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Old 05-02-2007, 09:16 AM   #1
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Default Fat and your identity

A very good guy friend of mine last night and I were having a conversation about weight. I had mentioned that over the last year I had lost a bit of weight and now am two sizes smaller on top and one size on the bottom(i don't own a scale so not sure how much I lost). I was frustrated about that cause most of the work I have done has been lower body, but being pear shaped I guess its natural to lose the weight that way. He said to me have you ever considered gastric bypass surgery? I said I hadn't for the following reasons. Number one the risks involved, number two the fact that in my province there is a 4 year waiting list and thirdly that I have always been fat and have no desire to be really thin. He said well how do you know if you have never tried it?
And that got me to thinking. How many of us fat people identify alot of who we are with the weight we carry around with us? I have always been fat and think that to be thin might make me feel weird. Does anyone else feel this way?
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:29 AM   #2
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I can definately relate. Often I have pondered with my friends how I would look, would I like it, would it be weird? As far back as I can remember I have been overweight or larger, and even on those odd diet/exercise times of my life I never lost enough to see a big difference except in my legs. Fat is part of who I am, and I sincerely believe that being fat, being put down on, and building up my self esteem has made me who I am. Being thin almost feels like it would be a cop-out since I worked so many years trying to be okay with myself. I'd have to start from scratch!
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:45 AM   #3
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I remember once when I was in high school there was a discussion in class about what you would change about yourself and what would you never change about yourself. We had to write an essay and then read it in class. Anyway I don't remember what it was that I said I wanted to change about myself but I do remember saying that I didnt want to change my size. At the time I was about 280 and in high school thats BIG to all those other little kids. I remember eveyone asking why and I remember thinking and saying that I thought it would change my personality too much and that I didnt want my getting smaller changing who I was. I was pretty funny, I was very thoughtfull of others and I befriended everyone. I remember that I associated my size to that behavior, like it made me more open to others because that was how I wanted people to be with me.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:57 AM   #4
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When I was younger I would have gotten rid of my fat in a heartbeat, and in any way possible, I didn't care. But as I've gotten older, and particularly as I came to love my body and that it is fat, I wouldn't trade for the world.

A fat woman is substantial. People notice for better or worse, so it gives one a chance to make a difference.

My body has softness and curves that feel feminine, and to me, too. I like the way I feel.

I like that my proportions are a bit out of whack. It amuses me that some must look at my ass in wonder, even if it's a negative kind of wonder. It's all a part of me, and my body has gotten me through trials, tribulations and wonderful experiences. It would likely still do that were I thin, but were I thin I wouldn't feel like 'me.' Yes, being fat is certainly part of my identity and even though I have lost weight and will continue to try to lose a bit more, it will always be part of my identity, because let's face it 300 lbs is still plenty fat, soft, womanly and sexy.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:58 AM   #5
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I'm not fat, and never have been since I was a wee lad too young to remember it, but I can relate anyway. For the last 2 years, maybe a bit more than that, I had gone without haircuts except possibly just a small trim once or twice to neaten up. My hair got nice and long, going down about to my shoulder blades. Recently, I got in cut WAY back to less than 2 inches top, and shorter sides and much shorter on the back. I'm still not completely used to not having long hair.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:58 AM   #6
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Default Who I Am

I was thin as a child and always wanted to be fat. I was a fat person in
a thin body until I started gaining at 18. I was attracted to fat people long
before my sexuality began to develop and the attraction only intensified as my
sexuality developed.
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:36 PM   #7
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This is a very interesting question, and one I've been thinking about lately. I've always been fat, from the time I was a toddler, and I've gotten fatter over the years. I really do just consider it part of who I am, especially since my Frank loves it. I sometimes wonder just how much easier it would be to get around, and things like that. But would I still be me if I weighed what the BMI charts say I should???? I seriously doubt it. My fat experiences have led me to become the person I am today.
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:40 PM   #8
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I try not to make my "fat" a major part of my idenity. I was fat as a child all the way through until I was 21-22 and lost almost 150lbs. I know that after the weight loss, I was not happy with my body, and felt very uncomfortable being thin. I've gained all of the weight back and a bit more...I'm happier now with myself than I ever have been.

I replied on another thread, that when I look in the mirror, I don't see a fat person. I don't feel fat either. There were times in my younger years that I absolutely hated my body and hated myself.
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:45 PM   #9
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Default Character!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBW Betty View Post
This is a very interesting question, and one I've been thinking about lately. I've always been fat, from the time I was a toddler, and I've gotten fatter over the years. I really do just consider it part of who I am, especially since my Frank loves it. I sometimes wonder just how much easier it would be to get around, and things like that. But would I still be me if I weighed what the BMI charts say I should???? I seriously doubt it. My fat experiences have led me to become the person I am today.
Sing loudly and sing proudly, BBW Betty. My pastor says "Adversity
builds character." and he's right. I really believe the challenges brought on
by being fat make us smarter, and in some ways, even stronger.
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Fat is only ugly to those who hate.

