FAT PEOPLE DON’T OWE YOU SHIT

July 4, 2015 19 Comments

FAT PEOPLE DON’T OWE YOU SHIT

July 4, 2015 19 Comments

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Recently Cosmopolitan.com picked up my campaign for Diversity in Plus Size Bodies (holy shit, I know!). It’s been met with a truly awesome response and people have been so kind and wonderful about it… mostly. Now, I’m not one to read the comments section (just like I’m also not one to smack myself in the face), but when people send me emails to make sure I know they don’t like me, there’s not much avoiding the negativity. And these lovely emails are what prompted me to write this little post. So what are these eloquent folks writing to me, you ask?

You cannot run when that fat. Still unhealthy. Not healthy at all. 
Person very concerned with running
This is very unhealthy. Just because you exist doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
Anonymous person who completely missed the point
What are you going to do when you die from a heart attack?
Person who doesn’t understand how dying works

Now I’m obviously being a bit tongue in cheek about the emails authors, but what I have to say about the sentiment behind these emails is very important. Nobody owes you healthiness. Fat people do not owe anything to anyone. We get to exist, in our bodies, as we are in this moment, without apologies. We get to love ourselves, at all times, unabashedly.

To my emailer who is concerned about my running: I can run just as well today as I did when I was 200 pounds lighter… which is not at all. I’m a terrible runner. But at my current weight I can run (if absolutely necessary…  I mean jeez why would I just be running? gross!) without hating myself for not being able to run as well as everyone else. Because I know my body is my own and comparing it to other’s abilities is not, as you like to call it, “healthy”.

And to the person who wants me to know that my existence does not equal health: I’m sorry to break it to you, but a person’s health is not the singular trait of which I base a person’s worth. In fact, a person’s health does not cross my mind at all when considering their worth. When 5 skinny people line up in front of you, do you immediately ask for their medical records or have you assumed their health by looking at them? Do you know that skinny people can be unhealthy too? How many thin people have you deemed unhealthy in the last week?

And to my dear reader who doesn’t understand how dying works: I’ll be dead. Thanks for checking in.

You cannot tell a person’s health by looking at them. You just can’t. You don’t know my story, and I don’t owe it to you to tell you about it every time you want to share your perception of my body. But more than not knowing a person’s health, my concern for the “health” rhetoric is that it creates a space where we cast aside anyone who isn’t of optimal health and wellness (and ability). And that’s scary. It’s not just scary, it’s fucking creepy. Don’t judge people’s worth by their health! Because unhealthy people exist, and are worthy of love and respect.

Fuck. I can’t believe I had to say that.

illustration by the always amazing Alex Dehoff

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19 Comments

  • Aude July 4, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Thanks fot posting that.So tired to hear people told us , fat people, how unhealthy we are and that we gonna die early .
    Maybe they just worry about their own death and like to think just because they are not fat , they will live forever??
    Hey , yes we ‘re gonna die, just like you because since the day we’re born , we are sure that we’ll gonna die one day or another!But we can all have a happy life, and healthy at any size.

  • Melinda July 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    I understand your mission. And respectfully, I think your also.missing a point. I will also.mention your health, however not bcse I deem you less worthy as a person, and frankly, definitely not bcse I’m concerned whether you, personally are healthy or not. Your business.
    However, I’d like for you to consider for a moment, that while your appeal to young fat girls are meant to be a “lesson in acceptance”.. It can also seal the fate for otherwise self-improvement. I have a 6 yr old daughter, I teach her to.live and accept everyone. I also teach her healthy eating habits. Now, yes at 6, bcse being healthy is a good thing. Let me repeat that: being healthy is a good thing. What I don’t want to see is if she should start gaining weight in an unhealthy manner..instead of checking her downward spiral and forgetting how portant it is to be healthy (not skinny for vane purposes)..she oulls up your blog and says ” naaah, its okay to be fat, self-acceptance IS MORE IMPORTANT than my health”
    THAT is a premise you have not yet looked at,evident in your writing. Young girls,whose first mission “to self worth” should be to health. Of course we shouldn’t care what anybody else thinks..and if you want to be fat and unhealthy that’s your business. That’s a no brainer. Hopefully, youll understand that while teaching going girls to not give a shit what others think..and to be “comfortable” in their own skin, you understand the importance of simultaneously saying that’s its just as important to be healthy. Self-acceptance should not trump health.
    All eyes in you.

