“I’m Afraid You’re Going To Die Because You’re Fat”

February 25, 2019 26 Comments

“I’m Afraid You’re Going To Die Because You’re Fat”

February 25, 2019 26 Comments

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Ok, I get it. You grew up watching Sex And The City and think that friendship means being unfiltered. You can tell your friends anything – even if it means getting a little uncomfortable or giving them a reality check. I GET IT. You’ve been socialized to believe your opinion really matters. No matter what. And that we’re all allowed to have opinions, even if they’re not what others want to hear. 

Except, you’re not. And I’m sick of being nice about it. 

When I tell you that I’m not interested in diet culture, or losing weight, or discussing my body with people – it’s not a debate. I didn’t ask if you believe in my decision. I didn’t ask if you agree with me. I told you my values about my body. Full stop. 

“But I want you to feel good”

I do, most of the time. Probably about the same amount of time as you. I have days where I don’t feel perfect, I’m aging and learning how to navigate a body that is changing in many ways. I’m on medications for things that make me uncomfortable (like my life long panic attacks – thanks Lexapro!), and I go the doctor twice yearly to make sure I’m well and my medications aren’t effecting me negatively. Thank you for your concern. 

“WHAT IF YOU GET SO BIG YOU CAN’T MOVE?!”

Well, first of all – there are lots of people in the world with limited mobility and it’s ridiculous to think that I’ll be less valuable as a friend if this happened.

Second, that’s not my intention but my body has been through a lot. From age 10 to 27 I cycled from a restrictive eating disorder to a binging eating disorder every 6-18 months. I have lost and gained over 100 pounds more than 5 times in my life. My metabolic system is not well, it has endured a life time of weight cycling. There are very few ways for me to “fix” this other than to try my hardest to eat intuitively, get nutrition from foods that make me feel well, and take medication that helps me process insulin more effectively. I do all these things. 

I could maybe, possibly control my weight with a diet that restricts my calories. Except, diets don’t work and you gain weight back. And you know what’s harder on your body than being fat? Weight cycling. So i’m not doing that anymore. 

 

“Why don’t you just go to the gym more?”

Listen, if you think being fat, having eating disorders (which btw 1 in 5 fat people have), and living in a society where everyone thinks your body is “gross” is a real push to make it to the gym well – you’re wrong. It’s fucking hard. And it comes with a lifetime of learned bullshit that makes me feel bad about myself. I can’t step into a gym without thinking I’m there to “fix” myself. I’ve been in years of therapy, I am obsessed with yoga, I love going for walks… and I am still riddled with anxiety about moving my body. 

So, some days I choose my mental health over the panic attack. And I dedicate a lot of time thinking about my relationship to movement, and trying to make things more accessible for me. Some times I cry on my yoga mat and wonder if maybe my life would be different if I hadn’t hated myself for so long. I wonder if other people are painfully sad thinking about how they spoke to their 10 year old self about breathing heavy after running the mile at school. And I take a breath, and remind myself that my relationship with moving my body is going to be something I’m working on for a long time. 

I’m recovering from a life time of trauma that revolves around my body. It’s going to take me a minute to re-incorporate joyfully moving. If you cant be patient with me, that’s ok. I probably can’t be patient with someone who’s not kind enough to understand. 

View this post on Instagram

My sister @girlletgo and I dont move the same way. Her poses look different than mine. Neither are better or worse than the other… they’re just what is effective for each of us. Years ago (in a lot of therapy) I learned about using the word “effective” and “ineffective” instead of other more judgmental words. It’s been pretty useful. How do you talk about your body in comparison to other people? Do you use kind words or do you get stuck judging your body against others? It’s a constant battle for me to check my language around my body and others. I’m always challenging my words, I don’t think that ever changes. ALL THIS ETERNAL GROWTH YALL!!!! Leggings and bra sets from @girlfriend #fatgirlflow #yogaposes #sisters👭 #leggingsarepants #joyfulmovement #plussizefashion

A post shared by Corissa Enneking (@fatgirlflow) on

“I just want you to be around as long as possible because I love you”

This sentiment is nice. Maybe. Kind of. But ya’ll – I cannot be your punching bag just because mortality scares you. 

I am not just a character in your life, I am my own whole human person. I have experienced things that have shaped who I am and my choices, and I make decisions based on what is best for me and me alone. I know it is scary to love someone who could disappear at any minute. I’ve got news for you – that’s what you get with everyone. Fat, young, healthy, fit, able bodied, old, thin, none of us are safe to love. You’re running a chance of losing every person you’ve ever come in contact with. There is no amount of working out that is going to make loving people you could lose less scary. 