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Old 05-02-2007, 04:46 PM   #10
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That whole 'how do you know if you haven't tried it' thing bothers me. Has your friend ever been fat? How does he know he wouldn't like it?

And you might point out that having major surgery just to 'try something out' would be pretty stupid. It's not like having your hair colored or something where you can just have it undone at the salon or spend a few months letting it grow out. It's major. body altering. potentially lethal. surgery.
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Old 05-02-2007, 05:03 PM   #11
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I grew up never being happy with my size, even though I was either "normal-sized" or close to to when I was in school. Even in high school, when I thought I was HU-U-UGE I was probably only 15 lbs heavier than the girls I wished I looked like.

Being comfortable with my size (and my love of size) has really only happened in the last 8-10 years for me, and it was a gradual thing. It has felt as though my body image, or image of myself, has been exhaling over that time, and grown more relaxed, just like your body relaxes as you slowly exhale a deep breath. Now I am comfortable enough with myself that I cannot imagine not being "big". How big is a different question. I feel like I have the same body I did seven years ago, even though I know I've gained forty or fifty pounds since then, and I know it's harder to get out of the reclining chair in the living room.

As I've said before in other threads, my only regret is that I wasted so much time feeling negatively about myself when I was in high school and college. I can't even reconcile those feelings with who I am anymore! It's very strange to think about...

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Old 05-02-2007, 08:16 PM   #12
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As one who has always been fat to some degree, I'm not sure how much my identity is tied up in being fat. I'd like to think that I'd be the same person at any size. I also know I don't see myself as being as big as I am [especially when I think I can squeeze through those tables at the coffee shop]. I know I'd be pissed off at those who would treat a thin me different from a fat me. Fat has obviously contributed to my feelings about justice, civility, and what really matters in life.

However, as someone married to an FA and involved in this community, can I really foresee how things would change if I suddenly woke up thin? It's not just about my identity as a fat women, then, but my identity as a BBW wife and participant in SA. While I don't define myself solely [or even primarily] by my fat, I'd be remiss if I didn't think not being fat would affect my whole personhood.
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:49 PM   #13
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I've been fat for the majority of my life. I'm a short person and I feel that my fat does help me get noticed, if I want to be noticed. When I think about my identity, I usually don't think about my fat alone. As many have mentioned, being fat has helped form my personality. I am more thoughtful of others, and more accepting of all sizes. I feel that my size also helped me mature faster than my schoolmates. I believe that my fatness has given me a more rounded personality and I will continue to become better with age. What I won't do is change my size, if things continue on naturally.
I do remember when my Mom lost 150 pounds that she just didn't seem to be Mom anymore. Even my niece commented that she missed the soft, squishy Granny. I remember watching my Mom stand around and she seemed to not know where to put her arms (not having a tummy to rest them on anymore). Of course, the diet didn't last long and once she stopped dieting (Medifast), the weight all came back and she was Mom again.

~Punkin
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:00 AM   #14
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Thanks for posting this interesting question (((Ruffie))). I was only really slightly plump in high school, 143lbs or so at the most, but it was enough for my sisters (one in particular) to call me fat names every day in life about it. Friends in school never mentioned my weight and the only thing I remember was being told by classmates when we were fifteen, that they would have voted me to go forward for our class in the school beauty contest (yes.. beauty contest ) but I was a bit too......., lol. I had such low self-esteem then that I took it as a great compliment! I think experiences of being humiliated for being fat over years must to some extent shape who we are as people, even if we subsequently lose weight and become slim.

I don't know if my mindset is different to other peoples.. I was always kind of bemused when dieting (which I did for yeeearrs), as I didn't think I looked bad with a bit of fat on me, it was everyone else who seemed to find it a mortal sin. Aged 22 I went from about 175lbs, (chubby), to 130lbs (slimmish). So many people came up and told me how great I looked, people who hadn't ever spoken to me before in the three years I had worked there (small private hospital). I was congratulated daily. I HATED it, really hated it. Before I lost that 45lbs I was exactly the same person with exactly the same style of clothes, hair, makeup, personality. I know I didn't change at all as a person other than to see the true shallowness in some people. Forty five pounds of fat on my body had made people disdain me to the extent they wouldn't even communicate with me, when I was only chubby, lol. I became very cynical through this experience and although I was able to find clothes to fit me in any shop after I lost weight (at that time I was UK 12 on bottom 14 on top, clothes only went to 14 in shops), that is the only thing I liked about the whole experience. I did NOT like all the extra attention I suddenly got from men and just other people in general. At the same time as all this, I also felt weirdly "invisible" because I just looked like everyone else. I was very shy then, yet still enjoyed being a little different and standing out from the crowd.

