Fat and Happy/Not a “Before”

I’ve been inundated by updates from friends who’ve made “successes” and “progressions” in their lives. And I’m happy for them–when they’re happy about those changes.

But–and maybe this is me being selfish or pessimistic–I can’t support them. At least, not in the way they probably want me to.

Sure, I will sometimes hit facebook’s “like,” on the photos and posts about your wedding or your kids, about your new car, house, or body. That post about how you made it through a marathon (and then got drunk [yes, sometimes this is a post]), or how you cooked your dinner. Sure, a quick “like” is easy enough, especially if I’m amused.

But does that mean that I support your decisions? Not necessarily.

Especially–specifically: those before-and-after photos of your weight loss. Ugh.

You know how someone created an app for blocking baby pictures on facebook? I want one for fat-activists, to block before-and-after’s.

I’m fat.

I am not a “before.” You weren’t, either.

You aren’t an “after,” now. Would you really want to be?

You are living in the moment of having lost weight. You think this moment is magically better because of it. And it is so, because you think it.

But the truth is, you always could be happy–even when you were fat. Gasp! What a revelation. I know.

Being fat and feeling badly about that state are two separate things. Society generally sends a message that we should feel badly about being fat. But we can rewrite that message. Our feelings are ours–we have them moment-to-moment. We can be happy and feel good while being fat.

My weight has fluctuated plenty in my adult life. It will surely continue to do so. However, I have found it generally sticks around the same thing it is RIGHT NOW–which means I’m technically “obese.” (Side note: I got fed up with the Wii Fit a long time ago, mostly because every time I stepped on it, I got the cutesy “hee, that’s obsese,” response–which I find especially suspicious coming from a Japanese design–ALL AMERICANS ARE OBESE compared to the Japanese. Unless, of course, you are Perfect Human Chris Traeger.)

My being fat or obese does not mean I am unhealthy. Oh, and if I am unhealthy (which would be between me and my doctor, if I had one–meaning, if I had health insurance [different-but-not-unrelated issue…]), it doesn’t mean I’m unhappy.

My point, dear formerly-fat-people, is I don’t care that you lost weight. I don’t “like” blatant before-and-after images. I might “like” pictures of you wherein you look really, really, happy. Or you’re holding an adorable cat, or a particularly-becoming lasagna. I might “like” a photo because of the background, for gosh’s sakes. And yeah, maybe your point was, you are all-kindsa skinny now, and you’re happy about that.

Be happy. Please, be happy. But don’t hitch your happiness to the skinny-wagon.

Cause, I bet that your weight will fluctuate, too. I bet at some point, that Wii voice will shrilly tell you that you’re obese, because you happened to put on a few pounds over the holidays, or hit the weights a lot and gained muscle, or hell, maybe a cat is clinging to your back for dear life.

If you’re truly happy, you don’t really need to post before-and-after photographs. You just…post photographs. (Or, you just…live? [I don’t get it either!])


By the way–please LIKE me!!

I designed a shirt for Milwaukee Pridefest. Please vote for it, so I can visit everyone who’s living proud in Milwaukee. (Just click and LIKE.) Thank you!!


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