I’d Rather be Called Fat

Body Image

Yesterday I received a harsh comment from a reader identified as “Carlie” on my Am I Too Fat? blog post, I don’t believe the comment was intended to sound as cruel as it appears, but in any case I have decided to respond to Carlie below. I fully support Carlie’s comment on my blog, and I absolutely applaud her for not submitting this comment anonymously. Carlie did make some excellent points and I would like to address them here – not only for Carlie’s sake, but for my readers as well.

Here is Carlie’s comment in its entirety:

That person’s comment may have been hurtful, and obviously pointless as anyone can blog, however I feel the need to point out to you and your supporters that obesity is not something that we should congratulate or casually overlook. You are, as you say, “full-figured,” and “curvy,” but your weight is in fact unhealthy. I applaud your resilience in the face of cruelty, but I also encourage you and your overweight readers to seek a healthier lifestyle to accompany your love for fashion. Love yourself by loving and respecting your body.

And here is my response:

Dear Carlie,

I will not deny that to some I may appear overweight; however, I am not, in fact, obese. Yes, my weight has fluctuated over the years, but I have never been considered obese, nor will I ever allow myself to reach that point. I have always struggled with my weight and the reality is that I probably always will. I may not be a size 2, but frankly I’m perfectly fine with that.

Next time, please ask me if I do anything to take care of myself, instead of making a false assumption about my habits. I’ve always led a very active lifestyle. For more than 18 years I was a dancer, completing over 6 hours of classes each week. I also played varisty basketball and golf in high school. When I went to college I stopped being as active and put on a little more weight.

Once I graduated and started working I befriended a coworker who introduced me to Zumba. I’ve always referred to myself as a Clydesdale, I’m solid and big, but strong and beautiful. I have lost an amazing amount of weight, something I never thought possible, by participating in Zumba classes three times or more a week. If you (or any of my other readers) are in the area I’d love for you to come check it out with me. Nancy is an amazing instructor, and you should read her story here.

As for my diet, I have really focused on establishing healthy habits. I do love my coffee, but otherwise I try to drink only water. It’s so hard! I definitely need to drink more water, but I’ve cut out soda and sugary drinks. During the week I eat home cooked meals, and if I need to grab something in a hurry I try to grab fruits and veggies while at the grocery store. I don’t eat fast food, and when I do eat at restaurants I try to opt for salads, chicken or their light menu options.

I am so proud of the changes I’ve made in my lifestyle over the past year. I can now say that I actively work out, that I eat healthy and I’m continually making minor healthy changes to my diet. I’m also proud to say that I am happy with myself and my body.

Carlie, you are absolutely right in saying that obesity is a problem and each of us should try to make healthy changes to our diet and exercise regularly. Sometimes it takes a little extra push especially when weight has been a struggle for someone. But please, do not pass judgment on those who are a bit bigger, just because they might look like they are neglecting their health. Because you judged me by looks alone, you automatically assumed I was failing to make healthy choices in my lifestyle.

To Carlie: I would love to be more educated on making healthy lifestyle changes, and I would love if you would share important tips or helpful links in the comments section of this post.

To my other readers: I ask that you not personally attack Carlie for sharing her concerns, even if it came across more harshly than intended.

Finally, I hope that each and every one of you will make conscious decision to eat and live healthier.

(I’ve also included two photos of me, the left side was taken in November 2011 and the right side was taken in November 2012. I’ve made great strides in losing weight and becoming healthier.)

November 2011 (left) and November 2012 (right)

November 2011 & November 2012 closeup