    • fatgirlflow July 4, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      Melinda,
      I am proud of the message that I send to fat and thin young women alike. I encourage people to love themselves fiercely and unapologetically, no matter where they may be in their life (healthy or otherwise). I am 100% certain that if your daughter pulled up my blog while in a “downward spiral”, that they would feel loved and supported. And what do I think love and support contribute to? A person’s well being. Especially children’s. I would welcome your fattening daughter with open arms… not with a bag of donuts like I think you may fear. It’s about love. It’s about belonging.
      <3 best of luck with your young daughter,
      Corissa

  • Rose July 4, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    That is BS. I know of a man that jogs 6 miles a day before work. He had a heart attack. Also a family friend ,37 yrs old, who was always jogging, hitting the gym and eating right. She had a massive stroke. She will never be the same again. So it’s absolute bullshit. People try to fat shame us. If a man or woman is unhappy with their weight then it will be up to them to make a life change. No one elses. Me personally, I like my round fat ass…..my fiance loves it. So what the hell do I care what anyone thinks!?!?

    • Lesa July 5, 2015 at 12:58 am

      I agree with this post too. There are all kinds of “healthy people” who die everyday. I am overweight myself and I don’t have high blood pressure,diabetes, or any of the other diseases associated with being over weight. And to the woman that’s worried about her daughter stumbling upon this blog, it would be a blessing. I wish I would of found an acceptance blog like this when I was younger. Me not accepting my body has kept me from doing a lot of things in my life :going to prom ,swimming at pools and numerous other things just because I was worried about what other people thought of me. How naive I was.

      • fatgirlflow July 5, 2015 at 1:01 am

        Thank you Lisa, I couldn’t agree more <3

    • Jenn July 8, 2015 at 1:24 am

      Rose – I love your attitude!

  • Mia July 5, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    It’s amazing how many pretend doctors appear when you exist in a fat body. & for people that think telling someone they are unhealthy is not a judgement in worth… I really disagree. Health and nutrition is constantly connected to judgements of morality and worth. Good food, bad food, ‘clean’ eating, food you should feel guilty about eating… it’s everywhere.

    • fatgirlflow July 5, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      YES MIA PREACH!!!! It is absolutely ingrained in us to assign moral judgements to food and health and I am astounded when people try to tell me they don’t.

  • Miriam Cabrera July 5, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I absolutely LOVED this… I have a PhD in Clinical Psychology and I can honestly tell you this helped me sooooo much more than many of the psychology or self-help books and articles I’ve read. I can only compare it with the first time I wore a pretty 2X swimsuit, instead of trying to fit in a “nornal size”; comfortable and loving my own skin… 🙂

    • fatgirlflow July 6, 2015 at 1:11 am

      That is such an amazing compliment Miriam thank you so much!!! Thank you for stopping by and checking out the blog!!! <3

  • Miriam Cabrera July 5, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Oh, and about healthy… I can easily out
    -walk in a treadmill, out-bike in a stationary bike, and out-whatever in an elliptical most of my gym buddies… ppl actually stare at me in awe… Skinny and fit are not the same, just as fat and unhealthy are not.

  • Gretchen July 7, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Oh my mercy, I had to laugh when I read this! I have a friend who’s a twig and has heart disease but here I am, all 3X of me, and I’m fine! You can so not tell someone’s health from their appearance. I just found your blog and love it.

    • Jenn July 8, 2015 at 1:28 am

      I am also 3X ! Small world…or should I say a nice big world ! Thank heavens there are others like me out there!! =)

  • Elyse August 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I love you. I love your “obesity-glorifying”, self-accepting message. I have had pre-diabetes, but I lost 70 lbs (from a medication side effect for an unrelated disease) and I don’t have it anymore. I don’t want to risk getting full-blown diabetes, which runs in my family. I have back, neck, and knee problems, fibromyalgia and other autoimmune problems. I want to love my body as it is, enjoy my food, and TRY to love exercise. But I struggle with this daily. I have to watch my carbs so as to not spike my blood sugar and store more fat. I HATE watching what I eat. I just want to eat what I want and crave until I’m full, and then stop. I look at my body now and can just barely accept it. I at least have outside validation that another person finds it attractive, but I can’t live on that forever. I’ve already gained back 15 lbs and have had to buy bigger pants. And I don’t know why I’m writing this comment. I want to feel about myself the way you do, and act accordingly. But I’m so afraid of gaining all that weight back, plus more health problems. I’m afraid of both. I’m tired of being afraid. So I’m going to keep reading your blog and see if I can learn anything. About losing fear instead of weight.

