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Cecily Kellogg is madly in love with the internet, technology, and social media. She writes here at Babble about the intersection of family, technology, and social media and runs her own web content and social media consulting business, Double Good Media. She is also known for her raw tone and humor on various social media platforms including her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Kellogg lives in the Philadelphia area, is happily married and is mom to a fierce and amazing daughter, and yes, she’s a full grown adult who loves her pink hair.

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Today, I Hate My Fat Body

By cecilyk |

Hot and sweaty after a hike.

Yesterday I collapsed under the pressure and took my daughter to a movie. She really wanted to see Brave for the third time but settled for the new movie Paranorman (note: it was a bit scary for a six-year-old). While overall it was a great movie with some really nice moments (loved the casual gay reference at the end of the movie), there were several moments where I winced hard. Why? Because when it came to highlighting American excess, they did it by showing fat people eating. Over and over again.

…..

I don’t remember when I decided I was fat, but it was long before I actually was. I went on a liquid diet (the 1978 version of today’s similar diets) at age 11. This launched a 25-year pattern of dieting, binging, purging, exercise, bulimia, and dieting again. I’ve done every single well-known diet more than once. I’ve taken drugs to lose weight. When I succumbed (not entirely separate issue) to drug addiction, one of the ways I excused myself was I knew I’d lose weight. Being smaller and taking up less space has been a lifelong obsession.

Unfortunately, the end result of all this food manipulation is three things: a permanently damaged metabolism (according to several endocrinologists), a fat body, and a completely disordered relationship with food. I’ve written extensively about this at my personal blog, so I won’t get into my journey about food and dieting here, but suffice it to say that although I’ve committed to something called Intuitive Eating rather than dieting, it’s still a daily struggle.

I’ve worked hard to love this body – this plus-sized body, this body that is not merely chubby but not-fucking-around fat. I try to feed it healthy food, to move it regularly, and to cope with the powerful compulsion to eat my problems. I fail more than I succeed at all of the above.

While watching Paranorman, I felt that unique combination of anger and shame that I always feel when fat people are the butt of the joke. I felt myself shrinking in the chair at the theater and I pulled my hand away from my daughter’s popcorn, ashamed that I’d indulged in a couple of handfuls. I came home feeling like, once again, it was time to go on a diet.

Except I know one thing for sure: dieting doesn’t work for me in the long-term. I ALWAYS gain the weight back, plus about 50 pounds. In the process of dieting I become impossible to live with, hateful and obsessed with food, unable to eat in a reasonable way. I stand at the edge of parties, rigidly resisting the birthday cake or chips and dip around which everyone has gathered.

If I feel hungry, I feel like a good girl, a success, and like I’m doing it right.

It absolutely fucking sucks, and I’m not willing to do it.

I cycle through this process whenever I see fat-shaming. Which means, since I enjoy pop culture and television, it happes about 18 times a day. Shame, anger, rage, resolve. Over and over and over.

…..

I’m writing this today because right now I’m losing the battle. I feel angry at my body, and I daydream about having something happen that would mean I became thin – such as illness or an accident or something awful, something no reasonable person would ever wish on themselves. Self-hatred is like a comfortable pair of slippers that I love to wear, and feels far more natural than loving my body as it is, right this minute, and treating it like the precious entity it is.

It is the only body I have. But right now, I absolutely hate it. Despise it. I want to shuck it off like clothing that are too big for me.

…..

The reason I work so hard at loving the body I have is not just because, well, it’s the body I have and if I don’t love it I don’t treat it well – it’s also because I have a daughter.

I do not want her to fight this battle, and I will do everything I can in my power to keep her from succumbing to the siren song of self-hatred that most American women already have. I know it’s a losing proposition; eventually, she will believe she is fat, regardless of what size her body actually is. It’s inevitable, really.

And isn’t that the saddest thing?

…..

In the United States, fat people often brutalize their bodies. We go on 500-calorie-a-day diets, we undergo major abdominal surgeries that have an insane risk of awful complications, we pay billions each year to the dieting industry, and even when it doesn’t work we do it again and again and again.

The news talks about the obesity crisis nearly every night, and when they do, they accompany it with stock footage of “headless fatties,” usually while they are drinking large drinks or eating unhealthy foods. Websites like People of Walmart (no, I won’t link) showcase people that are, frankly, average Americans just trying to do their damn grocery shopping.

I haven’t shopped at Walmart in years because I don’t want to end up on that website. When I see the headless fatties, I scan the images, sure this time I will see MY body. It’s fucking exhausting, and I cannot describe to you the singular terror that it is your body that will there, and you will be the one that is wrong — bad — icky.

I am told hundreds of times a day that I should be ashamed of my body, that I should hide it, that I should do whatever it fucking takes to make it smaller – regardless of the impact on my health and happiness.

*deep breath*

Instead, this post is my attempt to turn away. Today, instead of self-hatred, I will work to embrace self-love. I will feed this body delicious and healthy food. I will take this body out for a walk. I will treat it with the care and love that it deserves as the only body I have.

