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Old 05-07-2007, 02:19 PM   #26
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I've been thinking about this some more. Fat is a major part of my identity, and it has shaped me both physically and mentally in some very positive ways. As long as I am happy and healthy, my fat can stay right where it is. However there's more to me than my fat, and I also realize that obesity carries certain health risks. Were I ever to develop any health problems which could be improved by weight loss, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, bad knees etc. then I would certainly lose weight. I want to keep medication (and its side effects) to an absolute minimum. I wouldn't be happy about it, and it would be very hard to relinquish much of my fat after living with it and loving it for decades; but with a major incentive like health, I could make the sacrifice. It's all about informed choices, and in my case so far the benefits of obesity are far greater than detriments.
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Old 05-26-2007, 04:47 AM   #27
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On a slightly flipped side of this point, I suppose that the fact that I find some fat girls sexy isn't at all part of my identity as others see it. It's a purely internal thing. It's sad in a way, because I would like it to be publicly known and accepted, but I'm not willing to go along with the associated nonsense. That's my choice, I suppose!
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Old 05-29-2007, 04:44 PM   #28
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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.
Your comment brought something to mind... It has occurred to me that as I've grown older (now in my mid-30s) I have cared less about what other people think and have grown more interested in my own preferences. Because I like fat people (and yes, even though it's not necessarily politically correct to say this, in general I prefer fat people) I've grown more attracted to fat. Not only in others, but in myself as well.

The thing I'm not sure about is what the effect of age is on this shift to pro-fat? Is it because I'm getting old, or just because I've been exposed to the size acceptance movement for the last decade?

Hmmm...
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Old 05-29-2007, 05:19 PM   #29
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I find this question fascinating because I have thought about WLS, especially when I was bigger. But it just seems like cheating to me. I have a very weird sense of ethics and morality about certain things, and, at least where MY BODY (emphasis added) is concerned, I want to be able to say, at the end of the day, that I lost weight as the result of my actions, not because some doctor gave me a tiny stomach. I feel that it is an important journey through developing willpower for me, to learn lessons that I had an opportunity to learn earlier in life but chose not to and to take control of my health and my appearance back from the side of myself that led me to certain situations that I face.

Ok, that sounds weird. I'm going to go ahead and post this, but I'm totally not ok with what I just said at all. I'm very......confused? Angry? Sad? Loathing? I have no idea.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:57 AM   #30
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Hey Brenda,

I think my experiences are just like yours-it took age and exposure to size acceptance for me to find more pleasure in fat bodies, mine and others. Even though I've known about size acceptance since my late teens, I've cycled in and out of my own personal fat acceptance, as well as my appreciation for the beauty of other people's fat bodies. However, in my 30's, I've been constant in my pro-fat stance.

It was great to read your post.

TCUBOB,

Don't feel uncomfortable with what you wrote. I think if we're honest with ourselves, we'll always struggle with our relationship to our bodies. While I may be very comfortable with some aspects of my body, I have yet to work out how I feel about the health implications of my body and the choices I make. When I lost a lot of weight, it was a very empowering feeling, I must admit. For me, though, I realised that what was most empowering about it wasn't the size of my body, it was the fact that I was able to make healthier choices in what I ate and how I moved my body, and I would like to get back to that place, because it does give you a feeling of taking care of yourself, and giving yourself the kind of self-love that can be hard to hold onto.

As I get older, I realize that for me the best thing I can do for myself is learn to love the parts of me that are imperfect, and also to value those things in other people, as long as I (and those I care about) are aware of our imperfections and trying to make the most of things in spite of them. Part of that also involves accepting the fact that we're all a ball of contradictions, always wrestling with competing emotions, and that this doesn't mean we're inconsistent people, just thoughtful, evolving people. That process never stops.