Sorry for this long rambling rant, I guess what Im saying is... as a slim person I was exactly the same inside as I am as a fat person, except I felt uncomfortable in some ways. I just didnt feel good knowing I was being treated better all round simply because I weighed a bit less than I had before. I guess its the way people treat us as fat people and how we become as a result of that treatment, that helps to shape our own sense of identity. I definitely feel that fat is a lot to do with my identity, and I like it just fine. I enjoy being "different" in some ways in life and my fat does that for me. Last night I asked my 15 yr old neice how she would feel if the next time she saw me I was thin and she exclaimed "noooooo, it wouldn't be you, you're meant to be fat". I think it WOULD be me, but not the complete me, as yes I agree, I do believe I am meant to be fat.

p.s. I am very well aware that at my size there must be many more people who wouldn't speak to me now, than when I dieted from 175 to 130lbs... and hooray for that, as they are exactly the type of people I wouldn't want in my life even if I was a 100lb ballerina!
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:05 AM   #15
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Obesity is a major part of my life, but I don't dwell on it any more than, say, the color of my hair or the fact that I wear eyeglasses. Most of the time, my fat is just kinda there, that's all. A couple times a day I'm reminded just how fat I am when I need to guesstimate whether a chair will hold me, or if I get into an unfamiliar car. Or when I see myself in the mirror after I get out of the shower, I think "Wow! I sure am fat!" but I'm also just vain enough to think "Gee, it looks good on me."

I totally agreed that obesity has helped shape my character, and for that reason I'm actually quite proud of my fat. It's obvious that I'm huge, so I try to accentuate my figure, not hide it. Obesity, and all the challenges and fringe benefits associated with it, have helped make me a better person.

Life would definitely be more convenient without a few hundred pounds of extra body fat bouncing around, but it could hardly be more interesting and enjoyable. I embrace my size.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TallFatSue View Post
Obesity is a major part of my life, but I don't dwell on it any more than, say, the color of my hair or the fact that I wear eyeglasses. Most of the time, my fat is just kinda there, that's all. A couple times a day I'm reminded just how fat I am when I need to guesstimate whether a chair will hold me, or if I get into an unfamiliar car. Or when I see myself in the mirror after I get out of the shower, I think "Wow! I sure am fat!" but I'm also just vain enough to think "Gee, it looks good on me."

I totally agreed that obesity has helped shape my character, and for that reason I'm actually quite proud of my fat. It's obvious that I'm huge, so I try to accentuate my figure, not hide it. Obesity, and all the challenges and fringe benefits associated with it, have helped make me a better person.

Life would definitely be more convenient without a few hundred pounds of extra body fat bouncing around, but it could hardly be more interesting and enjoyable. I embrace my size.

I'm with you, Sue, I love your post and the way you think.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:26 PM   #17
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I have never been thin. I don't know what it would be like. I am pretty sure that growing up fat has affected how i am personality wise. I like my body but it took me a long time to get to that. I am in the process of losing weight but still enjoy all the parts of me. (well maybe not the baggy skin I'm getting on my butt, thighs and arms right now)

I'd say the only thing I'd enjoy at being thin are the clothes and shoes. I don't have fat feet but I'm too fat to wear heels and be comfy. I'm a clothes whore and like a lot of the things that wont come in my size.

I find it really funny when i go to my son's preschool and the kids look at me with awe. I tower over most of the teachers in height and outweigh them by a ton. One kid thought i was a giant. I still look back on that one with a smile
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:40 PM   #18
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For me it's a huge part of my identity, which is weird since I'm no longer really fat. (I'm not even sure what I am now at a size 14. Average? Plump? To Hollywood I'm most definitely fat). I still think of myself as a fat woman, though, because I have spent my entire life since early teens such. Sometimes my co-workers have to remind me, because I'll say something like "Let me get my fat ass out of the way" and they just laugh and say, "Um... have you LOOKED in a mirror lately? You HAVE no ass, woman!"