More importantly, I will put down the baseball bat I am beating myself with so that I can be the mother my daughter needs me to be, I will bring her on my walk, and I will talk to her about eating healthy food. Perhaps today is the day we’ll pull up the carrots we’ve been growing in our “garden” and cook them for dinner.

I will do my best, and I will forgive this body for being fat.

Amen.

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About cecilyk

cecilyk

cecilyk

Cecily Kellogg writes all over the web, including here at Babble for Voices and Tech. She neglects her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Read bio and latest posts → Read Cecily's latest posts →

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71 thoughts on “Today, I Hate My Fat Body

  1. Nichole says:

    I knock myself down with this stuff every day, all the while knowing that I have to stop doing it because my little girl is right there watching me and learning how to treat herself. I am doing her such a disservice, but I don’t know how to start at the very least being OK with my body.

  2. Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} says:

    Cecily, you are a smart, beautiful, funny and generous woman and you have so many people who love you JUST. THE. WAY. YOU. ARE.

    Thank you for sharing this, and I pray that you can see yourself the way we see you. Your daughter is so blessed to have you. xoxo

  3. Stacy Uncorked says:

    AMEN. I’ve been going through that self-loathing thing lately, too – I keep referring to my excess as 9-year old ‘baby fat’. Thank you for this – I’ll put my baseball bat down, too. ((HUGZ!!!))

  4. wendy says:

    I relate. People of all sizes brutalize their body, as this is a disease of the mind, body and spirit. It’s an illness we wear on the outside, often, unfortunately. And society has little mercy for the overweight. It has been a lifelong hate-hate relationship with me as well. I truly feel for you and wish you peace. I wish our daughters never know this pain and insecurity.

  5. Ann says:

    Brave and beautiful. Like you.

  6. MusingsfromMe/Jill says:

    I struggle daily too. My goal weight is absolutely absurd, but I’m 5-3 so it’s what I should be…but I’ll never get close. I’ve gained 50-75 pounds with each pregnancy. Lost about 25 pounds after each child was born. But I’ve never lost all the weight I gained when I was in my pregnancy “I won’t drink Diet Coke, I’ll drink every other high calorie beverage” phase. I exercise a bit. But largely I sit at my desk, or in the car or on the couch. I need to move more, but right now I don’t have time and I am not making time for regular exercise.

    Thanks for writing this post as I don’t feel quite so alone and adrift in my weight struggle.

  7. Lynette says:

    I realize this may come out wrong, but I hope you know you are lucky in some aspects to have friends (Internet and otherwise) that *hopefully* reinforce how gorgeous you are outside and in. You have a voice, a platform, and allow yourself to dip low knowing that you will be able to ride out the shitty feelings about your self-worth.

    Not everyone has a support system and are left on their own to work out the feelings of hatred and disgust about their own bodies. I just though it important to say to anyone feeling like that – while you are uniquely feeling and experiencing the totality of your life to date, there are sadly lots of people feeling what you do in their own ways.

    I don’t know if my own weight issues will ever be behind me. I went from shopping (as an adult) in the kids section to shopping in plus sized stores. My first instinct now isn’t to hit the Juniors departement, but the Womens, even though I wear double-digits without an X now. I don’t know if it ever leaves your brain – even if it leaves your body. I just sometimes need that baseball bat to beat it down a bit. When that fails, I need my friends. ;)

  8. Amanda says:

    Forgiving your body, that sweet vessel that has seen you unjudgementally through so much, is vital. When we hate ourselves, our legs still carry us, our eyes still see. I have gone through self-loathing at various sizes, swallowed handfuls of blue pills in order to get solids to exit my bodies as liquids through the backdoor, being skinny never made me hate my body any less.

    I work out because it reminds me of what my body can do, it finally shuts my mind up. Wishing respite from the hate and also that as a country we stop this twisted, maniacal, unrelenting celebration of the impossible.

    I hugged you at BlogHer, you are undeniably gorgeous inside and out, but that isn’t real until you believe it.
    xo
    Amanda

  9. Sharon says:

    As a fellow fat woman, I really related to this post. I don’t hate myself in general, but I do hate my body and have for about as long as I can remember.

    And like Christina Gleason above, I am glad I have sons and not a daughter because I know that any girl in our society will eventually feel this same hatred for her shape, whether she grows up to be heavy like her mother or not.

  10. Erin Margolin says:

    I love you, Cecily.
    You are so real and authentic and open.
    And you’ve made me cry.
    I know the feelings you speak of. I, too, have been obsessed with taking up less space.

    I love the ways you are working on teaching your daughter and talking with her about this. She is so lucky to have you for her mother. And I am lucky to call you my friend (at least I hope I can call you that).

  11. teejcee says:

    Amen sister, but please stop dieting and start living. You will never be able to get yourself together until you learn to love yourself and your amazing body and the beauty that it has created.

  12. Andrea says:

    I wish I didn’t understand, not for the sake of you being left to go it alone, but because I wish you and so many didn’t understand. Didn’t know the history – whether it be identical or slightly shared. But I do. So many of us do. It sucks. Royally. It’s sad. I hate it. I know. And I love your voice and that you’re walking us through it. I go through these days and sit with tears in my eyes, but you’re here and you are shouting that bad voice AWAY. Stay strong, beautiful mama. You help me to do so, too.