Hmm, maybe I haven't touched upon your post at all, Bob. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:36 AM   #31
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I dunno either, Butch. But I liked what you wrote even if it didn't have anything to do with what I wrote and I don't know that it didn't. But then again, like I said, I'm weird about certain things. I mean, really.....who other than me cares if I "cheat" to lose weight? It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Yet that doesn't make it any less.....relevant? Important? Vital? Self definitional? to me.

I wish that I had the excuse that I was drunk or high when I came up with that, but I don't.

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TCUBOB,

Don't feel uncomfortable with what you wrote. I think if we're honest with ourselves, we'll always struggle with our relationship to our bodies. While I may be very comfortable with some aspects of my body, I have yet to work out how I feel about the health implications of my body and the choices I make. When I lost a lot of weight, it was a very empowering feeling, I must admit. For me, though, I realised that what was most empowering about it wasn't the size of my body, it was the fact that I was able to make healthier choices in what I ate and how I moved my body, and I would like to get back to that place, because it does give you a feeling of taking care of yourself, and giving yourself the kind of self-love that can be hard to hold onto.

As I get older, I realize that for me the best thing I can do for myself is learn to love the parts of me that are imperfect, and also to value those things in other people, as long as I (and those I care about) are aware of our imperfections and trying to make the most of things in spite of them. Part of that also involves accepting the fact that we're all a ball of contradictions, always wrestling with competing emotions, and that this doesn't mean we're inconsistent people, just thoughtful, evolving people. That process never stops.

Hmm, maybe I haven't touched upon your post at all, Bob. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:19 PM   #32
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self-love
huh-he, huh-he, huh-he.

You said SELF-LOVE.

huh-he, huh-he, huh-he

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Old 05-31-2007, 07:28 AM   #33
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huh-he, huh-he, huh-he.

You said SELF-LOVE.

huh-he, huh-he, huh-he

Just you hush, Beavis.

And get your hand off my hitachi magic wand.
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:31 PM   #34
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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?
My size is what people see. This does does not bother me. I have no desire to be thin. I like being big and being fat is not an issue for me. I think I would feel very strange being thin. I don't think about it. Why should I? For me, that would be like wondering what it would be like to be a tree.
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:53 PM   #35
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Being an admirer is part of me. I've made some good friends in the size acceptance culture and I've found some great dates. I think that this aspect of my sexuality is part of what makes me an extraordinary human being.
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Old 06-01-2007, 02:03 PM   #36
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I grew up thin,very thin.At the time, I didn't think I was but when I look back at photos I gasp at how thin I was.As I gained and gained I hated it,with a passion.Only in the last 2 years have I become comfortable with my fat.It's me,plain and simple.I went to my high school reunion recently and was so afraid to see some people but it turned out great.I even have starting dating a guy that I would have NEVER guessed for a chubby chaser!
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:01 AM   #37
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Ever since my teens, I was a little overweight. Major overweight started about 10 years ago.

Even though my weight has been a major source of self-esteem issues, I always refused to diet. Honestly, I don't want to lose the weight. I really don't. If all of a sudden I find myself skinny and with a body most of the plastic-driven population where I live approves of, I would freak out. I want to be accepted, approved, loved, cherished, respected, and appreciated for the person that I am and in the body that I am in NOW. I resent the 'plastic people' for not approving of me in the body that I am in now. If I miraculously lost the weight, I would resent and distrust all men (not that I don't right now, but you know what I mean) and it would change the person that I am and not in a good way.

Does any of this make sense???

Incidentally, I don't want to lose the weight but I don't really want to gain more either (or at least not a whole lot more.) I like my curves and I like the mobility it affords me right now, in and out of the bedroom. I like to be able to walk where I want, go swimming, play with my kids; being able to do anything I want, like go up and down the stairs to my second floor apartment without feeling like I'm going to stop breathing any moment.

