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).


2 Responses to “Exercise/Diet and Fatness”

  1. 1 Edith Sargon

    No shit! I constantly struggle with the reasons why i get up and try to remain healthy or active (never too successful). Once i start exercising somewhat regularly i feel fantastic and feel less shitty in general – endorphins are a beautiful thing. But when i miss a day and fall out of a routine i feel so intensely guilty. Like the fat kid won out over the healthy, thin person inside of me. So i have days where i am all about doing it for my health and sanity, and other days where it’s all about getting to a clothing size so i can achieve a higher level of fashion and style. Thanks for writing about this Cecilia.

  2. 2 Ankhi

    Cecilia, i think you’re absolutely beautiful. i also really appreciate the thoughtfulness of your blog–it’s always an enlightening read that really challenges me to think about really important issues i might not otherwise consider. thanks.

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