Exercise/Diet and Fatness
Today I started my required Physical Education class for Swarthmore’s PE requirement for graduation. A lot of the exercise today required lifting weights in front of an inappropriately large mirror so that we can look at our form. I found myself having to remind myself of the “fat is beautiful” mantra I have been telling myself recently. Watching the way my body moved so differently than the woman I was working with made me feel insecure, like I was deviating from the way a body “should” move.
It got me thinking about how/whether exercise/diet for weight loss can exist in conjunction with a fat-positive view of myself. Can I engage in dieting or exercising with the goal of losing weight while believing and espousing that “fat is beautiful.” I know that what exercise and eating well should be about is achieving wellness and supporting my body with the vitamins etc. that it needs. But I cannot (or have not been able to) divorce dieting and exercising from weight loss and trying to achieve a different body type. It’s something deeply ingrained in me that if I work hard enough, exercise enough, eat too little that I can be happy, that happiness exists in in the waistline of size 4 jeans. When I am in a rational mind (not in front of a wall-sized mirror, sweating,and hungry) I can tell myself that happiness has nothing to do with the size of my jeans. So I need to start figuring out ways to separate exercise and weight loss and instead connect exercise with stress-reduction, with increased energy and more endorphins.
So I need to keep reminding myself, it’s about wellness, it’s about happiness, and not about looking like anyone else. Fat is Beautiful (Repeat to self 5x a day).
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Tags: exercise, fatphobia