Any which way I look at it, fat describes me, but I don't want it to define me. I want acceptance both from myself and others

What do you think?
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:33 PM   #38
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This is a really appropriate discussion as I'm currently having increasing mobility problems (bad knees and arthritis in hands and legs etc.). I have been "overweight"...I hate that word!...since second grade and have been at various ends of the weight issue. I've lost weight, regained it (and more!), dieted so many times I've lost track! I've struggled with self-esteem issues for most of that time too.

In thinking about this I believe a lot of my self-esteem issues were formed from external pressures...from doctors, my mom, bad press....and I found in my 30's I became fed-up with diets and found a group of women to join up with who were "large as life", encouraged one another, made a noise about poor clothing choices, established great groups for fitness classes/swimming and began shouting about the racket of weight-loss "remedies". I gained an insight into how to accept and love myself, for me! These supports didn't remain with me because I moved across the Atlantic and lost touch with this wonderful group of women. Well, that's what I thought. But...I had relaxed about my "fat" and I now don't beat myself up about my size. Except for my mobility problems I would be totally happy as "me" iyswim!!!

I recently had an encounter in a shopping mall while on holidays. I found myself looking into a pillar which appeared to show me very slim (really good proportions) and I was transfixed! I remember commenting to my daughter that I could really get to like the "new" me. Jumping back into the real world I do not think I will ever attain that shape somehow. If I'm totally honest I waiver between not thinking about my size and wishing I could drop a few dress sizes!

I too have had WLS promoted by more than one of my doctors...telling me I would be an ideal candidate, blah, blah, blah. It scares me silly! It's so....so....final an act! But I have to say...on my bad days....it seems like WLS would be the "ideal fairy godmother gift"...absolute magic. So I do entertain dreams of a slimmer version of me, but reality kicks in and I really want to be totally happy as I am (I'm working on it...and reading posts on here too...you are all so open and honest....a safe place to let these things open up for discussion...thank you for that!).

I'm babbling on now so will call it a day! Hope you follow what I'm saying here...being fat does define who I am....and it's the only "me" I know!!!

Jacquie x
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:02 PM   #39
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...being fat does define who I am....and it's the only "me" I know!!!

Jacquie x
Hi Jacquie... do you really believe it defines you as opposed to describes you? Personally, I think we are all much much more than fat...
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:38 PM   #40
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Fat is a part of my identity that I'm not going to change because people should have to accept you for who you are I'm not going to kill myself for someone who doesn't accept me for who I am please
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:43 AM   #41
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Hi Letihana.....You've got my thinking now! I looked up the word "define" and discovered a synonym for the same word is "describe"...so it would seem the words are interchangeable.

I think using the word "define" sounds more rigid, confining...if that's the way to explain it...and of course there is a lot more that makes me tick than the fact I'm fat!

I would also want people to recognize and appreciate me because of ALL my attributes...including the fact I won't hide away or apologize for my fatness!
I'm who I am....fat or slim.

Does that compute with how you see it, Letihana?

Jacquie x
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Old 06-05-2007, 04:02 AM   #42
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Hi Letihana.....You've got my thinking now! I looked up the word "define" and discovered a synonym for the same word is "describe"...so it would seem the words are interchangeable.

I think using the word "define" sounds more rigid, confining...if that's the way to explain it...and of course there is a lot more that makes me tick than the fact I'm fat!

I would also want people to recognize and appreciate me because of ALL my attributes...including the fact I won't hide away or apologize for my fatness!
I'm who I am....fat or slim.

Does that compute with how you see it, Letihana?

Jacquie x
Well, it could be because English is not my first language (technically, not my second either) but, to me, fat describes me "visually" but it does not define me as a human being. I am WAY much more than that.

Yes, both can mean the same thing, but you do 'describe' someone physically and you're not supposed to 'define' them by their looks.

You can 'describe' someone accurately but 'define' someone is relative and not complete because so much is under the surface

Does that make sense?? Or am I just confusing myself? lmao
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:03 AM   #43
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Hi again.... I think we are actually saying the same thing....there is a lot more to us than the fact we're fat...so yes, it's a description...but get past the fat and there's a lot more to make us "us".

