head on. Learning that even though I hadn’t felt anger in so many years, I’ve got a LOT of anger. I’ve learned that the trauma I’ve been through is so deep that it basically runs the show in my brain right now (that’s another blog for another time).

I am damn proud of myself for facing these demons head on. For opening myself up to my anger, my fear, and all my truths. So proud, that despite how hard I’d worked on my body, I’ve tried being gentle on myself for letting my fitness goals slowly slip. I kept telling myself “gentle Leah, you’re working so hard on other things right now, this is okay”. But when I stepped on my scale on Jan 1 and saw those numbers…I crumbled. I had noticed over Christmas that nothing was fitting anymore, everything felt tight and uncomfortable. Reaching for my leggings every time I went out even though I don’t even like wearing them (weird right?). But I hadn’t realized it had gotten to THIS. This number. I had gained 35 lbs. All that hard work….

I immediately began trying to lose it. I’ve lost and gained the same 7 pounds who knows how many times since then. I could probably say I’ve lost like 21 lbs…too bad I weigh exactly the same as I did on Jan 1.Β 

Through all of this, I’ve realized how much value I place on being thin. It’s awful to feel like less of a person for having more fat. How does the fat change who I am really at all? But I feel the judgment all over me. I know the judgmental people in my life, I know the people who comment on other people’s weight, I feel their eyes on me. Horribly, my worst critic (aka me), is extremely displeased.

And how could we feel any differently, really? We all know the perils for men and women this day in age, how the marketing media has affected our views of ourselves. Blah blah blah, I’m not going into this because we all know it.

But now I’m here to give it all a giant middle finger. Seriously. Even though my thighs rubbing together feels like nails on a chalkboard to me right now, and despite all my preconceived notions. Fuck it all. And there’s plenty more women out there who are doing the same thing. There’s a whole damn body positivity movement.

Body positivity aside, fat is a valuable part of us. It’s an organ and it’s there to protect us. It’s also an important part of our brain, it helps woman become fertile, it strengthens our immune system…it has a purpose.(1)

Fat. is. important. So why don’t we give ourselves a break sometimes? Our bodies change along with the seasons of our lives. How skinny we are doesn’t reflect how healthy we are or how “together” we have it. Some people are skinny merely because they have an awesome metabolism. Others, because they are so dang stressed and miserable that they can’t eat. Some women are larger because of deep wounds in their life, various diseases, and medications. Some women are just too darn busy living their lives to the fullest and don’t want to torture themselves with the fight to be “perfect” anymore. The list goes on and on because no two of us are alike, we are a giant rainbow of people doing our best with what’s on our plates. Skinny doesn’t equal perfection and happiness the same as fat doesn’t equal sadness and defectiveness. None of this is black and white.

So, repeat after me: The amount of fat on my body does not dictate my value.

The amount of fat on my body does not dictate my value.

The amount of fat on my body does not dictate my value.

The amount of fat on my body does not dictate my value.

Now go on with your day, at leastΒ trying to believe that you’re valuable as you are now. That the fat on your body actually serves a purpose and it’s not actually the worst thing in the world. There’s many worse things that could happen to you instead of fat.

For me, I’m not going to give up on my goals. I want to be healthy. On good days I nourish my body and maybe I exercise. On bad days I give myself room to make mistakes. Soon this monster in my brain will shrink more and more and I will have more healthy days than not. But I’ll be a better person in the end if I find value in who I am right now.

I’ll leave you with the video that brightens my heart every time I see it.

Gosh, someone could make loads of inspirational memes out of this.

And I know I know I know there’s plenty of research that shows us how fat can kill us as well. Too much and too little of anything is bad. Obviously. OfΒ  course. We know. (cleared that up).

 

(1) The Secret Life of Fat: The Science Behind the Body’s Least Understood Organ and What It Means for You

 

 

 

 

 

4 Responses to There’s Value in Fat

  1. I love the way you write with passion and wit (and judicious swear words!) πŸ˜ƒβ€

  2. You have such a healthy perspective and I love it. Good for you for doing the hard inner work on yourself, not many people can say they did that. Keep being kind to yourself, you are setting such a good example for your daughter!

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