  13. Lara (DiPaola Momma) says:

    Funny, I’ve admired you from a far for a long time. Sitting here on the fringes of the blogging world of women. I’ve sat in awe of your wit, your professionalism, your take-no-prisoners badassery. Never once did I think about your size. And then there is this piece. I didn’t ever think that anyone could articulate so brilliantly the conversations that go on inside my head. I have two daughters. I am the daughter, niece and granddaughter of “fatties”. I was a size 2 for most of my life, through the brutality of bulimia. I own that same pair of slippers; “Self hatred is like a comfortable pair of slippers that I love to wear, and feels far more natural than loving my body as it is”… I don’t want either of my daughters to walk in those slippers. I have to pick myself up, love myself, so that they can have the strength to always love themselves, at any size. Thank you for this piece.

  14. Sherry says:

    Lovely piece. You are amazing! this touched me on so many levels because I have not been great in the past few months. I have to take it one day at a time. I wish peoples hatred for Fat was not so in your face and acceptable to most American. I hate that 50% of American women are over a size 14 but yet most malls only have stores that carry under size 14 they exclude 1/2 of us. Society want us to be a rail and it is not happening so get over it. I want my kids to think all sizes colors shapes are beautiful. So Tell your kids when you see a large person that is fabulous comment how lovely they are and talented they are…change the perception.

    I also what you to know that my daughter thinks that you are beautiful with Fabulous hair.. she tells me every time we see you. I agree with her.

  15. pauline (@girlbodypride) says:

    If I could reach through this screen and hug you right now, I would. Inside of my head, I actually am, but don’t think about that too much if it makes me sound stalker-ish. I hate sounding stalker-ish.

    You are in the same head space I am right now. You are trying to change your relationship with yourself and with food for the same reasons I am: our daughters. I liken it to the cabin depressurizing on an airplane. I can’t take care of her unless I get my oxygen mask on first. Because in real life, I can talk the talk (healthy eating, positive body image, blah blah fucking blah) but if I don’t walk the actual walk and she doesn’t see me on that runway, everything I’ve said is worthless. She will remember what she sees much longer than she will remember what I’ve said.
    That’s why I’m trying. I’m failing miserably right now. But I’m trying. And that’s exactly why I launched the Girl Body Pride site. I want her to know, that above all else, I tried and that I tried for her.
    You are strong and wonderful and beautiful and your daughter is lucky to have you. Remember that.

  16. mumby says:

    sigh.. you say it, we all think it. Wish I could tell you something that would make it better. We just gotta do the best we can, just like you say.. you’re doing the best you can and we gotta learn to at least be OK with our bodies that we’ve spend a lifetime hating.. hard.

  17. Kelle Sparta - Thought Alchemist says:

    I’m so sorry this is how you’ve been programmed to think by society! I perform a poem I wrote at festivals that addresses just this issue for women (and men). It is performed in the nude (for the record, I weigh 267 pounds) and has changed the way many women see their bodies and the way many men perceive attractiveness. I hope it helps you too. Here’s the link: http://www.tuneinsite.com/2012/08/27/i-am-the-luscious-goddess/

  18. Holly says:

    Wow, do I ever relate to this right now. I was anorexic in high school and immediately started putting on weight in my 20s. Now at 38 and with three kids, I weigh double what I did when I got married. I could somewhat deal with my body until 2010, when I took a medication that caused me to gain 30 pounds in a month. My stomach is abnormally large compared to the rest of my body and I always look 7 months pregnant. I cannot find clothes that fit me and so I wear the same three outfits over and over and look really frumpy. I used to think I was cute and edgy, now I feel like I look 20 years older than I really am. I tried going on my first really serious diet starting a couple weeks ago and I have not lost any weight. It’s so discouraging and makes me feel so helpless to change my body. If I give up all of the foods I like, it should make a visible difference, right? But it just doesn’t.
    I don’t have any constructive advice but a lot of shared commiseration.

  19. Jenni Chiu says:

    Your best will always be more than enough. Your daughter is a lucky girl. You are honest and brave.
    I find you truly amazing.

  20. Kelly Tirman says:

    “The reason I work so hard at loving the body I have is not just because, well, it’s the body I have and if I don’t love it I don’t treat it well – it’s also because I have a daughter.”

    BINGO. You hit the nail on the head.

    I dumped our scale when I realized my daughter had become intrigued with my morning weigh in routine. A focus on getting back to my pre-baby weight isn’t something I want to pass on to my child.

  21. documama says:

    Cecily, I met you on Facebook before I first saw you in person, and in the crowded Blogher hall, I came up to you and introduced myself, you had know idea who I was, (and I wouldn’t be surprised or offended if you still don’t) I blend in like the rest, but I knew YOU from across the crowd, with your bright pink hair and fabulous glasses that framed those beautiful eyes. I was so excited to recognize someone in the hall full of strangers. You have style and a look that most of us only dream of ever having, and could never pull off, but you do, and you do it well.You are also smart, witty and a great writer along with your fab look, so I’d say you have a lot more going for you than most, and so I’m glad to hear you are trying to cut yourself some slack. Don’t forget, that body you are loathing today gave you a daughter, has held up under all of the other things you put it through, and still gets you around each day on your own two feet, gives you the sight to just soak in the gorgeous world around your, the ability to hear your daughter laugh, your voice to speak, and a sharp mind to come up with all those witty things you write. Those are all just incredible gifts if you think about it that way. Be grateful to your body, it has given you so much and continues to do so. Not a one of us is perfect, and personally I think you look fabulous.