I have a son who is gay and this is a similar point he makes....he doesn't mind being referred to or described as gay, but says there is a lot more that makes him who he is. It is only one aspect of his make-up....iyswim.

Jacquie x
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:03 AM   #44
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...........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.....
Yup! Ruby nailed it. That's pretty much my experience. I was chubby as a child, obese as a teen. At 250 lbs in high school, people treated me as if I had a highly contagious disease. Funny enough, when I went to college (where most girls gain weight), I lost a lot in just one year. I went to 143lbs, which might sound chubbyish, but at my height it was actually truly skinny ( I wore men's waist size 32" jeans, which meant that my hips were 32").

I have to say that I expected my life to change in some profound way because of my weight, but I found that the only difference was that suddenly I had all these beautiful people as friends and admirers (an actual honest to goodness clique!). It took me about 2 years to finally realize that the only reason these people were my "friends" was because I was "gorgeous" (their opinion, not mine). These were the kind of vicious a-holes that would tear apart one of their own friends if she/he gained 5lbs. (great bunch of people I found to hang with LOL!).

Anyway, one day, I finally woke up and realized that all those amazing things that were supposed to happen because I lost weight, didn't. I don't know if that's THE reason my weight crept back on, but eventually it did.

If God asked me if I wanted him to make me thin again, I would probably say yes, BUT only if it was in a healthful way, and not as thin as at that time back in college. The most important part would be the reason, it wouldn't be because I would expect my life to become perfect afterwards, it would be purely for health reasons.
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:36 AM   #45
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Looking back at my life so far, I've come to a realization that my weight is one of the things that I allow to be affected by the opinions of other people. I've always been overweight for a Chinese person and it was a topic of mild concern to doctors and parents.

At the age of 15, I had my first relationship with a fellow who was incredibly committed to the act of bettering himself both physically and mentally. Highest grades in science, captain of the track team, president of the environmental club - I thought he was perfect. As a result, I couldn't help but notice and over-accentuate my own flaws. He was deeply into physical fitness and I somehow drew the conclusion that if I began to take interest in such things, it would endear me to him in some way. I went running everyday, went on a diet, threw up after "overindulging" and lost about 10 pounds but still didn't feel emotionally fulfilled in the relationship. I became jealous and controlling and secretly resented the fact that my efforts had gone unnoticed. That didn't change through the course of our two years together and we ended things the day high school was done.

I went to college and after four months, got involved in the most serious relationship that I've ever had (although that's not saying much seeing as I've only had two). After some time together, he revealed that he was into the concept of gaining weight himself and was attracted to people of a larger size. He then requested that I join him in this. I agreed and am currently at the heaviest I have ever been (163 pounds). Something distinctly different about this relationship is how my efforts are noticed. As a result, I like being this size because my partner appreciates it. I have always worried about my weight and I don't know how I'd feel about being this size if I didn't have a significant other to support me.

Although I am in a relationship with somebody who appreciates me at any size, I don't feel fully satisfied with myself, my weight and my identity. I don't have any kind of opinion as to what size I'd feel "right" for, nor do I feel that I am "destined" to be a certain size. While reading this thread, I came to the conclusion that many people have come to conclusions about their weight and how it fits into their identity, but I have yet to do so.
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:55 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Ruffie View Post
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?
I can't believe I missed this question before. It's a very good one too.

I used to think that if I just lost 300lbs that all my problems would be solved and I would be happier, and at the same time I was still sort of accepting my size and correcting all the idiotic stereotypes I came across in the process. It's kind of hard to try to do both. One day tho I realized that loosing weight would not solve all my problems, and that I would not be happier. It would only bring about a new set of problems.