I just feel sort of.... average, now. I kind of miss having substance and distinction. I'll have to find some other way to get noticed, I suppose.
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:24 PM   #19
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:08 AM   #20
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Well, for the most part, I've been fat to varying degrees my entire life. I can say with moderate certainty (but not total, because I've never been truly skinny) that I don't think I'd feel right if I was skinny. I guess there are a lot of reasons, but I can't put my finger on it really.
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:29 AM   #21
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What a great question! I love when my thinking is challenged, especially by people I respect deeply....so here goes

I have been fat or bigger than my peers since at least the age of 9. I was an early bloomer making for a great deal of awkwardness and self-esteem issues at an early age. In my teenage years my size became something of an obsession with me, even in size 16 jeans, most of my friends were wearing 3's and I was always very aware that by the standards of those around me, physically, I was less attractive and desirable because of it. Yes hearing a chick who was 100 pounds soaking wet complaining about how fat she was made me see myself as what had to be the size of a barn. I was the class weirdo, never fitting in with any clique, but traveling in and out of all the circles with many friends from all the social classes represented. But up until my freshman year in high school, I never really became close with any other big girls....but everyone knew I preferred the big hunky chubby guys to date. I became close with 2 gals who made a huge difference in my attitude. Both of them making the same complaints as my skinny friends, but I saw them so differently. To me they were beautiful, soft, and curvy, and certainly they were much more feminine than our stick figured counterparts. At this same time I was watching my mother hit diet after diet trying to get thin. All those mixed signals about what is important and what is attractive and valuable I'm sure affected who I am today and it seems that even now in times of stress or insecurity, whatever is going through my head is something that comes from that time in my life.

Now at the age of 36 and 255 pounds of soft feminine flesh, I love the way I feel to the touch, I love the way my weight moves when I walk or dance. I even like what I see when I look in the mirror, and quite frankly, I can't imagine myself being thin. If I woke up tomorrow and I was suddenly an average weight for my height, I don't think my personality would be different but I think my perception of what it is to be thin would probably change. Honestly, I don't think anyone has it easy and we all have problems. I just know that at the end of the day, I'm still a fat girl, but now I feel I can embrace her for all she is and all she can be and not just see fat or judge the fat as being good or bad. Since coming to a place where I can embrace this trait as being nothing more than a characteristic like hair color or shoe size, I can see that I am living and enjoying my life and laughing and loving more deeply than I ever could have before. Maybe it is just the appreciation of being secure and happy now that makes the difference for me, but I know that I am a better friend, mother, wife, and lover because I value myself. Fat has played such a huge (haha) role in my life bringing me to where I am, I have to say it is part of who I am and always will be regardless of my size.
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:51 PM   #22
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I was somewhat chubby as a young child—enough to get teased about it a couple of times in kindergarten-- but from mid grade school through mid high school I was no more than a little on the heavy end of normal. But still I identified with fat people, sympathized with fat people, and in some way felt like I belonged with fat people. I remember meeting a couple of kids with really fat moms, and having some sort of pre-pubescent lust to be in their shoes, where I imagined fat would be acceptable (I was rather naïve, thinking that all fat people would accept fat in others, particularly their kids).

I think at some point fairly young I concluded that when I was older I would be fatter. How much fatter I was never sure, but that I would be at least somewhat fat seemed something of a foregone conclusion. And now I am somewhat fat :-) Even if I became thin again, I’m sure that this fat identification would stay with me.

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Old 05-04-2007, 02:01 PM   #23
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I very much identify myself as fat even though technically I'm not any longer. I was fat when my identity was being formed, and I think that to some extent my brain got stuck in that place.

I think that I'm fat every day. It's irrational, but I'll probably always feel this way.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:34 PM   #24
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This is one of several books I read about compulsive over-eating but I consider this one of the best. It goes into what the OP is talking about- how we identify ourselves and our weight. The authors have you relax and start thinking about how you REALLY perceive fat and thin people. You might find that when you think about being thin, that you subconsciously attach negative connotations onto thin people- and vice versa about being fat. You might attach good feelings onto heavier people and never realize it. In other words, you might find yourself always saying you want to be thin because it is somehow "good" yet subconsciously disagree. It was an interesting read all around.

http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Ove.../dp/0201122197
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:46 AM   #25
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When I've thought about fat and identity, I've always thought that it would be great to say "I don't have a fat identity, I'm a person who happens to be fat" because I think the less labels we attach to ourselves, the better, since it is less likely we'll feel the need to divide ourselves into various groups that keeps people from truly feeling solidarity with each other as members of the human race.

But, the reality is, regardless of whether I claim a fat identity, society has already forced me to claim it. So, what to do? If I reject that label, then I let a fatphobic society define me to the public at large, and if I accept it, I help to perpetrate a system that at this point believes to be fat is a fate worse than death.

So, I try to reclaim what fat means for myself and others, and hope that for those of us who do this, eventually the word fat will cease to be such a powerful tool of negativity for our culture.

With that being said, I have a very strong belief in my own 'fat identity' because I enjoy lots of things about being fat, and I am attracted to other fat people. I don't know how else to sustain these beliefs without having a central 'fat identity.' In fact, out of all the different identities I could claim, I think I claim fat before all others except maybe for my racial identity, but I don't have nearly as many pleasant associations with my racial identity as I do my bodily identity.
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