  22. Korinthia says:

    It’s so hard. I struggle with this, too, and I look at my daughters in particular and want them to have better. I try to do better as an example to them, but it isn’t easy, and I don’t know if they will believe the things I say about how they should view themselves if I don’t know how to do that for myself. You are talented, beautiful, funny, and you are not alone.
    /
    http://the-quiet-corner.blogspot.com/

  23. Debi (@TruthfulMommy) says:

    Cecily,
    I heart you and unfortunately, we have this cycle of disordered eating in common. I just now..finally after being a recovered eating disordered person for 15 years, feel like I don’t despise my body. I don’t feel that I am where I need to be but I am at a place of acceptance and looking at all it does and not just where it falls short in my eyes.

  24. Julie says:

    I grew up around constant dieting and diabetes and my dad hated fat women and spared no comments about it. I’m not fat, although I don’t understand how. I weigh 10 pounds more than I did 30 years ago, but I THINK deep in my lizard brain that I’m fat. I look in the mirror and I look fat.

    Sadly my mom and grandma always thought people would love them more if they were thin.

    I love my mom. And I love you, Cecily!

  25. Jayme says:

    I have had “major abdominal surgery” but the risks were no more insane than living with morbid obesity. Both my husband and I had gastric sleeve and have had ZERO ill effects. Only positive things have come from the surgery. We have since become part of support groups where everyone feels the same way…no regrets! I know that there are risks and problems happen but they are a lot less common than people seem to think. There is a lot of judgment about people going to the “extreme” of weight loss surgery. But it has saved my life. It may be time to get more educated about it. Peace.

  26. Cecily Kellogg says:

    Hey, Jayme. I’m glad the surgery worked for you, but unfortunately, I’ve seen it kill several people that were friends of mine. Too many funerals (and yes, this was recently). I’ve actually researched it extensively, and it’s clear that one person in ten has major complications with this surgery. Given my tendency to have rare reactions to medical things, I’ve decided that this surgery for me would be a mutilation rather than helping me heal my body. I’m also lucky: my heart is fine, I don’t have diabetes, my cholesterol is great, and my blood pressure is normal. So for me the surgery would be about my appearance more than my health, therefore I’ve opted not to have it.

    After all, there’s nothing wrong with the way my body processes food that I need a surgery to fix. The problem is in my brain, in my difficulty in identifying when I’m full, in my psychological makeup that wants to eat my feelings. Surgery isn’t going to fix that; it’s simply going to make it impossible for me to eat more than 500 calories a day for many months without making myself sick. If I thought the surgery stood a chance at healing my heart or making me view food differently, I’d consider it. But combine the fact that my health is currently stable, I think I’ll just continue down my path.

    I’ll withhold judging you for having the surgery if you withhold judging me for choosing not to. Thanks. :)

  27. The Animated Woman says:

    Documama has a wonderful perspective – I echo her vision of you!

    My weight has fluctuated throughout my adult life and there have been times when I worried a lot about it. But I remember when I my focus shifted from how I looked on the outside to how I looked on the inside. My organs, my breasts, my vascular system…my heart. I realized I have one life. And I’m going to live it.

    This topic is so layered, so complex and deeply personal; you laid it out beautifully here. We did touch this issue very peripherally when I drew you at BlogHer, didn’t we?

  28. Rajean says:

    Cecily, so many have already shared some of my thoughts, quite eloquently. I’ll simply add, I adore the way you fill space, yours, mine and ours – with your wit, gift of writing, bravery, inquisitive ways, compassion…I could go on but that might get embarrassing.

  29. jeanieinparadise says:

    It is so hard, especially with the righteous judgement of the all powerful media behind it – and these days, the BMI brigade willing to call you a child abuser if your child falls in any way outside of the norm.

    I am overweight. In fact, I am 20kg over what I was when I was so sad by how fat my body was 20 years ago – but in that 20 years, I can see that the only way I ever achieved my “ideal” weight was when my life was completely falling apart, so I have chose a happier life where I didn’t obsess and self-loathe.

    Who I truly feel for, though, are the children and adolescents constantly bombarded with the “you are not good enough” cry of the BMI brigade. Headlines yesterday were that we should weigh and measure children at school – because we all know how caring and nurturing the school environment is anyway (btw there was sarcasm in that last statement – more calories but far more satisfying).

    Wasn’t there a split second in time somewhere in the past where we actually considered self-worth to be tied in with constant criticism? Of course, its not currency in this world where, if we can point fingers at others and feel slightly better about ourselves anything goes. And it seems that those who step over the BMI line are fair game.

    It saddens me – but I am an adult and a generally fairly tough one at that, and so I can fight. But like a commenter in the many above, and like so many people I know and developing children and teenagers, this isn’t an armour available for all.