    • fatgirlflow August 7, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      Good luck, Elyse. It’s not easy to balance your needs (emotional and physical) with your values some times. It can get tricky, but I’m sure by listening to yourself and not letting anyone else dictate what you do with your body, you will make the mosteffective decision for you<3

  • Georgie August 16, 2015 at 6:21 am

    People think I’m healthy because I’m training for a half marathon, I go to the gym and I drink smoothies. What they don’t see is my drug habit that causes me to stay up all night so that I go to work on absolutely zero sleep , spend the whole day in the disabled toilet being sick and the lunch hour where I sleep on the toilet floor. They don’t see the colour of my pee when I’ve not drank any water for days or the pain I’m in when my belly bloats out until I look pregnant. People can’t judge health by weight, physicality or the activities they see/hear you do. Because behind closed doors everyone is up to something they probably shouldn’t be doing, whether your addiction is food, drugs, internet shopping or masturbation. We’re only human, and yes it is human to judge, but know thyself before pointing your digital fingers and playing the blame game – keyboard warriors are a dangerous breed.

  • Bex September 18, 2015 at 7:14 am

    PREACH! You nailed it. weight discrimination is the most socially accepted form of human oppression. both the perpetrators and the victims have absolutely no specific age, race, religion, or gender.
    I feel like our society has gone through a phase where people stopped making fun of and bullying each other because we finally stood up to them and said YOURE NOT MY JUDGE, YOURE JUST A JERK. So people backed off, but now more and more and more i see people taking it to the extreme, like “whoa dial it back here, don’t kill yourself but we don’t want you to feel TOO good about the way you look!” a few comments from ignorant men are spreading like wildfire and setting us back 30 years.
    yeah, I’m someone who does read comments, and some of the frighteningly ignorant things that people (mostly gym-goer fitness-nut men who think there’s an exact formula for everything) say are really disturbing to me. And my mind races into all of the knowledge they lack, the facts they are clueless about, and the ways in which they are so far off base, I think about all of the reasons why they are so obviously wrong and the things I feel obligated to tell them… and then I realize…. that they are acting on nothing more than a “but i don’t WANT you to do/say/be that!” kind of child tantrum mentality, and despite the fact that I could justify a million different ways that I’m doing whats best for me, nobody seems to understand that I should NEVER have to explain my choices or situation to anyone!
    and all of the men and women too who wrap up the same package of “you’re fat. you’re ugly. you’re gross. you need to conform. why can’t you be like everyone else” into something much more dangerous, that little word “CONCERN” and how self righteously they deem that they have your best health at heart and they (SCOUTS HONOR!) aren’t just expressing an opinion on the way you look,(because that would be mean) but the “genuinely” want you to be healthy and happy. never mind the fact that EVERYONE has at least one friend who is skinny as a rail and but who gorges themselves like a squirrel at a peanut factory, why? Flaming hot fast metabolism. Socially accepted, highly envied. OHHH but then they say that SLOW metabolism and hereditary obesity is a myth! wtf?? can they SEE the sense they are not making….
    anyway sorry for the novel. I am literally losing sleep over this issue because I want to shut them all up. I feel the compulsion to craft the perfect argument, the perfect lecture or flow chart that would settle not only the issue of these control freaks learning to mind their own business, but how much i hate living in a world where the shape of your body takes priority over the sacrifices you or a loved one make every day, the selflessness you exhibit, the love you have shown to people who give nothing back.. thinking back on all of the people i’ve looked up to and grown up with, loved ones who were overweight, and knowing the most defining characteristic of your legacy is the most absolutely superficial one, and the abuse and discrimination you will suffer because of it will go completely unrecognized by society. it’s too much. *sigh*
    anyway I’m sad, I’m angry, and above all I’m so frustrated that your post was a drink of cooling water to all of that hot air and smoke being waved in my face.

  • Yolanda April 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Love, love, love that message girl, I’m not as big as I used to be, but apparently if you don’t wear a size 3, you’re grossly overweight…I’m just so damn sick of people not minding their own business. I mean, if you don’t want to be plus size or fat, then do whatever feels good for you, but damn…..stop trying to make everybody else miserable and if their such a nutritionist, doctor or psychologist, they should go find people that want to listen to their mind-blowing “wisdom” and leave the rest of the world ALONE!!!

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