Feeling entitled to your loved one’s health is… weird. Are humans less valuable to you if they won’t outlive you? Are you so scared of your own grief that you don’t want to experience the vastness of humanity? Do you really expect others to use their time on earth to appease you before doing what’s right for themselves? Why not support people in loving themselves endlessly, instead of trying to guilt them into caring about your reaction to their body?  

I have to believe that if you are in my life and asking these questions, it is because you care. I want to believe that. At some point your caring started hurting me. These questions, asked over and over again, hurt me. Having to justify my humanity, my values, my right to live without constantly explaining myself, hurts me. 

I am not up for debate. The way I live my life is not up for discussion. I am not asking your permission to live this life the way I choose. I am fat. I am not interested in being smaller. I will not be going on a diet. 

And I am OK. I hope you are too. 

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Fat Girl Flow isn't about ONE person, it's about a community of kick ass people coming together to support, encourage, and love one another. What started as my personal journey to self love, quickly turned into something I never expected - life long friendships, understanding, and personal growth. We're all in this together <3

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26 Comments

  • Jesse M. February 25, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you for this 🙌🏻

  • Katie February 25, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Wow. This evening I was in counselling talking about how the past few months I have been working at just loving myselfand my body as I am. But when I talk to family and friends, I always put this caveat on the end about how doing so is ultimately going to help me get control of my weight. And why did I feel the need to put that caveat in?

    These words resonant so much with me. I have done the restrict and binge roller coaster for years as well. And I think this post has given me the words I need to stop adding the caveat on the end.

    Thank you!

    • fatgirlflow February 25, 2019 at 10:45 pm

      I’m so glad this resonated with you <3

  • Krystal February 25, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you for writing this. This really resonated me on a night I really needed to remember I am not alone.

    • fatgirlflow February 25, 2019 at 10:46 pm

      you are definitely not alone – especially not here in this space <3

  • Lauren February 26, 2019 at 12:30 am

    Every. Single. Word. I feel understood by you in a situation not understood or approved of by many. Thank you for sharing your stories, stories I can share with others to better explain my experience in a way I can’t put into words. Thank you for sharing so much with us! I have love and appreciation for you, my friend.

    • fatgirlflow February 26, 2019 at 8:55 am

      thank YOU! I appreciate you being here with me and taking the time to read my words <3

  • Shifa February 26, 2019 at 4:55 am

    I needed to read this. I’ve been on a “war path” to try and change my body to be more acceptable but I keep forgiving that my body is fine just the way it is. I’m healthy and everything is going to be okay. Thank you ❤️

  • Kelly February 26, 2019 at 7:17 am

    You are amazing!!! It’s as if you just wrote down every single thought, emotion… Everything I’ve had and still have every day of my life!! Thank you for being you and real!! I needed to read this and know I’m not alone.

  • Debbie Saraceno February 26, 2019 at 7:22 am

    What a brilliantly written article!! Makes me love you and J even more!❤️

  • Jenna February 26, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    This post is everything. Reading your words, hearing things that ‘friends’ have said to both of us has brought me to tears. Not because I’m sad but because I’ve finally found someone who understands!!! I’ve just turned 35 and I’m only just beginning to let go of ‘fixing’ myself. I’m fat, I have mental illnesses and I’ve recently been diagnosed with binge eating disorder. I’ve spent so many years trapped by binge and restrict. (I’m currently in restrict) believing there is something wrong with me. Your post opens the door to the fact that I’m not broken.

    Thank you so much.

    I’m sorry for rambling xxxx

    • fatgirlflow February 26, 2019 at 9:19 pm

      we’re all in this together, and my story is not unique – you are proof of that. The more of us who share and tell people the more access to eating disorder help we’ll get. I’m sending you healing vibes babe <3

  • Jess February 26, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you!!! So many feelings relating to this post. I get the workout anxiety 100%, weirdly I get it when I choose (quote, unquote) healthy food, as well. I second guess whether subconsciously I’m choosing a salad because I’m having a bad body day or if it’s really what I want to eat. It’s tough to put your mind and body through so much and work through feelings of inadequacy and come out on the other side. Sending big love to you, you’re one of my favorite role models! <3 keep on keepin it real! Xo

    • fatgirlflow February 26, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      I FEEL THAT TOO! This stuff is so DEEPLY ingrained in us that even a salad feels like some weird twist that our brains are throwing up to get us sucked back into diet culture. Thank you for being here babe! xoxo

  • Liz Clark February 27, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Oh. My. Thank you a thousand times over for this. It says everything I have needed to say to so many people but never knew the words. You are amazing!

  • jennifer February 27, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Corissa,
    You continue to amaze me with your honesty. Your words make sense of feelings/experiences I’ve had but have never been able to put to words. Thank You Thank you so much for living openly and honestly. You are truly a beautiful soul… keep shining… much love and peace to you xoxo

  • Meredith February 27, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    “Are humans less valuable to you if they won’t outlive you . Are you so scared of your own grief …” . What a wonderful punch in the gut that was . Those words will be sitting with me for awhile. Thank you for the insight.