    My self-worth also came at a cost of repercussions from massive weight losses as a result of jaw surgery (not something I would seek for the weight-loss results, however – fucking painful and requiring chosing parents with mismatched jaw requirements), stomach ulcers (again, not recommended), crap relationships (having walked the road, nah, don’t chose it) and a myriad of diets (some worked, some didin’t),

    I have taken my teenager to a nutritionist – not because I want her to be skinny, but because I want her to know healthy ways of approaching what she wants to do with her body and not develop issues around it the way I have.

    Apologies for the essay!!

  30. Laura says:

    I’m one of those who hasn’t clicked through before today. I’m glad I did because your story is really important. You keep telling it. With your incredible insight into this issue, Tori is going to have so, so many more tools and much more knowledge to approach this issue.

    Also, I had never thought of that site as something that terrorizes people of size. Thank you for that.

  31. Ninotchka (@ninotchkab) says:

    Amen! xo

  32. BH says:

    I hear ya…..have lived with weight issues for as long as i can remember….just had a knee replacement for arthritis that i know was complicated from being overweight….it’s hard to be comfortable in your own skin when you get winded just walking to the mailbox! I swear this time weight watchers will be my lifestyle but i know how hard it is to do that too. Seeing all the skinny model/diet ads/clothing ads really can beat you down in your own head. I wish us (and all the others who suffer) peace at some point in this world of “normal” body types!

  33. Adriana McConnell says:

    You are my kind of girl. While reading this I had the impulse to hug you, but I’m guessing hugging it out wouldn’t help. Nor would the ice cream an pizza that I would likely bring with me. You’re writing is awesome and you have made me a huge fan! THANK YOU

  34. Kande says:

    Maybe part of the problem in weight loss is societal “progress” … do you remember when we had to leave the couch to change stations? When school buses were for country kids and school parking lots were not filled with parents cars? When there were no drive throughs, fast food was a birthday treat only, and when you wanted ice cream or popsicle you had to make it yourself? When grocery stores were filled with produce, meat, and dairy … no boxes/bags of food in sight? I hate to oversimplify things, but you take into account modern “advancements” including the aforementioned list along with our desire for instant results and no wonder weight loss is such a struggle! Combined with being surrounded by unrealistic body images – why is it OK for babies to range from 0-100% on a growth chart but as adults we should all be at 50%? Ridiculous!

    Health for me is huge. Health is key. A healthy women who weighs any weight, large or small, should never feel any body shame. Not that anyone should feel shame, but I can’t jump aboard a “every size and shape is awesome” because it is not if unhealthy – whether through excess eating or starvation. But I equally can’t jump aboard a stringent “you must look these three sizes or you are fat, and when I say fat I mean clearly an unmotivated/unhealthy/weakwilled/pathetic Fatty-fat-fat-fat”. If we are going to judge at all, we should not judge “fat”, what we should do is accurately judge “health” and we should have an exercise standard for cardio/weights based on age, then have to walk around broadcasting those stats! I am pretty sure most society would be shocked who passed or failed that test!

    I am happy with my body now. I weigh more than society dictates I should, but that is according to fucked up BMI charts. In person, you would only see a woman of smaller size, and is another reason why I choose to focus on health not a made up number. I obtained this weight in the last year and a half. And Iwould much rather people be impressed by the fact that I went from couchpotato to 1/2 marathon runner inunder two years than asking how much weight I lost. Who cares? I always brush it off and instead tell them what I changed in my eating/ exercise choices as making healthy choices and setting that example for my kids is soooo much more important to me than how I look in a bathing suit!

  35. [...] of my fat(ter) self. It's a shame what we've been taught about our bodies and our worth. http://www.babble.com/babble-voice…e-my-fat-body/ Reply With [...]

  36. Christine Cavalier says:

    I have to say, I LOVE your body, because I LOVE your hugs. I LOVE THEM. When you hug a person, that person just doesn’t ever want to let go. Your body is warm and loving and soft and caring. Sure, there are pros and cons to every body type, and there are stereotypes. But I know you and I’m telling you that one of your body’s pros is that your hugs fill me up inside. I’m sure they do this for other people too, like everyone you hug at BlogHer and other conferences. So, more than just me loves your body, and you should too.

    Another thing I love about your body: It houses your heart and brain, and I’m not sure I’d be as good of a person if I had not run into those two gems. Love your body and take care of it, just like you are doing, so we all can benefit from that heart and that brain of yours.

    Thank you, again, Cecily, for being you and for teaching me yet another lesson. As you know, I have a loves-your-pink-hair daughter too and I need to wake up to what I may be teaching her without knowing it.

    I’m going to be at the Starbucks in Havertown tonight from 8 pm on if you want one of my scraggly-arm hugs. :) LOVE YOU.