I also thought that I needed sexual attention from men to validate my size you know. But once I got it, I learned really quickly that this sort of validation was not the cure all I had expected it to be. It just brought on a new set of inner conflicts. I now know that the only validation I really need is from myself. My own opinion of myself matters more than some guy. If my own opinion of myself isn't high, than why should anyone else have a high opinion of me? Now that I know all that. After all the disappointments and lessons learned I think I have come to accept my size completely. I think I might freak out if I suddenly woke up skinny. I don't think anyone would want to see that. So being skinny is actually a really scary thought for me now and I can't even begin to imagine what I'd look like.
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:25 AM   #47
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As someone who lost 100 pounds (and then gained it all back - thanks, emotional eating), I don't think that being fat has a lot to do with my identity. I was SOOOO much happier at 280, and I found that I got a lot more respected and I was no longer "the fat girl who we hang out with when everyone else is busy" in my group of friends and I was doing a lot more and getting out and living life. Granted, these things might have been because of my renewed self-confidence that made me want to get out and have fun, but I am definitely not afraid to be thin. I know that this post is probably going to get me vilified, but whatever. *shrugs*

So in a way, being fat kind of is part of my identity. I feel like I'm just the fat girl, and that's the role I was meant to play in life, which isn't a good thing. At 280, I was nowhere near small, but I felt a lot better than I did now.

I do, however, know some people who feel that being fat is a big part of their identity, and they're just fine with that. My cousin is one of them. She knows she's fat, she has no desire to change it, and she does what she has to to live a normal life and she's one of the happiest people I know. It's great, and I'm really glad for her.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:02 AM   #48
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I've been big all my life even as a kid.All thru my life I've had people make remarks about my size.I've never really been down on my size.It's part of me & I'm happy to be me,I don't believe in diets or any kind of surgery,pills or miracle drugs.I believe we are all as we are meant to be.We are not all meant to be skinny or muscular.We are meant to who we are no matter our size.Size can help or hinder but it's up to us to decide which.Yes I'd say my personality is partially developed because of my size but there are many other factors that went into me being me.My family,my friends & many other things make me what I am today & what I will be in the future.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:53 AM   #49
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Great question! My identity has always been the "really smart, really fat Black chick". All three together!!

How would I change if I were thinner? I would like to think I would be the same person, but so much of who I am and how I think are based on my past experiences and THOSE experiences were shaped by being fat in a fat-phobic society. Do I have a greater sense of compassions because I have been on the receiving end of nasty comments? Do I have more wisdom because I have had to bear the weight (so to speak) of mass societal criticism of my body size? Am I stronger because I have had to hold my head high in the face of nastiness? Quite possibly. Or it is possible I would be the same person thin and those qualities were gained in other ways.

All I know is that my size is intricately intertwined with my sense of identity and I don't know if I could separate it from the core of who I am. I have been okay with being fat, but now I am comfortable with BEING okay with being fat! Before I felt somewhat ashamed of my lack of desire to be thin. I felt as if I had to constantly let people know that I was working on my issue when inside I did not give a flying f***.

I would miss my body and my "girls" if I were to lose a lot of weight. I would miss being "substantial" and having a large presence. So while I don't know how much fat has and does define me, I know what it means to me now.
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:03 PM   #50
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Twice in my life I have been extremely thin since this was the figure ideal of my husband. I worked really hard to weigh 120 lbs. hoping that he would be more attracted to me, and he wasn't. In retrospect, his lack of attraction for me had nothing to do with my weight. Several years ago I made a committment to no longer diet and see what would happen. I became fat and dressed to hide it which made me look very asexual and matronly. For thirty years I lifted weights at the gym ,and I decided that I was going to wear nice clothes. I remember the day when I allowed my arms to show and not wear jackets that hid my backside. Dressing to my form even though fat made me look so much more attractive then hiding in big clothes. To hide one's body is to feel such shame. I am liberated - I love my fat body and am confident, such a truly liberating feeling in that I feel that I have come home to myself. My regret is that I did not have this self-acceptance when I was young. I am perfect just the way I am and if anyone cannot share that opinion of me, he can leave the room.
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