  • Michelle February 28, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Oh lord! Newb here.. this is the second piece of yours that I’ve read and it’s hits me so hard for more than one reason.. first off let me say that I have gone my whole life (31 almost 32 years) with hating my body type. I hate looking at myself in the mirror when I’m naked and there have been days when I refuse to shower because of that reason.. I will say that in the past year I have been really trying hard to love myself and be nicer to myself mainly because I have five kids. My youngest who will be three in April is a girl. Now it has taken me having a girl to realize that one: how am I supposed to teach her to love herself if I can’t ever say anything nice to myself, and two: boys need a strong mother just as much as girls do.. because they are just as insecure if not more so. I have done the restriction/binge thing my whole life… on top of being an addict. I am a heroin and meth addict (clean and sober), I started using meth at the age of 12 and quickly realized how easy it was to lose weight.. I didn’t use heroin until age 25. MY WHOLE LIFE IVE BATTLED STRONGLY WITH ADDICTION AND HAVE TAMED THE BEAST SO MANY TIMES JUST TO GO BACK TO USE BECAUSE I HATED MY WEIGHT. There were obviously other factors involved with my relapses as well… but I can guarentee the weight issue has also been a triggering factor for me. Last summer I had 4 years clean and sober and threw it down the drain and it has taken me the better part of the year to regain my recovery. I have a little over a month today, and once again I’m terrified of “being fat” now let me say, my significant other loves me and my curves and rolls and stretch marks and cellulite.. he wouldn’t change anything about me, other than my self loathing. He hates that I do this to myself. But all these reasons are not the reason for me to be writing this comment. I am writing this because I have been the person who has said these things to my mom about my sister.. who is EFFING BEAUTIFUL btw no if ands or butts about it… but my mom and I have both said those exact same things about her in the past, and she also has an addiction problem for the same reasons.. it made me realize where this all stems from.. my mom, and I love that woman so much. But damn, she has always had an eating disorder from childhood due to teasing at school.. her nickname was moose as a child, as mine was miss piggy, and my sister I’m sure had it the worst due to other health issues. I’m so sorry this is so long, this post has gotten me to feel sooo many different feelings. Guilt, grief, sadness, loss, hope, faith, and maybe just a little bit more love for myself. I will make sure to tell my sister today how beautiful she is always without any buts and myself as well. Thank you so much for the reality check! Xoxo

  • Tara K Shepersky February 28, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks for this. Your expression is powerful, and that power feels rooted in a deep and earned respect for yourself that every human body can learn from. All the best to you.

  • Harry Minot February 28, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for being your genuine self. And thanks for being an iconic beacon for others. Go forth in unapologetic Majesty!

  • Lara February 28, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you so much Corissa for writing this. It is incredibly beautiful and really put things in perspective for me. 😊 I used to be thin and now I am fat, and I’ve been on this difficult journey of trying to accept fatness because I never had to before. Reading this blog helped make it easier for me. Thank you for everything you do. ♥️

  • Tori George Ms February 28, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    This is a piece of art. I feel moved by the incredibly vulnerable act of share your insecurities and truths with the world. There is a harmful notion of individual responsibility our western societal norms have place on every human. It has been produced by many years of problematic medicalization and scientific rationality associated with obesity. The medical community has gone so far as to call it an epidemic. This leads to the creation of detrimental ideologies, like “gross” or “lazy” that makes people feel entitled to judge others based on their size or “lifestyle” choices. The medical community wants to “fix” people which stems to the people you love wanting to “fix” you too. The word fixing or improvement has always bothered me because it suggest that something is wrong with you. That is no way to live life and as most people find out its not. I appreciate the work you are doing towards self-acceptance and saying a FU to the people that think otherwise. You are a role model to so many people that have internalized harmful ideologies and believe that they are not good enough. The applaud the courage that it takes to provoke critical thought about the body (your body) in a public space and creating a personal narrative that challenge traditional norms. Your writing is beautiful and critical, I really enjoyed it and I hope you write more!

  • Margaret March 6, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    That photo of you and your sister is just amazing. Both of you doing yoga — the bodies are very different but the hearts are in sync. Your sister looks as though she loves and accepts you. I hope that’s true. It’s true about my sister — our entire lives together I’ve cried about being fat, hated my body, gone on diet after diet, gained the weight back over and over, and she, still a size 8, has never criticized me (we’re in our 50s now). She supports me if I want to diet, compliments my new top if I’ve just gained back 40 pounds. That picture could be me and my sister. Thank you for this post.

  • Katie April 19, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    This resonated with me. I love your words right now. I feel a lot like this.

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