    -C

  37. amye archer says:

    This is as real as it gets. I recently wrote about this same issue on my blog, http://www.thefatgirlblog.com. I have decided to turn over a new leaf, to stop editing myself out of my kid’s lives and photographs, to wear a tank top, to wear a bathing suit on the beach and to play in the ocean with my daughters. It’s been liberating. If you get a chance, please stop by my blog, I think you’ll relate.
    I’m really glad I found you.
    Keep fighting the good fight!
    Amye Archer

  38. Elaine says:

    Good post, if kind of sad. I’ve had my own weight struggles through the years – borderline anorexic at one point – but luckily am in a position now where I’m at peace with my body, even though (until a recent bout of gastritis) it was a little heavier than I ideally wanted.

    As for shaming and image of public portrayals in media, what about the one that always portrays people who breathe through their mouths as geeky, unattractive or somehow “off”? This appears A LOT. I have really bad allergies that mean I breathe through my mouth all the time, and resent this – it’s not by choice, I would much rather be able to smell things and breathe through my nose. It’s not as pervasive as fat, but it’s a similar cultural portrayal of something that people can’t help.

  39. Michelle@Special Mom Space says:

    While I do believe that metabolisms can take a beating I don’t believe they are beyond repair.

    I totally get how you feel though. I am not even considered fat to the average person that looks at me but i am the only one that knows what lurks under these clothes. :-(

    And so I will work and work and work to get this body in the shape its supposed to be in.

  40. ever says:

    When’s the last time you saw a really fat, really old person?

    I know it’s a harsh question, but seriously…don’t you want to grow really, really old now that you have kids. I know I do.

  41. Carrie Monroe O'Keefe says:

    As someone who was fat, and then worked her ass off to get small, and then got a little fat again, and is now once again working her ass of to be small, let me just say…we are all our worst enemies. It took me years…YEARS…to be able to look in the mirror after I lost 100 lbs and feel like I’d done good enough. I didn’t see reality in the mirror. And then when I got bigger again, I didn’t see that either. Our minds are so powerful and when self-doubt and self-loathing are thrown into the mix…forget about it. I remember one of your posts recently, someone telling you that you are f-cking good enough. That’s what you need to pull out on days like these. You ARE f-cking good enough no matter your size. And if we can raise our daughters with that in mind (I have two myself that I try to shield from my diet drama) there is hope that they might actually believe it.

  42. Sizzle says:

    I so totally relate. Amen!

  43. Mer says:

    I hope this comes out right – please don’t think that your daughter will necessarily have body-image distortions. I managed to come through mostly okay despite my mom trying to push her stuff on me.

  44. Rita Parsons says:

    I think Jayme’s comment was quite gentle. To then see your retort, Cecily, “I’ll withhold judging you for having the surgery if you withhold judging me for choosing not to” seems defensive and smarmy.

    I don’t know if it was here or on your personal site, but you have told readers you see a therapist. As you write about your weight and issues of self-hatred/self-love over and over with no improvement in sight, maybe it is time to find another therapist. Or a doctor who can help you. Or a nutritionist whom you love. Or something. Something!

    As a reader, it is tiring to read your cycles of the “Fuck yeah, I’m fat” essays followed by “Fuck yeah, I am enough” essays followed by “Oh dear, I’m fat and beating myself up” essays. As human beings, we have to grow, change and learn, and when you put yourself out there as the “badass mom blogger,” I would like to learn something from your stories…something other than “Here she goes again.”

    1. Cecily Kellogg says:

      Rita, I didn’t intend for my comments to come off as harsh to Jayme; but I’m very tired of watching friends get sick and die from a surgery that is touted as the fix-all for fatness. I firmly believe that ten years from now that surgery will be banned in most cases because of the long-term side effects that we are just beginning to become aware of. So, yes, I may have been a bit harsh in my response because I don’t believe most folks are aware of the complications.

      And yes, it’s true, I cycle through my feelings, and yes, I discuss this with my therapist. She seems to think it’s pretty normal? I do feel like I’m growing and changing and learning; sometimes, though, we get stuck on the hard stuff. The fatness issue is primal and takes consistent hard work for me to deal with. Sorry my processing frustrates you.

  45. Valerie says:

    Well, you may not accept your body but you totally rock at accepting that part of yourself that dislikes aspects of you. Because who really has the physical body of their own dreams? Everyone wants something different, even just a little. But not everybody can accept the flaws in themselves, embrace them, roll around in them, and hell, even make a living in them. BRAVERY, BABY!

    I met you in May in Philadelphia. You were the first person to make me feel okay walking into my first conference. I didn’t notice your size so much as that bold, bold hair that says in no uncertain terms – I know who I am and here I come. Worth your (and my) weight in gold, I tell ya’.

  46. Rachee says:

    Hi Cecily,
    It always amazes me that we share this line of thought. When I look at you I see the life of the party, a smart woman, a woman with good advice yet, sadly, lurking behind is the negative thoughts about your body.
    Please know that you are not alone, that you are beautiful, that you rock. If you are feeling inclined, call me one weekend and we can go hike, to the gym, on a walk.
    Seriously.
    -r

  47. Rachee says:

    Oh, and I respectfully disagree about Walmart. I’ve been to Walmart and I’ll be damned if I have ever gone wearing a belly shirt, tight shorts with my butt hanging out and mismatched shoes as I “shop”

  48. carrie harper says:

    I’m so touched by your post, reading it this morning. I had to write and tell you about the miracle in my life. a 12 step program called ‘Food Addicts Anonymous’ or FA. http://foodaddicts.org/ This program is saving lives and is worth a look. I too was on the the horrific roller coaster most of my life and then walked across a threshold into freedom in January 2010. I eat a beautiful healthy meal 3 times a day and have weighed 130 lbs for almost 3 years without struggle or obsession and torture. I wear a size 4/6. best of all my mind is calm and joyfilled not obsessing about food and body image.

