Can We Really Be Fat and Happy?

I rarely refer to myself or others as ‘fat’ even though I am. The word has such a negative connotation, and I choose to focus on my positive attributes more than my negative ones. I’m smart, thoughtful and caring, and I’m not afraid to admit it when I screw up. I don’t mind being the first to say that I’m sorry after an argument, and I’m not afraid to chase the goals in my life that haunted me for years. I can be a great girlfriend (when I have a significant other,) and I ampassionate about helping people.

I could go on and on about my positive qualities. (Don’t act surprised. Bloggers are narcissistic!) I know what I’m good at, and there is no shortage of reasons to love myself. I have experienced the kind of joy and peace that has changed my life over the last couple of years, but I’m not as focused on my health as I used to be.

I exercise more than the average person, but it’s not the priority that it once was. Healthy food still makes its way into my meals almost daily, but it’s not nearly as prevalent as it once was. I have to admit that I miss that feeling of control that I once had, but in most other areas I’m happier now than I was when I was losing weight.

It feels great to make goals and to stick to them, and it feels awesome to achieve the desired results after hard work. On the flip side, the driving force behind my weight loss goals came from a desire to feel loved and validated by myself and others, and I’ve experienced those feelings more since living in New Orleans that ever before.

I feel content in almost every area of my life, and I wake up happy and refreshed almost everyday. These are the feelings that I was fighting so hard to gain as I lost weight, and now I have them. People love and accept me just as I am. I love and accept me just as I am.

It’s hard to believe that I ever looked in the mirror and hated the woman staring back at me. I love her now, and I want what’s best for her. It’s just not as black and white as it was before. I don’t subscribe to the thought that reaching a certain number on the scale will fulfill me.

I do think it’s important to get to what feels like a healthy weight for myself, but I don’t know what that number is. I don’t dream about hitting a particular number. I dream of meeting someone who loves and desires me even though my clothing size isn’t made up of single digits like many of my BFF’s. I dream of living in a in a that society doesn’t think that being a size 24 is the most offensive thing that a person can ever be.

Leslie
Being obese makes life harder than it should be sometimes, and I know that somewhere within me is the power to change it. My personal experience showed me how good it feels to experience significant weight-loss, but the same experience helped me see the value in enjoying life without the constant stress and restrictions of counting points or counting calories or saying no.
I’m searching for a balance (and have been for months,) and I seem to be feel the best when I’m mindful of what I’m consuming. I also feel good when I exercise regularly because endorphins are awesome.

Often times we strive to lose weight because we think it’s what we need to be happy, but the truth is that most of us are looking for the same things everyday – love, peace, grace and acceptance. Having those things makes me happy, and those truths aren’t going to change even if my body does.

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Sara
    August 28, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Amen is all I can say!!! I can relate on so many levels, I just want to be happy and carefree and not stress about weight for once!!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 28, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      It’s hard when we want to lose weight without giving up those things that we enjoy that aren’t always good for us. I’m glad you understand even though I’m sorry that you do.

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  • Reply
    Monique
    August 28, 2014 at 9:14 am

    In terms of finding a significant other, you will have to find someone with similar interests to yours. If you want to meet someone who enjoys eating out, traveling, visiting museums, etc. then you don’t really need to lose weight to do that. For myself when I was looking for a partner, I wanted someone who could go on long bike rides, do yoga in the park, and go jogging on Sunday mornings. It all depends. Good luck finding the right person! 🙂

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      I wish I could agree with your theory, Monique. I’d like to meet someone who will enjoy the museum with me, but I like long bike rides too. I don’t need him to enjoy yoga, but walks and bike rides would be great. I’m active, and I wouldn’t want to live life so closely with someone who wasn’t willing to be active too.

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  • Reply
    Lynne
    August 28, 2014 at 11:44 am

    What an honest lovely post! I feel ya sister. Losing weight is like having another job! A 24 hour seven day a week job of saying no to stuff. I have to lose weight or die. (I’m at that age) i don’t exercise but I need to. I’ve been healthy before. Just got to get back to that place. enjoy your blog & journey very much.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Believe it or not, when you find your way into a habit of exercise, you’ll feel awesome. It takes a little time, but seriously…It’ll surprise you.

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  • Reply
    Liz
    August 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    This was a great post, and I agree with most things. Everyone should focus on a positive self image and be happy with who they are. But I don’t think that should come at the cost of not being healthy. I think far too often people, even you, have focused on the number. You say “I do think it’s important to get to what feels like a healthy weight for myself, but I don’t know what that number is.” Actually BEING healthy is what is important not the number. Preventing heart disease, diabetes, future potential health problems, or even being able to play with your kids without being winded is what should be focused on. And that comes from watching what you eat and exercising. And passing on good nutrition habits to your kids is important not for weight loss purposes but to actually live healthy lives.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 28, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      I’m pretty sure that kids are not going to be part of my life equation, but I think you’re absolutely right. I’ve been so focused on the numbers at various points that I forget to acknowledge the healthy choices that I’m making. It’s not an easy thing to do, like I said, because I feel awesome. I also know that I need to do live in those healthy habits because if I do, the weight will take care of itself.

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  • Reply
    Lance
    August 28, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Happiness and fat are not related at all. I think it all resides in our mind as to what we perceive our happiness to be. You can have a million dollars in the bank and be empty and void of happiness. You can be skinny and have the hottest boyfriend on the planet and be equally as unhappy. While I’m working on my weight my number 1 goal is being healthy long term. I don’t see many 70 year olds my size. I exercise more than most and struggle with being aware enough to know what my happiness is. I don’t think true love is attached to any number that can be found on a scale unless the love one looks for is attached to that number ( I have to be 95lbs to meet X guy who will make me happy). Great post.

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  • Reply
    Stephanie
    August 28, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I read this post last night, and as I tend to do with many of your posts, I burst into tears. Not sad tears, but tears of joy, joy in the sense that I’m not alone. You always say exactly what I’m feeling, yet I can’t ever figure out the words to say it. I know I need continue to lose weight, and I also know that I’m not consistently fighting the fight, because I don’t always know that it’s worth it. I am happy, and these last few months, I feel amazing. I work out pretty regular – I have been more active this year than the last. Why do I continue to put so much value on what other people think? So I’m taking a supplement, and I’m not an “instant” weightloss success story. I don’t feel like a failure, and I don’t want to listen to others say “i told you so” or “you know, do you think you are doing something wrong, because it works so well for everyone else?”. I’m happy with what I’m doing now. Taking it makes me feel like I want to be healthy. I feel a million times better now than I did last year. I wake up everyday with a renewed sense of self, and a true desire to learn more … more about health (which is so totally unlike me) but even more, I wake up everyday wanting to learn more about me. The me that I am, and the me that I want to be. And I’ve decided that I like me. And I like me NOW. I truly feel a healing going on inside my body, and am convinced that at some point, it will make its way to the outside. I wish that I hadn’t felt the need for so long to put so much pressure on myself to look like everyone else thinks I should. The true happiness that is going on inside me now is far more important. The outside “shell” that is my body size – is just that – a shell. Thank you Kenz for always being there when I need it – your posts tend to pop up just at the right times. God has special things planned for us, and I know that I’m listening to him!!

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  • Reply
    Kate
    August 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I agree with others – great post. Very thoughtful and definitely hits home with me. As does the previous post about doughnuts. Instant gratification is very definitely a problem for me too. It’s just such an easy immediate way to make me feel better. Of course, not for long, but at least I have that comfort then.

    I’ve also lost lots and gained back more, so I get it, but I am not in the losing mode now and I do miss that feeling of control too. Good luck to you. I hope your new blog comes together for you.

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