  49. Megan says:

    I’m so sorry that you have to go through this. It breaks my heart to see lovely, intelligent women hate themselves because of how they look versus how they are “supposed to” look. I hope that you can at least make a truce with your body long enough to focus on simply being fit and healthy rather than skinny.

    I know it’s not easy, but I am confident that you are strong enough to win this fight.

  50. Linda Magid says:

    Since we are constantly comparing our bodies to our own personal ideals, rather than a health or fitness goal, or simply an “I’m happy now” goal, we will never win.

    Ever.

  51. Joanne Leva says:

    I am so proud of you.
    XOJ

  52. Kande says:

    We expect to be free in commenting on someone else’s blog, but to not give the author of the blog that same respect? I realize reading type is different from talking in person and easier to misinterpret meaning … but I personally found Jayme’s comment about surgery a bit off putting in that major abdominal surgery should not be treated casually and had no issue with Cecily’s reply as weightloss should be possible without surgery. Everyone has their own story but at the very leat it should be a much thought about, drastically needed last resort. There are several risks, and being forced to et less via surgery does not fix the reason why “fat” happened to begin with, right? Plus if Cecily is as healthy as he claims to be then it would be crazy to do drastic surgery as is only for asthetics, not for health! Also – who cares if she chronicles her ups and downs on the weight loss /body acceptance journey? Like an addict or individual with depression etc., cyclical moods and behaviours are totally normal! Whether she writes about them or not we all know they occur, for her to not chronicle them in her life blog would take away the authenticity of her life story and make her blog less believable hence less captivating. IMHO.

  53. Susan @learndhappiness says:

    You have this classy, confident way of dealing with trolls that I admire. Just another thing that makes you fabulous.

  54. Amy says:

    It comes down to choice. You can choose to be healthy or you can choose to be unhealthy. Regardless of your choice, then live with it and don’t complain, gloat or make excuses.

    I’ve struggled with my weight all my life up until 2 years ago. I’ve lost over 30 pounds on WW. I’m 50 years old and weigh 20 pounds less than I did when I graduated from high school and I’m in the best physical shape ever. I play 9-12 games of racquetball a week. I eat and never feel deprived because I’m choosing healthy food over junk. We are what we eat. There is no doubt about that.

    The reason why I decided to lose the weight was because I was tired of being ashamed of how I looked. I stepped on the scale for the first time in years and got a big reality check.

    I made the decision to take control of my situation. I work with people who are close to retiring and they go on and on about all the things they’re going to do when they retire. But then I look at their physical conditions: the vast majority of them are at least 30 pounds overweight and smokers. Half of them will no doubt be dead or be dealing with a major health issue 5-7 years into retirement. They don’t make the connection that the way they’ve treated their bodies is going to significantly shorten their lives.

    So it was no more excuses for me. I knew I needed to get healthy and maintain that as I aged.

    My life philosphy can be summed up with this metaphor: If you don’t vote than you have no right to complain about the politics in this country.

    It’s the same about one’s health: If you don’t want to make the commitment to be healthy than don’t complain about how you look and feel.

    No offense, but it really is about making choices. If it’s really important to you than you’ll make the commitment to be the person you want to be – you’ll stop using food as a crutch, you’ll stop making excuses and you’ll be an inspiration to yourself and your children.

  55. Katie says:

    This was painful to read, but I’m so glad I did. I remember watching the movie Wall-E with my aunt and cousin when it came out and cringing all the way through because they are both overweight and I worried how it would make them feel. But if they hadn’t been sitting next to me, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice. I can’t imagine what it must be like to constantly be bombarded with that. I wish you all the best in your very important efforts, and thank you for sharing these thoughts.

  56. Rita Parsons says:

    Cecily, you’re missing the point. Your blog posts reflect that you are, month after month, just “processing” and not moving forward; it’s a sign that whatever you are doing, whatever therapies you are employing, are not working. As I said, your writing reflects a constant cycle of “I’m fat and I embrace it” posts followed by “Woe-is-me-I’m-fat” posts. Are you really interested in personal change, or is this all for pageviews?

    1. Cecily Kellogg says:

      I’m interested in change, yes, but I’m not going to do it at any other pace than the pace I’m doing it. When I look at my relationship with my body twenty years ago, ten years ago, and even five years ago, I actually HAVE changed, and significantly. Remember, too, that my blog posts are but a sliver of a moment and just a snapshot of a few moments in my head… so while it’s not for page views, exactly, it’s not the full picture either.

  57. [...] a step in normalizing the anti-runway model body, but then the more lean women were ostracized.   Cecily wrote about being in her body the other day and I hear parts of my own inner body voice in w… AND Kristina wrote about how being skinny is complicated and I heard my own inner body voice as [...]

  58. connie says:

    Well, I made up my mind a long time ago that if my husband liked how I looked, and I was ok with how I looked, the rest of the world could just jump in the lake.

    Isn’t it odd that at the size I am now (definitely obese) I am way more comfortable in my own skin than I was back when I was 110lb? Cecily, you are right. Feed yourself healthy food, take walks, or whatever other exercise you enjoy, and be who you are.

    Would I like to be skinnier? Sure, but only because it’s hard to find clothes for short/round folks. I’m not going to torture myself over it, and I’m not going to allow anyone else to torture me over it either. And like the previous poster said, men aren’t dogs. ;-)

    Here’s to good health no matter what package it comes in!

  59. kateanon says:

    I struggle. Some days I wear whatever I want and feel fantastic. Sometimes, I don’t want to leave the house because someone might judge me for the way I look.

    I gained weight on chemo / radiation, so don’t think that’s a cure all. Depending on the particular drugs, you could have no effects, or like me, you could gain even more weight. It’s not the weight loss solution you’d hope it is! ;)

    Sometimes I love me for me, the way my family does, the way the man who loves me does. I still daydream about life as a skinny girl. I wonder what it would be like to be picked up by a man. I wish I could shop anywhere without them telling me that they don’t carry my size. I fantasize about weighing less than my lover (damn him for that awesome metabolism).

    We all fight it.

  60. CJ says:

    Feeling good about yourself is important.

    I start scouting for weight loss tricks (surgery was extreme for my weight but I looked at this pill and that magic food and the other special drink) and that’s when I changed how I ate. I didn’t want to go down the path of something … unusual. I wanted a sustainable CHANGE. Paleo/primal worked out for me. But during the whole process I still liked me. I knew I was a good person.

    I’ve got kids and I’m trying to find the right balance of being paranoid and completely distrustful of any fast food or restaurant (because that food is just plain bad for you in a way that bacon and eggs cooked in butter just IS NOT) and being able to enjoy being social around food.

    I want my daughter to want to be strong and to eat food that will make her strong. I see teenage girls who don’t eat and it scares me. I’d rather praise my daughter for being strong and have her not be thin. Run around, play on the monkey bars.

    I’ve lost a lot of weight that I gained post having kids. When people ask about it I instead emphasize that I have kept it off because I changed what I did. I did not diet — I changed my diet. If that makes sense. Good luck and enjoy — enjoy the body you have.

  61. pindy4176 says:

    Cecily, I was troubled when you said you would “forgive this body for being fat.” Our bodies do not need to be forgiven! Their current state is the result of the choices we’ve made and the things we’ve chosen to do or not do. Our bodies have communicated with us faithfully, letting us know what is nurturing and what isn’t; and, wondrously, they have continued to function as best they can, whether or not we listened. No, we need to forgive OURSELVES, then thank our bodies and show our appreciation for them by listening better and nurturing them as best we can.

  62. Dawn says:

    You need to go paleo -read the book Its Starts With Food. It will change your life.

  63. Kimberly says:

    I am the youngest of three girls and I am built wise bigger than my much older sisters. In my teen years and now older years I have always weighed more than they did. Just didn’t seem fair to me. I was never over weight until I had my third child, then I just couldn’t seem to shed the weight even though I was very active. I just became comfotable with myself and said this is whom I am after dieting didn’t work. Years later I reached almost 200 lbs. I cried. That is when I found Weight Watchers. I joined them and I lost 30 lbs. in three months, (my husband did this with me too). I kept the weight off for 4 years. I went back to eating like I did before I joined WW and that is why the weight came back. I am currently doing WW on my own, I still have all my tools. I been on it for three months now and I currently have lost 19 lbs. I have 22 more lbs. to lose to reach my goal weight and healthy weight for me. But the most important thing I have learned is WW is “a change, permanently”, it is NOT a diet, but a way of life. I will be sticking to it permanently and if I lose a little more weight, that’s fine too. I won’t lie to you, it is very difficult sometimes, but I believe I have a very strong will and determination. I am also tryin hard to quit smoking at the same time which I feel is much more difficult than losing weight to me that is. If you haven’t tried WW, I highly suggest it, it does work.

  64. Kathy Passonno says:

    I hate being fat,or should say morbidly obese. When I was younger wasn’t quite as large as I am now.So I felt pretty normal other than the big nose.then slowly the weight started just pileing on..I now hate myself so much that I make the fat jokes before any one else does.It makes my heart hurt. tried different diets.went to the gym with all the skinney girls staring at me.So now i just sit in my house and eat away cause i dont know how to fix i t. I hate being alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  65. Helen schneider says:

    Its not about appearance its about heath. Being overweight or obese can lead to high bloodpressue which can then lead to stroke or heartattach. Being over weight can lead to diabetes or cancer. Wake up america we have health issues. Yes you can be pretty and smart. Yes you can be too thin and have a eating disorder, but most peoples problems are that most is overweight problems

  66. [...] six weeks ago I wrote here about hating my fat body. That post – and the responses to it, negative and positive – broke something in me. While for [...]

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